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Old 18-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #1
macneil
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Default William of Orange - Funded by the Pope

Author: John Follain
Publication: The Sunday Times
Date: September 23, 2001
Documents discovered in Vatican archives suggest that William of Orange, the Protestant hero who ascended the English throne in 1689, was in the pay of the Pope.

William, known as "King Billy", has been revered by generations of Ulstermen for his part in driving James II from power and ending Roman Catholic rule in England. Three centuries later, his role is still celebrated in the name of Northern Ireland's loyalist Orange Order.

In a new book, two Italian historians claim Innocent XI, who became pope in 1676, gave substantial amounts of money to William in the hope of securing himself a secret and powerful ally within the Protestant camp. The pontiff was apparently keen to see the end of James II, whom he regarded as being too close to Louis XIV of France, whose relations with the Vatican had long been poor.

The book, Imprimatur, says the Vatican sent an estimated 150,000 scudi to William in the 1660s via intermediaries close to the wealthy family of Benedetto Odescalchi, as Innocent was known before he became pope. The amount was equal to the Vatican's annual budget deficit and equivalent to more than £3.5m today.

The transfers are detailed in volumes kept for centuries in the cellar of a palace belonging to the Odescalchi family. They have recently been made available to scholars.

"It's very likely the Pope went on supporting William because Rome disapproved of James's aggressively Catholic policies, and saw him as too close to Louis XIV of France, who clashed with Rome," said Francesco Sorti, co-author of the book. "The Vatican managed to keep the secret for so long by destroying many of the documents. It was simply impossible for the Roman Catholic church to admit that a pope had played an important role in the Glorious Revolution."

The documents on which the book draws also show that William offered to repay the loan in 1689 by handing over to Rome his personal fiefdom of Orange in southern France. The Vatican rejected the offer, apparently because Innocent had died a few months earlier and it did not want his financial links with William to become public knowledge.

Historians have long debated whether the Pope was involved in helping William's accession to the English throne. Cecil Kilpatrick, archivist for the Orange Order, acknowledged, however, that there had already been some embarrassing indications of ties between the two.

"In the 1930s, a portrait of William against a backdrop of onlookers was installed at Stormont, the Northern Ireland parliament," Kilpatrick said. "They found that in the background there were various faces looking in, and one of them was Pope Innocent. They had to get rid of it."

Irish historians said this weekend they were not surprised by the revelations. "The politics of Europe was in a state of flux, the Pope wanted his way, and if he had to support a Protestant, William, to get his way, why not?" said the Rev Brian Kennaway, a Belfast-based historian.

Eamon Duffy, author of Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes, agreed that the idea was a possibility. "It is widely accepted, because of James's indebtedness to France, that the Pope was actually relieved when James fell," he said.

Others were more sceptical, however. "I can't see why the Vatican should fund William as early as the 1660s, given that his political opponents in the Dutch republic were more tolerant of Catholics than his supporters," said John Miller, a professor of history at Queen Mary College, University of London.

Members of the Protestant community said the disclosures were unlikely to dent the reputation of William, whose forces' victory over James's army in the 1690 Battle of the Boyne is still celebrated by Northern Ireland's Protestants every July 12. "I don't think we're going to see any banners of King Billy being defaced as a result of this," said Ian Paisley Jr, a Democratic Unionist party member of the Northern Ireland assembly.

"I think quite a lot people would say, well, he wiped the Pope's eye, we'll let him off - he got money out of him. It's good to take money off a person and then kick their arse, isn't it?"

http://www.hvk.org/articles/0901/164.html
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Old 17-04-2012, 10:47 PM   #2
lightgiver
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Lightbulb William the Silent

William I, Prince of Orange (24 April 1533 – 10 July 1584), also widely known as William the Silent (Dutch: Willem de Zwijger), or simply William of Orange (Dutch: Willem van Oranje), was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg. He became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau.

Mon Dieu, ayez pitié de mon âme; mon Dieu, ayez pitié de ce pauvre peuple.

WTC7 -- This is an Orange

The Catholic Frenchman Balthasar Gérard (born 1557) was a supporter of Philip II, and in his opinion, William of Orange had betrayed the Spanish king and the Catholic religion. After Philip II declared William an outlaw and promised a reward of 25,000 crowns for his assassination, and of which Gérard learned in 1581, he decided to travel to the Netherlands to kill William. He served in the army of the governor of Luxembourg, Peter Ernst I von Mansfeld-Vorderort for two years, hoping to get close to William when the armies met. This never happened, and Gérard left the army in 1584. He went to the Duke of Parma to present his plans, but the Duke was unimpressed. In May 1584, he presented himself to William as a French nobleman, and gave him the seal of the Count of Mansfelt. This seal would allow forgeries of the messages of Mansfelt to be made. William sent Gérard back to France to pass the seal on to his French allies.

Gérard returned in July, having bought pistols on his return voyage. On 10 July, he made an appointment with William of Orange in his home in Delft, nowadays known as the Prinsenhof. That day, William was having dinner with his guest Rombertus van Uylenburgh. After William left the dining room and climbed down the stairs, Van Uylenburgh heard Gérard shoot William in the chest at close range. Gérard fled to collect his reward.

According to official records, William's last words are said to have been...

My God, have pity on my soul; my God, have pity on this poor people.




http://forum.davidicke.com/showthread.php?t=129467

Last edited by lightgiver; 17-04-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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