Charles II of England

Charles II of England

Overview
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

.

Charles II's father, King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, was executed at Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

 on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Although the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 on 6 February 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation unlawful. England entered the period known as the English Interregnum
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

 or the English Commonwealth, and the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

.
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Timeline

1649   The claimant King Charles II of England and Scotland is declared King of Scotland, by the Parliament of Scotland. This move was not followed by the Parliament of England or the Parliament of Ireland.

1650   Third English Civil War: in the Battle of Dunbar, English Parliamentarian forces lead by Oliver Cromwell defeat an army loyal to King Charles II of England and lead by David Leslie, Lord Newark.

1651   Charles II is crowned King of Scotland.

1660   Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of England.

1660   English Restoration: Charles II (on his birthday – see below) is restored to the throne of Great Britain.

1661   King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland is crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1661   Marriage contract between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza.

1662   Charles II of England sells Dunkirk to France for 40,000 pounds.

1663   Charles II of England grants John Clarke a Royal Charter to Rhode Island.

1665   English King Charles II declares war on the Netherlands marking the start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War.

 
Quotations

He had been, he said, an unconscionable time dying; but he hoped that they would excuse it.

Quoted by Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay|Thomas Babington Macaulay, A History of England, 1849, vol.i, ch.4, p.437

Let not poor Nelly starve.

On his deathbed, asking that his favourite mistress, Nell Gwynne|Nell Gwynne, be looked after.
Encyclopedia
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

, and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

.

Charles II's father, King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, was executed at Whitehall
Palace of Whitehall
The Palace of Whitehall was the main residence of the English monarchs in London from 1530 until 1698 when all except Inigo Jones's 1622 Banqueting House was destroyed by fire...

 on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Although the Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh
Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

 on 6 February 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation unlawful. England entered the period known as the English Interregnum
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

 or the English Commonwealth, and the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

. Cromwell defeated Charles at the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 on 3 September 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England, Scotland and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the United Provinces
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 and the Spanish Netherlands.

A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 of the monarchy, and Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim. After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if Charles had succeeded his father as king in 1649.

Charles's English parliament
Cavalier Parliament
The Cavalier Parliament of England lasted from 8 May 1661 until 24 January 1679. It was the longest English Parliament, enduring for nearly 18 years of the quarter century reign of Charles II of England...

 enacted laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code even though he himself favoured a policy of religious tolerance. The major foreign policy issue of Charles's early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War
Second Anglo-Dutch War
The Second Anglo–Dutch War was part of a series of four Anglo–Dutch Wars fought between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes....

. In 1670, Charles entered into the secret treaty of Dover
Secret treaty of Dover
The Treaty of Dover, also known as the Secret Treaty of Dover, was a treaty between England and France signed at Dover on June 1 in 1670. It required France to assist England in the king's aim that it would rejoin the Roman Catholic Church and England to assist France in her war of conquest...

, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

. Louis agreed to aid Charles in the Third Anglo-Dutch War
Third Anglo-Dutch War
The Third Anglo–Dutch War or Third Dutch War was a military conflict between England and the Dutch Republic lasting from 1672 to 1674. It was part of the larger Franco-Dutch War...

 and pay Charles a pension, and Charles secretly promised to convert to Roman Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom
Freedom of religion
Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any...

 for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence
Royal Declaration of Indulgence
The Royal Declaration of Indulgence was Charles II of England's attempt to extend religious liberty to Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics in his realms, by suspending the execution of the penal laws that punished recusants from the Church of England...

, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates
Titus Oates
Titus Oates was an English perjurer who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II.-Early life:...

's revelations of a supposed "Popish Plot
Popish Plot
The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates that gripped England, Wales and Scotland in Anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that there existed an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the execution of at...

" sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir (James, Duke of York
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

) was a Roman Catholic. The crisis saw the birth of the pro-exclusion Whig
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 and anti-exclusion Tory
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 parties. Charles sided with the Tories, and, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot
Rye House Plot
The Rye House Plot of 1683 was a plan to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother James, Duke of York. Historians vary in their assessment of the degree to which details of the conspiracy were finalized....

 to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were killed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, and ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685. He was received into the Roman Catholic Church on his deathbed.

Charles was popularly known as the Merrie Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

 of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

 and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza was a Portuguese infanta and queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles II.She married the king in 1662...

, bore no children, but Charles acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate
Legitimacy (law)
At common law, legitimacy is the status of a child who is born to parents who are legally married to one another; and of a child who is born shortly after the parents' divorce. In canon and in civil law, the offspring of putative marriages have been considered legitimate children...

 children by various mistresses. As illegitimate children were excluded from the succession, he was succeeded by his brother James.

Early life



Charles was born in St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace
St. James's Palace is one of London's oldest palaces. It is situated in Pall Mall, just north of St. James's Park. Although no sovereign has resided there for almost two centuries, it has remained the official residence of the Sovereign and the most senior royal palace in the UK...

 on 29 May 1630 (8 June 1630 NS
Old Style and New Style dates
Old Style and New Style are used in English language historical studies either to indicate that the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January even though documents written at the time use a different start of year ; or to indicate that a date conforms to the Julian...

). His parents were King Charles I
Charles I of England
Charles I was King of England, King of Scotland, and King of Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles engaged in a struggle for power with the Parliament of England, attempting to obtain royal revenue whilst Parliament sought to curb his Royal prerogative which Charles...

, who ruled the three kingdoms of England
Kingdom of England
The Kingdom of England was, from 927 to 1707, a sovereign state to the northwest of continental Europe. At its height, the Kingdom of England spanned the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain and several smaller outlying islands; what today comprises the legal jurisdiction of England...

, Scotland
Kingdom of Scotland
The Kingdom of Scotland was a Sovereign state in North-West Europe that existed from 843 until 1707. It occupied the northern third of the island of Great Britain and shared a land border to the south with the Kingdom of England...

 and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, and Queen Henrietta Maria, the sister of King Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII of France
Louis XIII was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and of Navarre from 1610 to 1643.Louis was only eight years old when he succeeded his father. His mother, Marie de Medici, acted as regent during Louis' minority...

. Charles was their second son and child. Their first son, who was born about a year before Charles, had died aged less than a day. England, Scotland and Ireland were Christian countries, but worship was divided between different denominations such as Catholicism, Anglicanism
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

, and Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

ism. Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal
Chapel Royal
A Chapel Royal is a body of priests and singers who serve the spiritual needs of their sovereign wherever they are called upon to do so.-Austria:...

 on 27 June by the Anglican Bishop of London
Bishop of London
The Bishop of London is the ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury.The diocese covers 458 km² of 17 boroughs of Greater London north of the River Thames and a small part of the County of Surrey...

 William Laud
William Laud
William Laud was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1633 to 1645. One of the High Church Caroline divines, he opposed radical forms of Puritanism...

 and brought up in the care of the Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 Countess of Dorset, though his godparents included his mother's Catholic relations, Louis XIII and Marie de' Medici
Marie de' Medici
Marie de Médicis , Italian Maria de' Medici, was queen consort of France, as the second wife of King Henry IV of France, of the House of Bourbon. She herself was a member of the wealthy and powerful House of Medici...

. At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall
Duke of Cornwall
The Duchy of Cornwall was the first duchy created in the peerage of England.The present Duke of Cornwall is The Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, the reigning British monarch .-History:...

 and Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay
Duke of Rothesay was a title of the heir apparent to the throne of the Kingdom of Scotland before 1707, of the Kingdom of Great Britain from 1707 to 1801, and now of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland....

, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

, though he was never formally invested with the Honours of the Principality of Wales
Honours of the Principality of Wales
The Honours of the Principality of Wales are the Crown Jewels used at the investiture of Princes of Wales. They include a coronet, a ring, a rod, a sword, a girdle, and a mantle....

.

During the 1640s, when Charles was still young, his father fought Parliamentary
Roundhead
"Roundhead" was the nickname given to the supporters of the Parliament during the English Civil War. Also known as Parliamentarians, they fought against King Charles I and his supporters, the Cavaliers , who claimed absolute power and the divine right of kings...

 and Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

 forces in the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

. Charles accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill
Battle of Edgehill
The Battle of Edgehill was the first pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642....

 and, at the age of fourteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country
West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...

. By Spring 1646, his father was losing the war, and Charles left England due to fears for his safety, going first to the Isles of Scilly
Isles of Scilly
The Isles of Scilly form an archipelago off the southwestern tip of the Cornish peninsula of Great Britain. The islands have had a unitary authority council since 1890, and are separate from the Cornwall unitary authority, but some services are combined with Cornwall and the islands are still part...

, then to Jersey
Jersey
Jersey, officially the Bailiwick of Jersey is a British Crown Dependency off the coast of Normandy, France. As well as the island of Jersey itself, the bailiwick includes two groups of small islands that are no longer permanently inhabited, the Minquiers and Écréhous, and the Pierres de Lecq and...

, and finally to France, where his mother was already living in exile and his first cousin, eight-year-old Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, was king.

