King Charles II Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1630 - 1685 *** Full Name: King Charles II *** Occupation: King of England, Scotland and Ireland *** Date of Birth: King Charles II was born on May 29th 1630 *** Place of Birth: King Charles II was born in St James’ Palace, in the City of Westminster, London, England *** Family background: His father was Charles I and his mother Henrietta Maria, sister to the French King Louis XIII *** Early life and childhood: He grew up in the care of the Countess of Dorset a Protestant woman *** Education: King Charles II received the best possible education with his tutors ***
King Charles II Fact 1: King Charles II was born on May 29th 1630 and during the 17th century period in history when during this period there were mass changes that took place in philosophy as well as science. It was also a time when medieval alchemy would become the chemistry of the future and there were many innovations.
King Charles II Fact 2: In the 1640’s Charles father Charles I fought Parliamentary and Puritan forces during the English Civil War. Young Charles would accompany his father and at fourteen years of age was present at the Battle of Edgehill and would take part in the campaigns that took place in 1645.
King Charles II Fact 3: He became the West Country’s titular commander of the English forces and by 1646 as his father was losing the war, Charles was sent away from England for safety reasons, making his way to France via Jersey and the Isles of Scilly. He joined his mother who was already in exile in France together with Louis XIV his eight year old cousin who was King.
King Charles II Fact 4: By 1648 Charles moved to The Hague while the Second English Civil War raged. His sister Mary and her husband, William II, Prince of Orange were The Hague. The assistance they offered came too late to be of assistance to the royalist Engagers in Scotland as the Parliamentarians won at the Battle of Preston.
King Charles II Fact 5: While Charles cooled his heels in The Hague, he had an affair with Lucy Walter who would bear him a son, one of many illegitimate he would produce.
King Charles II Fact 6: Although Charles I surrendered he managed to escape but would be recaptured. Notwithstanding his son’s valiant attempts at diplomacy, in January of 1649 Charles I was beheaded. England became a republic and in February the Covenanter Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II “King of Great Britain, France and Ireland” in Edinburgh at the Mercat Cross. The only condition was that Charles would accept Presbyterianism throughout Britain and Ireland before he was allowed to enter Scotland.
King Charles II Fact 7: Eventually he agreed to the terms of the treaty and was welcomed into Scotland.
King Charles II Fact 8: His next mission was to try and take England but this would end with him fleeing once more, this time to Normandy. He would not be defeated though, and raised another army of exiled subjects which would form the nucleus of the post-Restoration army.
King Charles II Fact 9: Cromwell died in 1658 and his son Richard succeeded as Lord Protector but he would be forced to abdicate the following year and the protectorate was brought to an end.
King Charles II Fact 10: After much confusion, for the first time in nearly twenty years, a general election was held, the result of which was in a House of Commons, reasonably evenly divided between Parliamentarians and Royalists and between Presbyterians and Anglicans.
King Charles II Fact 11: The first Convention Parliament was assembled on April 25th 1660. The new English Parliament agreed to proclaim Charles king and invited him to return to England.
King Charles II Fact 12: Although largely King Charles II had agreed to pardon his father enemies, fifty names were not excluded and nine of the regicides were executed.
King Charles II Fact 13: Charles found it difficult to live on the allowance bestowed upon him and he attempted to raise additional funds by means of poll taxes, hearth taxes and land taxes.
King Charles II Fact 14: He was given the nickname of the "Merry Monarch", he enjoyed all the pleasure that life had to offer and was particularly keen on visiting the playhouses when he met Nell Gwyn a young orange seller and actress who would become one of his many mistresses.
King Charles II Fact 15: By 1660 Charles’ pleasure in his restoration would be tainted by the deaths of his younger brother Henry and his sister Mary having contracted smallpox. King Charles II Fact 16: It was during his reign that London would be devastated by the Great Plague in 1665 and the following year in 1666. The Great Fire of London began when a bake-house in Pudding Lane caught fire and quickly spread to the nearby wooden houses. The Great Fire of London destroyed over thirteen thousand houses and eighty seven churches including St Paul’s Cathedral.
King Charles II Fact 17: During the 1670’s the King began to displease his Parliament with wars and religious policies culminating in the Third Anglo-Dutch War that that Charles was responsible for starting. With his wife unable to bear him a live child the succession would fall to his younger brother James, Duke of York, an unpopular man and the a political storm erupted at the prospect of a Catholic monarch.
King Charles II Fact 18: The House of Commons attempted to pass the Exclusion Bill which would exclude James for the line of succession, certain parties were even hoping the King’s illegitimate children namely the Duke of Monmouth.
King Charles II Fact 19: King Charles II suffered an apoplectic fit on February 2, 1685 and died on the 6th February four days past in Whitehall Palace aged fifty four years. His body was laid to rest in Westminster Abbey.
Influence & Legacy: King Charles II would be succeeded by his brother James II but suffice it to say his reign would be short lived. Although he had no legitimate heirs he did however have a number of illegitimate children, James, Duke of Monmouth, Charles, Earl of Plymouth, Charles, Duke of Cleveland, Charlotte, Countess of Lichfield, Henry, Duke of Grafton, George, Duke of Northumberland, Charles, Duke of St Albans and Charles, Duke of Richmond.
Short Facts about King Charles II for Kids: The above short facts detail interesting information about the life, milestones, history and key events that occurred during the life of this famous character, King Charles II. A fast, simple way to present a short biography of King Charles II with important dates and info that provides details such as the date of birth (birthday), place of birth, education, family, work and career. An ideal educational resource for kids, schools, teachers and social studies.