English delft circular plate decorated with half-length portraits of William III (1650-1702) and Mary II (1662-1694) and the initials "W R M" for "William and Mary Rex (Regina)" in blue and purple-black, which was found by a picker in eastern Mass according to the donor. Mary II was the eldest daughter of James II (1633-1701), and her Dutch husband, William of Orange (1650-1702), who was also Stadholder of the United Provinces from 1672-1702, was the great-nephew of Charles I. William III and Mary II jointly ascended the throne in 1689 on the invitation of the English parliament after the Bloodless or Glorious Revolution of 1688 resulted in the flight of James II to France; they were the only dual monarchy in British history. Their tenure transformed the rule by the divine right of kings to that of a constitutional monarchy. The English public embraced Mary, whom they considered lovely, but William’s foreign birth, natural reserve, and ill health won him few admirers. Fueling William’s unpopularity was his involvement in foreign wars that increased England’s national debt to £12 million in 1700. who jointly ascended to the throne in 1689 on the invitation of the English Parliament. Mary was the eldest daughter of James II and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, was the great-nephew of Charles I; they were the only dual monarchy in British history. Many of these plates were produced, most between 1689 and Mary's death in 1694; and some were probably produced as commemorative items until William's death in 1702. Fragments with similar designs have been excavated in London at pottery sites in Lambeth and Algate, and have also been found in Colonial Williamsburg. Both wear crowns (Mary's is tilted) and have long curls; William is wearing an ermine robe and Mary, a court dress. The curvature is surrounded by three blue circles; the rim is plain.
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