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Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was King of Scotland from 1649 until 1651, and King of
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separated from continental Europe b ...
, Scotland and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
from the
1660 Restoration The Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in the kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland took place in 1660 when King Charles II returned from exile in continental Europe. The preceding period of the Protectorate and the civil wars came t ...
of the monarchy until his death in 1685. Charles II was the eldest surviving child of
Charles I of England, Scotland and Ireland Charles I (19 November 1600 – 30 January 1649) was King of England, Scotland, and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. He was born into the House of Stuart as the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after h ...
and
Henrietta Maria of France Henrietta Maria (french: link=no, Henriette Marie; 25 November 1609 – 10 September 1669) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland from her marriage to King Charles I on 13 June 1625 until Charles was executed on 30 January 1649. She wa ...
. After Charles I's execution at
Whitehall Whitehall is a road and area in the City of Westminster, Central London. The road forms the first part of the A3212 road from Trafalgar Square to Chelsea. It is the main thoroughfare running south from Trafalgar Square towards Parliament Sq ...
on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the
English Civil War The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians (" Roundheads") and Royalists led by Charles I ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of re ...
, the
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council o ...
proclaimed Charles II king on 5 February 1649. But England entered the period known as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth, and the country was a de facto republic led by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three K ...
. Cromwell defeated Charles II at the
Battle of Worcester The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 in and around the city of Worcester, England and was the last major battle of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. A Parliamentarian army of around 28,000 under Oliver Cromwell d ...
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
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Dutch: ''Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden''), and commonly referred to in historiography ...
and the
Spanish Netherlands Spanish Netherlands (Spanish: Países Bajos Españoles; Dutch: Spaanse Nederlanden; French: Pays-Bas espagnols; German: Spanische Niederlande.) (historically in Spanish: ''Flandes'', the name "Flanders" was used as a ''pars pro toto'') was the H ...
. The political crisis that followed Cromwell's death in 1658 resulted in the
restoration Restoration is the act of restoring something to its original state and may refer to: * Conservation and restoration of cultural heritage ** Audio restoration ** Film restoration ** Image restoration ** Textile restoration * Restoration ecology ...
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 stating a
regnal year A regnal year is a year of the reign of a sovereign, from the Latin ''regnum'' meaning kingdom, rule. Regnal years considered the date as an ordinal, not a cardinal number. For example, a monarch could have a first year of rule, a second year o ...
did so as if he had succeeded his father as king in 1649. Charles's English parliament enacted laws known as the
Clarendon Code In English history, the penal laws were a series of laws that sought to uphold the establishment of the Church of England against Catholicism and Protestant nonconformists by imposing various forfeitures, civil penalties, and civil disabilities ...
, designed to shore up the position of the re-established
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the established Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britai ...
. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code even though he favoured a policy of religious tolerance. The major foreign policy issue of his early reign was the
Second Anglo-Dutch War The Second Anglo-Dutch War or the Second Dutch War (4 March 1665 – 31 July 1667; nl, Tweede Engelse Oorlog "Second English War") was a conflict between England and the Dutch Republic partly for control over the seas and trade routes, whe ...
. In 1670, he entered into the
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 1 June 1670. It required that Charles II of England would convert to the Roman Catholic Church at some future date and th ...
, an alliance with his cousin King
Louis XIV of France , house = Bourbon , father = Louis XIII , mother = Anne of Austria , birth_date = , birth_place = Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France , death_date = , death_place = Palace of ...
. Louis agreed to aid him in the
Third Anglo-Dutch War The Third Anglo-Dutch War ( nl, Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog), 27 March 1672 to 19 February 1674, was a naval conflict between the Dutch Republic and England, in alliance with France. It is considered a subsidiary of the wider 1672 to 1678 ...
and pay him a pension, and Charles secretly promised to convert to
Catholicism The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptized Catholics worldwide . It is among the world's oldest and largest international institutions, and has played a ...
at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce
religious freedom Freedom of religion or religious liberty 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. It also includes the freedom ...
for Catholics and Protestant
dissenter A dissenter (from the Latin ''dissentire'', "to disagree") is one who dissents (disagrees) in matters of opinion, belief, etc. Usage in Christianity Dissent from the Anglican church In the social and religious history of England and Wales, and ...
s with his 1672
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 ...
, but the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England from the 13th century until 1707 when it was replaced by the Parliament of Great Britain. Parliament evolved from the great council of bishops and peers that advised t ...
forced him to withdraw it. In 1679,
Titus Oates Titus Oates (15 September 1649 – 12/13 July 1705) was an English priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II. Early life Titus Oates was born at Oakham in Rutland. His father Samuel (1610� ...
's revelations of a supposed Popish Plot sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir presumptive, James, Duke of York, had become a Catholic. The crisis saw the birth of the pro-exclusion Whig and anti-exclusion
Tory A Tory () is a person who holds a political philosophy known as Toryism, based on a British version of traditionalism and conservatism, which upholds the supremacy of social order as it has evolved in the English culture throughout history. The ...
parties. Charles sided with the Tories, and after the discovery of the
Rye House Plot The Rye House Plot of 1683 was a plan to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother (and heir to the throne) James, Duke of York. The royal party went from Westminster to Newmarket to see horse races and were expected to make the ...
to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were executed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681 and ruled alone until his death in 1685. Traditionally considered one of the most popular English kings, Charles is known as the ''Merry Monarch'', a reference to the liveliness and hedonism of his court. He acknowledged at least 12 illegitimate children by various mistresses, but left no legitimate children and was succeeded by his brother, James.


