King Charles II

King Charles II

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Charles, the son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, was born in 1630. As Prince of Wales during the Civil War, Charles was placed in charge of the west of England and took part in the Battle of Edgehill in 1642.

After the defeat of the Royalist forces Charles went into exile to the Isles of Scilly. Later he lived in Jersey and France. In 1649 Charles was proclaimed king of Scotland. He arrived in Edinburgh but after military defeats at Dunbar and Worcester, he was forced to flee to France.

On 3 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell died. A few months previously, Cromwell had announced that he wanted his son, Richard Cromwell, to replace him as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth.

The English army was unhappy with this decision. While they respected Oliver as a skillful military commander, Richard was just a country farmer. In May 1659, the generals forced Richard to retire from government.

Parliament and the leaders of the army now began arguing amongst themselves about how England should be ruled. General George Monk, the officer in charge of the English army based in Scotland, decided to take action, and in 1660 he marched his army to London.

When Monck arrived he reinstated the House of Lords and the Parliament of 1640. Royalists were now in control of Parliament. Monck now contacted Charles, who was living in Holland. Charles agreed that if he was made king he would pardon all members of the parliamentary army and would continue with the Commonwealth's policy of religious toleration. Charles also accepted that he would share power with Parliament and would not rule as an 'absolute' monarch as his father had tried to do in the 1630s.

This information was passed to Parliament and it was eventually agreed to abolish the Commonwealth and bring back the monarchy. Parliament raised nearly £1 million and with this money soldiers in the army were paid off and sent home. At the same time Charles was granted permission to form two permanent regiments for himself, the Royal Scots and the Coldstream Guards.

As a reward for his action, General George Monck became one of the king's most important ministers. Many of the men who had fought as Cavaliers against the Roundheads also became ministers and advisers. Some of these men wanted revenge against those who had killed their king. A large number of the people responsible were now dead. However, many of those who were still alive were punished. Eleven members of the House of Commons who had signed Charles I's death warrant were hanged, drawn and quartered. Royalists even dug up the body of Oliver Cromwell and displayed it at Tyburn.

Charles and his pro-Royalist Parliament now attempted to deal with the Puritans. A new Act of Uniformity was passed that made Puritan acts of worship illegal. Those that refused to obey this law became known as non-conformists or dissenters. Large numbers of nonconformists went to prison because they were unwilling to give up their religious beliefs.

Men who had been Anglicans before the Civil War were appointed to senior posts in the church. Bishops once again became members of the House of Lords.

Puritans also lost their power in politics. In future Puritans would no longer be allowed to become members of the House of Commons or local counsellors. They were also excluded from universities and from teaching in schools. Strict censorship was also imposed on books. All books dealing with history, science or philosophy had to be checked by the government and the leaders of the church before they were published.

Newspapers were also put under the control of the government. Coffee-houses, where people often discussed politics, were also closed down.

In 1662 Charles married Catherine of Braganza, the daughter of the King of Portugal. This failed to produce an heir but through his affairs with Nell Gwyn, Barbara Villiers, the Duchess of Portsmouth and Louise de Keroualle he fathered several children.

In 1665 England became involved in a war with Holland. The war did not go well, and in 1667 the Dutch fleet defeated the English navy. Charles feared that a weakened England was now likely to be invaded by the French. For hundreds of years the French were seen as England's main European rivals. One of the reasons for this constant conflict concerned the subject of religion. Whereas England was a Protestant nation, France had always remained loyal to the Catholic faith.

Charles, afraid that his powerful neighbour might try and invade England, sent his sister Henrietta to talk to Louis XIV of France. In their talks, Henrietta told Louis XIV that Charles II wanted England and France to become allies. Louis XIV replied that he was willing to help England but in return he demanded that Charles become a Catholic. Charles agreed to this but argued that he needed time before announcing his decision to the people of England. Charles feared that the English Protestants might try to overthrow him when they realised that they had a Catholic king.

