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William III

William III, known as William of Orange (1650-1702). King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 1689 and prince of Orange. He was governor of the Netherlands from 1672 and in 1677 he married his cousin Mary, daughter of James II. On the invitation of James’s opponents, he invaded England in 1688, landing a small force at Torbay, and was crowned joint sovereign with Mary (1689). He defeated James in Ireland at the Battle of the Boyne (1690). During the 1690s William spent much time on the continent involved in the Dutch struggle against Louis XIV of France. Despite his excellent qualities as a diplomat and military leader, William III never really won the sympathy of the mass of the English people. He died from a fall when his horse stumbled on a molehill.

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