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MARY OF ORANGE (1631-166o)

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Originally appearing in Volume V17, Page 826 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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MARY OF ORANGE (1631-166o), eldest daughter of the English king Charles I., was born in London on the 4th of November 1631. Her father wished her to marry a son of Philip IV., king of Spain, while her cousin, the elector palatine, Charles Louis, was also a suitor for her hand, but both proposals fell through and she became the wife of a Dutch prince, ,William, son of Frederick Henry, prince of Orange. The marriage took place in London on the 2nd of May 1641, but owing to the tender years of the bride it was not consummated for several years. However in 1642 Mary crossed over to Holland with her mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, and in 1644, as the daughter-in-law of the stadtholder, she began to take her place in public life. In 1647 her husband, William II., succeeded his father as stadtholder, but three years later, just after his attempt to capture Amsterdam, he died; a son, afterwards the English king William III., being born to him a few days later (Nov. 14, 165o). Mary was obliged to share the guardianship of her infant son with his grandmother Amelia, the widow of Frederick Henry, and with Frederick William, elector of Brandenburg; moreover, she was unpopular with the Dutch owing to her sympathies with her kinsfolk, the Stuarts, and at length public opinion having been further angered by the hospitality which she showed to her brothers, Charles II. and James, duke of York, she was forbidden to receive her relatives. From 1654 to 16J7 the princess passed most of her time away from Holland. In 1657 she was appointed regent on behalf of her son for the principality of Orange, but the difficulties of her position led her to implore the assistance of Louis XIV., and the French king answered by seizing Orange himself. The position both of Mary and of her son in Holland was greatly bettered through the restoration of Charles II. in Great Britain. In September 166o Mary journeyed to England. She was taken ill of small-pox, and died in London on the 24th of December 166o, her death, says Bishop Burnet, being " not much lamented."
End of Article: MARY OF ORANGE (1631-166o)

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