Various (Ed. Charles F. Horne)
William, Prince of Orange, the third king of England of that name, born November 14, 1650, was the posthumous son of William II., Prince of Orange, and Mary Stuart, daughter of Charles I. of England. The fortunes of his childhood did not promise that greatness which he attained. His father had been thought to entertain designs hostile to the liberties of the United Provinces, and the suspicions of the father produced distrust of the son. When Cromwell dictated terms of peace to the Dutch in 1654, one of the articles insisted on the perpetual exclusion of the Prince of Orange from all the great offices formerly held by his family; and this sentence of exclusion was confirmed, so far as Holland was concerned, thirteen years after, by the enactment of the Perpetual Edict, by which the office of Stadtholder of Holland was forever abolished. The restoration of the Stuarts, however, was so far favorable to the interests of the House of Orange, as to induce the princess-royal to petition, on her son's behalf, that he might be invested with the offices and dignities possessed by his ancestors. The provinces of Zealand, Friesland, and Guelderland warmly espoused her cause: even the States of Holland engaged to watch over his education, "that he might be rendered capable of filling the posts held by his forefathers." They formally adopted him as "a child of the state," and surrounded him with such persons as were thought likely to educate him in a manner suited to his station in a free government.