William and Mary, George and Anne,|
Four such children had never a man:
They put their father to flight and shame,
And called their brother a shocking bad name.
Mary and Anne were daughters of James II, deposed King of England. William and George were their respective husbands. The 'brother' was the Old Pretender, father of Bonnie Prince Charlie. He would have succeeded to the throne of England if James II hadn't been exiled, and replaced by William and Mary. Doubts, no longer believed justified, were expressed as to whether he was really James's son, which explains the 'shocking bad name' of the rhyme.|
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