Tag Archives: King Charles II

“Iniquities at Charing Cross” (John Evelyn, 1660)

October 17th–  On this day in 1660, John Evelyn  wrote in his diary:

“Scot, Scroop, Cook and Jones suffered for reward of their iniquities at Charing Cross, in sight of the place where they put to death their natural prince, and in the presence of the King his son … .  I saw not the execution, but met their quarters, mangled, and cut, and reeking, as they were brought from the gallows in baskets on the hurdle.  Oh, the miraculous providence of God!”.

Cook

Cook

Like Thomas Harrison (see October 13th posting), Thomas Scot, Adrian Scroop and John Jones were signatories to the death warrant of Charles I hunted down and executed by Charles II.  John Cook was the chief prosecutor at Charles I’s trial.  Shortly before his execution, he wrote:

“We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom”.

The Banqueting House, where Charles I was executed,  is visited on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and   “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

“O put not your trust in Princes”

Thomas Wentworth

May 12th – On this day in 1641, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford and Lord Deputy of Ireland, an ardent supporter of the King, Charles I, in his power struggle with Parliament in the period leading up to the Civil War, was executed for high treason on Tower Hill (specifically, for allegedly saying to the King “You have an army in Ireland you may employ here to reduce this kingdom”).

His last words, taken from the Psalms, were:

“O put not your trust in Princes, nor in any child of man; for there is no help in them”.

A not particularly oblique reference to the sense of betrayal he felt toward the King, who had promised him that he “should not suffer in his person, honour or fortune”; and then, when expedient, signed his death warrant!

Site of execution of Thomas Wentworth, Tower Hill

Site of execution of (among others) Thomas Wentworth –  Tower Hill

Tower Hill  is visited on our “London Wall” and “Tower to Temple” standard walks, and on our “Lost City Highlights”, “Medieval London”, “Tudor and Stuart London” and “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of our web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

 

 

 

The Restoration of the Monarchy 

King Charles II

King Charles II

May 8th –  On this day in 1660, The “Convention Parliament” (see also April 25th posting) restored the monarchy to Prince Charles, making him King Charles II.

Site of execution of regicide Sir Harry Vane, Tower Hill

Site of execution of regicide Sir Harry Vane, Tower Hill

Charles II then went on to have executed almost all the surviving “regicides”, who had signed his father Charles I’s death warrant, thereby violating the terms of his own “Declaration of Breda”, which had promised a pardon for all crimes committed during the Civil War and inter-regnum (see Don Jordan and Michael Walsh’s “The King’s Revenge – Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History”, and Charles Spencer’s “Killers of the King – The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I”).

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

The Palace of Westminster, where Parliament sits, is visited, although not entered, on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London – The City that Chaucer knew”, “Medieval London Highlights” and “Legal London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

The Theatre Royal, Drury Lane

John Fletcher

John Fletcher

Francis Beaumont

Francis Beaumont

May 7th –  On this day in 1663, the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane first opened its doors, to put on a performance of John Fletcher and Francis Beaumont’s Jacobean tragi-comedy “The Humorous Lieutenant”, which was originally written in 1625, although not finally published until 1647.

A scene from The Humorous Lieutenant

A scene from The Humorous Lieutenant

Thomas Killigrew

Thomas Killigrew

The theatre was built by Thomas Killigrew, who we might think of as a theatrical impresario, at the behest of the new King, Charles II, and was the first to be built in London after the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 (immediately prior to which, during the inter-regnum, the performance of plays had been banned by the Puritans).  It became well known for its Restoration comedies, many of them penned by the house dramatist John Dryden, and performed by the house troupe, Killigrew’s “King’s Men”.

Nell Gwynne

Nell Gwynne

The king himself went to the theatre often, and the favourite of his thirteen mistresses, “pretty, witty Nell”, Nell Gwyn(ne) performed  there from 1665-71.

Samuel Pepys also went there, and wrote in his diary:

“The house is made with extraordinary good contrivance, and yet hath some faults, as the narrowness of the passages in and out of the Pitt, and the distance from the stage to the boxes, which I am confident cannot hear; but for all other things it is well, only, above all, the musique being below, and most of it sounding under the very stage, there is no hearing of the bases at all, nor very well of the trebles, which sure must be mended”.