In 1648, during the Second English Civil War
Second English Civil War
The Second English Civil War was the second of three wars known as the English Civil War which refers to the series of armed conflicts and political machinations which took place between Parliamentarians and Royalists from 1642 until 1652 and also include the First English Civil War and the...

, Charles moved to The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, where his sister Mary
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Mary, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

 and his brother-in-law William II, Prince of Orange
William II, Prince of Orange
William II, Prince of Orange was sovereign Prince of Orange and stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands from 14 March 1647 until his death three years later.-Biography:...

, seemed more likely to provide substantial aid to the royalist
Cavalier
Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I and son Charles II during the English Civil War, the Interregnum, and the Restoration...

 cause than the Queen's French relations. However, the royalist fleet that came under Charles's control was not used to any advantage, and did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist Engagers
Engagers
The Engagers were a faction of the Scottish Covenanters, who made "The Engagement" with King Charles I in December 1647 while he was imprisoned in Carisbrooke Castle by the English Parliamenterians after his defeat in the First Civil War....

 army of the Duke of Hamilton
James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton
General Sir James Hamilton, 1st Duke of Hamilton KG was a Scottish nobleman and influential Civil war military leader.-Young Arran:...

, before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston
Battle of Preston (1648)
The Battle of Preston , fought largely at Walton-le-Dale near Preston in Lancashire, resulted in a victory by the troops of Oliver Cromwell over the Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton...

 by the Parliamentarians.

At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter or Lucy Barlow was a mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. She is believed to have been born in 1630 or a little later at Roch Castle near Haverfordwest, Wales into a family of middling gentry...

, who later falsely claimed that they had secretly married. Her son, James Crofts
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, KG, PC , was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter...

 (afterwards Duke of Monmouth and Duke of Buccleuch
Duke of Buccleuch
The title Duke of Buccleuch , formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, was created in the Peerage of Scotland on 20 April 1663 for the Duke of Monmouth, who was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II of Scotland, England, and Ireland and who had married Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch.Anne...

), was one of Charles's many acknowledged illegitimate children who became prominent in British political life and society.

Charles I was captured in 1647. He escaped and was recaptured in 1648. Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, Charles I was beheaded in 1649, and England became a republic. On 6 February, the Covenanter
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

 Parliament of Scotland
Parliament of Scotland
The Parliament of Scotland, officially the Estates of Parliament, was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The unicameral parliament of Scotland is first found on record during the early 13th century, with the first meeting for which a primary source survives at...

 proclaimed Charles II as King of Great Britain in succession to his father, but refused to allow him to enter Scotland unless he accepted Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism
Presbyterianism refers to a number of Christian churches adhering to the Calvinist theological tradition within Protestantism, which are organized according to a characteristic Presbyterian polity. Presbyterian theology typically emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Scriptures,...

 throughout the British Isles. When negotiations stalled, Charles authorised General Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose
James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose was a Scottish nobleman and soldier, who initially joined the Covenanters in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, but subsequently supported King Charles I as the English Civil War developed...

 to land in the Orkney Islands
Orkney Islands
Orkney also known as the Orkney Islands , is an archipelago in northern Scotland, situated north of the coast of Caithness...

 with a small army to threaten the Scots with invasion, in the hope of forcing an agreement more to his liking. Montrose feared that Charles would accept a compromise, and so chose to invade mainland Scotland anyway. He was captured and executed. Charles reluctantly promised that he would abide by the terms of a treaty agreed between him and the Scots Parliament
Treaty of Breda (1650)
The Treaty of Breda was signed on 1 May 1650 between Charles II and the Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.-Background:...

 at Breda
Breda
Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

, and support the Solemn League and Covenant
Covenanter
The Covenanters were a Scottish Presbyterian movement that played an important part in the history of Scotland, and to a lesser extent in that of England and Ireland, during the 17th century...

, which authorised Presbyterian church governance across Britain. Upon his arrival in Scotland on 23 June 1650, Charles formally agreed to the Covenant; his abandonment of Episcopal church governance, although winning him support in Scotland, left him unpopular in England. Charles himself soon came to despise the "villainy" and "hypocrisy" of the Covenanters.
On 3 September 1650, the Covenanters were defeated at the Battle of Dunbar
Battle of Dunbar (1650)
The Battle of Dunbar was a battle of the Third English Civil War. The English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell defeated a Scottish army commanded by David Leslie which was loyal to King Charles II, who had been proclaimed King of Scots on 5 February 1649.-Background:The English...

 by a much smaller force led by Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

. The Scots forces were divided into royalist Engagers and Presbyterian Covenanters, who even fought each other. Disillusioned by the Covenanters, in October Charles attempted to escape from them and rode north to join with an Engager force, an event which became known as "the Start", but within two days the Presbyterians had caught up with and recovered him. Nevertheless, the Scots remained Charles's best hope of restoration, and he was crowned King of Scotland at Scone on 1 January 1651. With Cromwell's forces threatening Charles's position in Scotland, it was decided to mount an attack on England. With many of the Scots (including Lord Argyll
Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll
Archibald Campbell, 1st Marquess of Argyll, 8th Earl of Argyll, chief of Clan Campbell, was the de facto head of government in Scotland during most of the conflict known as the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, also known as the British Civil War...

 and other leading Covenanters) refusing to participate, and with few English royalists joining the force as it moved south into England, the invasion ended in defeat at the Battle of Worcester
Battle of Worcester
The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 at Worcester, England and was the final battle of the English Civil War. Oliver Cromwell and the Parliamentarians defeated the Royalist, predominantly Scottish, forces of King Charles II...

 on 3 September 1651, after which Charles eluded capture by hiding in the Royal Oak at Boscobel House
Boscobel House
Boscobel House is a building in the parish of Boscobel in Shropshire, as is clear from all Ordnance Survey maps, although the boundary of the property is contiguous with the county's boundary with Staffordshire, and it has a Stafford post code. It is near the city of Wolverhampton...

. Through six weeks of narrow escapes Charles managed to flee England
Escape of Charles II
The Escape of Charles II from England in 1651 is a key episode in his life. Although it took only six weeks, it had a major effect on his attitudes for the rest of his life.-The fugitive king:...

 in disguise, landing in Normandy
Normandy
Normandy is a geographical region corresponding to the former Duchy of Normandy. It is in France.The continental territory covers 30,627 km² and forms the preponderant part of Normandy and roughly 5% of the territory of France. It is divided for administrative purposes into two régions:...

 on 16 October, despite a reward of £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

1,000 on his head, risk of death for anyone caught helping him and the difficulty in disguising Charles, who was unusually tall at over 6 feet (185 cm) high.

Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, effectively placing the British Isles under military rule. Impoverished, Charles could not obtain sufficient support to mount a serious challenge to Cromwell's government. Despite the Stuart family connections through Henrietta Maria and the Princess of Orange, France and the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 allied themselves with Cromwell's government from 1654, forcing Charles to turn for aid to Spain, which at that time ruled the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

. With Spanish money Charles raised a small army from his exiled subjects; it consisted of five infantry regiments plus a few troops of cavalry. This force formed the nucleus of the post-Restoration British Army.

Restoration



After the death of Cromwell in 1658, Charles's chances of regaining the Crown at first seemed slim as Cromwell was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, Richard
Richard Cromwell
At the same time, the officers of the New Model Army became increasingly wary about the government's commitment to the military cause. The fact that Richard Cromwell lacked military credentials grated with men who had fought on the battlefields of the English Civil War to secure their nation's...

. However, the new Lord Protector, with no power base in either Parliament or the New Model Army
New Model Army
The New Model Army of England was formed in 1645 by the Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, and was disbanded in 1660 after the Restoration...

, was forced to abdicate in 1659 and the Protectorate was abolished. During the civil and military unrest which followed, George Monck, the Governor of Scotland, was concerned that the nation would descend into anarchy. Monck and his army marched into the City of London
City of London
The City of London is a small area within Greater London, England. It is the historic core of London around which the modern conurbation grew and has held city status since time immemorial. The City’s boundaries have remained almost unchanged since the Middle Ages, and it is now only a tiny part of...

 and forced the Rump Parliament
Rump Parliament
The Rump Parliament is the name of the English Parliament after Colonel Pride purged the Long Parliament on 6 December 1648 of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason....

 to re-admit members of the Long Parliament
Long Parliament
The Long Parliament was made on 3 November 1640, following the Bishops' Wars. It received its name from the fact that through an Act of Parliament, it could only be dissolved with the agreement of the members, and those members did not agree to its dissolution until after the English Civil War and...

 excluded in December 1648 during Pride's Purge
Pride's Purge
Pride’s Purge is an event in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents...

. The Long Parliament dissolved itself and for the first time in almost 20 years, there was a general election. The outgoing Parliament designed the electoral qualifications so as to ensure, as they thought, the return of a Presbyterian majority.

