This dish, by an unknown maker working in London, commemorates the Dutch Prince of Orange King William III and his wife Queen Mary II, who together reigned over the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland beginning in 1689 following the Glorious Revolution, William’s successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army. Mary was the daughter of King James II of England, who was ousted in 1688. The reign of William and Mary, marked by the signing of the Bill of Rights in 1689, put an end to the idea that England would be restored to Roman Catholicism.
Who is this couple?
This plate depicts William III (1650-1702) and his wife Mary II (1662-1694), daughter of King James II of England, who together reigned over the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland from 1689 until Mary’s death. William, born a prince of Holland, fought vigorously against the Catholic influence of France and Spain on the European continent. Brought to England in an effort to suppress the Catholic church in that country, the couple’s controversial reign marked the end of royal prerogative and the rise of Parliament into a position of governing power in England.