Charles II (Scotland)

Charles II

b. 29 May/8 Jun 1630, London
d. 6/16 Feb 1685, London

Title: Dei gratia Scotie Anglie Francie et Hibernie Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc. = By the grace of God, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. (see other style in non-statutory use)
Term: 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649 - 6/16 Aug 1651
30 Jan/9 Feb 1649, succeeded to the throne of Scotland (proclaimed 5/15 Feb 1649 in Edinburgh, Scotland; the resolution of the Commons of England of 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649 prohibiting the proclamation of a successor to Charles I specifically referred to England and Ireland only, Parliament having no authority over Scotland)
24 Jun/4 Jul 1650, landed in Scotland at the mouth of the Spey River [1]
1/11 Jan 1651, crowned and took the coronation oath, Scone Abbey, Perthshire, Scotland [2]
6/16 Aug 1651, left national territory of Scotland, entering England near Carlisle, Cumberland [3]
4/14 May 1654, kingship in Scotland abolished upon proclaiming the "Ordinance for uniting Scotland into one Commonwealth with England" at Edinburgh, Scotland (passed by the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland on 12/22 Apr 1654; a statute enacting this Ordinance assented to 26 Jun/6 Jul 1657)
Term: 14/24 May 1660 - 6/16 Feb 1685
Chronology: 14/24 May 1660, publicly proclaimed king in Edinburgh [4][5]
25 May/4 Jun 1660, resumed the exercise of royal authority upon entering the territory of British Isles
6/16 Feb 1685, died
Names/titles: Baptised (27 Jun/7 Jul 1630): Charles; private name: Charles Stuart; Gaelic name: Teàrlach; Duke of Cornwall [29 May/8 Jun 1630 - 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649]; Duke of Rothesay [29 May/8 Jun 1630 - 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649]; Earl of Carrick [29 May/8 Jun 1630 - 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649]; Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester [from c. 1638/1641]
Dei gratia Anglie Scotie Francie et Hibernie Rex, Fidei Defensor, etc. = By the grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, etc. as Charles II [as claimant: 30 Jan/9 Feb 1649 - 6/16 Feb 1685]
Second and eldest surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France; accompanied his father during the Civil War and was made royal bodyguard captain; appointed Generalissimo of all his father's forces (1645); retired to the Scilly islands and then to Jersey (1646); moved to France and finally settled in the Hague, Netherlands; was proclaimed king in Scotland (5/15 Feb 1649) and Jersey (16/26 Feb 1649) following the execution of his father sentenced to death by the court appointed by the Commons of England; staying in exile in the Netherlands, he signed the Treaty of Breda (1/11 May 1650) with the Covenanter faction, promising to impose Presbyterianism as national religion; arrived to the mouth of the Spey River 23 Jun/3 Jul 1650 and landed in Scotland 24 Jun/4 Jul 1650, relying on the support of the Covenanter army; was defeated by the Parliamentary army under Oliver Cromwell at Dunbar (3/13 Sep 1650); crossed the border of England and was proclaimed king 6/16 Aug 1651 near Carlisle; suffered ultimate defeat at Worcester (3/13 Sep 1651) and was forced to flee from England on 15/25 Oct 1651 (surrender of the last Scottish castle still holding out for Charles II was accepted on 26 May/5 Jun 1652, while the Scottish Crown Regalia were smuggled out of the castle and hidden); lived mostly in the Netherlands; during political crisis in the Commonwealth, issued the Declaration of Breda (4/14 Apr 1660), expressing his willingness to settle all disputed issues with the Parliament of England; after the Convention Parliament agreed to restoration, he was publicly proclaimed king (8/18 May 1660); landed at Dover (25 May/4 Jun 1660), reaching London on 29 May/8 Jun 1660; the early years of Charles's reign saw an appalling plague which hit the country in 1665 and the Great Fire of London in 1666; his foreign policy was a wavering balance of alliances with France and the Dutch in turn; the second Dutch war of 1665 proved to be a failure; in 1667, he dismissed his Lord Chancellor, the Earl of Clarendon, who was succeeded by a series of ministerial combinations, the first of which was that of Clifford, Ashley, Buckingham, Arlington and Lauderdale (whose initials formed the nickname Cabal); assented to the Test Act (1673) which excluded Roman Catholics from both Houses of Parliament; Parliament's reaction to the Popish Plot of 1678 was to impeach Lord Treasurer Danby and to present a bill to exclude Prince James from the succession; in 1680-81 Charles dissolved three Parliaments which had all tried to introduce Exclusion Bills.
Biographical sources: "King Charles II", by Antonia Fraser (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979); "The Restoration of Charles II 1658-1660", by Godfrey Davis (Huntington Library, San Marino, CA, 1955); Personal History of King Charles the Second (1851).

[1] Personal History of King Charles the Second, 31-32.
[2] "The form and order of the coronation of Charles the Second, King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland: as it was acted and done at Scoone, the first day of Ianuarie, 1651", by Robert Douglas (Aberdene: James Brown, 1652); "The Form and Order of the Coronation of Charles the II, King of Scotland: Together With the Sermon Then Preached by Mr. Robert Dowglas &c, and the Oath Then Taken with Several Speeches Made: as it was Acted at Scoone, the First Day of January, 1651 [i.e. 1652]", by Robert Douglas (London, 1660); Personal History of King Charles the Second, 147-157.
[3] Personal History of King Charles the Second, 208-209.
[4] English Historical Documents 1660-1714, 6:601-603.
[5] Although Scottish representatives were not admitted into the Convention Parliament of England that sat from 25 Apr/5 May 1660, the House of Commons resolved 7/17 May 1660 that "Ministers throughout the Kingdom of England, Scotland, and Ireland, Dominion of Wales, and Town of Berwick upon Tweed, be, and are hereby required and enjoined, publickly to pray for the King's Majesty, by the Name of Our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c." (Commons Journal, 8:14-16)
Image: portrait by John Michael Wright or studio, c. 1660-1665.
Last updated on: 14 Mar 2010 03:58:31