The restrictions against royalist candidates and voters were widely ignored, and the elections resulted in a House of Commons
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 which was fairly evenly divided on political grounds between Royalists and Parliamentarians and on religious grounds between Anglicans and Presbyterians. The new so-called Convention Parliament assembled on 25 April 1660, and soon afterwards received news of the Declaration of Breda
Declaration of Breda
The Declaration of Breda was a proclamation by Charles II of England in which he promised a general pardon for crimes committed during the English Civil War and the Interregnum for all those who recognised Charles as the lawful king; the retention by the current owners of property purchased during...

, in which Charles agreed, amongst other things, to pardon many of his father's enemies. The English Parliament resolved to proclaim Charles king and invite him to return, a message that reached Charles at Breda on 8 May 1660. In Ireland, a convention
Irish Convention (1660)
The Irish Convention sat 7 February, 2 March and 27 May 1660, and again January 1661. It sought to restore the monarchy, episcopacy and the also the right for the King's Irish Parliament to tax and legislate for itself, rejecting claims of legislative supremacy by the King's English Parliament.Sir...

 had been called earlier in the year, and on 14 May it declared for Charles as King.

Charles set out for England, arrived in Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 on 25 May 1660 and reached London on 29 May, his 30th birthday. Although Charles and Parliament granted amnesty
Amnesty
Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

 to Cromwell's supporters in the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion, 50 people were specifically excluded. In the end nine of the regicides were executed: they were hanged, drawn and quartered
Hanged, drawn and quartered
To be hanged, drawn and quartered was from 1351 a penalty in England for men convicted of high treason, although the ritual was first recorded during the reigns of King Henry III and his successor, Edward I...

; others were given life imprisonment or simply excluded from office for life. The bodies of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton
Henry Ireton was an English general in the Parliamentary army during the English Civil War. He was the son-in-law of Oliver Cromwell.-Early life:...

 and John Bradshaw
John Bradshaw (judge)
John Bradshaw was an English judge. He is most notable for his role as President of the High Court of Justice for the trial of King Charles I and as the first Lord President of the Council of State of the English Commonwealth....

 were subjected to the indignity of posthumous decapitations
Posthumous execution
Posthumous execution is the ritual or ceremonial mutilation of an already dead body as a punishment.-Examples:* Li Linfu, Chancellor of Tang China during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong in the latter years, was exhumed and executed for crimes of high treason by his rival Yang Guozhong for his...

.

Charles agreed to give up feudal
Feudalism
Feudalism was a set of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries, which, broadly defined, was a system for ordering society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour.Although derived from the...

 dues that had been revived by his father; in return, the English Parliament granted him an annual income to run the government of £1.2 million, generated largely from customs and excise duties. The grant, however, proved to be insufficient for most of Charles's reign. The sum was only an indication of the maximum the King was allowed to withdraw from the Treasury each year; for the most part, the actual revenue was much lower, which led to mounting debts, and further attempts to raise money through poll tax
Poll tax
A poll tax is a tax of a portioned, fixed amount per individual in accordance with the census . When a corvée is commuted for cash payment, in effect it becomes a poll tax...

es, land taxes
Land value tax
A land value tax is a levy on the unimproved value of land. It is an ad valorem tax on land that disregards the value of buildings, personal property and other improvements...

 and hearth taxes
Chimney money
A hearth tax was a property tax in certain countries during the medieval and early modern period, levied on each hearth or family unit. It was calculated based on the number of hearths, or fireplaces, within a municipal area....

.

Early reign


In the later half of 1660, Charles's joy at the Restoration was tempered by the deaths of his youngest brother, Henry
Henry Stuart, Duke of Gloucester
Henry Stuart, 1st Duke of Gloucester was the third adult son of Charles I and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

, and sister, Mary
Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange
Mary, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France...

, of smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

. At around the same time, Anne Hyde
Anne Hyde
Anne Hyde was the first wife of James, Duke of York , and the mother of two monarchs, Mary II of England and Scotland and Anne of Great Britain....

, the daughter of the Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

 Edward Hyde
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon was an English historian and statesman, and grandfather of two English monarchs, Mary II and Queen Anne.-Early life:...

, revealed that she was pregnant by Charles's brother, James
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

, whom she had secretly married. Edward Hyde, who had not known of either the marriage or the pregnancy, was created Earl of Clarendon
Earl of Clarendon
Earl of Clarendon is a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1776. The title was created for the first time in the Peerage of England in 1661 for the statesman Edward Hyde, 1st Baron Hyde...

 and his position as Charles's favourite minister was strengthened.

The Convention Parliament was dissolved in December 1660, and Charles's coronation took place at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 on 23 April 1661. Charles was the last sovereign to make the traditional procession from the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

 to Westminster Abbey the day before the coronation. Shortly after the coronation, the second English Parliament of the reign assembled. Dubbed the Cavalier Parliament
Cavalier Parliament
The Cavalier Parliament of England lasted from 8 May 1661 until 24 January 1679. It was the longest English Parliament, enduring for nearly 18 years of the quarter century reign of Charles II of England...

, it was overwhelmingly Royalist and Anglican. It sought to discourage non-conformity to the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and passed several acts to secure Anglican dominance. The Corporation Act 1661
Corporation Act 1661
The Corporation Act of 1661 is an Act of the Parliament of England . It belongs to the general category of test acts, designed for the express purpose of restricting public offices in England to members of the Church of England....

 required municipal officeholders to swear allegiance; the Act of Uniformity 1662
Act of Uniformity 1662
The Act of Uniformity was an Act of the Parliament of England, 13&14 Ch.2 c. 4 ,The '16 Charles II c. 2' nomenclature is reference to the statute book of the numbered year of the reign of the named King in the stated chapter...

 made the use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches. The original book, published in 1549 , in the reign of Edward VI, was a product of the English...

 compulsory; the Conventicle Act 1664
Conventicle Act 1664
The Conventicle Act of 1664 was an Act of the Parliament of England that forbade conventicles...

 prohibited religious assemblies of more than five people, except under the auspices of the Church of England; and the Five Mile Act 1665
Five Mile Act 1665
The Five Mile Act, or Oxford Act, or Nonconformists Act 1665, is an Act of the Parliament of England , passed in 1665 with the long title "An Act for restraining Non-Conformists from inhabiting in Corporations". It was one of the English penal laws that sought to enforce conformity to the...

 prohibited clergymen from coming within five miles (8 km) of a parish from which they had been banished. The Conventicle and Five Mile Acts remained in effect for the remainder of Charles's reign. The Acts became known as the "Clarendon Code", after Lord Clarendon, even though he was not directly responsible for them and even spoke against the Five Mile Act.

The Restoration was accompanied by social change. Puritan
Puritan
The Puritans were a significant grouping of English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries. Puritanism in this sense was founded by some Marian exiles from the clergy shortly after the accession of Elizabeth I of England in 1558, as an activist movement within the Church of England...

ism lost its momentum. Theatres reopened after having been closed during the protectorship
English Interregnum
The English Interregnum was the period of parliamentary and military rule by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell under the Commonwealth of England after the English Civil War...

 of Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell
Oliver Cromwell was an English military and political leader who overthrew the English monarchy and temporarily turned England into a republican Commonwealth, and served as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland....

, and bawdy "Restoration comedy
Restoration comedy
Restoration comedy refers to English comedies written and performed in the Restoration period from 1660 to 1710. After public stage performances had been banned for 18 years by the Puritan regime, the re-opening of the theatres in 1660 signalled a renaissance of English drama...

" became a recognisable genre. Theatre licenses granted by Charles were the first in England to permit women to play female roles on stage (they were previously played by boys), and Restoration literature
Restoration literature
Restoration literature is the English literature written during the historical period commonly referred to as the English Restoration , which corresponds to the last years of the direct Stuart reign in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland...

 celebrated or reacted to the restored court, which included libertine
Libertine
A libertine is one devoid of most moral restraints, which are seen as unnecessary or undesirable, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals and forms of behavior sanctified by the larger society. Libertines, also known as rakes, placed value on physical pleasures, meaning those...

s like John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester , styled Viscount Wilmot between 1652 and 1658, was an English Libertine poet, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts...

. Of Charles II, Wilmot supposedly said:
We have a pretty witty king,
And whose word no man relies on,
He never said a foolish thing,
And never did a wise one"

to which Charles supposedly said "that's true, for my words are my own, but my actions are those of my ministers".

Great Plague and Fire


In 1665, Charles was faced with a great health crisis: the Great Plague of London
Great Plague of London
The Great Plague was a massive outbreak of disease in the Kingdom of England that killed an estimated 100,000 people, 20% of London's population. The disease is identified as bubonic plague, an infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, transmitted through a flea vector...

. The death toll at one point reached a peak of 7,000 in the week of 17 September. Charles, along with his family and court, fled London in July to Salisbury
Salisbury
Salisbury is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England and the only city in the county. It is the second largest settlement in the county...

; Parliament met in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

. Various attempts at containing the disease by London public health officials all fell in vain and the disease continued to spread rapidly.

