With the birth of Anne’s half-brother James Francis Edward Stuart in 1688, the fears of a Catholic succession were once again raised. Anne herself was not present at the birth; in fact, she made sure that she was far away. Anne set out for Bath to take the waters on 24 May while her half-brother was born on 10 June and he displaced Mary and Anne in the succession. Anne wrote to her sister in the Netherlands her reasons for suspecting that the birth was not genuine. “My dear sister can’t imagine the concern and vexation I have been in, that I should be so unfortunate to be out of town when the Queen was brought to bed, for I shall never now be satisfied whether the child be true or false.”
William of Orange, Mary’s husband, had been planning to take military actions against his father-in-law and in April 1688 “some men of the best interest” invited him “to come and rescue the nation and the religion he believed he could be ready by the end of September.” Anne was not yet aware of any plans.
Before setting sail, William issued a manifesto, explaining why he intended to invade.
“It is both certain and evident to all men, that the public peace and happiness of any state or kingdom cannot be preserved, where the Laws, Liberties, and Customs, established by the lawful authority in it, are openly transgressed and annulled; more especially where the alteration of Religion is endeavoured, and that a religion, which is contrary to law, is endeavoured to be introduced; upon which those who are most immediately concerned in it are indispensably bound to endeavour to preserve and maintain the established Laws, Liberties and customs, and, above all, the Religion and Worship of God, that is established among them; and to take such an effectual care, that the inhabitants of the said state or kingdom may neither be deprived of their Religion, nor of their Civil Rights.”
He set sail on 1 November and landed in Devon four days later. He moved to Exeter where he stayed for nearly two weeks. Anne’s father was determined to fight and “Having taken his adieu of the Queen and of the Princess Anne of Denmark”, he left London. Anne never saw her father again. Anne’s husband accompanied her father, but he planned to defect to William as soon as possible. Anne wrote to William that she desired “your good success in this so just an undertaking.” James returned to London without any fighting having taken place after he suffered from debilitating nosebleeds and upon hearing that the north of England had risen against him. More and more of his officers went over to William’s side.
Anne dreaded hearing the news that her father was coming back to London and she “declared that rather than see her father she would jump out at the window.” Anne dressed in all haste and fled at one in the morning. It was decided that she should go north and she arrived in Nottingham where she was eagerly awaited. On 8 December, William ordered her to come to Oxford to meet her and her husband. On 12 December came the news that her father had fled the country and that the army had been disbanded. She arrived in Oxford on 15 December and was reunited with George. On 19 December, she and George re-entered London.
William and his wife Mary were now invited to become the joint monarchs. This meant that Anne’s own right to the crown was the be altered as William, as her cousin, was actually behind Anne in the line of succession. He was made King for life. Anne would be made to wait to assume the crown until after William had passed.1