King James II
Person Male Born 14/10/1633 Died 5/9/1701
England's last Roman Catholic king, James II of England but James VII of Scotland. Born in St James's Palace and ascended the throne in 1685 on the death of his brother Charles II. Married Anne Hyde. He was Catholic and persecuted the Protestants.
This may be overstating the case: 2016 - we were contacted by Antone Martinho who writes “It is completely inaccurate to suggest that he persecuted Protestants, when his reign was fundamentally pro-toleration.” We are far from experts on James II and rely on Wikipedia which include text such as “James sent a letter to the Scottish Privy Council advocating toleration for Catholics but that the persecution of the Presbyterian Covenanters should continue….”. Antone would like this added: "However, he established toleration for the dissenting Protestants as well as Catholics, ultimately granting relief even to the Covenanters he initially opposed." This is a complex topic and we advise anyone who want to understand it to look elsewhere.
The only other statue in England of James II is at University College, Oxford.
As Duke of York he was the largest investor in, and was the first governor of a company which became one of the biggest in the Atlantic slave trade, and as king he facilitated England's role in the trade.