Mary II, first queen regnant of Great Britain and Ireland, daughter of James II. and wife of William III., born at St. James's, April 30, 1G62, died at Kensington palace, Dec. 28, 1094. Her father at the time of her birth was heir presumptive to the throne and duke of York, and her mother was Anne ll\(k\ daughter of the earl of Clarendon. She was educated at Richmond palace, with her sister Anne, her preceptor being Henry Compton, bishop of London, and was a very well informed woman for those times. She was married to her cousin, William, prince of Orange. Nov. 4, 1677, an alliance which was very popular throughout Great Britain. Mary's father, as heir presumptive to the British crown, was an object of jealousy to all Protestants except the high churchmen, and even they saw with pleasure that his heir, the princess of Orange, was strongly attached to the church of England. William was jealous of his wife's position, as. should she succeed to the throne, she would be his superior in rank and power; and should she die before him, and childless, the throne would pass to her sister Anne. William stood next in the order of succession to Anne, and all hope of Charles II. having legitimate offspring had long been abandoned.

The prince was not a faithful husband, but the personal difficulties between him and his wife were removed before those of a political character were known to her. Burnet, afterward bishop of Salisbury, effected a complete reconciliation between the prince and princess, the latter pledging herself to surrender all power to her husband, should circumstances ever place her on the British throne. When William found himself compelled to take the leader-hip of that comprehensive opposition party which was formed in England against James II.. in 1687-'8, he was strenuously supported by Mary against her father. The latter had never since her marriage treated her well, had used some of her friends harshly and illegally, and had conspired to take from her the crown of Ireland; and she shared in the common belief that the prince of Wales, horn in 1688, was a supposititious child, who had been introduced into the royal family to prevent her from ever enjoying her inheritance. She acquiesced in the plan for the invasion of England in 168S; and when the earl of Danby sought to obtain the throne for her on the ground that there had been a demise of the crown, and that she was the next heir, she wrote him an earnest reprimand, declaring that she was the prince's wife, that she had no other wish than to be his subject, that the most cruel injury that could be done to her would be to set her up as his competitor, and that she never could regard any person win»took such a course as her true friend.

Could William have had his way, he would have reigned alone, and Mary would have been only queen consort; but the opposition to this plan was so great that it was never pressed. The convention parliament declared William and Mary king and queen of England. Mary arrived in England on Feb. 12, 1689, and on the 13th she and her husband accepted the crown. William had requested her to assume a cheerful air, in order to set aside the report that she thought she was wronged; and she so far overdid her part that her levity gave general offence and occasioned many lampoons. The coronation took place April 11, 1689, when Mary was inaugurated like a king. During the absence of her husband, when in Ireland or on the continent, Mary was placed at the head of the government, and in that position showed tact and firmness under very trving circumstances. In 1692, after the naval vic-tory of La Hougue, she declared that Greenwich palace, then in course of construction, should be converted into a retreat for those seamen who should be disabled in their country's service; and the vow thus made was kept.

Inward the end of 1694 she was attacked by smallpox, of which she soon died, to the great grief of her husband, to whom her decease was a political as well as personal loss, as her participation in his government gave to it a certain show of hereditary right. The attacks of the Jacobites on her unfilial conduct continued even alter her death. She was buried with great pomp in Henry VII.'a chapel in Westminster abbey.