Mary

, queen of England, and wife of William III. with whom she reigned jointly, was born at the royal palace of St. James’s, Westminster, the 30th of April, 1662. She was the daughter of James the Second, by a daughter of lord Clarendon, whom that prince married secretly, during the exile of the royal family. She proved a lady of most uncommon qualities: she had beauty, wit, good-nature, virtue, and piety, all in an eminent degree; and she shone superior to all about her, as well at the ball and the masque, as in the presence and the drawing-room. When she was fifteen, William prince of Orange, and afterwards king of England, made his addresses to her in person, and married her. Many suppose that the prince was so sagacious as to foresee all which afterwards came to pass; as that Charles II. would leave no children; that the duke of York, when he came to the throne, would, through his bigoted attachment to popery, be unable to keep possession of it; and that himself, having married the eldest daughter of England, would naturally be recurred to, as its preserver and deliverer in such a time of danger. If he had really any motives of policy, he had art enough to conceal them; for, having communicated his intentions to sir William Temple, then ambassador at the Hague, he frankly expressed his whole sentiments of marriage in the following terms; namely, that “the greatest things he considered were the person and disposition of the young lady; for, though it would not pass in the world for a prince to seem concerned in those particulars, yet for himself without affectation he declared that he was so, and in such a degree, tljat no circumstances of fortune or interest could engage him, without those of the person, especially those of humour or disposition: that he might, perhaps, be not very easy for a wife to live with; he was sure he should not be so to such wives as were generallj 7 in the courts of this age; that if he should meet with one to give him trouble at home, it was what he should not be able to bear, who was likely to have enough abroad in the course of his life; and | that, after the manner he was resolved to live with a wife, which should be the best he could, he would have one that he thought likely to live well with him, which he thought chiefly depended upon their disposition and education.

They were married at St. James’s, Nov. 4, 1677; and, after receiving the proper congratulations from those who were concerned to pay them, embarked for Holland about a fortnight after, and made their entrance into the Hague with the utmost pomp and magnificence. Here she lived with her consort, practising every virtue and every duty; till, upon a solemn invitation from the states of England, she followed him thither, and arrived at Whitehall, Feb. 12, 1689. The prince of Orange had arrived Nov. 5 preceding; and the occasion of their coming was to deliver the kingdom from that popery and slavery which were just ready to oppress it. King James abdicated the crown; and it was put on their heads, as next heirs, April 11, 1689. They reigned jointly till Dec. 28, 1694, when the queen died of the small-pox at her palace of Kensington. It would lead to an excursion of too much extent, to describe the many virtues and excellences of this amiable princess; a picture of her, however, may be seen in Burnet’s Essay -on her memory, printed in 1695, which contains a delineation of every female virtue, and of every female grace. He represents her saying, that she looked upon idleness as the great corrupter of human nature, and as believing, that if the mind had no employment given it, it would create some of the worst to itself: and she thought that any thing which might amuse and divert, without leaving a dreg and impression behind it, ought to fill up those vacant hours that were not claimed by devotion or business. When her eyes, adds the bishop, were endangered by reading too much, she found out the amusement of work; and in all those hours that were not given to better employments, she wrought with her own hands, and that sometimes with so constant a diligence, as if she had been to earn her bread by it. It is said by another writer, that when reflections were once made before queen Mary of the sharpness of some historians who had left heavy imputations on the memory of certain princes, she answered, “that if these princes were truly such as the historians represented them, they had well deserved that treatment and others who tread their steps might look for the same for truth would be told at last.| This excellent princess was so composed upon her deathbed, that when archbishop Tillotson, who assisted her in her last moments, stopped, with tears in his eyes, on coming to the commendatory prayer in the office for the sick, she said to him, “My lord, why do you not go on? I am not afraid to die.

King William has been supposed not to have been a very kind husband to his consort. He was, however, much affected by her death, and said she had never once given him any reason to be displeased with her during the course of their marriage. After his demise a locket, containing some hair of queen Mary, was found hanging near his heart. 1

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Rnniet’s Essay, and Funeral Sermons by Tenison, Tillotson, Kennet, Shoiluck, Wake, Stanhope, &c. &c. Royal and Noble Authors, by Park.Se ward’s Anecdotes.