In 1670 Charles II and Louis XIV signed the Treaty of Dover. In the treaty Louis XIV agreed to give Charles a yearly pension. A further sum of money would be paid once Charles announced to the English people that he had joined the Catholic church. Louis XIV also promised to send Charles 6,000 French soldiers if the English people rebelled against him. For his part, Charles agreed to help the French against the Dutch. He also promised to do what he could to stop the English Protestants from persecuting Catholics.

This treaty was kept secret from the English people while Charles tried to persuade Parliament to become more friendly towards the French government. Charles used some of the money to bribe certain members of Parliament. These MPs, who supported Charles' pro-Catholic policies, became known as Tories by their opponents in Parliament.

The Puritans lost control of government after the Restoration in 1660. However, the vast majority of members of House of Commons remained loyal Protestants.

In 1670 Charles became a Roman Catholic. However, as Parliament and about 90% of the people in England were Protestants, Charles had to keep this a secret. After becoming a Catholic, Charles tried very hard to protect other Catholics from Protestant persecution. However, he was unable to stop Parliament from passing the Test Acts that prevented Catholics from being Members of Parliament or from holding any other high office.

Charles and his wife Catherine of Braganza did not have any children. There were two possible candidates to become king when Charles died; James, his younger brother and James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, his eldest illegitimate son.

In 1678, Titus Oates, an Anglican minister announced that he had discovered a Catholic plot to kill Charles II. Oates claimed that Charles was to be replaced by his Roman Catholic brother, James. He went on to argue that after James came to the throne Protestants would be massacred in their thousands. This announcement made Catholics more unpopular than ever, and eighty of them were arrested and accused of taking part in the plot. Several were executed before it was revealed that Titus Oates had been lying.

Earl of Shaftesbury was a senior member of the king's government. Shaftesbury was strong supporter of religious toleration and this resulted in him clashing with Earl of Clarendon. Shaftesbury survived but was later dismissed from office when he expressed doubts about the role being played by the king's brother, James.

Shaftesbury now argued that the king should call a new Parliament to discuss these issues. His supporters began to wear green ribbons (the colours of the Levellers). The king, concerned about this act of rebellion, had Shaftesbury arrested and sent to the Tower of London.

Dissatisfaction with the king continued and after a year Shaftesbury was released and James was sent to live abroad. Shaftesbury was brought back to power as president of the privy Council. In this position he urged Charles II to remarry in an effort to produce an heir to the throne. Charles, who wanted his brother to succeed him as king, refused, and dismissed Shaftesbury from office.

In July 1681 Earl of Shaftesbury was arrested and charged with high treason. However, in November, 1681, the grand jury threw the charges out. Shaftesbury was released but fearing he would be arrested again, he fled to the Netherlands where he died in 1683.

Just before he died in February 1685, Charles admitted that he was a Roman Catholic. He also announced that his brother James, who was also a Catholic, was to succeed him to the throne.

You cannot imagine how all people here are affected with joy at the hope of having a King again. His (Charles) picture is hung up in many places in the streets... there was a man yesterday who said that he had seen him lately and that he was not so handsome as that picture, at which the people were so angry that they fell upon the man and beat him soundly.

There were 20,000 soldiers... shouting with joy; the streets covered with flowers, the bells ringing, fountains running with wine.

I feel better now... It is better to have one king than five hundred.

King Charles II... was corrupted by France... he was continually cheating his people... he was lazy... he enjoyed the pleasures of wit and laughter, with the most worthless, vicious men of his age.

Henrietta of England... whose intelligence was equal to her beauty... sister to the King of England and sister-in-law to the

King of France... met Louis XIV and promised that Parliament would re-establish the Catholic religion in the three kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland.

The King of England, being convinced of the truth of the Catholic religion... agrees to be reconciled to the Church of Rome, as soon as his kingdom's affairs shall permit him... the said King (Louis XIV) agrees to assist his Majesty (Charles II).. if in need... by sending 6,000 men.

