In 1687, James VII and II introduced Letters – or Declarations – of Indulgence to Scotland and England granting tolerance to all faiths.
His enemies saw this as a further attempt to increase Catholic power enabling him to reinstate absolute monarchy.
In May 1688, seven English Bishops refused to read the declaration in church, claiming James had exceeded his powers.
Furious, James responded;
‘God hath given me this dispensing power and I will maintain it’.
He had the bishops arrested, but they were later acquitted. What do you think of James’s reaction to the Bishops?
Let’s look now at another key object of material culture that demonstrates how James tried to influence people to support his cause.
You can find out more about the Letters of Indulgence here
© National Museums Scotland and the University of Edinburgh 2017