William was the son of William II of Orange, ruler of the United Provinces. In 1677, he married Mary, daughter of James, Duke of York, who in 1685 became king of England as James II.
In 1688, William was invited by seven Whig peers to deliver England from the misrule of the House of Stuart. After the flight of James II to France, the crown was offered to William and Mary. The Battle of the Boyne on July 1, 1690, followed by the Treaty of Limerick in 1691, ruined the chances of James in Ireland. William also defeated his Scottish opponents and the English naval victory of La Hogue eliminated the chance of direct aid for James from France.
In 1694, Mary II died. From 1697 to 1700, William was occupied with the Spanish Succession question, although he died before the outbreak of war. William's reign marked the transition from the personal government of the House of Stuart to the Parliamentary rule of the House of Hanover.