William III, William of Orange (1650-1702) was offered the English crown by the parliamentary opposition to James II.
He invaded England in 1688 and in 1689 became joint sovereign with his'wife Mary. He spent much of his reign campaigning, first in Ireland, where he defeated James II at the battle of the Boyne in 1690, and later against the French in Flanders. He was succeeded by Anne.
Born in the Netherlands, he was made stadholaer (chief magistrate) in 1672 to resist the French invasion. He forced Louis XIV to make peace in 1678 and then concentrated on building up a European alliance against France.
In 1677 he married his cousin Mary, daughter of the future James II. When invited by both Whig and Tory leaders to take the crown from James, he landed with a large force at Torbay, Devon. James fled to France, and his Scottish and Irish supporters were defeated at the battles of Dunkeld in 1689 and the Boyne in 1690.
Why is William III famous?
William III was a King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1688, the son of William II of Orange and Mary, daughter of Charles I.