Adding to London's woes, but marking the end of the plague, was what later became known as the Great Fire of London
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

, which started on 2 September 1666. The fire consumed about 13,200 houses and 87 churches, including St. Paul's Cathedral. Charles, and his brother James, joined and directed the fire-fighting effort. The public blamed Roman Catholic conspirators for the fire, although it had actually started in a bakehouse in Pudding Lane
Pudding Lane
Pudding Lane is a street in London, formerly the location of Thomas Farriner's bakehouse where the Great Fire of London began in 1666. It is off Eastcheap in the City of London, near London Bridge. The nearest tube station is Monument, a short distance to the west...

.

Foreign and colonial policy


Since 1640, Portugal had been fighting a war against Spain
Portuguese Restoration War
Portuguese Restoration War was the name given by nineteenth-century 'romantic' historians to the war between Portugal and Spain that began with the Portuguese revolution of 1640 and ended with the Treaty of Lisbon . The revolution of 1640 ended the sixty-year period of dual monarchy in Portugal...

 to restore its independence after a dynastic union of 60 years between the crowns of Spain and Portugal. Portugal had been helped by France, but in the Treaty of the Pyrenees
Treaty of the Pyrenees
The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed to end the 1635 to 1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries...

 in 1659 Portugal was abandoned by its French ally. Upon Charles's restoration, Queen Luísa of Portugal
Luisa of Medina-Sidonia
Luisa Maria Francisca of Guzman was a Queen consort of Portugal. She was the spouse of King John IV, the first Braganza ruler, as well as the mother of two Kings of Portugal and a Queen of England...

, acting as regent, opened negotiations with England that resulted in an alliance. On 23 June 1661, a marriage treaty was signed, and in May 1662, Charles married Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza
Catherine of Braganza was a Portuguese infanta and queen consort of England, Scotland and Ireland as the wife of King Charles II.She married the king in 1662...

 in the parish of St Thomas à Becket
Domus Dei
Domus Dei was an almshouse and hospice established in 1212 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK by Pierre des Roches, Bishop of Winchester....

, Portsmouth
Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

. Catherine's dowry brought the territories of Tangier
Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...

 and Bombay
Seven islands of Bombay
The seven islands of Bombay were an archipelago of islands that were, over a span of five centuries, connected to form the area of the modern city of Mumbai in India. The seven islands were gradually physically united through land reclamation projects...

 to British control. The latter had a major influence on the development of the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

 in India. In an unpopular move the same year, Charles sold Dunkirk to his first cousin King Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

 for about £375,000. The channel port, although a valuable strategic outpost, was a drain on Charles's limited finances.


Before Charles's restoration, the Navigation Acts
Navigation Acts
The English Navigation Acts were a series of laws that restricted the use of foreign shipping for trade between England and its colonies, a process which had started in 1651. Their goal was to force colonial development into lines favorable to England, and stop direct colonial trade with the...

 of 1650 had hurt Dutch
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

 trade by giving English vessels a monopoly, and had started the First Dutch War (1652–1654). To lay foundations for a new beginning, envoys of the States-General
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 appeared in November 1660 with the Dutch Gift
Dutch Gift
The Dutch Gift of 1660 was a collection of 28 mostly Italian Renaissance paintings and 12 classical sculptures, along with a yacht, the Mary, and furniture, which was presented to King Charles II of England by the States-General of the Netherlands in 1660...

. The Second Dutch War (1665–1667) was started by English attempts to muscle in on Dutch possessions in Africa and North America. The conflict began well for the English, with the capture of New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam
New Amsterdam was a 17th-century Dutch colonial settlement that served as the capital of New Netherland. It later became New York City....

 (renamed New York in honour of Charles's brother James, Duke of York) and a victory at the Battle of Lowestoft
Battle of Lowestoft
The naval Battle of Lowestoft took place on 13 June 1665 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.A fleet of more than a hundred ships of the United Provinces commanded by Lieutenant-Admiral Jacob van Wassenaer Obdam attacked an English fleet of equal size commanded by James Stuart, Duke of York forty...

, but in 1667 the Dutch launched a surprise attack on the English (the Raid on the Medway
Raid on the Medway
The Raid on the Medway, sometimes called the Battle of the Medway, Raid on Chatham or the Battle of Chatham, was a successful Dutch attack on the largest English naval ships, laid up in the dockyards of their main naval base Chatham, that took place in June 1667 during the Second Anglo-Dutch War...

) when they sailed up the River Thames
River Thames
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England and the second longest in the United Kingdom. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London, the river flows alongside several other towns and cities, including Oxford,...

 to where a major part of the English fleet was docked. Almost all of the ships were sunk except for the flagship, the Royal Charles
HMS Royal Charles (1655)
Royal Charles was an 80-gun first-rate three-decker ship of the line of the English Navy. She was originally called the Naseby, built by Peter Pett, and launched at Woolwich dockyard in 1655, for the navy of the Commonwealth of England, and named in honour of Oliver Cromwell's decisive 1645...

, which was taken back to the Netherlands as a trophy. The Second Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Breda (1667).

As a result of the Second Dutch War, Charles dismissed Lord Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon
Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon was an English historian and statesman, and grandfather of two English monarchs, Mary II and Queen Anne.-Early life:...

, whom he used as a scapegoat for the war. Clarendon fled to France when impeached for high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

 (which carried the penalty of death). Power passed to five politicians known collectively by a whimsical acronym as the Cabal
Cabal
A cabal is a group of people united in some close design together, usually to promote their private views and/or interests in a church, state, or other community, often by intrigue...

—Clifford, Arlington
Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington
Henry Bennet, 1st Earl of Arlington KG, PC was an English statesman.- Background and early life :He was the son of Sir John Bennet of Dawley, Middlesex, and of Dorothy Crofts. He was the younger brother of John Bennet, 1st Baron Ossulston; his sister was Elizabeth Bennet who married Robert Kerr,...

, Buckingham
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham
George Villiers, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, 20th Baron de Ros of Helmsley, KG, PC, FRS was an English statesman and poet.- Upbringing and education :...

, Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury)
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury PC , known as Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1621 to 1631, as Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Baronet from 1631 to 1661, and as The Lord Ashley from 1661 to 1672, was a prominent English politician during the Interregnum and during the reign of King Charles...

 and Lauderdale
John Maitland, 1st Duke of Lauderdale
Sir John Maitland, 1st Duke and 2nd Earl of Lauderdale, 3rd Lord Thirlestane KG PC , was a Scottish politician, and leader within the Cabal Ministry.-Background:...

. In fact, the Cabal rarely acted in concert, and the court was often divided between two factions led by Arlington and Buckingham, with Arlington the more successful.

In 1668, England allied itself with Sweden, and with its former enemy the Netherlands, in order to oppose Louis XIV in the War of Devolution
War of Devolution
The War of Devolution saw Louis XIV's French armies overrun the Habsburg-controlled Spanish Netherlands and the Franche-Comté, but forced to give most of it back by a Triple Alliance of England, Sweden, and the Dutch Republic in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle.-Background:Louis's claims to the...

. Louis made peace with the Triple Alliance, but he continued to maintain his aggressive intentions towards the Netherlands. In 1670, Charles, seeking to solve his financial troubles, agreed to the Treaty of Dover, under which Louis XIV would pay him £160,000 each year. In exchange, Charles agreed to supply Louis with troops and to announce his conversion to Roman Catholicism "as soon as the welfare of his kingdom will permit". Louis was to provide him with 6,000 troops to suppress those who opposed the conversion. Charles endeavoured to ensure that the Treaty—especially the conversion clause—remained secret. It remains unclear if Charles ever seriously intended to convert.

Meanwhile, by a series of five charters, Charles granted the British East India Company
British East India Company
The East India Company was an early English joint-stock company that was formed initially for pursuing trade with the East Indies, but that ended up trading mainly with the Indian subcontinent and China...

 the rights to autonomous territorial acquisitions, to mint money, to command fortresses and troops, to form alliances, to make war and peace, and to exercise both civil and criminal jurisdiction
Criminal jurisdiction
Criminal jurisdiction is a term used in constitutional law and public law to describe the power of courts to hear a case brought by a state accusing a defendant of the commission of a crime...

 over the acquired areas in India. Earlier in 1668 he leased the islands of Bombay for a nominal sum of £10 paid in gold. The Portuguese territories that Catherine brought with her as dowry had proved too expensive to maintain; Tangier was abandoned.

In 1670, Charles granted control of the entire Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay
Hudson Bay , sometimes called Hudson's Bay, is a large body of saltwater in northeastern Canada. It drains a very large area, about , that includes parts of Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, most of Manitoba, southeastern Nunavut, as well as parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota,...

 drainage basin to the Hudson's Bay Company
Hudson's Bay Company
The Hudson's Bay Company , abbreviated HBC, or "The Bay" is the oldest commercial corporation in North America and one of the oldest in the world. A fur trading business for much of its existence, today Hudson's Bay Company owns and operates retail stores throughout Canada...

 by royal charter, and named the territory Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land
Rupert's Land, or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America, consisting of the Hudson Bay drainage basin that was nominally owned by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 years from 1670 to 1870, although numerous aboriginal groups lived in the same territory and disputed the...

