During the Civil War against his father James lived in the Low Countries and France, where he returned to exile later in life. He was commissioned in the French Army and served under theVicomte de Turenne and was created Duke of Normandy by King Louis XIV of France in 1660, the same year that he returned to England with his brother who was restored as King Charles II, whereupon he married Lady Anne Hyde, daughter of the Earl of Clarendon.
In the same year James married Princess Maria of Modena, daughter of Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena.
However, the Whig Excluders did not rest and eventually staged a treacherous revolution against their rightful king in due course.
The pretext for this treason was, ironically, King James's commitment to liberty of conscience, a doctrine the Whigs claimed to profess but, in reality, denied.
King James issueda Declaration of Toleration for Scotland on 12 February 1687 and a Declaration of Indulgence for England on 4 April 1687, re-issued in 1688 with an order to be read in all churches.
It was this latter command that was used by the rebels as a pretext. Seven Anglican bishops petitioned the King in his own courts against James's order to read the Declaration. Concurrently, "the Seven", 5 peers and 2 commoners, treacherously invited the King's Protestant son-in-law
and nephew, William, Prince of Orange, to come over the channel and invade England by force of arms.
Their stated aim was to abolish freedom of religion and conscience and once again re-impose - by force - Anglicanism, upon the Three Kingdoms of England (and Wales), Scotland and Ireland, whether the people wanted it or no.
On 5 November, William, Prince of Orange landed at Brixham, Devon, with 15,000 men. King James went out with the Army to meet the Dutch invasion on Salisbury Plain and would undoubtedly have stood a good chance of doing so successfully but for the treacherous desertion to the enemy of his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General John Churchill, together with 400 officers and men under his malign influence.
"...I hope the great advantage I enjoy under Your Majesty, which I own I would never expect in any other change of government, may reasonably convince Your Majesty and the world that I am actuated by a higher principle..."
Initially, planning to rendezvous on Salisbury Plain with the King and there to kidnap him and take him to William, Churchill was thwarted because James had a very fortuitous serious nose-bleed that morning so that he was unable to make the rendezvous. Churchill then deserted to the Dutch usurper, William of Orange.
King James remainedat the Château of St Germain-en-Laye, just outside Paris until his death, not only recognised by King Louis XIV of France as rightful King but regularly visited by the bishops of the non-juring Church of England who had refused to take an oath of loyalty to the new regime of William of Orange who now claimed to rule with his wife, King James's daughter, Mary. These bishops only recognised King James as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England, despite his being a Catholic, and always sought his approval or appointment of the non-juring bishops and senior clergy.
It was on 16 September 1701 that King James II and VII died, in the odour of sanctity, attended and fortified by all the rites of our Holy Mother the Church.
His body was received by the English Benedictines then resident in Rue St Jacques, Paris, ironically, later the headquarters of the French Revolutionaries who were, for that reason, called Jacobins. These same Jacobins and their odious followers were later responsible for the desecration of the tomb of King James.
The religious cult of King James II and VII was begun and preserved by these same English Benedictines and continues to this day.
In 1707, the independent Kingdom of Scotland came to an end by means of a huge Whig bribe paid to influential members of the Scottish Estates (as the Scottish parliament has historically been called) who voted for the Act of Union. It was opposed by Scottish Jacobites like George Lockhart of Carnwath, founder of the Scottish Tory Party which was, in those day, almost entirely Jacobite which meant they were supporters of the rightful heirs of King James II and VII (from the Latin Jacobus for James).