07.05.

1718: Mary of Modena – the Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland

1718: Mary of Modena – the Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ James III and Mary of Modena by Benedetto Gennari junior.

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 7 May 1718
  • Mary of Modena was born in Italy, as a member of the powerful d'Este family. She was a wife of the Catholic King James II.

Queen Mary of Modena died on this day in 1718. It is interesting to note that she was the last Catholic Queen of England.

She was a wife of King James II, the last Catholic King in the UK. Mary of Modena died about 17 years after her husband`s death.

Mary of Modena was born in Italy as Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d’Este. Her father was Alfonso IV. d’Este, Duke of Modena and Reggio. D’Este Family had a seat in Modena (where the palace was located). Mary was born there, and their state included one part of Italy, in the area north of Tuscany.

It is interesting to note that Mary’s mother was Laura Martinozzi, niece of the famous Cardinal Mazarin (France`s leading statesman in the mid 17th century). Mary originated from the Catholic family, and was also a devout Catholic.

In Protestant Britain, many were not satisfied with King James II because he was a Catholic. The culmination of discontent occurred when the Queen Mary gave birth to their son, who became a successor. The so-called Glorious Revolution broke out in 1688. James II and Mary were deposed.

They were exiled to France, and lived in the “Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye” near Paris, provided by the King Louis XIV (known as “The Sun King”). Their “refugee palace” was located there.

After her husband`s death, Mary lived in France as a widow for almost 17 years. She even outlived Louis XIV, and died on this day in the mentioned castle, aged 59. Her successors are the so-called Jacobite pretenders to the British throne (theoretically, they still exist).

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