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★ Charles II & Charles the Second

Charles II & Charles the Second: see Charles I & English Civil Wars & England & Monarchy & Cromwell & James II

Days that Shook the World TV - Simon Schama TV - David Starkey TV - Jeremy Black: The English Civil War TV - Steve Pickstock - Lucy Worsley TV - Daniel Defoe - John Wilmot - Algernon Sydney - Charles II - Private Lives of the Monarchs TV - Clare Jackson TV - Royal Kill List TV -    

 

 

 

After Charles II was reinstated in 1660 Cromwellians like Blood quickly lost favour.  He began to plot against the new royalist regime.  Days that Shook the World s2e4: Grand Heist, BBC 2003

 

King Charles considers Blood’s appeal ... He signs Blood’s pardon.  ibid.

 

 

The irony about the restoration of Charles II was that he came to the throne not because England needed a successor to Charles I, he came to the Throne because England needed a successor for Oliver Cromwell.  Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Revolutions, BBC 2000

 

 

Charles [II] was proclaimed by both houses.  Monarchy by David Starkey s2e5: Cromwell the King Killer, Channel 4 2005  

 

 

Charles II … He famously fathered seventeen bastards by a plethora of mistresses.  Monarchy by David Starkey s3e1: The Return of the King

 

He invoked his royal power to dispense the law in favour of both Catholics and non-Anglican Protestants ... The House of Commons, with its hardline Anglican majority, refused the King point blank.  ibid.

 

The elected returned parliaments in 1679 and again in 1680 in which there was a clear majority for Jamess exclusion.  Charles would have to fight for his brothers right to the throne.  And with it for the very idea of hereditary monarchy itself ... Faced with two successive parliaments in which there had been a clear majority for the exclusion from the crown of his brother James, Charles dissolved them both.  ibid.

 

The Church of England now condemned all the doctrines of Whigism as false, seditious and impious, and declared most of them heretical and blasphemous as well.  ibid.

 

 

A new parliament was elected.  And their first Act was to invite Prince Charles back from the Low Countries to rule as Charles II.  Jeremy Black: The English Civil War IV: The Shadow of the Scaffold, BBC 2001

 

For the restoration of the Stuart dynasty would prove merely an interlude.  And the Glorious Revolution of 1668 restored many of the values of the protectorate.  ibid.

 

 

The Scots realised they had probably swapped one king for another at this point.  And this was exploited by Charles II.  Steve Pickstock

 

 

I’m going to meet the women at the top of the tree – at Charles II’s court.  These women were intimately connected with the king.  Dr Lucy Worsley, Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls I: Act One: At Court, BBC 2012

 

Women like Barbara were able to exploit his human weaknesses – she could hope to win as much power as any male government minister.  A royal mistress like Barbara could take on the political establishment.  ibid.

 

The mistress was embedded in the very heart of the court.  ibid.

 

The rise of the career mistress brought with it endless intrigue.  ibid.

 

 

Nell Gwyn ... a mistress of Charles II.  Dr Lucy Worsley, Harlots, Housewives and Heroines: A 17th Century History for Girls III: Act Three: At Work and at Play

 

 

The royal refugee our breed restores
With foreign courtiers and with foreign whores,
And carefully repeopled us again,
Throughout his lazy, long, lascivious reign.  Daniel Defoe, The True-Born Englishman 

 

 

God bless our good and gracious King,

Whose promise none relies on;

Who never did a foolish thing,

Nor ever did a wise one.  John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

 

 

If his Majesty is resolved to have my head, he may make a whistle of my arse if he pleases.  Algernon Sydney, cited Joe Millers Jests, 1739 

 

 

I always admired virtue – but I could never imitate it.  Charles II

 

 

How did Charles II become more famous for his sexual adventures than for performing his royal duties?  Private Lives of the Monarchs s1e4: Charles II, 2017

 

‘He was feckless, he was slothful and he was lewd in his behaviour.’  ibid.

 

William Chiffinch: royal page, keeper of the closet, otherwise known as royal pimpmaster.  ibid. 

 

Diseases like syphilis were rife at court.  ibid.  

 

 

Seven years after his restoration serious questions were being raised about the competence of Charles as king.  Dr Clare Jackson, The Stuarts III: A Family at War, BBC 2018

 

 

London 30th January 1959: After 7 years of Civil War the King’s forces are defeated.  Republican MPs sign a document that will change England forever: the death warrant of King Charles I.  Royal Kill List I: The Death Warrant, Sky Showcase 2024

 

This is unheard of: it’s the first and only time in British history a reigning monarch has been executed.  ibid.   

 

This is Charles Stuart [II].  He has lost his country, his crown and now his father.  Isolated in exile he writes a vow.  ibid.  

 

Suddenly, the return that seemed impossible is now possible.

 

He [James, brother] wants Charles to go on a killing spree to intimidate his enemies.      

 

This is a time of deep suspicion.  Angels and devils walk the Earth.  

 

Harrison’s arrest sends a shockwave through the Republicans.  ibid.  

 

As a king [Charles II], he’s a fucking rock star.  ibid. 

 

All he has to do is find them and kill them.  ibid.

 

Charles has decided what kind of king he will be.  ibid.

 

 

London 1660: Royalist agents have uncovered a plot to assassinate the King.  Royal Kill List II: Chose & Rebellion     

 

Charles has been on the throne for less than a year.  In public he’s towing the line and working with parliament but behind closed doors he’s taking matters into his own hands.  ibid.

 

London has erupted in violence.  Fifth Monarchists, a sect of religious fanatics, terrorise the streets.  ibid.

 

With the coronation coming up, costs are spiralling out of control.  ibid.   

 

Charles has a bold new idea: what if it’s not just the regicides he’s targeting but their republican friends.  ibid.

 

Those with ideas he doesn’t like  that’s most of the bloody country.  ibid.  

 

Troops easily dispel the mourners but Charles is feeling slighted.  ibid.

 

 

Power corrupts.  And absolute power is even better.  Royal Kill List III      

 

Finally, he’ll have the money to be free from parliament to rule without restraint.  ibid.  

 

Edmund Ludlow has been spotted in Vevey, Switzerland.  A spot of hunting is in order.  Regicides are in season.  ibid.      

 

Is it any wonder many believe Charles is the devil incarnate?  ibid.

 

On 10th June Dutch soldiers land on English soil less than 50 miles from London which lies undefended … Much better to have a weak king than a strong republic.  ibid.

 

Flush with Louis’ secret money, Charles prorogues parliament to prevent it from sitting.  ibid.

 

When Charles dies, the hunt for the regicides dies with him.  ibid.