Early life, civil war and exile

Charles II was born at St James's Palace on 29 May 1630, eldest surviving son of
Charles I Charles I may refer to: Kings and emperors * Charlemagne (742–814), numbered Charles I in the lists of Holy Roman Emperors and French kings * Charles I of Anjou (1226–1285), also king of Albania, Jerusalem, Naples and Sicily * Charles I of ...
, king of
England England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. It is separated from continental Europe b ...
,
Scotland Scotland (, ) is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a Anglo-Scottish border, border with England to the southeast ...
and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
, and his wife
Henrietta Maria Henrietta Maria (french: link=no, Henriette Marie; 25 November 1609 – 10 September 1669) was Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland from her marriage to King Charles I on 13 June 1625 until Charles was executed on 30 January 1649. She was ...
, sister of
Louis XIII of France Louis XIII (; sometimes called the Just; 27 September 1601 – 14 May 1643) was King of France from 1610 until his death in 1643 and King of Navarre (as Louis II) from 1610 to 1620, when the crown of Navarre was merged with the French crown ...
. Charles was their second child, the first being a son born about a year before who died within a day. He was baptised on 27 June in the Chapel Royal by
William Laud William Laud (; 7 October 1573 – 10 January 1645) was a bishop in the Church of England. Appointed Archbishop of Canterbury by Charles I in 1633, Laud was a key advocate of Charles I's religious reforms, he was arrested by Parliament in 1640 ...
, a future Archbishop of Canterbury, and during his infancy was supervised by the Protestant Countess of Dorset. His godparents included his maternal uncle Louis XIII and maternal grandmother, Marie de' Medici, the Dowager Queen of France, both of whom were Catholics. At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated
Prince of Wales Prince of Wales ( cy, Tywysog Cymru, ; la, Princeps Cambriae/Walliae) is a title traditionally given to the heir apparent to the English and later British throne. Prior to the conquest by Edward I in the 13th century, it was used by the rulers ...
, though he was never formally invested. In August 1642, the long-running dispute between his father and
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. Th ...
culminated in the outbreak of the
First English Civil War The First English Civil War took place in England and Wales from 1642 to 1646, and forms part of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. They include the Bishops' Wars, the Irish Confederate Wars, the Second English Civil War, the Anglo ...
. In October, Charles and his younger brother
James James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...
were present at the
Battle of Edgehill The Battle of Edgehill (or Edge Hill) was a pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642. All attempts at constitutional compromise between ...
and spent the next two years based in the
Royalist A royalist supports a particular monarch as head of state for a particular kingdom, or of a particular dynastic claim. In the abstract, this position is royalism. It is distinct from monarchism, which advocates a monarchical system of governm ...
capital of
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
. In January 1645, he was given his own Council and made titular head of Royalist forces in the
West Country The West Country (occasionally Westcountry) is a loosely defined area of South West England, usually taken to include all, some, or parts of the counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Somerset, Bristol, and, less commonly, Wiltshire, Glo ...
. By spring 1646, most of the region had been occupied by Parliamentarian forces and Charles went into exile to avoid capture. From Falmouth, he went first to the Isles of Scilly, then to
Jersey Jersey ( , ; nrf, Jèrri, label= Jèrriais ), officially the Bailiwick of Jersey (french: Bailliage de Jersey, links=no; Jèrriais: ), is an island country and self-governing Crown Dependency near the coast of north-west France. It is the l ...
, and finally to France, where his mother was already living under the protection of his first cousin, the eight-year-old
Louis XIV , house = Bourbon , father = Louis XIII , mother = Anne of Austria , birth_date = , birth_place = Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France , death_date = , death_place = Palace of Ver ...
. Charles I surrendered into captivity in May 1646. During the
Second English Civil War The Second English Civil War took place between February to August 1648 in Kingdom of England, England and Wales. It forms part of the series of conflicts known collectively as the 1639-1651 Wars of the Three Kingdoms, which include the 1641� ...
in 1648, Charles moved to
The Hague The Hague ( ; nl, Den Haag or ) is a city and municipality of the Netherlands, situated on the west coast facing the North Sea. The Hague is the country's administrative centre and its seat of government, and while the official capital o ...
, where his sister
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name), a feminine given name (includes a list of people with the name) Religious contexts * New Testament people named Mary, overview article linking to many of those below * Mary, mother of Jesus, also calle ...
and his brother-in-law
William II, Prince of Orange William II (27 May 1626 – 6 November 1650) was sovereign Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel and Groningen in the United Provinces of the Netherlands from 14 March 1647 until his death three year ...
, seemed more likely to provide substantial aid to the Royalist cause than his mother's French relations. Although part of the Parliamentarian fleet defected, it did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the Royalist
Engager 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 Parliamentarians after his defeat in the First Civil War. Back ...
army led by the Duke of Hamilton before it was defeated at Preston by the New Model Army. At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with
Lucy Walter Lucy Walter (c. 1630 – 1658), also known as Lucy Barlow, was a Welsh noblewoman, the first mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James, Duke of Monmouth. During the Exclusion Crisis, a Protestant faction wanted to make her son h ...
, who later falsely claimed that they had secretly married. Her son, James Crofts (afterwards
Duke of Monmouth Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalty or nobility, they are ranke ...
and
Duke of Buccleuch Duke of Buccleuch (pronounced ), formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created twice on 20 April 1663, first for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and second suo jure for his wife Anne Scott, 4th Cou ...
), was one of Charles's many illegitimate children who became prominent in British society. Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, the
Execution of Charles I The execution of Charles I by beheading occurred on Tuesday, 30 January 1649 outside the Banqueting House on Whitehall. The execution was the culmination of political and military conflicts between the royalists and the parliamentarians in E ...
took place in January 1649, and England became a republic. On 5 February, the Covenanter
Parliament of Scotland The Parliament of Scotland ( sco, Pairlament o Scotland; gd, Pàrlamaid na h-Alba) was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland from the 13th century until 1707. The parliament evolved during the early 13th century from the king's council o ...
proclaimed Charles II "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland" at the Mercat Cross, Edinburgh, but refused to allow him to enter Scotland unless he agreed to establish
Presbyterianism Presbyterianism is a part of the Reformed tradition within Protestantism that broke from the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland by John Knox, who was a priest at St. Giles Cathedral (Church of Scotland). Presbyterian churches derive their nam ...
as the state religion in all three of his kingdoms. When negotiations with the Scots stalled, Charles authorised Lord Montrose to land in the Orkney Islands 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 at Breda, and support the Solemn League and Covenant, which authorised
Presbyterian church governance Presbyterian (or presbyteral) polity is a method of church governance ("ecclesiastical polity") typified by the rule of assemblies of presbyters, or elders. Each local church is governed by a body of elected elders usually called the session or ...
across Britain. Upon his arrival in Scotland on 23 June 1650, he 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. Charles was provided with a Scottish court, and the record of his food and household expenses at
Falkland Palace Falkland Palace, in Falkland, Fife, Scotland, is a royal palace of the Scottish Kings. It was one of the favourite places of Mary, Queen of Scots, providing an escape from political and religious turmoil. Today it is under the stewardship of ...
and
Perth Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. It is the fourth most populous city in Australia and Oceania, with a population of 2.1 million (80% of the state) living in Greater Perth in 2020. Perth i ...
survives. His coronation led to the
Anglo-Scottish war (1650–1652) The Anglo-Scottish war (1650–1652), also known as the Third Civil War, was the final conflict in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between shifting alliances of religious and political ...
and on 3 September 1650, the Covenanters were defeated at
Dunbar Dunbar () is a town on the North Sea coast in East Lothian in the south-east of Scotland, approximately east of Edinburgh and from the English border north of Berwick-upon-Tweed. Dunbar is a former royal burgh, and gave its name to an ecc ...
by a much smaller force commanded by
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three K ...
. The Scots were divided between moderate Engagers and the more radical
Kirk Party The Kirk Party were a radical Presbyterian faction of the Scottish Covenanters during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. They came to the fore after the defeat of the Engagers faction in 1648 at the hands of Oliver Cromwell and the English Parlia ...
, who even fought each other. Disillusioned by these divisions, in October Charles rode north to join an Engager force, an event which became known as "the Start", but within two days members of the Kirk Party had recovered him. Nevertheless, the Scots remained Charles's best hope of restoration, and he was crowned King of Scotland at
Scone Abbey Scone Abbey (originally Scone Priory) was a house of Augustinian canons located in Scone, Perthshire (Gowrie), Scotland. Dates given for the establishment of Scone Priory have ranged from 1114 A.D. to 1122 A.D. However, historians have long be ...
on 1 January 1651. With Cromwell's forces threatening Charles's position in Scotland, it was decided to mount an attack on England but many of their most experienced soldiers had been excluded on religious grounds by the Kirk Party, whose leaders also refused to participate, among them Lord Argyll. Opposition to what was primarily a Scottish army meant few English Royalists joined as it moved south and the invasion ended in defeat at the
Battle of Worcester The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 in and around the city of Worcester, England and was the last major battle of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. A Parliamentarian army of around 28,000 under Oliver Cromwell d ...
on 3 September 1651. Charles managed to escape and after six weeks landed in
Normandy Normandy (; french: link=no, Normandie ; nrf, Normaundie, Nouormandie ; from Old French , plural of ''Normant'', originally from the word for "northman" in several Scandinavian languages) is a geographical and cultural region in Northwestern ...
on 16 October, despite a reward of £1,000 on his head, risk of death for anyone caught helping him and the difficulty in disguising Charles, who, at over , was unusually tall for the time. Under the
Instrument of Government The Instrument of Government was a constitution of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland. Drafted by Major-General John Lambert in 1653, it was the first sovereign codified and written constitution in England. Antecedence The ' ...
passed by Parliament, Cromwell was appointed Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland in 1653, effectively placing the
British Isles The British Isles are a group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean off the north-western coast of continental Europe, consisting of the islands of Great Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Inner and Outer Hebrides, the Northern Isles, ...
under military rule. Charles lived a life of leisure at
Saint-Germain-en-Laye Saint-Germain-en-Laye () is a commune in the Yvelines department in the Île-de-France in north-central France. It is located in the western suburbs of Paris, from the centre of Paris. Inhabitants are called ''Saint-Germanois'' or ''Saint-Ge ...
near Paris, living on a grant from Louis XIV of 600
livres The (; ; abbreviation: ₶.) was one of numerous currencies used in medieval France, and a unit of account (i.e., a monetary unit used in accounting) used in Early Modern France. The 1262 monetary reform established the as 20 , or 80.88 gr ...
a month. Charles could not obtain sufficient finance or 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 The United Provinces of the Netherlands, also known as the (Seven) United Provinces, officially as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Dutch: ''Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden''), and commonly referred to in historiography ...
allied themselves with Cromwell's government from 1654, forcing Charles to leave France and turn for aid to
Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = ''Plus ultra'' (Latin)(English: "Further Beyond") , national_anthem = (English: "Royal March") , i ...
, which at that time ruled the
Southern Netherlands The Southern Netherlands, also called the Catholic Netherlands, were the parts of the Low Countries belonging to the Holy Roman Empire which were at first largely controlled by Habsburg Spain (Spanish Netherlands, 1556–1714) and later by the A ...
. Charles made the
Treaty of Brussels The Treaty of Brussels, also referred to as the Brussels Pact, was the founding treaty of the Western Union (WU) between 1948 and 1954, when it was amended as the Modified Brussels Treaty (MTB) and served as the founding treaty of the Western Eu ...
with Spain in 1656. This gathered Spanish support for a restoration in return for Charles's contribution to the war against France. Charles raised a ragtag army from his exiled subjects; this small, underpaid, poorly-equipped and ill-disciplined force formed the nucleus of the post-Restoration army. The Commonwealth made the
Treaty of Paris Treaty of Paris may refer to one of many treaties signed in Paris, France: Treaties 1200s and 1300s * Treaty of Paris (1229), which ended the Albigensian Crusade * Treaty of Paris (1259), between Henry III of England and Louis IX of France * Trea ...
with France in 1657 to join them in war against Spain in the Netherlands. Royalist supporters in the Spanish force were led by Charles's younger brother James, Duke of York. At the Battle of the Dunes in 1658, as part of the larger Spanish force, Charles's army of around 2,000 clashed with Commonwealth troops fighting with the French. By the end of the battle Charles's force was about 1,000 and with Dunkirk given to the English the prospect of a Royalist expedition to England was dashed.


