Stuart Monarchy

The Tudor line ended with Queen Elizabeth I as the King of Scotland succeeded her as King James I of England.

His conception of the royal power was none the less elevated.  He being highly educated, and considered himself the philosopher or theologian of absolute monarchy.

Since James protected Anglicanism, which enjoyed submission to the King’s will, Catholic conspirators placed barrels of gunpowder in the cellars of Westminster.  The Gunpowder Plot was discovered, and all those who took part were executed.  This enflamed public opinion against Rome, and anti-Catholic measures were put in place.  More dangerous than the Catholics were extreme Protestants.

Although many early Puritans, as they came to be known, remained inside the Anglican Church, distinguished by their piety and simplicity of life, others had already begun to show extremes of sectarian fanaticism.  The most determined among them asserted that nobody and nothing should stand between man and God.

While Puritanism gave its blessing to individual enterprises, the king sold monopolies to raise money, for he proved a poor housekeeper, and was continually in debt.

Money had to be obtained; Titles of nobility were sold, taxes placed on wood, wine and leather.  He was at loggerheads with Parliament.  When King James I died in 1625, the state of the Kingdom lay in tatters, the future of the ruling house unsettled, and the future of the Stuarts uncertain.

King James I:  James I was born on the 19th June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, to parents Mary Queen of Scots and Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley.  On the 29th July 1567, crowned King James VI of Scotland, after his mother Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the throne in favour of her son.  On the 24th July 1603, ascended to the English throne following the death of Queen Elizabeth I, and on the 25th July, crowned King James I of England.

James united the crowns of England and Scotland.  In 1606, James created the Union Jack flag, consisting of the flag of St.Andrew, St.Partick for Ireland and the cross of St.George for England.

King Henry VIII had commissioned the Great Bible translation in 1535 and the Bishop’s Bible in 1568.  These were replaced in 1611, by the King James Bible commissioned by James I, and still in use to this day.

James believed that King’s took their authority from God, but accepted his actions were subject to the laws of the land.  He was often in dispute with Parliament, over royal finances, as his predecessors had been, before him and would be in the future.

King James I of England who also reigned as King James VI of Scotland died on the 27th March 1625 at Theobald’s Park and was buried in Westminster Abbey.

King Charles I:  Charles I was born on the 19th November 1600, at Dunfermline Palace, Scotland to parents King James I (VI of Scotland) and Anne of Denmark.

On the 27th March 1625, his father King James I died, and he ascended to the English throne.  On the 2nd February 1626, he was crowned King Charles I of England at Westminster Abbey.

His twenty-four year reign as England’s King, saw much conflict with the government, civil unrest by his people, civil war and his own execution on the 30th January 1649 in Whitehall.

An act of Parliament was passed, on the 30th January 1649, forbidding the automatic succession of his son.  On the 7th February, the office of the King had been abolished.

On the 9th February 1649, he was buried in Henry VIII’s vault, in St.George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Oliver Cromwell – Lord Protector:  With the overthrow of the government and the execution of the King, power was passed to Oliver Cromwell, who became known as the “Lord Protector.”

Oliver Cromwell was born on the 25th April 1599 in Huntingdon to parents Robert Cromwell and Elizabeth Steward.

On the 18th May 1649, an Act was passed, which declared that England was a Commonwealth, governed by a council, appointed by Parliament.

On the 16th December, a reluctant Oliver Cromwell, becomes Lord Protector of England’s Commonwealth.  In the eyes of the people, Cromwell was now King of England, in all but name. 

Cromwell was nothing short of a puritanical religious zealot who became nothing short of a dictator.  He was instrumental in the genocide of thousands of Scottish and Irish Catholics.

By the time of his death on the 3rd September 1658, the people of England, Scotland and Ireland were glad to be rid of him.

Richard Cromwell – Lord Protector:  Without Oliver Cromwell, the head of England’s Republic, England’s Commonwealth, and the country gradually slipped into chaos, with his son Richard Cromwell as the new Lord Protector at its helm.

The Parliamentarians who had elected Oliver Cromwell to the post of Lord Protector, crossed swords with Richard Cromwell over his harsh treatment of the army and government.  Just nine months later, Parliament ousted him.