, after his cousin Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Prince Rupert of the Rhine
Rupert, Count Palatine of the Rhine, Duke of Bavaria, 1st Duke of Cumberland, 1st Earl of Holderness , commonly called Prince Rupert of the Rhine, KG, FRS was a noted soldier, admiral, scientist, sportsman, colonial governor and amateur artist during the 17th century...

, the company's first Governor.

Conflict with Parliament


Although previously favourable to the Crown, the Cavalier Parliament was alienated by the king's wars and religious policies during the 1670s. In 1672, Charles issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgence
Royal Declaration of Indulgence
The Royal Declaration of Indulgence was Charles II of England's attempt to extend religious liberty to Protestant nonconformists and Roman Catholics in his realms, by suspending the execution of the penal laws that punished recusants from the Church of England...

, in which he purported to suspend all penal law
Penal law
In the most general sense, penal is the body of laws that are enforced by the State in its own name and impose penalties for their violation, as opposed to civil law that seeks to redress private wrongs...

s against Roman Catholics and other religious dissenters. In the same year, he openly supported Catholic France and started the Third Anglo-Dutch War
Third Anglo-Dutch War
The Third Anglo–Dutch War or Third Dutch War was a military conflict between England and the Dutch Republic lasting from 1672 to 1674. It was part of the larger Franco-Dutch War...

.

The Cavalier Parliament opposed the Declaration of Indulgence on constitutional grounds by claiming that the King had no right to arbitrarily suspend laws passed by Parliament. Charles withdrew the Declaration, and also agreed to the Test Act
Test Act
The Test Acts were a series of English penal laws that served as a religious test for public office and imposed various civil disabilities on Roman Catholics and Nonconformists...

, which not only required public officials to receive the sacrament
Eucharist
The Eucharist , also called Holy Communion, the Sacrament of the Altar, the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord's Supper, and other names, is a Christian sacrament or ordinance...

 under the forms prescribed by the Church of England, but also later forced them to denounce certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church as "superstitious
Superstition
Superstition is a belief in supernatural causality: that one event leads to the cause of another without any process in the physical world linking the two events....

 and idolatrous
Idolatry
Idolatry is a pejorative term for the worship of an idol, a physical object such as a cult image, as a god, or practices believed to verge on worship, such as giving undue honour and regard to created forms other than God. In all the Abrahamic religions idolatry is strongly forbidden, although...

". Clifford, who had converted to Catholicism, resigned rather than take the oath, and died shortly after. By 1674 England had gained nothing from the Anglo-Dutch War, and the Cavalier Parliament refused to provide further funds, forcing Charles to make peace. The power of the Cabal waned and that of Clifford's replacement, Lord Danby
Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds
Thomas Osborne, 1st Duke of Leeds, KG , English statesman , served in a variety of offices under Kings Charles II and William III of England.-Early life, 1632–1674:The son of Sir Edward Osborne, Bart., of Kiveton, Yorkshire, Thomas Osborne...

, grew.


Charles's wife Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir; her four pregnancies had ended in miscarriage
Miscarriage
Miscarriage or spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous end of a pregnancy at a stage where the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently, generally defined in humans at prior to 20 weeks of gestation...

s and stillbirth
Stillbirth
A stillbirth occurs when a fetus has died in the uterus. The Australian definition specifies that fetal death is termed a stillbirth after 20 weeks gestation or the fetus weighs more than . Once the fetus has died the mother still has contractions and remains undelivered. The term is often used in...

s in 1662, February 1666, May 1668 and June 1669. Charles's heir presumptive
Heir Presumptive
An heir presumptive or heiress presumptive is the person provisionally scheduled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir or heiress apparent or of a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question...

 was therefore his unpopular Roman Catholic brother, James, Duke of York. Partly in order to assuage public fears that the royal family was too Catholic, Charles agreed that James's daughter, Mary
Mary II of England
Mary II was joint Sovereign of England, Scotland, and Ireland with her husband and first cousin, William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant, respectively, following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the deposition of...

, should marry the Protestant William of Orange
William III of England
William III & II was a sovereign Prince of Orange of the House of Orange-Nassau by birth. From 1672 he governed as Stadtholder William III of Orange over Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, and Overijssel of the Dutch Republic. From 1689 he reigned as William III over England and Ireland...

. In 1678, Titus Oates
Titus Oates
Titus Oates was an English perjurer who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II.-Early life:...

, who had been alternately an Anglican and Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 priest, falsely warned of a "Popish Plot
Popish Plot
The Popish Plot was a fictitious conspiracy concocted by Titus Oates that gripped England, Wales and Scotland in Anti-Catholic hysteria between 1678 and 1681. Oates alleged that there existed an extensive Catholic conspiracy to assassinate Charles II, accusations that led to the execution of at...

" to assassinate the King, even accusing the Queen of complicity. Charles did not believe the allegations, but ordered his chief minister Lord Danby to investigate. While Lord Danby seems to have been rightly sceptical about Oates's claims, the Cavalier Parliament took them seriously. The people were seized with an anti-Catholic hysteria; judges and juries across the land condemned the supposed conspirators; numerous innocent individuals were executed.

Later in 1678, Lord Danby was impeached by the House of Commons on the charge of high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

. Although much of the nation had sought war with Catholic France, Charles had secretly negotiated with Louis XIV
Louis XIV of France
Louis XIV , known as Louis the Great or the Sun King , was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre. His reign, from 1643 to his death in 1715, began at the age of four and lasted seventy-two years, three months, and eighteen days...

, trying to reach an agreement under which England would remain neutral in return for money. Lord Danby had publicly professed that he was hostile to France, but had reservedly agreed to abide by Charles's wishes. Unfortunately for him, the House of Commons failed to view him as a reluctant participant in the scandal, instead believing that he was the author of the policy. To save Lord Danby from the impeachment trial, Charles dissolved the Cavalier Parliament in January 1679.

The new English Parliament, which met in March of the same year, was quite hostile to Charles. Many members feared that he had intended to use the standing army to suppress dissent or impose Catholicism. However, with insufficient funds voted by Parliament, Charles was forced to gradually disband his troops. Having lost the support of Parliament, Lord Danby resigned his post of Lord High Treasurer
Lord High Treasurer
The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a British government position since the Act of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third highest ranked Great Officer of State, below the Lord High Chancellor and above the Lord President...

, but received a pardon from the King. In defiance of the royal will, the House of Commons declared that the dissolution of Parliament did not interrupt impeachment proceedings, and that the pardon was therefore invalid. When the House of Lords
House of Lords
The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster....

 attempted to impose the punishment of exile—which the Commons thought too mild—the impeachment became stalled between the two Houses. As he had been required to do so many times during his reign, Charles bowed to the wishes of his opponents, committing Lord Danby to the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

. Lord Danby would be held there for another five years.

Later years


Charles faced a political storm over the succession to the Throne. The prospect of a Catholic monarch was vehemently opposed by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury
Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury PC , known as Anthony Ashley Cooper from 1621 to 1631, as Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper, 2nd Baronet from 1631 to 1661, and as The Lord Ashley from 1661 to 1672, was a prominent English politician during the Interregnum and during the reign of King Charles...

 (previously Baron Ashley and a member of the Cabal, which had fallen apart in 1673). Shaftesbury's power base was strengthened when the House of Commons of 1679 introduced the Exclusion Bill
Exclusion Bill
The Exclusion Crisis ran from 1678 through 1681 in the reign of Charles II of England. The Exclusion Bill sought to exclude the king's brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, from the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland because he was Roman Catholic...

, which sought to exclude the Duke of York from the line of succession
Succession to the British Throne
Succession to the British throne is governed both by common law and statute. Under common law the crown is currently passed on by male-preference primogeniture. In other words, succession passes first to an individual's sons, in order of birth, and subsequently to daughters, again in order of birth....

. Some even sought to confer the Crown to the Protestant Duke of Monmouth, the eldest of Charles's illegitimate children. The Abhorrers—those who thought the Exclusion Bill was abhorrent—were named Tories
Tory
Toryism is a traditionalist and conservative political philosophy which grew out of the Cavalier faction in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. It is a prominent ideology in the politics of the United Kingdom, but also features in parts of The Commonwealth, particularly in Canada...

 (after a term for dispossessed Irish Catholic bandits), while the Petitioners—those who supported a petitioning campaign in favour of the Exclusion Bill—became called Whigs
British Whig Party
The Whigs were a party in the Parliament of England, Parliament of Great Britain, and Parliament of the United Kingdom, who contested power with the rival Tories from the 1680s to the 1850s. The Whigs' origin lay in constitutional monarchism and opposition to absolute rule...