Restoration

After the death of Cromwell in 1658, Charles's initial chances of regaining the Crown seemed slim; Cromwell was succeeded as Lord Protector by his son,
Richard Richard is a male given name. It originates, via Old French, from Old Frankish and is a compound of the words descending from Proto-Germanic ''*rīk-'' 'ruler, leader, king' and ''*hardu-'' 'strong, brave, hardy', and it therefore means 'stro ...
. However, the new Lord Protector had little experience of either military or civil administration. In 1659, the
Rump Parliament The Rump Parliament was the English Parliament after Colonel Thomas Pride commanded soldiers to purge the Long Parliament, on 6 December 1648, of those members hostile to the Grandees' intention to try King Charles I for high treason. "Rump" ...
was recalled and Richard resigned. During the civil and military unrest that followed,
George Monck George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle JP KG PC (6 December 1608 – 3 January 1670) was an English soldier, who fought on both sides during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. A prominent military figure under the Commonwealth, his support was cruc ...
, the Governor of Scotland, was concerned that the nation would descend into anarchy. Monck and his army marched into the
City of London The City of London is a city, ceremonial county and local government district that contains the historic centre and constitutes, alongside Canary Wharf, the primary central business district (CBD) of London. It constituted most of London f ...
, and forced the Rump Parliament to re-admit members of the
Long Parliament The Long Parliament was an English Parliament which lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament, which had convened for only three weeks during the spring of 1640 after an 11-year parliamentary absence. In Septem ...
who had been excluded in December 1648, during
Pride's Purge Pride's Purge is the name commonly given to an event that took place on 6 December 1648, when soldiers prevented members of Parliament considered hostile to the New Model Army from entering the House of Commons of England. Despite defeat in the ...
. Parliament dissolved itself, and there was a general election for the first time in almost 20 years. The outgoing Parliament defined the electoral qualifications intending to bring about 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 The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house of the bicameral parliaments of the United Kingdom and Canada. In both of these countries, the Commons holds much more legislative power than the nominally upper house of parliament. T ...
that was fairly evenly divided on political grounds between Royalists and Parliamentarians and on religious grounds between
Anglicans Anglicanism is a Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in the US *Western, New York, a town in the US *Western Creek, Tasmania, a locality in Australia *Western Junction, Tasmania, a locality in Australia ...
and Presbyterians. The new so-called Convention Parliament assembled on 25 April 1660, and soon afterwards welcomed the
Declaration of Breda The Declaration of Breda (dated 4 April 1660) 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 recognized Charles as the la ...
, in which Charles promised lenience and tolerance. There would be liberty of conscience, and Anglican church policy would not be harsh. He would not exile past enemies nor confiscate their wealth. There would be pardons for nearly all his opponents except the
regicides Regicide is the purposeful killing of a monarch or sovereign of a polity and is often associated with the usurpation of power. A regicide can also be the person responsible for the killing. The word comes from the Latin roots of ''regis'' ...
. Above all, Charles promised to rule in cooperation with Parliament. 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 had been called earlier in the year and had already declared for Charles. On 14 May, he was proclaimed king in Dublin. He set out for England from Scheveningen, arrived in Dover on 25 May 1660 and reached London on 29 May, his 30th birthday. Although Charles and Parliament granted amnesty to nearly all of Cromwell's supporters in the
Act of Indemnity and Oblivion The Indemnity and Oblivion Act 1660 was an Act of the Parliament of England (12 Cha. II c. 11), the long title of which is "An Act of Free and General Pardon, Indemnity, and Oblivion". This act was a general pardon for everyone who had committe ...
, 50 people were specifically excluded. In the end nine of the
regicides Regicide is the purposeful killing of a monarch or sovereign of a polity and is often associated with the usurpation of power. A regicide can also be the person responsible for the killing. The word comes from the Latin roots of ''regis'' ...
were executed: they were hanged, drawn and quartered, whereas others were given life imprisonment or simply excluded from office for life. The bodies of
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three K ...
, Henry Ireton and John Bradshaw were subjected to the indignity of posthumous decapitations. 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. For the most part, the actual revenue was much lower, which led to attempts to economise at court by reducing the size and expenses of the royal household and raise money through unpopular innovations such as the
hearth tax A hearth tax was a property tax in certain countries during the medieval and early modern period, levied on each hearth, thus by proxy on wealth. It was calculated based on the number of hearths, or fireplaces, within a municipal area and is ...
. In the latter half of 1660, Charles's joy at the Restoration was tempered by the deaths of his youngest brother,
Henry Henry may refer to: People *Henry (given name) * Henry (surname) * Henry Lau, Canadian singer and musician who performs under the mononym Henry Royalty * Portuguese royalty ** King-Cardinal Henry, King of Portugal ** Henry, Count of Portugal, ...
, and sister,
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name), a feminine given name (includes a list of people with the name) Religious contexts * New Testament people named Mary, overview article linking to many of those below * Mary, mother of Jesus, also calle ...
, of
smallpox Smallpox was an infectious disease caused by variola virus (often called smallpox virus) which belongs to the genus Orthopoxvirus. The last naturally occurring case was diagnosed in October 1977, and the World Health Organization (WHO) c ...
. At around the same time,
Anne Hyde Anne Hyde (12 March 163731 March 1671) was Duchess of York and Albany as the first wife of James, Duke of York, who later became King James II and VII. Anne was the daughter of a member of the English gentry – Edward Hyde (later created ...
, the daughter of the
Lord Chancellor The lord chancellor, formally the lord high chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking traditional minister among the Great Officers of State in Scotland and England in the United Kingdom, nominally outranking the prime minister. Th ...
, Edward Hyde, revealed that she was pregnant by Charles's brother,
James James is a common English language surname and given name: *James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...
, 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 is a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1776. The family seat is Holywell House, near Swanmore, Hampshire. First creation of the title The title was created for the first time in the Peera ...
and his position as Charles's favourite minister was strengthened.