Richard was placed under house arrest at Whitehall Palace.  The remaining members of the old Rump Parliament were recalled, and on the 14th May the House of Commons formally destroyed Richards seal, as Lord Protector.

Parliament treated him with honour, paying off his debts, granting him a pension, upon his resignation as Lord Protector in 1659.

In the summer of 1660, Richard left his family and fled into exile on the continent until 1680, when he returned, living in Cheshunt, Herfordshire under the assumed name of John Clarke until his death in 1712.

King Charles II:  King Charles II was born on the 29th May 1630, at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta Maria.  He ascended to the English throne on the 29th May 1660, by invitation from Parliament, and was crowned King Charles II of England, on the 23rd April 1661 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1664 English forces seized the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, and renamed it; New York.  In 1666 the forces of France and Denmark assisted the Dutch, and in 1667, Dutch forces laid siege to England, capturing the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and the sinking of three other ships on the River Medway.  Peace talks commenced in the latter part of 1667.

In 1665, the plague (Black Death) struck England, and some 200,000 are known to have lost their lives in London.  This was followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, destroying 13,500 houses, 87 churches, and sixteen people lost their lives.

Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild much of London, including St.Paul’s Cathedral.

On the 6th February 1685, King Charles II converted to Catholicism, a deathbed conversion, and died at Whitehall Palace, and  buried at Westminster Abbey.

King James II:  James II was born on the 14th October 1633 at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta, and the last Catholic Monarch of England, to have secretly converted to Catholicism.  He grew up in exile, first in Holland then in France, and served in the French and Spanish forces.

Following Cromwell’s death, and the restoration on the monarchy, when his brother had taken his rightful place as King of England, James returned to England, and was appointed by his brother; King Charles II as Lord High Admiral, and commanded the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Dutch conflict.

In 1673, Parliament not wanting a Catholic successor to the English throne passed the “Test Act” which excluded Catholics from political office.

In 1679, an Exclusion Bill was introduced into Parliament, adding James II, as a practising Catholic, to those excluded from holding political office… Parliament did not want a Catholic King… Charles responded by dissolving Parliament.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and James ascended to the English throne, and crowned King James II of England on the 23rd April at Westminster Abbey.

In 1688, James believed in his “Divine Right as King” and believed he had absolute power over his kingdom.  He issued the “Declaration of Indulgence,” thus suspending all laws against Catholic’s.  He went further still, by promoting Catholic supporters within Parliament.

His daughter Mary married William of Orange of the Netherlands.  William of Orange, son-in-law to James II was invited to England by leading statesman to restore English liberties; Protestantism and Democracy.

William of Orange landed at Torbay on the 5th November 1688, in 463 ships with no opposition from the English Royal Navy.  His army of 14,000 men grew to 20,000 men by the time they reached London.

James tossed the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames… he had abdicated his position as England’s King, and went into exile in France.

James II lived the rest of his life in exile, until he died on the 6th September 1701, at St.Germain-en-laye in France, and buried at the Chateau de Saint Germain-en-laye.

King William III and Queen Mary II:  William Henry Stuart was born on the 14th November 1650 in the Hague, Netherlands to parents William II of Orange and Mary Stuart.  Mary was born on the 30th April 1662 at St.James Palace, London to parents James II and Anne Hyde.  William Henry Stuart (William III of Orange) married Mary II in 1677.

In 1689 Parliament declared to England, that King James II had abdicated his position as King of England.  His daughter Mary and husband William of Orange were crowned; King William III and Queen Mary II of England, on the 11th April 1689 at Westminster Abbey.

After the joint Coronation at Westminster Abbey on the 11th April 1689, King William III and Queen Mary II became the only British monarchs to have joint sovereignty and equal powers.  Their reign is probably best remembered for the 1658 Revolution, signing of the English Bill of Rights in 1689, and stamp duty in 1694, which saw the end of absolute monarchy and more power for Parliament.  Their combined reign oversaw the beginning of the Scottish Jacobite Rebellion of 1689.

In 1689, a “Declaration of Rights,” had been drawn up by Parliament, thus limiting the monarch’s power, and control of legislation, and taxes came under Parliament.

Queen Mary II dies of smallpox in 1694, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.  Mary’s untimely death left William bereft and he reigned alone for the next twelve years.