The theatre was temporarily closed down during the Great Plague of 1665, but re-opened in 1666.  It survived the Great Fire of that year, but was burnt down in another fire on 25th January 1672.  The second theatre on the site was built in 1674, the third in 1794, and the fourth, present one, in 1812.

The present theatre is passed on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” standard walk.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of our web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

The Convention Parliament, and the Restoration of the Monarchy

Westminster Hall

Westminster Hall

April 25th –  On this day in 1660, which would have been Oliver Cromwell’s 61st birthday, the “Convention Parliament” was convened for the first time, in theory as a “free parliament”, with no allegiance to either the Commonwealth or the Monarchy, although in practice as one with overwhelmingly Monarchist sympathies.  Indeed, according to Trevelyan, it was “by the letter of the law no true Parliament, because the king did not summon it, on the contrary, it summoned the king”.

King Charles II

King Charles II

On May 8th, it restored the monarchy to Prince Charles, making him King Charles II.   Charles II then went on to have executed almost all the surviving “regicides”, who had signed his father Charles I’s death warrant, thereby violating the terms of his own “Declaration of Breda”, which had promised a pardon for all crimes committed during the Civil War and inter-regnum (see Don Jordan and Michael Walsh’s “The King’s Revenge – Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History”).

Site of execution of regicide Sir Harry Vane, Tower Hill

Site of execution of regicide Sir Harry Vane, Tower Hill

The Palace of Westminster, where Parliament sits, is visited, although not entered, on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey – Priories, Palaces and Parliament” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London – The City that Chaucer knew”, “Medieval London Highlights” and “Legal London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

“Iniquities at Charing Cross” (John Evelyn, 1660)

October 17th–  On this day in 1660, John Evelyn  wrote in his diary:

“Scot, Scroop, Cook and Jones suffered for reward of their iniquities at Charing Cross, in sight of the place where they put to death their natural prince, and in the presence of the King his son … .  I saw not the execution, but met their quarters, mangled, and cut, and reeking, as they were brought from the gallows in baskets on the hurdle.  Oh, the miraculous providence of God!”.

Cook

Cook

Like Thomas Harrison (see October 13th posting), Thomas Scot, Adrian Scroop and John Jones were signatories to the death warrant of Charles I hunted down and executed by Charles II.  John Cook was the chief prosecutor at Charles I’s trial.  Shortly before his execution, he wrote:

“We fought for the public good and would have enfranchised the people and secured the welfare of the whole groaning creation if the nation had not more delighted in servitude than in freedom”.

The Banqueting House, where Charles I was executed,  is visited on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Tudor and Stuart London” and   “Rebellious London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Guided Walks” section of this web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail (lostcityoflondon@sky.com), or by phone (020-8998-3051).

“His Majesty’s Return to his Parliament” – 29th May 1660

On May 8th, 1660, the “Convention Parliament” restored the monarchy to Prince Charles, making him King Charles II (see also April 25th posting).   On May 25th, Charles returned from Exile to England; and on May 29th, his birthday, he re-entered London.

May 29th was made a public holiday, “to be for ever kept as a Day of Thanksgiving for our Redemption from Tyranny and the King’s Return to his Government, he entering London that day”.  Although the public holiday, popularly known as “Oak Apple Day” or, more rarely, “Royal Oak Day”, was abolished in 1859, May 29th is  still marked by celebrations at  the Royal Hospital Chelsea, which was founded by Charles II in 1681.

His majesty's return to his parliament

His majesty’s return to his parliament

The Palace of Westminster, where Parliament sits, and Westminster Abbey, where the King was formally crowned in April 23rd, 1661, are visited, although not entered, on our “St Paul’s to Westminster Abbey” standard walk, and on our “Medieval London”, “Medieval City Highlights” and “Legal London” themed specials.

Further details of all our walks are available in the “Our Guided Walks” section of our web-site.

Bookings may be made through the “Contact/Booking” section of the web-site, by e-mail lostcityoflondon@sky.com, or by phone 020-8998-3051.