Clarendon Code

The Convention Parliament was dissolved in December 1660, and, shortly after the
coronation A coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. The term also generally refers not only to the physical crowning but to the whole ceremony wherein the act of crowning occurs, along with the presentation of ot ...
, the second English Parliament of the reign assembled. Dubbed the
Cavalier Parliament The Cavalier Parliament of England lasted from 8 May 1661 until 24 January 1679. It was the longest English Parliament, and longer than any Great British or UK Parliament to date, enduring for nearly 18 years of the quarter-century reign of C ...
, it was overwhelmingly Royalist and Anglican. It sought to discourage non-conformity to the
Church of England The Church of England (C of E) is the established Christian church in England and the mother church of the international Anglican Communion. It traces its history to the Christian church recorded as existing in the Roman province of Britai ...
and passed several acts to secure Anglican dominance. The
Corporation Act 1661 The Corporation Act of 1661 was an Act of the Parliament of England (13 Cha. II. St. 2 c. 1). It belonged to the general category of test acts, designed for the express purpose of restricting public offices in England to members of the Church of ...
required municipal officeholders to swear allegiance; the Act of Uniformity 1662 made the use of the Anglican
Book of Common Prayer The ''Book of Common Prayer'' (BCP) is the name given to a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion and by other Christian churches historically related to Anglicanism. The original book, published in 1549 in the reign ...
compulsory; the
Conventicle Act 1664 The Conventicle Act 1664 was an Act of the Parliament of England (16 Charles II c. 4) that forbade conventicles, defined as religious assemblies of more than five people other than an immediate family, outside the auspices of the Church of E ...
prohibited religious assemblies of more than five people, except under the auspices of the Church of England; and the
Five Mile Act 1665 The Five Mile Act, or Oxford Act, or Nonconformists Act 1665, was an Act of the Parliament of England (17 Charles II c. 2), passed in 1665 with the long title "An Act for restraining Non-Conformists from inhabiting in Corporations". It was one ...
prohibited expelled non-conforming 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 In English history, the penal laws were a series of laws that sought to uphold the establishment of the Church of England against Catholicism and Protestant nonconformists by imposing various forfeitures, civil penalties, and civil disabilities ...
, 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.
Puritanism The Puritans were English Protestants in the 16th and 17th centuries who sought to purify the Church of England of Roman Catholic practices, maintaining that the Church of England had not been fully reformed and should become more Protestant. P ...
lost its momentum. Theatres reopened after having been closed during the protectorship of
Oliver Cromwell Oliver Cromwell (25 April 15993 September 1658) was an English politician and military officer who is widely regarded as one of the most important statesmen in English history. He came to prominence during the 1639 to 1651 Wars of the Three K ...
, and bawdy " Restoration comedy" became a recognisable genre. Theatre licences granted by Charles required that female parts be played by "their natural performers", rather than by boys as was often the practice before; and
Restoration literature Restoration literature is the English literature written during the historical period commonly referred to as the English Restoration (1660–1689), which corresponds to the last years of Stuart reign in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. ...
celebrated or reacted to the restored court, which included libertines such as
John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680) was an English poet and courtier of King Charles II's Restoration court. The Restoration reacted against the "spiritual authoritarianism" of the Puritan era. Rochester embodi ...
. Of Charles II, Wilmot supposedly said: To which Charles is reputed to have replied "that the matter was easily accounted for: For that his discourse was his own, his actions were the ministry's".


Great Plague and Great Fire

In 1665, the
Great Plague of London The Great Plague of London, lasting from 1665 to 1666, was the last major epidemic of the bubonic plague to occur in England. It happened within the centuries-long Second Pandemic, a period of intermittent bubonic plague epidemics that origi ...
began, peaking in September with up to 7,000 deaths per week. Charles, his family, and the court fled London in July to
Salisbury Salisbury ( ) is a cathedral city in Wiltshire, England with a population of 41,820, at the confluence of the rivers Avon, Nadder and Bourne. The city is approximately from Southampton and from Bath. Salisbury is in the southeast of ...
; Parliament met in
Oxford Oxford () is a city in England. It is the county town and only city of Oxfordshire. In 2020, its population was estimated at 151,584. It is north-west of London, south-east of Birmingham and north-east of Bristol. The city is home to the ...
. Plague cases ebbed over the winter, and Charles returned to London in February 1666. After a long spell of hot and dry weather through mid-1666, the Great Fire of London started on 2 September 1666 in
Pudding Lane Pudding Lane is a small street in London, widely known as the location of Thomas Farriner's bakery, where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. It runs between Eastcheap and Thames Street in the historic City of London, and intersects Monum ...
. Fanned by strong winds and fed by wood and fuel stockpiled for winter, the fire destroyed about 13,200 houses and 87 churches, including St Paul's Cathedral. Charles and his brother James joined and directed the firefighting effort. The public blamed Catholic conspirators for the fire.