William forms alliances between England, Holland and Austria, preventing a union of French and Spanish crowns in 1701.

King William III dies on the 8th March 1702 at Kensington Palace, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

Queen Anne:  Anne Stuart was born on the 6th February 1665 at St.James Palace, London, to parents James II and Anne Hyde, and when King William III died on the 8th March 1702, Anne Stuart ascended to the English throne, and was crowned Queen Anne of England on the 23rd April 1702 at Westminster Abbey.

On the 1st May 1707, the “Act of Union” unites England and Scotland, with the seat of government for both countries, firmly set in London.  From that day forth the two countries were known as Great Britain.

Queen Anne died on the 1st August 1714 at Kensington Palace, London and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Husband of Queen Anne: George of Denmark…

George was born on the 2nd April 1653, in Copenhagen, to parents King Frederick III of Denmark and Sophie Amelie of Brunswick-Lueneburg.  He was well educated and received military training, before undertaking a tour of Europe, spending time in France and England in 1668-69.

In 1670, his father died, and the Danish throne went to his oldest brother; Christian.

In 1674, King Louis XIV of France, proposed him as an ideal candidate for the position, King of Poland.  George refused on the grounds, he was not prepared to surrender his Lutheran faith, and fortunately Catholic Poland would not accept a Protestant Monarch.

King Charles II of England was on the lookout for a husband, for Princess Anne, the daughter of James, the Duke of York, who would become King James II.

Prince George, a known Protestant, would be an acceptable candidate for the post.

Prince George and Princess Anne were married on the 28th July 1683 in the Chapel Royal at St.James Palace, London.

Anne bore George seventeen children, sadly only one survived infancy, but died before reaching twelve.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and James the Duke of York became King James II of England.  Prince George, husband to the King’s daughter, received a position in the Privy Council, and was allowed to attend Cabinet meetings, but he had no power.

On the 5th November 1688, William of Orange invaded Britain, which ultimately deposed King James II, and he was forced into exile, in France.

In 1689, Prince and Princess of Orange became King William III and Queen Mary II, were declared joint monarchs of England, with Princess Anne, as heiress presumptive.

In April of 1689, Prince George became the Duke of Cumberland, Earl of Kendal and Baron of Okingham, titles created by England’s new monarchs, and on the 20th April, took his seat in the House of Lords.

George was refused admission to the army and navy by William III.

Queen Mary died of smallpox in 1694, making Anne, heiress apparent.

An “Act of Settlement” was passed by Parliament in 1701, which meant, following William and Mary’s death, the English throne would pass to Princess Anne, and afterwards to protestant cousins; House of Hanover.

In 1702, William III died, and Princess Anne, became Queen Anne of England, the last of the Stuarts.

On the 17th April 1702, Queen Anne appointed Prince George Generalissimo of all military forces and Lord High admiral.

George was content taking second place to his wife and Queen, offering advice, if and when needed.

During Anne’s reign as Queen, her and George spent the winters at Kensington and St.James Palaces, and the summers at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court Palace.

Prince George never became a member of the Church of England, in all the years they were married, he remained till death a Lutheran, and he had his own personal chapel.

In the early part of 1706, George was taken ill; blood in his sputum.  His health deteriorated, as he suffered from bad bouts of asthma.  On the 28th October 1708, Prince George died at Kensington Palace, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Stuart Queen: Anne…

Anne Stuart was born on the 6th February 1665 at St.James Palace, London, to parents James II and Anne Hyde, and in 1683 married Prince George of Denmark.

When King William III died on the 8th March 1702, Anne Stuart ascended to the English throne, and was crowned Queen Anne of England on the 23rd April 1702 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1702, England declares war on France. 

In 1704, English, Bavarian and Austrian troops commanded by the Duke of Marlborough, defeat the French at the “Battle of Blenheim,” putting a stop to a possible invasion of Austria.

The British empire capture Gibraltar from Spain.

In 1706, the Duke of Marlborough defeats the French at the “Battle of Ramilies,” and in turn expelled the French from the Netherlands.

In 1707, the “Act of Union” unites England and Scotland, with the seat of government for both countries, firmly set in London.

In 1708, James Edward Stuart, arrived in Scotland, making a failed attempt at seizing the throne.

In 1709, the Duke of Marlborough’s forces defeat the French at the “battle of Malplaquet.”

