Apr 112016


On this date 1689 William and Mary were crowned as joint sovereigns of Great Britain. Their joint reign began, de facto, in February 1689 after they were offered the throne by the Convention Parliament, irregularly summoned by William after his successful invasion of England in November 1688, the so-called Glorious Revolution. They replaced James II & VII, Mary’s father, who fled the country. 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, who was also childless. Thus ended the reign of the Stuarts.

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


Their names were given 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.


The co-regency of William and Mary was not the first in Britain, but it was the last (so far!), and it was unique in one important respect. Queen Mary I (Henry VIII’s daughter) was co-regent with her husband, Philip of Spain, and Philip had hoped to remain king after her death. But, fearing that Britain would become a satellite of the Habsburgs upon such an eventuality, parliament precluded the possibility, and thus Philip ceased to be king of Britain when Mary died. Parliament tried to impose the same conditions on William (a Dutchman), but he refused to accept the monarchy under those circumstances. Mary refused as well. So parliament was forced to accept William as ruler as long as he lived.


The Glorious Revolution did, indeed, end all possibility of the return of Catholicism as the established religion throughout the realm, but James and his heirs – his son James (the Old Pretender), and grandson Charles (Bonnie Prince Charlie) – continued rebellion for decades. Their followers were known as Jacobites.  In Ireland, the Catholic majority supported James’s attempts to regain the throne until they were defeated at the battle of the Boyne by William’s forces. Thus began centuries of sectarian conflict in Ireland.  In Scotland, where sectarian issues were more complex, the highland clans supported the Jacobite cause until they were defeated at the battle of Culloden in 1746.



Here are two 17th century English recipes that are surprisingly modern, and quite detailed. The Enlightenment saw the development of theoretical science but also its practical use in the kitchen – in this case by using precise measures and exact instructions where recipes in previous centuries did not. In the first case the “halfe a quortorh” of flour is probably 1 pound.

To make puff paist

Take halfe a quortorh of The Finest Flower then mix yo Flower and water and

Four white of Eggs together, mould up yo paste but not too stiff,

Then role yo Past out into a Sheete. Then lay some Butter in litle Pecies

Till you have Filled yo sheete but doe not lay it Towards The ends to neare,

Then Dust a little Flower with yo Drudging Box then Fould it up

Twice before you put any more Then doe soe Till yo have put in

a pound keeping it a little dusted very Fine yo put it to yo Butter,

handle it a little Then cut it to yo own Fancie

This ice cream recipe will work although you can use a freezer in place of ice.  However, it will be a lot smoother if you constantly break up the cream as it is freezing so as to avoid the development of large ice crystals. This is why ice cream makers were developed – the dasher inside the container breaks up the crystals as they form.  Also we would add salt to the ice in the tub to lower its temperature and, thus, reduce the freezing time.

To make Icy Cream

Take three pints of the best cream, boyle it with

a blade of Mace, or else perfume it with orang flower water

or Amber-Greece, sweeten the Cream, with sugar let it stand

till it is quite cold, then put it into Boxes, ether of Silver

or tinn then take, Ice chopped into small peeces and

putt it into a tub and set the Boxes in the Ice couering

them all over, and let them stand in the Ice two

hours, and the Cream Will come to be Ice in the Boxes,

then turne them out into a salvar with some of the same

Seasoned Cream, so sarue it up at the Table.

 Posted by at 7:58 pm

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