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This article is about the joint reign of the English monarchs William III and Mary II. For the university in Williamsburg, Virginia, see The College of William & Mary. For other uses, see William and Mary (disambiguation).
Detail of William and Mary from the ceiling of the Painted Hall

The phrase William and Mary usually refers to the coregency over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland, of spouses (and first-cousins) King William III & II and Queen Mary II. Their joint reign began in February 1689 after they were offered the throne by the Convention Parliament irregularly summoned by William after his successful invasion of England in 1688, the so-called Glorious Revolution. They replaced James II & VII, Mary's father and William's uncle and father-in-law, who was "deemed to have fled" the country. Parliament offered William and Mary a co-regency, at the couple's behest. After Mary died in 1694, William ruled alone until his death in 1702. William and Mary were childless and were ultimately succeeded by Mary's younger sister, Anne.

Historic influence[edit]

To end the Glorious Revolution, William and Mary signed the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This action both signaled the end of several centuries of tension and conflict between the crown and parliament, and the end of the idea that England would be restored to Roman Catholicism, King William being a Protestant leader. The Bill of Rights also inspired the English colonists in the Thirteen Colonies to revolt against the rule of King James II and against his proposed changes in colonial governance. These revolts occurred in the colonies of Massachusetts, New York, and Maryland.[1]

Stamp duty was first introduced into England during this reign, by an act of 1694 titled "An act for granting to their Majesties several duties upon vellum, parchment and paper, for four years, towards carrying on the war against France".[2]

Their names were lent to the second institution of higher learning in the United States, The College of William and Mary, which was founded in 1693 under a royal charter.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ James Thacherius, History of the Town of Plymouth, p. 154: recounts this revolution in the Colonies
  2. ^ Dagnall, H. (1994) Creating a Good Impression: three hundred years of The Stamp Office and stamp duties. London: HMSO, p. 3. ISBN 0116414189

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1592 news items

Virginia Gazette
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 08:22:30 -0700

WILLIAMSBURG — Elaborate fix-it stations, new bike racks, a cycling class and the beginning stages of a bike share and bike shop are all recent additions to the William and Mary campus thanks to a pair of students. The Bike Initiative, an independent ...
Daily Press
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:41:15 -0700

WILLIAMSBURG — Even in a town that archaeologists have probed countless times since 1930, few places have been dug over as many times as the landmark compound that makes up the historic colonial campus at the College of William and Mary. But that ...
William and Mary News
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 05:45:00 -0700

For the second year running, William & Mary has raised more than $100 million to benefit all aspects of the university — from student scholarships and research to faculty salaries and support for programs, athletics, facilities and Swem Library ...

Augusta Free Press

Augusta Free Press
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:29:21 -0700

wm-logo William and Mary senior All-American defensive end Mike Reilly highlighted the Tribe's list of preseason all-conference honorees announced at the annual Colonial Athletic Association Media Day event held at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on ...

Augusta Free Press

Augusta Free Press
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:26:15 -0700

wm-logo William and Mary football fans unable to make it to games this season will have multiple opportunities to follow the team on television, as seven of the Tribe's contests will be broadcast live. Highlighting the Tribe's slate of broadcast games ...

William and Mary News

William and Mary News
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:18:45 -0700

Robert Mann '81 is standing at a sink. The sink is in an old, dingy house with a long dirt road running in front and a coal pile in the backyard. Perhaps it is in West Virginia somewhere; he's not quite sure. Mann takes a glass and fills it with water ...
Virginia Gazette
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 08:11:15 -0700

ARLINGTON The College of William and Mary recently announced a shift in staffing and a merger with the William and Mary Alumni Association (WMAA). No more W&M Office of Development (fundraising). No more WMAA staff (fundraisers and alumni event ...

William and Mary News

William and Mary News
Wed, 16 Jul 2014 06:52:30 -0700

William and Mary's Swem Library will welcome Kim Sims as its new university archivist on July 25. Sims comes to W&M from Duke University where she served as technical services archivist for the Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, managing ...

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