 (after a term for rebellious Scottish Presbyterians).


Fearing that the Exclusion Bill would be passed, and bolstered by some acquittals in the continuing Plot trials, which seemed to him to indicate a more favourable public mood towards Catholicism, Charles dissolved the English Parliament, for a second time that year, in the summer of 1679. Charles's hopes for a more moderate Parliament were not fulfilled, within a few months he had dissolved Parliament yet again, after it sought to pass the Exclusion Bill. When a new Parliament assembled at Oxford in March 1681, Charles dissolved it for a fourth time after just a few days. During the 1680s, however, popular support for the Exclusion Bill ebbed, and Charles experienced a nationwide surge of loyalty, for many of his subjects felt that Parliament had been too assertive. Lord Shaftesbury was charged with treason and fled to Holland, where he died. For the remainder of his reign, Charles ruled without Parliament.

Charles's opposition to the Exclusion Bill angered some Protestants. Protestant conspirators formulated the Rye House Plot
Rye House Plot
The Rye House Plot of 1683 was a plan to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother James, Duke of York. Historians vary in their assessment of the degree to which details of the conspiracy were finalized....

, a plan to murder the King and the Duke of York as they returned to London after horse races in Newmarket. A great fire, however, destroyed Charles's lodgings at Newmarket, which forced him to leave the races early thus, inadvertently, avoiding the planned attack. News of the failed plot was leaked. Protestant politicians such as Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex
Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex
Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex PC , whose surname is sometimes spelled Capel, was an English statesman.-Early life:...

, Algernon Sydney
Algernon Sydney
Algernon Sidney or Sydney was an English politician, republican political theorist, colonel, and opponent of King Charles II of England, who became involved in a plot against the King and was executed for treason.-Early life:Sidney's father was Robert Sidney, 2nd Earl of Leicester, a direct...

, Lord William Russell
William Russell, Lord Russell
William Russell, Lord Russell was an English politician. He was a leading member of the Country Party, forerunners of the Whigs, who opposed the succession of James II during the reign of Charles II, ultimately resulting in his execution for treason.-Early life and marriage:Russell was the third...

 and the Duke of Monmouth were implicated in the plot. Lord Essex slit his own throat while imprisoned in the Tower of London; Sydney and Russell were executed for high treason on very flimsy evidence; and the Duke of Monmouth went into exile at the court of William of Orange. Lord Danby and the surviving Catholic lords held in the Tower were released and the King's Catholic brother, James, acquired greater influence at court. Titus Oates was convicted and imprisoned for defamation.

Charles suffered a sudden apoplectic fit
Apoplexy
Apoplexy is a medical term, which can be used to describe 'bleeding' in a stroke . Without further specification, it is rather outdated in use. Today it is used only for specific conditions, such as pituitary apoplexy and ovarian apoplexy. In common speech, it is used non-medically to mean a state...

 on the morning of 2 February 1685, and died aged 54 at 11:45 am four days later at Whitehall Palace. The symptoms of his final illness are similar to those of uraemia
Uremia
Uremia or uraemia is a term used to loosely describe the illness accompanying kidney failure , in particular the nitrogenous waste products associated with the failure of this organ....

 (a clinical syndrome due to kidney dysfunction). On his deathbed Charles asked his brother, James, to look after his mistresses: "be well to Portsmouth
Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth
Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth was a mistress of Charles II of England. Through her son by Charles II, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, she is ancestress of both wives of The Prince of Wales: the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as The Duchess of...

, and let not poor Nelly
Nell Gwyn
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of...

 starve", and told his courtiers: "I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying." On the last evening of his life he was received into the Roman Catholic Church, though the extent to which he was fully conscious or committed, and with whom the idea originated, is unclear. He was buried in Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

 "without any manner of pomp" on 14 February and was succeeded by his brother who became James II of England
James II of England
James II & VII was King of England and King of Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685. He was the last Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland...

 and Ireland and James VII of Scotland.

Posterity and legacy



Charles had no legitimate children, but acknowledged a dozen by seven mistresses, including five by the notorious Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland was an English courtesan and perhaps the most notorious of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England, by whom she had five children, all of which were acknowledged and subsequently ennobled...

, for whom the Dukedom of Cleveland
Duke of Cleveland
Duke of Cleveland is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The dukedoms were named after Cleveland in northern England....

 was created. His other mistresses included Moll Davis
Moll Davis
Mary "Moll" Davis was a seventeenth-century entertainer and courtesan, singer and actress who became one of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England.- Early life, theatre career:...

, Nell Gwyn
Nell Gwyn
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of...

, Elizabeth Killigrew
Elizabeth Killigrew, Viscountess Shannon
Elizabeth Killigrew was an English peeress and courtier. One of the many mistresses of Charles II of England, she was also the sister of Thomas Killigrew and the wife of Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon...

, Catherine Pegge
Catherine Pegge
Catherine Pegge, born about 1635, was a long term mistress of Charles II. She had two children by him, Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth and Catherine FitzCharles....

, Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter or Lucy Barlow was a mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. She is believed to have been born in 1630 or a little later at Roch Castle near Haverfordwest, Wales into a family of middling gentry...

, and Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth
Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth
Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth was a mistress of Charles II of England. Through her son by Charles II, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, she is ancestress of both wives of The Prince of Wales: the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as The Duchess of...

. The public resented paying taxes that were spent on them and their children, many of whom received dukedoms or earldoms. The present Dukes of Buccleuch
Duke of Buccleuch
The title Duke of Buccleuch , formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, was created in the Peerage of Scotland on 20 April 1663 for the Duke of Monmouth, who was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II of Scotland, England, and Ireland and who had married Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch.Anne...

, Richmond
Duke of Richmond
The title Duke of Richmond is named after Richmond and its surrounding district of Richmondshire, and has been created several times in the Peerage of England for members of the royal Tudor and Stuart families...

, Grafton
Duke of Grafton
Duke of Grafton is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1675 by Charles II of England for his 2nd illegitimate son by the Duchess of Cleveland, Henry FitzRoy...

 and St Albans
Duke of St Albans
Duke of St Albans is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1684 for Charles Beauclerk, 1st Earl of Burford, then fourteen years old...

 descend from Charles in direct male line. Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales
Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

, was descended from two of Charles's illegitimate sons: the Dukes of Grafton
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton
Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton KG was the illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine....

 and Richmond
Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond
Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, 1st Duke of Lennox, 1st Duke of Aubigny was the illegitimate son of Charles II of England and his mistress Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth....

. Diana's son, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, second in line to the British Throne, is likely to be the first monarch descended from Charles II.

Charles's eldest son, the Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, KG, PC , was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter...

, led a rebellion against James II, but was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor
Battle of Sedgemoor
The Battle of Sedgemoor was fought on 6 July 1685 and took place at Westonzoyland near Bridgwater in Somerset, England.It was the final battle of the Monmouth Rebellion and followed a series of skirmishes around south west England between the forces of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and the...

 on 6 July 1685, captured and executed. James was eventually dethroned in 1688, in the course of the Glorious Revolution
Glorious Revolution
The Glorious Revolution, also called the Revolution of 1688, is the overthrow of King James II of England by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau...

. He was the last Catholic monarch to rule Britain.

Looking back on Charles's reign, Tories tended to view it as a time of benevolent monarchy whereas Whigs perceived it as a terrible despotism
Despotism
Despotism is a form of government in which a single entity rules with absolute power. That entity may be an individual, as in an autocracy, or it may be a group, as in an oligarchy...

. Today it is possible to assess Charles without the taint of partisanship, and he is seen as more of a lovable rogue
Lovable rogue
The lovable rogue is a literary trope in the form of a character, often from a dysfunctional or working-class upbringing, who tends to recklessly defy norms and social conventions but who still evokes empathy from the audience or other characters. The lovable rogue is male and is often trying to...

—in the words of his contemporary John Evelyn
John Evelyn
John Evelyn was an English writer, gardener and diarist.Evelyn's diaries or Memoirs are largely contemporaneous with those of the other noted diarist of the time, Samuel Pepys, and cast considerable light on the art, culture and politics of the time John Evelyn (31 October 1620 – 27 February...

: "a prince of many virtues and many great imperfections, debonair, easy of access, not bloody or cruel". John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester , styled Viscount Wilmot between 1652 and 1658, was an English Libertine poet, a friend of King Charles II, and the writer of much satirical and bawdy poetry. He was the toast of the Restoration court and a patron of the arts...

, wrote more lewdly of Charles:
Charles, a patron of the arts and sciences, founded the Royal Observatory
Royal Observatory, Greenwich
The Royal Observatory, Greenwich , in London, England played a major role in the history of astronomy and navigation, and is best known as the location of the prime meridian...

 and supported the Royal Society
Royal Society
The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, known simply as the Royal Society, is a learned society for science, and is possibly the oldest such society in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a Royal Charter by King Charles II as the "Royal Society of London"...

