Charles II of England - Wikipedia
Charles II: Charles II, king of Great Britain and Ireland (–85), who was interest in Charles and his cause, and his proffers of marriage were declined. The actual terms were to be left to a free parliament, and on this. Read a biography about Charles I - king of England, Scotland and Ireland. Discover why his conflicts with parliament led to civil war and his eventual execution. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all They had a happy marriage and left five surviving children. Although previously favourable to the Crown, the Cavalier Parliament was alienated by the King's wars and religious.
He came of age in Europe, a child of diplomatic intrigues, broken promises, and unfulfilled hopes. His early years were unremarkable, but before he was 20 his conventional education had been completely overshadowed by the harsh lessons of defeat in the Civil War against the Puritans and subsequent isolation and poverty.
Thus Charles emerged into precocious maturity, cynicalself-indulgent, skilled in the sort of moral evasions that make life comfortable even in adversity.
But though the early years of tawdry dissipation have tarnished the romance of his adventures, not all his actions were discreditable. But the sacrifice of friends and principles was futile and left him deeply embittered. The young king became a fugitive, hunted through England for 40 days but protected by a handful of his loyal subjects until he escaped to France in October His safety was comfortless, however.
He was destitute and friendless, unable to bring pressure against an increasingly powerful England. He persuaded his brother James to relinquish his command in the French army and gave him some regiments of Anglo-Irish troops in Spanish service, but poverty doomed this nucleus of a royalist army to impotence.
European princes took little interest in Charles and his cause, and his proffers of marriage were declined. The actual terms were to be left to a free parliament, and on this provisional basis Charles was proclaimed king in May Landing at Dover on May 25, he reached a rejoicing London on his 30th birthday. He was bound by the concessions made by his father in andbut the Parliament elected in was determined on an uncompromising Anglican and royalist settlement.
The Militia Act of gave Charles unprecedented authority to maintain a standing army, and the Corporation Act of allowed him to purge the boroughs of dissident officials. Other legislation placed strict limits on the press and on public assembly, and the Act of Uniformity created controls of education.
Charles II entering London after the restoration of the monarchy inundated hand-coloured print. His efforts to extend religious toleration to his Nonconformist and Roman Catholic subjects were sharply rebuffed inand throughout his reign the House of Commons was to thwart the more generous impulses of his religious policy. A more pervasive and damaging limitation was on his financial independence. Charles was incapable of thrift; he found it painful to refuse petitioners.
With the expensive disasters of the Anglo-Dutch War of —67 the reputation of the restored king sank to its lowest level. Foreign policy Charles cleared himself by dismissing his old adviser, Edward Hyde, earl of Clarendon, and tried to assert himself through a more adventurous foreign policy. The Navigation Acts of andwhich had been prompted by the threat to British shipping of the rise of the Dutch carrying trade, were valuable extensions of Cromwellian policies, and the capture of New York in was one of his few gains from the Dutch.
But although marriage to Princess Catherine of Braganza of Portugal in brought him the possession of Tangier and Bombay, they were of less strategic value than Dunkirk, which he sold to Louis XIV in Charles was, however, prepared to sacrifice much for the alliance of his young cousin. Theatres reopened after having been closed during the protectorship of Oliver Cromwelland 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 celebrated or reacted to the restored court, which included libertines such as John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester.
Of Charles II, Wilmot supposedly said: We have a pretty witty king, Whose word no man relies on, He never said a foolish thing, And never did a wise one"  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". The death toll reached a peak of 7, per week in the week of 17 September. Fanned by a strong easterly wind and fed by stockpiles of wood and fuel that had been prepared for the coming colder months, the fire eventually consumed about 13, houses and 87 churches, including St Paul's Cathedral.
The public blamed Catholic conspirators for the fire,  and one Frenchman, Robert Hubertwas hanged on the basis of a false confession even though he had no hand in starting the fire. Portugal had been helped by France, but in the Treaty of the Pyrenees in Portugal was abandoned by its French ally. The next day the couple were married at Portsmouth in two ceremonies—a Catholic one conducted in secret, followed by a public Anglican service.
