King Charles II
Following a youth of poverty and bitter exile after his father's execution, the ousted king first challenged, then made his magnificent escape from, Cromwell's troops before he was eventually restored to his throne in triumph in 1660. Spanning his life both before and after the Restoration, Antonia Fraser's lively and fascinating biography captures all the vitality of the man and the expansiveness of the age.
[pleasing] to the people’. He trod the same route as the mediaeval kings such as Richard II.fn1 Like modern coronations, this procession demanded an early start; everyone had to be mustered on Tower Hill by eight o’clock in the morning. What was more, they had to take care that their mounts were not ‘unruly or stinking’. As a result, John Evelyn felt able to comment favourably on the elegance of the prancing horses. Pepys, on the other hand, showed his particular interests by noting that the
transformation of the Mall to a pedestrian precinct on Sundays gives it an air of popular recreation again. 10 But Charles himself never saw it, for he died on the first day of rehearsal. PART FOUR The Monarchy in Danger ‘The Monarchy itself is in great Danger, as well as His Majesty’s person….’ JAMES DUKE OF YORK to William of Orange, 1679 CHAPTER NINETEEN Subsisting Together? ‘Affairs are at present here in such a state as to make one believe that a King and a Parliament
resented by those who did not wish the Conventicles suppressed in the first place. No, the auguries in Scotland were definitely not encouraging. In England, the address against Lauderdale was carried through the Commons, for all Danby’s sedulous efforts to prevent it. Charles, although it was in his nature, as his brother James said, ‘to keep measures with everybody’, was obviously furious at the impertinence of the Commons. Saying icily that he preferred not to answer the address, he adjourned
turn on the royal prerogative, decimate the other wide powers of the Crown, and in general transform the face of English politics. From there, the slippery slope led downwards all the way, via political strife in Parliament to the dreaded abyss of civil war and revolution. Thus ‘descent in the right line’ became closely, almost mystically, linked in the King’s mind with that beneficent order he sought to preserve in his kingdom. The temperament of Charles II as he approached fifty was turning to
Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, and Sax, D. S., Psychiatric Institute, University Hospital Baltimore, Charles II , A Royal Martyr, Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London, Vol. 16, No. 2, November 1961. Wolf, Lucien, The Jewry of the Restoration 1660–1664, Transactions of the Jewish Historical Society. Wyndham, Violet, The Protestant Duke: A Life of Monmouth, 1976. Young, Peter, Edgehill, 1972. The first known letter from Charles, Prince of Wales, to his governor the Earl