, a scientific group whose early members included Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke
Robert Hooke FRS was an English natural philosopher, architect and polymath.His adult life comprised three distinct periods: as a scientific inquirer lacking money; achieving great wealth and standing through his reputation for hard work and scrupulous honesty following the great fire of 1666, but...

, Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle
Robert Boyle FRS was a 17th century natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor, also noted for his writings in theology. He has been variously described as English, Irish, or Anglo-Irish, his father having come to Ireland from England during the time of the English plantations of...

 and Sir Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

. Charles was the personal patron of Sir Christopher Wren
Christopher Wren
Sir Christopher Wren FRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.He used to be accorded responsibility for rebuilding 51 churches in the City of London after the Great Fire in 1666, including his masterpiece, St. Paul's Cathedral, on Ludgate Hill, completed in 1710...

, the architect who helped rebuild London after the Great Fire
Great Fire of London
The Great Fire of London was a major conflagration that swept through the central parts of the English city of London, from Sunday, 2 September to Wednesday, 5 September 1666. The fire gutted the medieval City of London inside the old Roman City Wall...

 and who constructed the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Royal Hospital Chelsea
The Royal Hospital Chelsea is a retirement home and nursing home for British soldiers who are unfit for further duty due to injury or old age, located in the Chelsea region of central London, now the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is a true hospital in the original sense of the word,...

, which Charles founded as a home for retired soldiers in 1682.

The anniversary of the Restoration
English Restoration
The Restoration of the English monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms...

 (which was also Charles's birthday)—29 May—was recognised in England until the mid-nineteenth century as Oak Apple Day
Oak Apple Day
Oak Apple Day or Royal Oak Day was a holiday celebrated in England on 29 May to commemorate the restoration of the English monarchy, in May 1660...

, after the Royal Oak in which Charles hid during his escape from the forces of Oliver Cromwell. Traditional celebrations involved the wearing of oak leaves but these have now died out. Charles II is commemorated by statues in London's Soho Square
Soho Square
Soho Square is a square in Soho, London, England, with a park and garden area at its centre that dates back to 1681. It was originally called King Square after Charles II, whose statue stands in the square. At the centre of the garden, there is a distinctive half-timbered gardener's hut...

, in Edinburgh and near the south portal of Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral
Lichfield Cathedral is situated in Lichfield, Staffordshire, England. It is the only medieval English cathedral with three spires. The Diocese of Lichfield covers all of Staffordshire, much of Shropshire and part of the Black Country and West Midlands...

, and is depicted extensively in literature and other media
Cultural depictions of Charles II of England
-Literature:*Charles appears as Arethusius in Sir Percy Herbert's lengthy novel The Princess Cloria , which fictionalizes his early life up to the coronation in 1660...

.

Titles and styles

  • 29 May 1630 – May 1638: The Duke of Cornwall
  • May 1638 – 30 January 1649: The Prince of Wales
  • 30 January 1649 – 6 February 1685: His Majesty The King
    • in Scotland: His Grace The King


The official style
Style (manner of address)
A style of office, or honorific, is a legal, official, or recognized title. A style, by tradition or law, precedes a reference to a person who holds a post or political office, and is sometimes used to refer to the office itself. An honorific can also be awarded to an individual in a personal...

 of Charles II was "Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland
Kingdom of Ireland
The Kingdom of Ireland refers to the country of Ireland in the period between the proclamation of Henry VIII as King of Ireland by the Crown of Ireland Act 1542 and the Act of Union in 1800. It replaced the Lordship of Ireland, which had been created in 1171...

, Defender of the Faith
Fidei defensor
Fidei defensor is a Latin title which translates to Defender of the Faith in English and Défenseur de la Foi in French...

, etc." The claim to France
English claims to the French throne
The English claims to the French throne have a long and complex history between the 1340s and the 19th century.From 1340 to 1801, with only brief intervals in 1360-1369 and 1420–1422, the kings and queens of England, and after the Acts of Union in 1707 the kings and queens of Great Britain, also...

 was only nominal, and had been asserted by every English King since Edward III
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England from 1327 until his death and is noted for his military success. Restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II, Edward III went on to transform the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe...

, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.

Arms


As Prince of Wales, Charles's coat of arms was the royal arms
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom, and are officially known as her Arms of Dominion...

 (which he later inherited), differenced by a label
Label (heraldry)
In heraldry, a label is a charge resembling the strap crossing the horse’s chest from which pendants are hung. It is usually a mark of difference, but has sometimes been borne simply as a charge in its own right....

 of three points Argent
Argent
In heraldry, argent is the tincture of silver, and belongs to the class of light tinctures, called "metals". It is very frequently depicted as white and usually considered interchangeable with it...

. His arms as monarch were: Quarterly
Quartering (heraldry)
Quartering in heraldry is a method of joining several different coats of arms together in one shield by dividing the shield into equal parts and placing different coats of arms in each division....

, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure
Azure
In heraldry, azure is the tincture with the colour blue, and belongs to the class of tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of horizontal lines or else marked with either az. or b. as an abbreviation....

 three fleurs-de-lis Or
Or (heraldry)
In heraldry, Or is the tincture of gold and, together with argent , belongs to the class of light tinctures called "metals". In engravings and line drawings, it may be represented using a field of evenly spaced dots...

 (for France) and Gules
Gules
In heraldry, gules is the tincture with the colour red, and belongs to the class of dark tinctures called "colours". In engraving, it is sometimes depicted as a region of vertical lines or else marked with gu. as an abbreviation....

 three lions passant guardant in pale
Pale (heraldry)
A pale is a term used in heraldic blazon and vexillology to describe a charge on a coat of arms , that takes the form of a band running vertically down the center of the shield. Writers broadly agree that the width of the pale ranges from about one-fifth to about one-third of the width of the...

 Or (for England); II Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (for Scotland
Royal coat of arms of Scotland
The royal coat of arms of Scotland was the official coat of arms of the monarchs of Scotland, and was used as the official coat of arms of the Kingdom of Scotland until the Acts of Union of 1707...

); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (for Ireland
Coat of arms of Ireland
The arms of Ireland is blazoned as Azure a harp Or, stringed Argent . These arms have long been Ireland's heraldic emblem. References to them as being the arms of the king of Ireland can be found as early as the 13th century...

).




Issue



By Marguerite or Margaret de Carteret
  1. Letters claiming that she bore Charles a son named James de la Cloche
    James de la Cloche
    James de la Cloche is an alleged would-be-illegitimate son of Charles II of England who would have first joined a Jesuit seminary and then gave up his habit to marry a Neapolitan woman. He is known mainly through documentary evidence....

     in 1646 are dismissed by historians as forgeries.

By Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter
Lucy Walter or Lucy Barlow was a mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth. She is believed to have been born in 1630 or a little later at Roch Castle near Haverfordwest, Wales into a family of middling gentry...

(c.1630–1658)
  1. James Crofts, later Scott
    James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth
    James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, 1st Duke of Buccleuch, KG, PC , was an English nobleman. Originally called James Crofts or James Fitzroy, he was born in Rotterdam in the Netherlands, the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II and his mistress, Lucy Walter...

     (1649–1685), created Duke of Monmouth (1663) in England and Duke of Buccleuch
    Duke of Buccleuch
    The title Duke of Buccleuch , formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, was created in the Peerage of Scotland on 20 April 1663 for the Duke of Monmouth, who was the eldest illegitimate son of Charles II of Scotland, England, and Ireland and who had married Anne Scott, 4th Countess of Buccleuch.Anne...

     (1663) in Scotland. Ancestor of Sarah, Duchess of York
    Sarah, Duchess of York
    Sarah, Duchess of York is a British charity patron, spokesperson, writer, film producer, television personality and former member of the British Royal Family. She is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, whom she married from 1986 to 1996...

    . Monmouth was born nine months after Walter and Charles II first met, and was acknowledged as his son by Charles II, but James II suggested that he was the son of another of her lovers, Colonel Robert Sidney, rather than Charles. Lucy Walter had a daughter, Mary Crofts, born after James in 1651, but Charles II was not the father, since he and Walter parted in September 1649.

By Elizabeth Killigrew (1622–1680), daughter of Sir Robert Killigrew
Robert Killigrew
Sir Robert Killigrew was an English courtier and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1601 and 1629. He served as Ambassador the the United Provinces.-Life:...

, married Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon
Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon
Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon : the Hon. Francis Boyle, fourth son of Richard Boyle, 1st Earl of Cork was created a Viscount in 1660. He married Elizabeth Killigrew, the sister of Thomas Killigrew, the dramatist who joined Charles II during his period of exile and later became Master of the...

 in 1660
  1. Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria FitzRoy (1650–1684), married firstly James Howard and secondly William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth
    William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth
    William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth was a British peer and politician.Born in 1654, he was the son of Robert Paston, 1st Earl of Yarmouth and his wife, Rebecca, née Clayton. In 1671, he married the widowed Charlotte Howard, née FitzRoy , the illegitimate daughter of Charles II and Elizabeth...


