Letter of King James II to Pope Alexander VIII, November 26, 1689

The following letter was published with an unsympathetic commentary in Animadversions on King James His Letter to the Pope, Publisht in the Tryal of the Ld. Preston & Mr Ashton, London: Printed and sold by the Booksellers of London and Westminster, 1691 (Wing A3914). This work claims that the letter "was found written in Latin, entered upon record in the Register taken at Dublin, bearing date, Dublin, 26th of November, 1689, with a marginal note recorded likewise in the same Register, 'That the original letter was all writ by K. James his own hand.'"

I have not been able to verify whether or not the letter presented here was indeed written by King James II.

Most Holy Father,

We did by the Earl of Melfort, our Principal Secretary of State, signify to Your Holiness the joy we had in your promotion to the Sacred Chair. And those letters which Your Holiness did with your own hand write us were such testimonies of fatherly love and of your tender compassion for what we suffer, that they have lessened the eense of our calamity, and have proved of real consolation to us.

The only source of all thee rebellions against us is that we embraced the Catholic Faith, and do not disown, but that to spread the same, not only in our three kingdoms, but over all the dispersed colonies of our subjects in America, was our determination.

To manifest this, there will need no other proof than to see how lately we have proceeded in this kingdom; for as we have often beaten the rebels in small parties (which might have been one complete victory, if they had not obstinately declined to give us battle), so we have still turned all to the advantage of religion, and hope very soon to see it here firmly established.

Nor will it look hard, if aided by some subsidies, to compass the same in our other dominions, as soon as by God's favour we shall be restored, seeing our people do so ill bear the usurper's yoke, and so universally long for our return.

It would promote this work, if a general peace were settled amongst the Catholic princes or a truce at least in case the time be too short for the other; for this would put an end to those calamities began in Germany, and where the heretics now lie gnawing in the very bowels of the Church.

But what need we speak on this subject, where the things themselves are so loud, and implore your aid. The apostolic zeal of Your Holiness must find out remedies fit for these evils; and in full confidence thereof, we beseech God to give Your Holiness a long and a happy reign. And we being with all love and filial observance prostrate at your feet, do beg your apostolical benediction.

Given at our Castle at Dublin, this 26th of November, 1689.

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