Foreign policy and marriage

Since 1640,
Portugal Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic ( pt, República Portuguesa, links=yes ), is a country whose mainland is located on the Iberian Peninsula of Southwestern Europe, and whose territory also includes the Atlantic archipelagos of ...
had been fighting a war against Spain to restore its independence after a
dynastic union A dynastic union is a type of union with only two different states that are governed under the same dynasty, with their boundaries, their laws, and their interests remaining distinct from each other. Historical examples Union of Kingdom of Arag ...
of sixty years between the crowns of Spain and Portugal. Portugal had been helped by France, but in the
Treaty of the Pyrenees The Treaty of the Pyrenees (french: Traité des Pyrénées; es, Tratado de los Pirineos; ca, Tractat dels Pirineus) was signed on 7 November 1659 on Pheasant Island, and ended the Franco-Spanish War that had begun in 1635. Negotiations were ...
in 1659 Portugal was abandoned by its French ally. Negotiations with Portugal for Charles's marriage to
Catherine of Braganza Catherine of Braganza ( pt, Catarina de Bragança; 25 November 1638 – 31 December 1705) was Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland during her marriage to King Charles II, which lasted from 21 May 1662 until his death on 6 February 1685. She ...
began during his father's reign and upon the restoration, Queen Luísa of Portugal, acting as regent, reopened negotiations with England that resulted in an alliance. On 23 June 1661, a marriage treaty was signed; England acquired Catherine's
dowry A dowry is a payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower. While bride price or bride service is a payment ...
of
Tangier Tangier ( ; ; ar, طنجة, Ṭanja) is a city in northwestern Morocco. It is on the Moroccan coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. The town is the capi ...
(in North Africa) and the Seven Islands of Bombay (the latter having a major influence on the development of the
British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates, and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom and its predecessor states. It began with the overseas possessions and trading posts e ...
in
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by area, the second-most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the so ...
), together with trading privileges in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At and with over 217 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area ...
and the
East Indies The East Indies (or simply the Indies), is a term used in historical narratives of the Age of Discovery. The Indies refers to various lands in the East or the Eastern hemisphere, particularly the islands and mainlands found in and around ...
, religious and commercial freedom in Portugal and two million Portuguese crowns (about £300,000); while Portugal obtained military and naval support against Spain and liberty of worship for Catherine. Catherine journeyed from Portugal to
Portsmouth Portsmouth ( ) is a port and city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire in southern England. The city of Portsmouth has been a unitary authority since 1 April 1997 and is administered by Portsmouth City Council. Portsmouth is the most dens ...
on 13–14 May 1662, but was not visited by Charles there until 20 May. The next day the couple were married at Portsmouth in two ceremonies—a Catholic one conducted in secret, followed by a public Anglican service. The same year, in an unpopular move, Charles sold Dunkirk to his first cousin King
Louis XIV of France , house = Bourbon , father = Louis XIII , mother = Anne of Austria , birth_date = , birth_place = Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France , death_date = , death_place = Palace of ...
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 The Navigation Acts, or more broadly the Acts of Trade and Navigation, were a long series of English laws that developed, promoted, and regulated English ships, shipping, trade, and commerce between other countries and with its own colonies. The ...
of 1650 had hurt
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () Dutch may also refer to: Places * Dutch, West Virginia, a community in the United States * Pennsylvania Dutch Country People E ...
trade by giving English vessels a monopoly, and had started the
First Dutch War The First Anglo-Dutch War, or simply the First Dutch War, ( nl, Eerste Engelse (zee-)oorlog, "First English (Sea) War"; 1652–1654) was a conflict fought entirely at sea between the navies of the Commonwealth of England and the United Provinces ...
(1652–1654). To lay foundations for a new beginning, envoys of the
States General The word States-General, or Estates-General, may refer to: Currently in use * Estates-General on the Situation and Future of the French Language in Quebec, the name of a commission set up by the government of Quebec on June 29, 2000 * States Gener ...
appeared in November 1660 with the
Dutch Gift The Dutch Gift of 1660 was a collection of 24 mostly Italian Renaissance paintings, four by Dutch Masters, and twelve classical sculptures. The gift was presented to newly-restored King Charles II of England on 16 November by envoys of the Sta ...
. The
Second Dutch War The Second Anglo-Dutch War or the Second Dutch War (4 March 1665 – 31 July 1667; nl, Tweede Engelse Oorlog "Second English War") was a conflict between England and the Dutch Republic partly for control over the seas and trade routes, whe ...
(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 (renamed New York in honour of Charles's brother James, Duke of York) and a victory at the
Battle of Lowestoft The Battle of Lowestoft took place on 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, Lord Obdam attacked an English fleet of equal size comm ...
, but in 1667 the Dutch launched a surprise attack on England (the
Raid on the Medway The Raid on the Medway, during the Second Anglo-Dutch War in June 1667, was a successful attack conducted by the Dutch navy on English warships laid up in the fleet anchorages off Chatham Dockyard and Gillingham in the county of Kent. At t ...
) when they sailed up the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At , it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the R ...
to where a major part of the English fleet was docked. Almost all of the ships were sunk except for the flagship, ''Royal Charles'', which was taken back to the Netherlands as a
prize A prize is an award to be given to a person or a group of people (such as sporting teams and organizations) to recognize and reward their actions and achievements.
. The Second Dutch War ended with the signing of the Treaty of Breda. As a result of the Second Dutch War, Charles dismissed
Lord Clarendon Earl of Clarendon is a title that has been created twice in British history, in 1661 and 1776. The family seat is Holywell House, near Swanmore, Hampshire. First creation of the title The title was created for the first time in the Peera ...
, whom he used as a scapegoat for the war. Clarendon fled to France when impeached for
high treason Treason is the crime of attacking a state authority to which one owes allegiance. This typically includes acts such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplo ...
(which carried the penalty of death). Power passed to five politicians known collectively by a whimsical
acronym An acronym is a word or name formed from the initial components of a longer name or phrase. Acronyms are usually formed from the initial letters of words, as in ''NATO'' (''North Atlantic Treaty Organization''), but sometimes use syllables, as ...
as the
Cabal A cabal is a group of people who are united in some close design, usually to promote their private views or interests in an ideology, a state, or another community, often by intrigue and usually unbeknownst to those who are outside their group. T ...
Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashley (afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury) and
Lauderdale Lauderdale is the valley of the Leader Water (a tributary of the Tweed) in the Scottish Borders. It contains the town of Lauder, as well as Earlston. The valley is traversed from end to end by the A68 trunk road, which runs from Darlington to ...
. 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, to oppose Louis XIV in the
War of Devolution In the 1667 to 1668 War of Devolution (, ), France occupied large parts of the Spanish Netherlands and Franche-Comté, both then provinces of the Holy Roman Empire (and properties of the King of Spain). The name derives from an obscure law know ...
. 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 The Treaty of Dover, also known as the Secret Treaty of Dover, was a treaty between England and France signed at Dover on 1 June 1670. It required that Charles II of England would convert to the Roman Catholic Church at some future date and th ...
, 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 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
East India Company The East India Company (EIC) was an English, and later British, joint-stock company founded in 1600 and dissolved in 1874. It was formed to trade in the Indian Ocean region, initially with the East Indies (the Indian subcontinent and South ...
the rights to autonomous government of its 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 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. It is relevant in three distinct situations: #to regulat ...
over its possessions in the Indies. Earlier in 1668 he leased the islands of
Bombay Mumbai (, ; also known as Bombay — the official name until 1995) is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra and the ''de facto'' financial centre of India. According to the United Nations, as of 2018, Mumbai is the second-m ...
to the company for a nominal sum of £10 paid in gold. The Portuguese territories that Catherine brought with her as a dowry proved too expensive to maintain;
Tangier Tangier ( ; ; ar, طنجة, Ṭanja) is a city in northwestern Morocco. It is on the Moroccan coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel. The town is the capi ...
was abandoned in 1684. In 1670, Charles granted control of the entire Hudson Bay drainage basin to the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian retail business group. A fur trading business for much of its existence, HBC now owns and operates retail stores in Canada. The company's namesake business di ...
by royal charter, and named the territory
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land (french: Terre du Prince Rupert, link=no), was a territory in British North America which comprised the Hudson Bay drainage basin; this was further extended from Rupert's Land t ...
, after his cousin Prince Rupert of the Rhine, 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 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 ...
, in which he purported to suspend all penal laws against Catholics and other religious dissenters. In the same year, he openly supported Catholic France and started the
Third Anglo-Dutch War The Third Anglo-Dutch War ( nl, Derde Engels-Nederlandse Oorlog), 27 March 1672 to 19 February 1674, was a naval conflict between the Dutch Republic and England, in alliance with France. It is considered a subsidiary of the wider 1672 to 1678 ...
. 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 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. The underlying principle was that only people taking communion in ...
, which not only required public officials to receive the sacrament under the forms prescribed by the Church of England, but also later forced them to denounce
transubstantiation Transubstantiation (Latin: ''transubstantiatio''; Greek: μετουσίωσις '' metousiosis'') is, according to the teaching of the Catholic Church, "the change of the whole substance of bread into the substance of the Body of Christ and of ...
and the Catholic Mass as "superstitious and idolatrous". Clifford, who had converted to Catholicism, resigned rather than take the oath, and died shortly after, possibly from suicide. 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 grew, as did opposition towards him and the court. Politicians and peers believed that Charles II favoured a pro-French foreign policy that desired to emulate the absolutist (and Catholic) sovereignty of Louis XIV. In numerous pamphlets and parliamentary speeches between 1675 and 1678, "popery and arbitrary government" were decried for fear of the loss of English liberties and freedoms. Charles's wife Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir; her four pregnancies had ended in miscarriages and stillbirths in 1662, February 1666, May 1668, and June 1669. Charles's
heir presumptive An heir presumptive is the person entitled to inherit a throne, peerage, or other hereditary honour, but whose position can be displaced by the birth of an heir apparent or a new heir presumptive with a better claim to the position in question. ...
was therefore his unpopular Catholic brother, James, Duke of York. Partly to assuage public fears that the royal family was too Catholic, Charles agreed that James's daughter,
Mary Mary may refer to: People * Mary (name), a feminine given name (includes a list of people with the name) Religious contexts * New Testament people named Mary, overview article linking to many of those below * Mary, mother of Jesus, also calle ...
, should marry the Protestant William of Orange. In 1678,
Titus Oates Titus Oates (15 September 1649 – 12/13 July 1705) was an English priest who fabricated the "Popish Plot", a supposed Catholic conspiracy to kill King Charles II. Early life Titus Oates was born at Oakham in Rutland. His father Samuel (1610� ...
, who had been alternately an Anglican and Jesuit priest, falsely warned of a " Popish Plot" 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 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, Danby was impeached by the House of Commons on the charge of
high treason Treason is the crime of attacking a state authority to which one owes allegiance. This typically includes acts such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplo ...
. Although much of the nation had sought war with Catholic France, Charles had secretly negotiated with
Louis XIV , house = Bourbon , father = Louis XIII , mother = Anne of Austria , birth_date = , birth_place = Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France , death_date = , death_place = Palace of Ver ...
, trying to reach an agreement under which England would remain neutral in return for money. 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 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, Danby resigned his post of
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 Acts of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third-highest-ranked Great Officer of State in ...
, 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 The House of Lords, also known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is by appointment, heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminste ...
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 Danby to the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially His Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, which is sep ...
, in which he was held for another five years.


