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Charles II

Research papers on Charles II can be written from various angles. He was a major figure in British history and changed the political world at the time of his reign. A few facts about Charles II are:

  • Charles II reigned from May 29th 1660 through February 6th 1685
  • Predecessor: Charles I
  • Wife: Catherine of Braganza
  • Father: Charles I
  • Born: May 29th 1630

Charles II of England (1630-1685) was a monarch of the Stuart dynasty. His father, Charles I had been executed during the English Civil War, and Charles II was forced to flee to France following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester (1651) by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. With the Stuart Restoration following the death of Cromwell in 1658, Charles II was invited back England to rule as king, and he was crowned in 1661.

Charles II

Charles II and Cromwell


Known as the “Merry Monarch” as much for his demeanor as the relief many Englishmen felt after the austere policies of Cromwell, Charles II had at least twelve illegitimate children from as many mistresses. His parents had been the ill-fated Charles I and Henrietta Maria, sister to French king Louis XIII.

One of his first acts as restored monarch was to approve the Clarendon Code, a series of laws passed by Parliament that secured Anglican dominance in religious and political matters in England. Socially, Charles’ England was characterized by a new social order, with the reopening of the theaters and a surge in popularity of comedic plays.

In 1665, the Great Plague of London broke out, killing as many as 7000 individuals. What eventually ended the plague was the Great Fire of London in 1666, which consumed much of the city. Much of Charles’ reign was occupied by war on the Continent, where he entered into alliances against his first cousin, Louis XIV of France.

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