He was pushed off his throne by a treacherous conspiracy of Whigs and other traitors including, it must be added, his money-worshipping chief army commander, Lieutenant General John Churchill, later 1st Duke of Marlborough, who plotted to kidnap James after William of Orange landed with his Dutch army. Churchill, ancestor to Sir Winston, then deserted his King at a crucial point in the defence of the nation. He became the richest man in Europe through his naked treachery and base betrayal of the King to whom he had sworn a solemn oath of loyalty.
King James was forced to flee to France and the protection of King Louis XIV. He kept court at St Germain-en-Laye looking for opportunities to regain his throne but his plans were ended at the Battles of the Boyne and Aughrim in Ireland.
The gauntlet of old, Catholic England, Scotland and Ireland was later taken up by his son, James Francis Edward and his grandson, Charles Edward ("Bonnie Prince Charlie").
Recent historians have begun to paint a true picture of our last Catholic King and to expose the dishonest picture painted of him by the treacherous but victorious Whig historians whose false portrayal of James has dominated the teaching of English history for so long.
The real reason that the treacherous Whigs sought to oust him was his attempt to roll back the penal laws which so grossly oppressed Catholics and Dissenting Protestants. In his Declaration of Indulgence, James granted religious liberty to his subjects showing that he was far ahead of his contemporaries and had a much wider vision than did the bigoted Whigs who wanted to impose Anglicanism on the three kingdoms and forbid non-Anglicans from taking any part in the professions, teaching, medicine, the law or any public life and to persecute those who were not Anglicans, above all Catholics.
The Whigs feared even the slightest relaxation of the oppression of Catholics because they were convinced that this might mean that they had to disgorge some of the immense wealth that they had stolen from the Church and the monasteries and which they continued to squeeze out of the poor (as William Cobbett, an Anglican, so devastatingly shows in his History of the Protestant Reformation in England and Ireland).
The result was the beginnings of the modern world with a tiny number owning a huge, vast share of the wealth and the vast majority owning only a small part.
Here is an extract from James's last letter to his own son:
"If it please God to restore me (which I trust in His goodness He will do) I may then hope to settle all things so as may make it easier for you to governne all my Dominions with safty to the Monarchy, and the satisfaction of all the Subjects. No King can be happy without his Subjects be at ease, and the people be secure of enjoying their own without the King be at his ease also, and in a condition to protect them and secure his own right; therefore preserve your prerogative, but disturbe not the Subjects in their property, nor conscience, remember the great precept, Do as you would be done to, for that is the law and the Prophets. Be very carefull that none under you oppresse the people, or torment them with vexations, suits, or projects: Remember a King ought to be a Father of his people, and must have a fatherly tendernesse for them... be content with what is your own. Endeavour to settle Liberty of Conscience by a Law.
...Be never without a considerable body of Catholick troops without which you cannot be safe, then will people thanke you for Liberty of Conscience. Be not persuaded by any to depart from that.
Our Blessed Saviour whipt people out of the Temple, but I never heard he commanded any should be forced into it; tis a particular grace and favour that God Almighty shews to any, who he enlightens so as to embrasse the true Religion, tis by gentleness, instruction, and good example, people are to be gained and not frightened into it, and I make no doubt if once Liberty of Conscience be well fixed, many conversions will ensue..."
So you see, it was King James who was for freedom of conscience and liberty of religion, and the Whigs who were for bigotry, oppression and the forceful imposition of Anglicanism upon the nation by violence, unjust and odious oaths and the savage persecution of Catholics.
Yet there are still many - even some seemingly intelligent people - who think that Whigs stood for toleration and liberty of conscience.
It was, in fact, James and his followers, the Cavaliers, Jacobites and Conservatives, who really had the interests of the nation and the people at heart and who truly preserved freedom and justice for all - not the treacherous Roundheads, Whigs and so-called Liberals.
It takes a special brand of hypocrite to call himself a "Liberal" whilst grinding the face of the poor and hanging, drawing and quartering a man for his religion and his priesthood.