Science

In Charles's early childhood, William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle, was governor of the royal household and Brian Duppa, the Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, was his tutor. Neither man thought that the study of science subjects was appropriate for a future king, and Newcastle even advised against studying any subject too seriously. However, as Charles grew older, the renowned surgeon William Harvey was appointed his tutor. He was famous for his work on blood circulation in the human body and already held the position of physician to Charles I; his studies were to influence Charles's own attitude to science. As the king's chief physician, Harvey accompanied Charles I to the
Battle of Edgehill The Battle of Edgehill (or Edge Hill) was a pitched battle of the First English Civil War. It was fought near Edge Hill and Kineton in southern Warwickshire on Sunday, 23 October 1642. All attempts at constitutional compromise between ...
and, although some details are uncertain, he had charge of Prince Charles and the Duke of York in the morning but the two boys were back with the king for the start of battle.Scott C.L.,Turton A., von Arni E.G., "Edgehill – The Battle Reinterpreted", Pen & Sword Books, 2004.Clarke J.S., "The Life Times of James II, King of England", Vol. 1, Longman, London, 1816 Later in the afternoon, with their father concerned for their safety, the two princes left the battlefield accompanied by Sir W. Howard and his pensioners. During his exile, in France, Charles continued his education, including physics, chemistry and mathematics. His tutors included the cleric John Earle (bishop), John Earle, well known for his satirical book ''Microcosmographie'', with whom he studied Latin and Greek, and Thomas Hobbes, the philosopher and author of ''Leviathan'', with whom he studied mathematics. In France, Charles assisted his childhood friend, the Earl of Buckingham, with his experiments in chemistry and alchemy, with the Earl convinced he was close to producing the philosopher's stone. Although some of Charles's studies, while abroad, may have helped to pass the time, on his return to England he was already knowledgeable in the mathematics of navigation and was a competent chemist. Such was his knowledge of Naval Architecture that he was able to participate in technical discussions on the subject with Samuel Pepys, William Petty and John Evelyn. The new concepts and discoveries being found at this time fascinated Charles, not only in science and medicine, but in topics such as botany and gardening. A French traveller, Sorbier, while visiting the English court, was astonished by the extent of the king's knowledge. As king, Charles now freely indulged in his many interests, including astronomy, which had been stimulated by a visit to Gresham College, in October 1660, to see the telescopes made by the astronomer Sir Paul Neile. Charles was so impressed by what he saw that he ordered his own 36' telescope which he had installed in the Privy Garden, at Whitehall. The king would invite his friends and acquaintances to view the heavens through his new telescope and, in May 1661, John Evelyn describes his visit to the Garden, with several other scientists, to view Saturn's rings. Charles also had a laboratory installed, in Whitehall, with easy access to his bedroom.Ashley M., "England in the Seventeenth Century", Penguin, London, 1958, p. 153 There, he carried out experiments of his own,Spratt T., "The History of the Royal Society of London", pub. Royal Society, London, 1667 or observed those carried out by his staff. From the beginning of his reign, Charles appointed experts to assist him in his scientific pursuits. These included: Timothy Clarke a celebrated anatomist, who performed some dissections for the king; Robert Morison as his chief botanist (Charles had his own botanical garden); Edmund Dickinson, a chemist and alchemist, who was tasked with carrying out experiments in the king's laboratory; Sir Thomas Williams, who was skillful in compounding and inventing medicines, some of which were prepared in the royal presence; and Nicasius le Febure (or Nicolas LeFevre), who was invited to England, as royal professor of chemistry and apothecary to the king's household, (Evelyn records visiting his laboratory with the king). Sir Christopher Wren, who was to become the king's Chief Architect, constructed a detailed model of the moon which he presented, in May 1661, to a delighted king. In addition to his many other interests, the king was fascinated by clock mechanisms and had clocks distributed all around Whitehall, including seven of them in his bedroom. Robert Bruce, 1st Earl of Ailesbury, Robert Bruce (later to become the Earl of Ailesbury), a Gentleman of the Bedchamber, complained that the continual noise of the clocks chiming disturbed his sleep, whenever it was necessary for him to stay close by to the king.Crawfurd R., "The Last Days of Charles II", Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1909 Also, Charles had a sundial installed in the Privy Garden, by which he could set his personal pocket watch. (For a while, the king personally recorded the performance of the latest spring-balance watch, presented to him by Robert Hooke.Jardine L., "The Curious Life of Robert Hooke", Harper Perennial, London 2003, p.202) In 1662, Charles was pleased to grant a royal charter to a group of scientists and others who had established a formal society in 1660 to give a more academic and learned approach to science and to conduct experiments in physics and mathematics.Ashley M.,"England in the Seventeenth Century", Penguin, London, 1958Purver M., "The Royal Society, Concept and Creation", Routledge and Kegan Paul, London 1967 Sir Robert Moray, a member of Charles's court, played an important part in achieving this outcome, and he was to be the first president of this new Royal Society. Over the years, Moray was an important go-between for Charles and the Society, and his standing with the king was so high that he was given access to the royal laboratory to perform his own experiments there. Initially, Charles showed interest in the activities of the new society, where Robert Hooke, and others, gave weekly demonstrations, and it was expected he would soon attend a meeting. On 1 July 1663, a special sub-committee was set up, to meet weekly, to prepare for the King's visit. However, after several months and many meetings, preparing for the visit, the King had still not attended. Even so, on 7 December 1663, in renewed anticipation of a visit, Hooke was moved in to permanent residence, at Wadham House, for a fee of £20 p.a., to be on hand to perform demonstrations for the king. In fact, Charles never did attend a Society meeting, but he remained aware of the activities there from his discussions with Society members, especially Morey. In addition, Robert Boyle gave him a private viewing of the Boyle/Hooke air-pump, which was used at many of the Wednesday meetings. However, Charles preferred experiments which had an immediate practical outcome and he laughed at the efforts of the Society members "to weigh air". He seemed unable to grasp the significance of the basic laws of physics being established at that time, including Boyle's Law and Hooke's Law and the concept of atmospheric pressure and the barometer and the importance of air for the support of life. Although Charles lost interest in the activities of the society, he continued to support scientific and commercial endeavours. He founded the Mathematical School at Christ's Hospital in 1673 and, two years later, following concerns over French advances in astronomy, he founded the Royal Observatory, Greenwich, Royal Observatory at Greenwich. He maintained an interest in chemistry and regularly visited his private laboratory. There, dissections were occasionally carried out, and observed by the king. Samuel Pepys noted in his diary that on the morning of Friday, 15 January 1669, while he was walking to Whitehall, he met the king who invited him to view his chemistry laboratory. Pepys's scientific knowledge was not great and he confessed to finding what he saw there beyond him. Charles developed painful gout in later life which limited the daily walks that he took regularly when younger. His keenness was now channelled to his laboratory where he would devote himself to his experiments, for hours at a time, sometimes helped by Robert Moray. Charles was particularly interested in alchemy, which he had first encountered many years earlier, during his exile with the Duke of Buckingham. The practices and beliefs of alchemy, especially regarding the transmutation of metals, were widely held in Charles's time.Cobb C., Fetterolf M. L. and Goldwhite H., "The Chemistry of Alchemy", Prometheus Books, N.Y., 2014, see: George Starkey Particularly popular were the teachings of Jabir ibn Hayyan, Geber who advocated that all metals could be derived from sulphur and mercury, according to the proportions used. Influenced by this theory, Charles resumed his experiments with mercury and would spend whole mornings attempting to distill it. Heating mercury in an open crucible releases mercury vapour, which is toxic and may have contributed to his later ill health. However, Charles was not alone in suffering from the effects of mercury poisoning as a number of his contemporaries, also alchemists, showed the symptoms of mercury poisoning in later life, including Buckingham, Isaac Newton, George Starkey, and Evelyn's manservant Richard Hoare.


