The invading fleet of William of Orange landed in Brixham in the southwest of England on this date in 1688, launching the “Glorious Revolution,” which led to the overthrow of King James II and prevented the reestablishment of Catholicism in England. The revolution, backed by much of the English gentry and clergy, also led to the empowerment of the British Parliament, the passage of a national bill of Rights, and some improvement in the status of noncomformist Protestants such as the Puritans. William of Orange was financially backed by Antonio Lopez Suasso, a Jewish banker who was a leading shareholder in the Dutch West India Company; Suasso unconditionally placed two million guilden at William’s disposal for his military expedition (which cost a total of seven million). The economic integration and military cooperation between the English and Dutch navies that followed William and Mary of Orange’s ascension to the throne would expedite Britain’s status as Europe’s leading colonial power, and the debt on Suasso’s money would, in essence, eventually be paid by millions of enslaved and exploited peoples worldwide.
“If you are victorious, you will surely repay me; if not, the loss is mine.” —Antonio Lopez Suasso