In 1713, the “Treaty of Utrecht,” is signed between Britain and France, bring an end to the war.

Queen Anne died on the 1st August 1714 at Kensington Palace, London and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

Stuart King and Queen: William III – Mary II

William Henry Stuart was born on the 14th November 1650 in the Hague, Netherlands to parents William II of Orange and Mary Stuart.

Mary was born on the 30th April 1662 at St.James Palace, London to parents James II and Anne Hyde.

William Henry Stuart (William III of Orange) married Mary II in 1677.

In 1689 Parliament declared to England, that King James II had abdicated his position as King of England.  His daughter Mary and husband William of Orange were crowned; King William III and Queen Mary II of England, on the 11th April 1689 at Westminster Abbey.

In 1689, a “Declaration of Rights,” had been drawn up by Parliament, thus limiting the monarch’s power, and control of legislation, and taxes came under Parliament.

Jacobite Hylanders rose up in support of James II, victorious at “Killiekrankie,” but defeated in 1689 at “Dunkelds.”

James II, former King of England, attempted to regain his throne, when he was defeated at the “Battle of Boyne,” in 1690.

An Anglo-Dutch naval force, is defeated by the French navy at Beachy Head in 1690.

In 1691, William offer the Scottish Highlanders, a pardon for their part in the Jacobite uprising, in return they sign an allegiance to him.

In 1692, the Campbells kill the MacDonalds at Glencoe, for refusing to sign the oath of allegiance.

Queen Mary II dies of smallpox in 1694, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

In 1697, “Peace of Ryswick,” becomes a turning point, and marks the end of the war with France.

In 1701 an “Act of Settlement” comes into force establishing Hanoverian and Protestant successions to the English throne.

William forms alliances between England, Holland and Austria, preventing a union of French and Spanish crowns in 1701.

King William III dies on the 8th March 1702 at Kensington Palace from pneumonia following a broken collar bone, after falling from his horse, and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

2nd Wife of King James II: Mary of Modena

Mary Beatrice d’Este was born on the 5th October 1658 at the Ducal Palace of Modena in Italy, to parents Alfonso IV, Duke of Modena and Laura Martinozzi.  Mary Beatrice; a descendant of the Bourbon royal family of France and the Medici family of Italy.

In 1669, James (James II), Duke of York, a Roman Catholic and younger brother to King Charles II and heir to the English throne, proposed marriage.

On the 30th September 1673 Mary Beatrice and James, Duke of York, were married by proxy in Modena, and married in person on the 23rd November 1673, and had two children who survived infancy; James and Louise Maria.

In 1688, the Popish Plot, headed by Anthony Ashley Cooper, was aimed at excluding the Catholic, Duke of York, his rightful successor to the English throne.

James and Mary Beatrice were forced into exile in Brussels.  Returning when Charles II was taken ill, fearing James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of Charles II, would seize the throne… fortunately Charles recovered.

James and Mary, were sent to Edinburgh by Charles, and resided at Holyrood House.

In 1683, the Rye House Plot, was aimed at the assassination of King Charles II and his brother James, and Monmouth would become Lord Protector of England.

In 1684, James was re-admitted to the Privy Council.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and Charles and Mary were crowned on the 23rd April.

On the 19th July 1687, Mary’s mother, Laura the Duchess of Modena died.

Catherine Sedley, one time mistress of James II, and mother to two of his illegitimate children, had an affair tolerated by Mary.  However, James went one step too far, making her the Countess of Dorchester.

Mary threatened to renounce her throne, and go into a convent, unless he rid himself of her.  Mary won, Catherine Sedley was banished to Ireland, for the duration of her life, with a comfortable pension.

William of Orange, supported by Protestants in England, landed at Torbay in Devon on the 5th November 1688.  Plymouth fell to William, and many switched allegiance from James to William.

With his Queen in France, James chose to leave his throne, he had abdicated, reaching France on Christmas Day 1688.

William and Mary accepted the English throne in 1689.

James II, sought to recover the English throne, but after being defeated at the “Battle of the Boyne,” in Ireland in 1690, accepted the inevitable.

On the 6th September 1701, James, the former King James II of England died, and was buried at St.Germaine.