Later years

Charles faced a political storm over his brother James, a Catholic, being next in line to the throne. The prospect of a Catholic monarch was vehemently opposed by Anthony Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury (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, which sought to exclude the Duke of York from the Succession to the British throne, line of succession. Some even sought to confer the Crown on the Protestant
Duke of Monmouth Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalty or nobility, they are ranke ...
, the eldest of Charles's illegitimate children. The ''Abhorrers''—those who thought the Exclusion Bill was abhorrent—were named Tory, Tories (after a term for dispossessed Irish Catholic bandits), while the ''Petitioners''—those who supported a petitioning campaign in favour of the Exclusion Bill—were called British Whig Party, Whigs (after a term for rebellious Scottish Presbyterians).


Absolute monarch

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 mid-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. Lord Shaftesbury was prosecuted (albeit unsuccessfully) for treason in 1681 and later 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 The Rye House Plot of 1683 was a plan to assassinate King Charles II of England and his brother (and heir to the throne) James, Duke of York. The royal party went from Westminster to Newmarket to see horse races and were expected to make the ...
, a plan to murder him and the Duke of York as they returned to London after horse races in Newmarket, Suffolk, 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 the Arthur Capell, 1st Earl of Essex, Earl of Essex, Algernon Sydney, William Russell, Lord Russell, Lord Russell and the Duke of Monmouth were implicated in the plot. 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. Thus through the last years of Charles's reign, his approach towards his opponents changed, and he was compared by Whigs to the contemporary Louis XIV, Louis XIV of France, with his form of government in those years termed "slavery". Many of them were prosecuted and their estates seized, with Charles replacing judges and sheriffs at will and packing juries to achieve conviction. To destroy opposition in London, Charles first disenfranchised many Whigs in the 1682 municipal elections, and in 1683 the Ancient borough#Charters of incorporation, London charter was forfeited. In retrospect, the use of the judicial system by Charles (and later his brother and heir James) as a tool against opposition, helped establish the idea of separation of powers between the judiciary and the Crown in Whig thought.


Death

Charles suffered a sudden apoplectic fit on the morning of 2 February 1685, and died aged 54 at 11:45 am, four days later, at the Palace of Whitehall. The suddenness of his illness and death led to suspicion of poison in the minds of many, including one of the royal doctors; however, a more modern medical analysis has held that the symptoms of his final illness are similar to those of uremia, uraemia (a clinical syndrome due to kidney dysfunction). Charles had a laboratory among his many interests, where prior to his illness he had been experimenting with mercury (element), mercury. Mercuric poisoning can produce irreversible kidney damage; but the case for this being a cause of his death is unproven. In the days between his collapse and his death, Charles endured a variety of torturous treatments including bloodletting, purging and Cupping therapy, cupping in hopes of effecting a recovery, which may have exacerbated his uraemia through dehydration instead of helping alleviate it. On his deathbed Charles asked his brother, James, to look after his mistresses: "be well to Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, and let not poor Nell Gwyn, Nelly starve". He told his courtiers, "I am sorry, gentlemen, for being such a time a-dying", and expressed regret at his treatment of his wife. On the last evening of his life he was received into the Catholic Church in the presence of Father John Huddleston, 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 "without any manner of pomp" on 14 February. Charles was succeeded by his brother James II and VII.


Legacy

The escapades of Charles after his defeat at the
Battle of Worcester The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651 in and around the city of Worcester, England and was the last major battle of the 1639 to 1653 Wars of the Three Kingdoms. A Parliamentarian army of around 28,000 under Oliver Cromwell d ...
remained important to him throughout his life. He delighted and bored listeners with tales of his escape for many years. Numerous accounts of his adventures were published, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the Restoration. Though not averse to his escape being ascribed to divine providence, Charles himself seems to have delighted most in his ability to sustain his disguise as a man of ordinary origins, and to move unrecognised through his realm. Ironic and cynical, Charles took pleasure in retailing stories which demonstrated the undetectable nature of any inherent majesty he possessed. Charles had no legitimate children, but acknowledged a dozen by seven mistresses, including five by Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, Barbara Villiers, Lady Castlemaine, for whom the Duke of Cleveland, Dukedom of Cleveland was created. His other mistresses included Moll Davis, Nell Gwyn, Elizabeth Killigrew, Viscountess Shannon, Elizabeth Killigrew, Catherine Pegge,
Lucy Walter Lucy Walter (c. 1630 – 1658), also known as Lucy Barlow, was a Welsh noblewoman, the first mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James, Duke of Monmouth. During the Exclusion Crisis, a Protestant faction wanted to make her son h ...
and Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth. As a result, in his lifetime he was often nicknamed "Old Rowley", the name of his favourite racehorse, notable as a stallion. His subjects resented paying taxes that were spent on his mistresses and their children, many of whom received dukedoms or earldoms. The present Duke of Buccleuch, Dukes of Buccleuch, Duke of Richmond, Richmond, Duke of Grafton, Grafton and Duke of St Albans, St Albans descend from Charles in unbroken male line. Diana, Princess of Wales, was descended from two of Charles's illegitimate sons: the Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, Dukes of Grafton and Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, Richmond. Diana's son, William, Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, is likely to be the first British monarch descended from Charles II. Charles's eldest son, the James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, Duke of Monmouth, led a rebellion against James II, but was defeated at the Battle of Sedgemoor on 6 July 1685, captured and executed. James was eventually dethroned in 1688, in the course of the Glorious Revolution. In the words of his contemporary John Evelyn, "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 (1 April 1647 – 26 July 1680) was an English poet and courtier of King Charles II's Restoration court. The Restoration reacted against the "spiritual authoritarianism" of the Puritan era. Rochester embodi ...
, wrote more lewdly of Charles: 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. Professor Ronald Hutton summarises a polarised historiography: Hutton says Charles was a popular king in his own day and a "legendary figure" in British history. The anniversary of the English Restoration, Restoration (which was also Charles's birthday)—29 May—was recognised in England until the mid-nineteenth century as Oak Apple Day, 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 Cultural depictions of Charles II of England, depicted extensively in art, literature and media. Charleston, South Carolina, and South Kingstown, Rhode Island, are named after him.


