On December 28, 1694, Queen Mary II of England died. She was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband (who was also her first cousin), William III, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of her Catholic father James II. Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he heavily relied on her. She did, however, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful, firm, and effective ruler. In late 1694, however, she contracted small pox. She sent away anyone who had not previously had the disease, to prevent the spread of infection. Mary died at Kensington Palace shortly after midnight on the morning of December 28, 1694. William, who had grown increasingly to rely on Mary, was devastated by her death. She was buried at Westminster Abbey and her funeral service was the first of any royal attended by all the members of both Houses of Parliament. Following his wife’s death, William became sole ruler.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Great Britain’s Royal Tombs: A Guide to the Lives and Burial Places of British Monarchs. The book can be purchased from Amazon or Barnes and Noble through the following links: