Mary of Modena
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Mary of Modena (Maria Beatrice Anna Margherita Isabella d'Este; Template:OldStyleDate – Template:OldStyleDate) was Queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the second wife of King James II and VII. A devout Catholic, Mary became, in 1673, the second wife of James, Duke of York, who later succeeded his older brother Charles II as King James II. Mary was uninterested in politics and devoted to James and her children, two of whom survived to adulthood: the Jacobite claimant to the English, Scottish and Irish thrones, James Francis Edward Stuart, known as "The Old Pretender", and Princess Louise Mary.
Born a princess of the Italian Duchy of Modena, Mary is primarily remembered for the controversial birth of James Francis Edward, her only surviving son. The majority of the English public believed he was a changeling, brought into the birth-chamber in a warming-pan, in order to perpetuate King James II's Catholic dynasty. Although the accusation was entirely false, and the subsequent privy council investigation only reaffirmed this, James Francis Edward's birth was a contributing factor to the Glorious Revolution. The revolution deposed James II and replaced him with his daughter from his first marriage Mary and her husband, William III of Orange.