Mary received a request from Scotland, to surrender the custody of her son; James Francis Edward over to them, and agree to his conversion to Protestantism.  The first step in him succeeding to the English throne on William III’s death.

William III died in March 1702, and Lord Lovat begged Mary to release her son, and come to Scotland.  A rising had been planned of 15,000 soldiers, seizing the throne for James Francis Edward.  Mary refused… the uprising never got started.

Mary entered the Convent of the Visitations, Chaillot, on the outskirts of Paris, where she would live out the rest of her days, in near poverty.

On the 7th May 1718, she passed away, and was buried at Chaillot.  Her tomb was destroyed, during the French Revolution.

1st Wife of King James II: Anne Hyde

Anne Hyde was born on the 12th March 1637, at Cranbourne Lodge, to parents Edward Hyde, the Earl of Clarendon and Frances Aylesbury.

In 1649, the family fled England, after the execution of King Charles I, and settled in the Netherlands.

Anne, became lady-in-waiting to Mary Stuart, Princess of Orange, and attracted the attention of James, the Duke of York.  She fell head over heels in love with James, got pregnant, and James felt it was his duty to marry her, much to the annoyance of his mother; Henrietta Maria.  For she considered her new daughter-in-law, a commoner, and not of Royal blood.

James, the Duke of York and Anne Hyde were married on the 3rd September 1600, in a private ceremony held at Worcester House in London.

Anne bore James two children, who survived infancy: Mary and Anne, who would take their place in later years as; Queen Mary II and Queen Anne.

The marriage would prove, not to be a happy one, for Anne had to share her affections for James, with his many mistresses.

Anne, an Anglican at the time of her marriage, was drawn to Catholicism, as James had, during their time abroad.  So it was not surprising, they eventually converted.

Anne Hyde died on the 31st March 1671, following fifteen months of illness, and died from suspected breast cancer.  She was buried in the vault, of Mary, Queen of Scots, in Henry VII’s Chapel at Westminster Abbey.

Stuart King: James II

James II was born on the 14th October 1633 at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta.  He grew up in exile, first in Holland then in France, and served in the French and Spanish forces.

Following Cromwell’s death, and the restoration on the monarchy, when his brother had taken his rightful place as King of England, James returned to England, and was appointed by his brother; King Charles II as Lord High Admiral, and commanded the Royal Navy during the Anglo-Dutch conflict.

In 1660 James married Anne Hyde, she was not of Royal Blood, a commoner, the daughter of the King’s chief minister; Edward Hyde.  She bore him only two children, who survived infancy; Mary who became Queen Mary II and Anne, who became Queen Anne.

In 1670, James converted to Catholicism.

His first wife, Anne died in 1671, and he married Mary of Modena, a fifteen-year-old Italian Catholic princess.  She bore him two children who survived infancy; James and Louise Maria.

In 1673, Parliament not wanting a Catholic successor to the English throne passed the “Test Act” which excluded Catholics from political office.

In 1679, an Exclusion Bill was introduced into Parliament, adding James II, as a practising Catholic, to those excluded from holding political office… Parliament did not want a Catholic King.

Parliament put forward, that James Scott the Duke of Monmouth, illegitimate son of King Charles II, should be next in line to the throne instead of James, Charles II replied by dissolving Parliament.

King Charles II died on the 6th February 1685, and James ascended to the English throne, and crowned King James II of England on the 23rd April at Westminster Abbey.

Within months of being crowned King, James faced rebellions; The Earl of Argyll, in Scotland and the Duke of Monmouth at the “Battle of Sedgemoor.”  Argyll was executed for his part, and in 1686, Monmouth along with many of his rebels were hanged.

In 1688, James believed in his “Divine Right as King” and believed he had absolute power over his kingdom.  He issued the “Declaration of Indulgence,” thus suspending all laws against Catholic’s and repealed the “Test Act.”  He went further still, by promoting Catholic supporters within Parliament.

His daughter Mary married William of Orange of the Netherlands.  William of Orange, son-in-law to James II was invited to England by leading statesman to restore English liberties; Protestantism and Democracy.

William of Orange landed at Torbay on the 5th November 1688, in 463 ships with no opposition from the English Royal Navy.  His army of 14,000 men grew to 20,000 men by the time they reached London.

Anne, the daughter of King James II, defected to William of Orange.

