King Billy

King William 111 ~ Bronze
– Ed Barton

For once I can say I met the sculptor.  My path crossed with Ed’s over a few years, long before I had a computer. At one stage we served on the same committee.  Back then I was aware of his ‘King Billy’ sculpture, but not about the Emigrants, featured back in September.  I have been unsuccessful in finding links to a website or to other works.

This statue was erected by Carrickfergus Borough Council to celebrate the tercentenary of the landing of King William 111.

William was born in November 1650 the only child of Prince William II, the Stadtholder of Holland. His mother, Mary Stuart, was the daughter of Charles I of England. This meant that William had a bloodline to the Stuarts. William married Mary, daughter of James II, in 1677. The marriage was a political union but, we are told the couple became inseparable as their marriage progressed.

From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland. By coincidence, his regnal number (III) was the same for both the House of Orange and England. As King of Scotland, he is known as William II. He is informally known in Northern Ireland and Scotland as “King Billy”

William was thin, weak and solemn, with a Roman eagle nose, and piercing eyes. His constitution had been undermined by a severe attack of smallpox in early manhood, and his chronic asthma gave him a constant deep cough.

On February 21st 1702, William was riding in Richmond Park when his horse stumbled on a mole hill. The king was thrown from his horse and he broke a collar bone. His weakened body could not take the shock and William died at Kensington Palace in March 8th 1702.

18 thoughts on “King Billy

  1. Nancy

    The College of William and Mary was founded in Williamsburg,Virginia in 1693. It is named after the very same William that you featured in your post.

    It is the second oldest college in America,after Harvard University. Three United States Presidents and 16 Signers of the Declaration of Independence were educated there.

    To this day it is still a very prestigious school to attend.

    I really enjoyed reading about the statue by Ed Barton. You always have such interesting posts to read. They stir up my historic juices and I reach out to learn more about them. Thanks!

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Nancy – I was aware of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, but knowing how you like to dig further than my links, I left that one for you. 😀

  3. Nick

    I must say I find the statues of ordinary folk going about their everyday business or work more interesting than the statues of bigwigs. Have you ever seen the two statues on either side of Tates Avenue in Belfast?

  4. Grannymar Post author

    Nick – I have a long list of projects to photograph and Tates Avenue, is on there. I need to spend a couple of days in Belfast before the weather changes.

  5. Grannymar Post author

    Alice – Mary I (Bloody Mary) (1516 – 1558), was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. In 1554, Mary married Philip of Spain, and as a result became queen consort of Habsburg Spain on his accession in 1556.

  6. Grannymar Post author

    Big John – I sometimes wonder if the marchers really know why they are parading. Even after 35 years, I have yet to see one of them actually march properly and not slouch along.

  7. blackwatertown

    A controversial statue – controversial because it shows him approx life size, and not as a giant.
    I wonder is his demise linked to the origins of the phrase about not making a mountain out of a molehill?


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