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Under pressure, Holland decided to appoint William Captain-General for one season with restrictions in January 1672. But the surprise of the combined Anglo-French attack in the spring of 1672 dramatically altered the situation, and in July William was appointed Stadholder as well. The task facing him was daunting. Although Admiral Michiel de Ruyter managed to fend off the English fleet, French invasion forces crushed Dutch defences and crossed the rivers Rhine and IJssel in June. 32 The invasion of 1672 had cast a shadow over the fate of the Republic, and it was mainly because of the success of the Waterlinie (a defensive string of waterways and inundated land at the eastern border of Holland) that the Dutch army was not completely destroyed.

146 William became immediately embroiled in English affairs as he hosted the Duke of Monmouth, Charles’s bastard son. When the Duke had arrived in Holland, William dispatched Bentinck to fetch him to The Hague, and he organised balls in his honour. 148 The situation changed with Charles’s death, as James disapproved of the presence of Monmouth, a dynastic rival and magnet of English Protestant discontent, in The 141 Troost, William III, 166–71. 142 Bentinck to Sidney 4 February 1684, 17 March 1684 (The Hague), BL, Add Mss 32681, f° 263–4, 267v°, transl.

4, transl. from French. 132 Barillon to Louis 12 August 1683, AAE, CPA 150, f° 224v°. , f° 112, transl. from French. 28 The Anglo-Dutch Favourite was caught in a desperate defence of the Austrian heartland when a Turkish army besieged Vienna itself in 1683. During his mission in London, Bentinck had shown himself extremely concerned about what would be the crown on the reunions-policy: the capture of Luxembourg. 135 But Charles was unwilling to become embroiled in a conflict with Louis XIV. 137 The latter was of some concern to William.

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