James tossed the Great Seal of the Realm into the River Thames… he had abdicated his position as England’s King, and went into exile in France.

King William III and Queen Mary II, the daughter of James II were crowned King and Queen of England in 1689.

James attempted to regain his throne, landing in Ireland, but was defeated at the “Battle of Boyne,” in 1690.

James II lived the rest of his life in exile, until he died on the 6th September 1701, at St.Germain-en-laye in France, and buried at the Chateau de Saint Germain-en-laye.

Wife of King Charles II: Catherine of Braganza

Catherine of Braganza was born on the 25th November 1638, at the Ducal Palace of Vila Vicosa in Alentego, Portugal to parents John, Duke of Braganza and Luisa de Guzman.

In 1640, her father John, the Duke of Braganza accepted the crown of Portugal, and became King John IV of Portugal.

On the 23rd June 1661, a contract of marriage was signed, and Catherine of Braganza and Charles II were married by proxy, on the 23rd April 1662 in Lisbon.

The terms of the contract, meant England obtained Tangiers, the Seven islands of Bombay, trading privileges in Brazil and East Indies, plus two million Portuguese crowns.  In return Portugal obtained military and naval support against Spain.

On the 21st May 1662, Catherine of Braganza married King Charles Ii, in two ceremonies; one a private Catholic service, the other a public Anglican service.

It wasn’t long before Catherine realised Charles had a number of mistresses, and marriage or no marriage they were here to stay.

One Barbara Palmer, mistress to King Charles II was appointed “Lady of the Bedchamber” to Queen Catherine.  Inspite of her objections, Charles had no intentions of changing his mind, and Catherine had to agree with the wishes of her husband and king.

The King’s advisors had put forward, he should seek divorce, for after twelve years of marriage, his Queen had not bore him a son and heir, he rejected the suggestion.

In 1675, English Catholics were ordered out of England, and Catherine a Catholic had no priest to confide in.

Francisco de Mello, became her Lord Chamberlain, but in 1676 was sent packing, for the printing of a catholic Book.  Catherine was isolated from her Catholic faith.

Charles passed away on the 6th February 1685, and Catherine expressed great grief at his death.  She remained in England, residing at Somerset House, being godmother to James Francis Edward, son of James II.

During the reign of William III and Mary II Parliament introduced a bill, which limited the number of Catholic servants she could employ.

In March of 1699, Catherine returned to her homeland of Portugal, becoming tutor to Prince John, son of the recently deceased Maria Sofia of Neuburg.

In 1703, she was one of the supporters in the “Treaty of Methuen” between Portugal and England.

In 1701 and 1704-05, she acted as Regent for Peter III, her brother.

On the 31st December 1705, Catherine of Braganza died at Bemposta Palace in Lisbon, and was buried at the Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora, Lisbon, the Royal Pantheon of the Braganza Dynasty.

Stuart King: King Charles II

King Charles II was born on the 29th May 1630, at St.James Palace to parents Charles I and Henrietta Maria.  He ascended to the English throne on the 29th May 1660, by invitation from Parliament, and was crowned King Charles II of England, on the 23rd April 1661 at Westminster Abbey.

The English Civil War, and the execution of an English monarch; Charles I, left a bad taste, events of which were left firmly in the past.

The “Triennial Act” of 1641 was repealed, and Bishops were restored to their seats in Parliament in 1661.

Puritans were given an option in 1662, follow the doctrines as laid down in the Church of England, or leave the church, all as set out in the 1660 “Act of Uniformity and Oblivion.”

In May of 1662, King Charles II married the Portuguese Princess, one Catherine of Braganza, and Queen Catherine bore Charles ne heir’s to the English throne.

Charles had eight mistresses: Lucy Walter, Lady Castlemaine, Lady Portsmouth and Nell Gwyn to name just a few.  His mistresses gave birth to many illegitimate children:

James Scott, the Duke of Monmouth

Charles Fitzcharles, the Earl of Plymouth

Charles Fitzroy, the Duke of Cleveland

Charlotte Lee, the Countess of Lichfield

Henry Fitzroy, the Duke of Grafton

George Fitzroy, the Duke of Northumberland

Charles Beauclerk, the Duke of St.Albans

Charles Lennox, the Duke of Richmond

What he wanted was a legitimate heir to continue the family line, and succeed him, as King of England, sadly that was not to be…

In 1664 English forces seized the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam, and renamed it; New York.  In 1666 the forces of France and Denmark assisted the Dutch, and in 1667, Dutch forces laid siege to England, capturing the Royal Charles, England’s flagship and the sinking of three other ships on the River Medway.  Peace talks commenced in the latter part of 1667.