By Catherine Pegge
Catherine Pegge
Catherine Pegge, born about 1635, was a long term mistress of Charles II. She had two children by him, Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth and Catherine FitzCharles....

  1. Charles FitzCharles
    Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth
    Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth was the illegitimate son of King Charles II of England, by Catherine Pegge. He had a sister called Catherine FitzCharles who became a nun. His mother went on to marry Sir Edward Greene of Samford in Essex, but they had no further children...

     (1657–1680), known as "Don Carlo", created Earl of Plymouth
    Earl of Plymouth
    Earl of Plymouth is a title that has been created three times, twice in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The first creation was in 1675 for Charles FitzCharles, illegitimate son of King Charles II by his mistress Catherine Pegge...

     (1675)
  2. Catherine FitzCharles (born 1658; she either died young or became a nun at Dunkirk)

By Barbara née Villiers
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland
Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland was an English courtesan and perhaps the most notorious of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England, by whom she had five children, all of which were acknowledged and subsequently ennobled...

(1641–1709), wife of Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine
Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine
Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine PC was an English courtier, diplomat, and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1660. He was also a noted Catholic writer...

; created Duchess of Cleveland
Duke of Cleveland
Duke of Cleveland is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The dukedoms were named after Cleveland in northern England....

 in her own right
  1. Anne Palmer (Fitzroy)
    Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex
    Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex , formerly Lady Anne Palmer, alias Fitzroy, was the eldest daughter of Barbara Palmer née Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, and most likely Charles II of England or Philip Stanhope, 2nd Earl of Chesterfield.-Biography:She was born Anne Palmer on 25 February 1661...

     (1661–1722), married Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex
    Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex
    Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex was a British peer. He became Earl of Sussex in 1674 when he married Lady Anne Palmer. The Baron Dacre title became abeyant in 1715 following his death .-Cricket:...

    . She may have been the daughter of Roger Palmer, but Charles accepted her.
  2. Charles Fitzroy
    Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland
    Charles Palmer, later FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland, 1st Duke of Southampton, Chief Butler of England , styled Baron Limerick before 1670 and Earl of Southampton between 1670 and 1675, was the eldest son of Barbara Palmer, Countess of Castlemaine and the illegitimate son of King...

     (1662–1730), created Duke of Southampton (1675), became 2nd Duke of Cleveland
    Duke of Cleveland
    Duke of Cleveland is a title that has been created twice, once in the Peerage of England and once in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. The dukedoms were named after Cleveland in northern England....

     (1709)
  3. Henry Fitzroy
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton
    Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton KG was the illegitimate son of King Charles II by Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine....

     (1663–1690), created Earl of Euston (1672), Duke of Grafton
    Duke of Grafton
    Duke of Grafton is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1675 by Charles II of England for his 2nd illegitimate son by the Duchess of Cleveland, Henry FitzRoy...

     (1675), also 7-greats-grandfather of Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

  4. Charlotte Fitzroy
    Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield
    Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield , formerly Lady Charlotte Fitzroy, was the illegitimate daughter of King Charles II of England by one of his most notorious mistresses, Barbara Villiers, 1st Duchess of Cleveland-Family:She was the fourth child and second daughter of Barbara Palmer née Villiers,...

     (1664–1717), married Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield
    Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield
    Sir Edward Henry Lee, 5th Baronet, of Ditchley and of Quarendon, created 1st Earl of Lichfield was an English peer. He was a staunch tory and followed James II to Rochester, Kent after the king's escape from Whitehall in December 1688...

  5. George Fitzroy
    George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland
    Lieutenant-General George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, KG, PC was the third and youngest illegitimate son of King Charles II and his mother Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine...

     (1665–1716), created Earl of Northumberland
    Earl of Northumberland
    The title of Earl of Northumberland was created several times in the Peerages of England and Great Britain, succeeding the title Earl of Northumbria. Its most famous holders were the House of Percy , who were the most powerful noble family in Northern England for much of the Middle Ages...

     (1674), Duke of Northumberland
    Duke of Northumberland
    The Duke of Northumberland is a title in the peerage of Great Britain that has been created several times. Since the third creation in 1766, the title has belonged to the House of Percy , which held the title of Earl of Northumberland from 1377....

     (1678)
  6. Barbara (Benedicta) Fitzroy
    Barbara Fitzroy
    Lady Barbara FitzRoy was the sixth and youngest child of Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, a mistress of Charles II of England. Although Charles publicly acknowledged her as his child, he was probably not the father...

     (1672–1737) – She was probably the child of John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough, who was another of Cleveland's many lovers, and was never acknowledged by Charles as his own daughter.

By Nell Gwyn
Nell Gwyn
Eleanor "Nell" Gwyn was a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Samuel Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of...

(1650–1687)
  1. Charles Beauclerk
    Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans
    Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, KG was an illegitimate son of King Charles II of England by his mistress Nell Gwynne.-Life:...

     (1670–1726), created Duke of St Albans
    Duke of St Albans
    Duke of St Albans is a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1684 for Charles Beauclerk, 1st Earl of Burford, then fourteen years old...

     (1684)
  2. James, Lord Beauclerk (1671–1680)

By Louise Renée de Penancoet de Kérouaille
Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth
Louise Renée de Penancoët de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth was a mistress of Charles II of England. Through her son by Charles II, Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, she is ancestress of both wives of The Prince of Wales: the late Diana, Princess of Wales, as well as The Duchess of...

(1649–1734), created Duchess of Portsmouth
Duke of Portsmouth
The title Duke of Portsmouth was a life peerage created in 1673 for Louise de Kérouaille, one of the mistresses of Charles II. The title, named after Portsmouth, became extinct upon her death in 1734...

 in her own right (1673)
  1. Charles Lennox (1672–1723), created Duke of Richmond
    Duke of Richmond
    The title Duke of Richmond is named after Richmond and its surrounding district of Richmondshire, and has been created several times in the Peerage of England for members of the royal Tudor and Stuart families...

     (1675) in England and Duke of Lennox
    Duke of Lennox
    The title Duke of Lennox has been created several times in the Peerage of Scotland, for Clan Stewart of Darnley. The Dukedom, named for the district of Lennox in Stirling, was first created in 1581, and had formerly been the Earldom of Lennox. The second Duke was made Duke of Richmond; at his...

     (1675) in Scotland. Ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales
    Diana, Princess of Wales was the first wife of Charles, Prince of Wales, whom she married on 29 July 1981, and an international charity and fundraising figure, as well as a preeminent celebrity of the late 20th century...

    ; Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall; and Sarah, Duchess of York
    Sarah, Duchess of York
    Sarah, Duchess of York is a British charity patron, spokesperson, writer, film producer, television personality and former member of the British Royal Family. She is the former wife of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, whom she married from 1986 to 1996...

    .

By Mary 'Moll' Davis
Moll Davis
Mary "Moll" Davis was a seventeenth-century entertainer and courtesan, singer and actress who became one of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England.- Early life, theatre career:...

, courtesan and actress of repute
  1. Lady Mary Tudor
    Lady Mary Tudor
    Lady Mary Tudor was the illegitimate daughter of Charles II of England by his mistress, the actress and singer Mary 'Moll' Davis, a celebrated rival of Nell Gwynn, King Charles' London-born mistress who was also an actress...

     (1673–1726), married Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater
    Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater
    Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater was an English peer, styled Viscount Radclyffe from 1688 to 1695.He inherited the earldom from his father, Francis Radclyffe, 1st Earl of Derwentwater in 1697...

    ; after Edward's death, she married Henry Graham, and upon his death she married James Rooke.

Other probable mistresses:
  1. Christabella Wyndham
  2. Hortense Mancini
    Hortense Mancini
    Hortense Mancini, duchesse Mazarin , was the favourite niece of Cardinal Mazarin, chief minister of France, and a mistress of Charles II, King of England, Scotland and Ireland...

    , Duchess of Mazarin
  3. Winifred Wells
    Winifred Wells
    Winifred Wells was a courtier at the Stuart Restoration court as a Maid of Honour to Queen consort Catherine of Braganza. She was also one of the many mistresses of King Charles II of England...

     – one of the Queen's Maids of Honour
  4. Jane Roberts – the daughter of a clergyman
  5. Elizabeth Berkeley, née Bagot, Dowager Countess of Falmouth
    Elizabeth, Countess of Falmouth
    Elizabeth, Countess of Falmouth was a British courtier. She was one of the Windsor Beauties, painted by Sir Peter Lely.-Family:Her father was Col. Henry Bagot, and mother was Dorothea Arden. She married Charles Berkeley, 1st Earl of Falmouth in 1663. He died at the Battle of Lowestoft. She then...

     – the widow of Charles Berkeley, 1st Earl of Falmouth
    Charles Berkeley, 1st Earl of Falmouth
    Charles Berkeley 1st Earl of Falmouth was the son of Charles Berkeley, 2nd Viscount Fitzhardinge and his wife Penelope née Godolphin ....

  6. Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Countess of Kildare

Ancestry





External links



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