England's Happiness in the Crowning of William and Mary

England's Happiness in the Crowning of William and Mary is an English broadside ballad composed in 1689 and takes as its primary focus the coronation of William III of England and Mary II of England.[1] William III and Mary II's coregency began in February 1689 when the Convention Parliament, summoned by William after his invasion of England in 1689, offered him the crown.[2] Though this ballad never comments explicitly on William and Mary's 1689 penning of the English Bill of Rights, it nevertheless focuses heavily on one specific component of the act, namely the reestablishment of Protestant liberty, as William III and Mary II were both Protestants:[3] "For a Protestant King and a Protestant Queen, / The like in old England long time hath not been."


The ballad, set to the tune of "Let Caesar Live Long,"[4] celebrates the 1689 coronation of William III and Mary II of England. We see this adulation displayed most prominently in the ballad's refrain: "For in heart, voice, and loyalty merry we'll be, / In the Crowning of William and brave Queen Mary." Though there are variations of the refrain present in the ballad, each stanza concludes with the commemoration of the "Crowning of William and brave Queen Mary." The ballad celebrates also the subsequent abolition of Roman Catholicism that the crowning of the Protestant King and Queen was sure to bring about: "Now England, old England, still hold up thy head, / who lately by Popery long time hath been led, / [An]d let the Pope’s Actors, that plaid all their pranks, / [Be] gone in all haste, or we’l[l] cripple their shanks." Indeed, one might say that a primary theme of this ballad, other than that of a straightforward encomium, is anti-Catholicism. The stanzas are littered with pro-Protestant/anti-Catholic rhetoric. Indeed, the stanza ends by praising the reestablishment of the Protestant religion: "Then let all true Christians that lives in the lan[d] / By Protestant Interest for ever to stand, / And for good King William and Mary to pray, / In true Gospel-glory the Scepter to sway."


The ballad is split into 10 six-line stanzas (sestets), making the total line count 60. Each line is composed in iambic hexameter, and the author uses rhyming couplets to tie these lines together.


  1. ^ English Short Title Catalogue. "Englands happiness in the crowning of VVilliam and Mary, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland. Tune of, Let Cæsar live long, and his temper abide; or, my life and my death". http://estc.bl.uk. Retrieved 17 September 2014. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ Van der Kiste, John (2008). William and Mary: Heroes of the Glorious Revolution. The History Press. ISBN 075094577X.
  3. ^ MacCubbin, Robert P.; Hamilton-Phillips, Martha; College of William and Mary; Grolier Club; Folger Shakespeare Library (1990). The Age of William III & Mary II: Power, Politics and Patronage, 1688-1702 : A Reference Encyclopedia and Exhibition Catalogue. College of William & Mary. ISBN 0962208108.
  4. ^ English Broadside Ballad Archive. "ENGLANDS Happiness In the Crowning of WILLIAM and MARY, King and Queen of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland". http://ebba.english.ucsb.edu. Retrieved 17 September 2014. External link in |website= (help)

Further reading

  • Beavan, Bryan (1997). King William III: Prince of Orange, the First European. Rubicon Press. ISBN 0948695544.
  • McShane, Angela (2009). "Subjects and Objects: Material Expressions of Love and Loyalty in Seventeenth-Century England". Journal of British Studies. Cambridge University Press. 48 (4): 871–886. JSTOR 27752636.

External links

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