In 1665, the plague (Black Death) struck England, and some 200,000 are known to have lost their lives in London.  This was followed by the Great Fire of London in 1666, destroying 13,500 houses, 87 churches, and sixteen people lost their lives.

Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to rebuild much of London, including St.Paul’s Cathedral.

In 1670, King Charles II signed the “Secret Treaty of Dover” this stated Charles would become Catholic, and France would side with England against the Dutch.  In return England would receive subsidies from France.

Charles issued a “Declaration of Indulgence,” which suspended penal laws against Catholics, but was forced to withdraw the declaration by Parliament in 1673.

In 1678, Titus Oates alleges a Catholic plot to murder King Charles II, and return England, to a Catholic country.  The allegation involved the Queen and Danby, the Lord Treasurer.

In 1679, attempts were made to remove James II, the Catholic convert and brother of Charles II, as heir apparent to the English throne.

In 1679, the “Habeas Corpus” act was passed through Parliament, which made it illegal to imprison an individual, without trial.

In 1683 the “Rye House Plot” was discovered, that involved the murder of Charles II and his brother James II, returning total rule of England back to Parliament.  Some of the conspirators were executed, others sent into exile.

King Charles II, did as his father had done many times during his reign; dissolved Parliament.

On the 6th February 1685, King Charles II converted to Catholicism, a deathbed conversion, and died at Whitehall Palace, and  buried at Westminster Abbey.

Wife of King Charles I: Henrietta Maria of France

Henrietta Maria was born on the 25th November 1609 at Palais du Louvre, to parents Henry IV of France and Marie de Medici.  Her father was assassinated in 1610, and her mother was banished from the French court in 1617.

On the 11th May 1625, Henrietta Maria married King Charles I of England by proxy, a nd were married in person on the 13th June at St.Augustine’s Church in Canterbury, Kent.

Children of Henrietta Maria and Charles I:

Charles II, James II & VII, Elizabeth, Anne, Henry, Duke of Gloucester, Henrietta, Duchess of Orleans, Mary, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange.

On the 2nd February 1626, Henrietta Maria and Charles, were supposed to stand next to each other, at their coronation at Westminster Abbey.  She, a practising Roman Catholic, refused to participate in Protestant religious ceremonies.

The King and Parliament were on different sides of the fence, and the English Civil war between Royalists and Parliamentarians, was a powder keg waiting to explode.

In 1643 Henrietta Maria, actively supporting her husband, landed at Bridlington in Yorkshire, with a ship laden down with men and arms, to fight for the Royalist cause.

In 1644, she fled to the safety of France, taking with her, Henrietta Anne, her youngest child. 

In January of 1649, King Charles I came to trial, accused of treason against England.  On the 26th January he had been found guilty, and executed on the 30th January.

She was shocked, that England’s Parliament had found King Charles I of England guilty, and executed him.  From that day forth, she dressed in black and mourned his passing.

With the monarchy abolished in England, she remained exiled in France.

When Oliver Cromwell died in September 1658, his position as Lord Protector fell to his son; Richard, who continued his father’s work until his resignation in May 1659.

Parliament and Monarchy were restored, under King Charles II, and at this time Henrietta Maria returned to England, and Parliament granted the Dowager Queen, an income of £30,000 per year.

Her son James, the Duke of York married Anne Hyde the Earl of clarendon and Lord Chancellor to Charles I.  She considered her son had married far beneath him… she was a commoner, not of Royal blood.

On the 31st March 1661, Henrietta Anne married Phillip, the Duke of Orleans.  Both were grandchildren of Henry IV of France and Mary de Medici.

In 1665 Henrietta Maria founded the convent at Chaillot in France.

On the 10th September 1669, Henrietta Maria died at Chateau de Colombes, and was buried in the royal tombs of the Cathedral of Saint Denis.  Her heart was interred separately at Chaillot convent, in a silver Casket.

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