Letter of Prince George of Denmark to King James II, November 1688

On November 23, 1688, Prince George of Denmark deserted his father-in-law, King James II, and attached himself to the Prince of Orange. Prince George addressed the following letter to the King in explanation of his actions.

A printed version of the text can be found on page 432 of State Tracts (London: Richard Baldwin, 1692; reprinted by Scholarly Resources, 1973).


With a heart full of grief am I forced to write what prudence will not permit me to say to your face. And may I ever find credit with Your Majesty and protection from heaven as what I now do is free from passion, vanity, or design, with which actions of this nature are too often accompanied. I am not ignorant of the frequent mischiefs wrought in the world by factious pretences of religion; but were not religion the most justifiable cause, it would not be made the most specious pretence. And Your Majesty has always shown too uninterested a sense of religion to doubt the just effects of it in one whose practices have, I hope, never given the world cause to censure his real conviction of it, or his backwardness to perform what his honour and conscience prompt him to. How then can I longer disguise my just concern for that religion in which I have been so happily educated, which my judgment thorougly convinces me to be the best, and for the support of which I am so highly interested in my native country? And is not England now by the most endearing tie become so?

While the restless spirits of the enemies of the Reformed Religion, backed by the cruel zeal and prevailing power of France, justly alarm and unite all the Protestant princes of Christendom and engage them in so vast an expense for the support of it, can I act so degenerous and mean a part as to deny my concurrence to such worthy endeavours for disabusing Your Majesty by the reinforcement of those laws and establishment of that government on which alone depends the wellbeing of Your Majesty and of the Protestant Religion in Europe? This, Sir, is that irresistible and only cause that could come in competition with my duty and obligations to Your Majesty and be able to tear me from you, while the same affectionate desire of serving you continues in me. Could I secure your person by the hazard of my life, I should think it could not be better employed. And would to God these your distracted Kingdoms might yet receive that satisfactory compliance from Your Majesty in all their justifiable pretensions, as might upon the only sure foundation, that of the love and interest of your subjects, establish your government and as strongly unite the hearts of all your subjects to you, as is that of,


Your Majesty's most humble and most obedient son and servant

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