The Stuart dynasty is succeeded by the Hanoverians and attempts to restore Jacobite claimants to the throne are defeated. A series of wars confirm Great Britain as the foremost naval power, which helps defend and increase British commercial and political interests in India and the Americas.
Queen Anne came to the throne at the age of 37 in March 1702. Her mother was a commoner and her father had been chased out of his kingdom by her sister’s Dutch husband because he was a Catholic. She had been brought up in the Anglican faith and stoutly defended and believed in it, but a considerable number of her people considered her Catholic young half-brother was the legitimate monarch. Possibly aware that she was the last Protestant in the Stuart family with a claim to the throne, Anne endured seventeen pregnancies as she tried to produce further heirs, but only one child survived and he died aged eleven in 1700, after which she had no more pregnancies and suffered chronic ill-health for the rest of her life. Anne and her husband were overwhelmed with grief when their son died. The English parliament passed the Act of Settlement 1701 in order to preclude a Catholic restoration: if neither the widowed King William nor Princess Anne produced a child, the crown would pass to Sophia of Hanover.
1702 William III & II dies, succeeded by his sister in law Anne, who favours Anglican Tory ministers, drawn from the rural gentry, in preference to the Whigs who favour commercial interests and a liberal attitude to Protestant dissent.
~ Sidney Earl of Godolphin (1645-1712) becomes Lord Treasurer who provides the financial support for the ensuing conflict with France.
~ John Churchill Earl of Marlborough is created Captain General.