Titles, styles, honours and arms


Titles and styles

The official style (manner of address), style of Charles II was "Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, List of monarchs of England, King of England, List of Monarchs of Scotland, Scotland, English Kings of France, France and
Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean, in Northwestern Europe, north-western Europe. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel (Grea ...
, Fidei defensor, Defender of the Faith, etc." The English claims to the French throne, claim to France was only nominal, and had been asserted by every English monarch since Edward III of England, Edward III, regardless of the amount of French territory actually controlled.


Honours

* KG: Order of the Garter, Knight of the Garter, ''21 May 1638''


Arms

Charles's Coat of arms of the Prince of Wales, coat of arms as Prince of Wales was the Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, royal arms (which he later inherited), differenced by a Label (heraldry), label of three points Argent. His arms as monarch were: Quartering (heraldry), Quarterly, I and IV Grandquarterly, Azure (heraldry), Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (heraldry), Or (for France) and Gules three lions Attitude (heraldry)#Passant, passant guardant in Pale (heraldry), pale Or (Royal Arms of England, for England); II Or a lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules (Royal coat of arms of Scotland, for Scotland); III Azure a harp Or stringed Argent (Coat of arms of Ireland, for Ireland).


Issue

By
Lucy Walter Lucy Walter (c. 1630 – 1658), also known as Lucy Barlow, was a Welsh noblewoman, the first mistress of King Charles II of England and mother of James, Duke of Monmouth. During the Exclusion Crisis, a Protestant faction wanted to make her son h ...
(c. 1630 – 1658): * James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, James Crofts, later Scott (1649–1685), created
Duke of Monmouth Duke is a male title either of a monarch ruling over a duchy, or of a member of royalty, or nobility. As rulers, dukes are ranked below emperors, kings, grand princes, grand dukes, and sovereign princes. As royalty or nobility, they are ranke ...
(1663) in England and
Duke of Buccleuch Duke of Buccleuch (pronounced ), formerly also spelt Duke of Buccleugh, is a title in the Peerage of Scotland created twice on 20 April 1663, first for James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth and second suo jure for his wife Anne Scott, 4th Cou ...
(1663) in Scotland. 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, Viscountess Shannon, Elizabeth Killigrew (1622–1680), daughter of Sir Robert Killigrew, married Francis Boyle, 1st Viscount Shannon, in 1660: * Charlotte FitzRoy, Countess of Yarmouth, Charlotte Jemima Henrietta Maria FitzRoy (1650–1684), married firstly James Howard (dramatist), James Howard and secondly William Paston, 2nd Earl of Yarmouth By Catherine Pegge: * Charles FitzCharles, 1st Earl of Plymouth, Charles FitzCharles (1657–1680), known as "Don Carlo", created Earl of Plymouth (1675) * Catherine FitzCharles (born 1658; she either died young or became a nun at Dunkirk) By Barbara Palmer, 1st Duchess of Cleveland, Barbara Villiers (1641–1709), wife of Roger Palmer, 1st Earl of Castlemaine, and created Duke of Cleveland, Duchess of Cleveland in her own right: * Anne Lennard, Countess of Sussex, Lady Anne Palmer (Fitzroy) (1661–1722), married Thomas Lennard, 1st Earl of Sussex. She may have been the daughter of Roger Palmer, but Charles accepted her. * Charles FitzRoy, 2nd Duke of Cleveland, Charles Fitzroy (1662–1730), created Duke of Southampton (1675), became 2nd Duke of Cleveland (1709) * Henry FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Grafton, Henry Fitzroy (1663–1690), created Earl of Euston (1672), Duke of Grafton (1675) * Charlotte Lee, Countess of Lichfield, Charlotte Fitzroy (1664–1717), married Edward Lee, 1st Earl of Lichfield * George FitzRoy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, George Fitzroy (1665–1716), created Earl of Northumberland (1674), Duke of Northumberland (1678) * (Lady Barbara FitzRoy, Barbara (Benedicta) Fitzroy (1672–1737) – She was probably the child of John Churchill, later Dukes of Marlborough, Duke of Marlborough, who was another of Cleveland's many lovers, and was never acknowledged by Charles as his own daughter.) By Nell Gwyn (1650–1687): * Charles Beauclerk, 1st Duke of St Albans, Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726), created Duke of St Albans (1684) * James, Lord Beauclerk (1671–1680) By Louise de Kérouaille, Duchess of Portsmouth, Louise Renée de Penancoet de Kérouaille (1649–1734), created Duke of Portsmouth, Duchess of Portsmouth in her own right (1673): * Charles Lennox, 1st Duke of Richmond, Charles Lennox (1672–1723), created Duke of Richmond (1675) in England and Duke of Lennox (1675) in Scotland. By Moll Davis, Mary 'Moll' Davis, courtesan and actress of repute: * Lady Mary Tudor (1673–1726), married Edward Radclyffe, 2nd Earl of Derwentwater; after Edward's death, she married Henry Graham (of Levens), and upon his death she married James Rooke. Other probable mistresses include: * Christabella Wyndham * Hortense Mancini, Duchess of Mazarin * Winifred Wells – one of Queen Catherine's Maids of Honour; . * Jane Roberts – the daughter of a clergyman * Mrs Knight – a famous singer * Elizabeth, Countess of Falmouth, Elizabeth Berkeley, née Bagot, Dowager Countess of Falmouth – the widow of Charles Berkeley, 1st Earl of Falmouth * Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Earl of Kildare, Countess of Kildare Letters claiming that Marguerite or Margaret de Carteret bore Charles a son named James de la Cloche in 1646 are dismissed by historians as forgeries.; .


Genealogical table


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * . Dictated in 1680. * *


External links

* * , - , - , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Charles 02 Of England Charles II of England, 1630 births 1685 deaths 17th-century English monarchs 17th-century English nobility 17th-century Irish monarchs 17th-century Scottish monarchs 17th-century Scottish peers British expatriates in the Dutch Republic Burials at Westminster Abbey Children of Charles I of England Converts to Roman Catholicism from Anglicanism Dukes of Cornwall Dukes of Rothesay English pretenders to the French throne English Roman Catholics Fellows of the Royal Society High Stewards of Scotland House of Stuart Knights of the Garter Lord High Admirals of England People from Westminster People of the English Civil War Princes of England Princes of Scotland Princes of Wales Sons of kings