The reign of James VII & II
Despite attempts to exclude James from the succession, he was generally well received when he came to the throne in 1685 as King James VII and II.
But things changed dramatically and irrevocably when James began to assert his will over church and state.
He tried to repeal the Test Act of 1673, to enable Catholics to hold high office and when parliament resisted James adjourned then dissolved it in July 1687 and ruled alone.
In response the Duke of Monmouth raised a rebellion in the summer of 1685. The Duke of Argyll led the revolt in Scotland.
James suppressed these uprisings and Monmouth and Argyll were executed as traitors to the King.
Our next set of objects – the altar piece for the chapel at the Palace of Holyroodhouse – is further evidence of James’s adherence to his Catholic faith.
© National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh 2017