Charles II of England
To lay foundations for a new beginning, envoys of the States General appeared in November with the Dutch Gift. 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 Lowestoftbut in the Dutch launched a surprise attack on England the Raid on the Medway when they sailed up the River Thames to where a major part of the English fleet was docked. Almost all of the ships were sunk except for the flagship, Royal Charleswhich was taken back to the Netherlands as a trophy.
Power passed to five politicians known collectively by a whimsical acronym as the Cabal — CliffordArlingtonBuckinghamAshley afterwards Earl of Shaftesbury and Lauderdale. 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. Louis made peace with the Triple Alliancebut he continued to maintain his aggressive intentions towards the Netherlands.
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". Charles endeavoured to ensure that the Treaty—especially the conversion clause—remained secret. InCharles issued the Royal Declaration of Indulgencein which he purported to suspend all penal laws against Catholics and other religious dissenters.
Charles withdrew the Declaration, and also agreed to the Test Actwhich 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 certain teachings of the Catholic Church as " superstitious and idolatrous ".
By England had gained nothing from the Anglo-Dutch War, and the Cavalier Parliament refused to provide further funds, forcing Charles to make peace.William III meets Charles II
The power of the Cabal waned and that of Clifford's replacement, Lord Danbygrew. Charles was presented with the first pineapple grown in England in Painting by Hendrick Danckerts. Charles's wife Queen Catherine was unable to produce an heir; her four pregnancies had ended in miscarriages and stillbirths inFebruaryMay and June Partly to assuage public fears that the royal family was too Catholic, Charles agreed that James's daughter, Maryshould marry the Protestant William of Orange.
Charles II of England - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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.
Although much of the nation had sought war with Catholic France, Charles had secretly negotiated with Louis XIVtrying 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.
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.
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Having lost the support of Parliament, Danby resigned his post of Lord High Treasurerbut 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 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 Londonin which he was held for another five years. 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 Shaftesbury's power base was strengthened when the House of Commons of introduced the Exclusion Billwhich sought to exclude the Duke of York from the line of succession.
Some even sought to confer the Crown on the Protestant Duke of Monmouththe eldest of Charles's illegitimate children. The Abhorrers—those who thought the Exclusion Bill was abhorrent—were named Tories after a term for dispossessed Irish Catholic banditswhile the Petitioners—those who supported a petitioning campaign in favour of the Exclusion Bill—were called Whigs after a term for rebellious Scottish Presbyterians.
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 MarchCharles dissolved it for a fourth time after just a few days. Lord Shaftesbury was prosecuted albeit unsuccessfully for treason in and later fled to Holland, where he died.
For the remainder of his reign, Charles ruled without Parliament. Protestant conspirators formulated the Rye House Plota plan to murder him and the Duke of York as they returned to London after horse races in Newmarket. A great fire, however, destroyed Charles's lodgings at Newmarket, which forced him to leave the races early, thus inadvertently avoiding the planned attack.
News of the failed plot was leaked. Lord Essex slit his own throat while imprisoned in the Tower of London; Sydney and Russell were executed for high treason on very flimsy evidence; and the Duke of Monmouth went into exile at the court of William of Orange.
Lord Danby and the surviving Catholic lords held in the Tower were released and the king's Catholic brother, James, acquired greater influence at court. On the last evening of his life he was received into the Catholic Church in the presence of Father John Huddlestonthough the extent to which he was fully conscious or committed, and with whom the idea originated, is unclear. Other kings had inspired more respect, but perhaps only Henry VIII had endeared himself to the popular imagination as much as this one.
He was the playboy monarch, naughty but nice, the hero of all who prized urbanity, tolerance, good humour, and the pursuit of pleasure above the more earnest, sober, or material virtues.
Charles was universally beloved, beloved not only by the crowd of individuals with whom he came in contact, not only adored by his dependents, but thoroughly popular with the mass of his subjects and particularly with the poorer populace of London who knew him best.
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.