He (Charles II) had many great faults... He neglected the needs of the people... Wars, plagues, fires made his reign very troublesome and unprosperous.

The King... mixed himself amongst the crowd, allowed every man to speak to him as he pleased, went hawking in the mornings, to cock-fights or foot races in the afternoons (if there were no horse races), and to plays in the evenings.

Leading LadiesThe Story of Women's Ascent to the Stage

By the Edwardian era, women were a necessary and accepted part of the theatre community. Actresses were celebrities, and their profession a highly respected and reputable one - even to the point of a number of actresses marrying into the nobility. But that had not always been the case - not in Europe generally, and especially not in conservative Old England. Christian dogma, and in particular puritanism, had kept women from the stage throughout much of the early development of European theatre. This, all too briefly, is the story of how that came to be, and how it came to be overturned.

Influence of the Church and the Crown

Theatre, which traces its origins back to classical Greek and Roman times or even earlier, soon earned the condemnation of the early christian church - probably due to its pagan origins and the fact that in its early days it was commonly frequented by prostitutes plying their trade. In christian England, a succession of church decrees against theatre ensured that for hundreds of years it was virtually unknown in this country. All of that changed in the middle ages when the Church itself, somewhat paradoxically, resurrected theatre for its own end. In an age of mass illiteracy, the church needed other means than the written word to get the message of the Bible across to the general populace. Thus the church introduced the 'Miracle Plays', dramatic reconstructions of bible stories performed by monks and religious brotherhoods in village squares across the country. But the church soon found that it had opened Pandora's box - the popularity of these 'Miracle Plays' inspired the formation of troupes of non-secular players performing other types of plays purely for purposes of entertainment and profit. These troupes inspired immediate condemnation from the church, but the church itself had created the demand for their productions - it had created the environment in which they could survive, and survive they did.

As with the 'Miracle Plays', these early commercial plays were solely a male preserve. Some conventions take longer to overturn, and in Old England for a woman to exhibit herself in public was not only unseemly, it was immoral, indecent. Women's equality was as yet a thing of the far distant future. Women belonged in the home, not flaunting themselves in public. So before the construction of the first fixed theatres, these troupes of male actors would roam the country performing wherever and whenever there were a few coppers to made. Being itinerant, their womenfolk would perforce travel with them, but still they could not perform. Even male actors were looked upon in those days with considerable suspicion and contempt, regarded as little better than thieves or vagabonds. So the idea of females taking part in an already disreputable profession was unthinkable. Of course plays commonly called for female roles, and so those parts had to be played by men, or, more commonly, by boys.

The bad reputation which clung to those connected with the acting profession in those days was largely the responsibility of the church. If the church could not stop these travelling troupes of players, it could at least see to it thay they were widely reviled, even by those who paid to see them perform. They were tolerated in one place only long enough to give their performance, and then they must move on. When the first fixed theatres were subsequently established in London, they were welcomed by some, but denounced by many, and even found themselves blamed for the Great Plague - after all it was commonly beleived that the cause of the Plague was sin, and what was there more sinful, according to the church, than theatre? Ironically, these early theatres may very well indeed have played a part, since by crowding people together in a confined space they would have provided an opportunity for an unknowing victim to infect others.

But if the church had long been theatre's implacable enemy, the crown had equally been its devoted friend. Richard III (1483-1485) was the first English King to keep his own troupe of players, Henry VIII (1509-1547) was a devotee who loved appearing in masques and even wrote and performed his own songs. Elizabeth I (1558-1603), the virgin Queen, adored playgoing and under her and her successor James I (1603-1625) the theatre would flourish as never before. This era, from the mid 16th Century to the mid 17th, was the time of Shakespeare, Jonson, Marlowe, Ford and Beaumont among others, and theatres were springing up everywhere. It seemed theatre was accepted at last and was here to stay. - (top)

But still there were no actresses. When the great plays of William Shakespeare were first performed, all of the parts would still have to be played by males, even that most feminine and romantic of roles, 'Juliet' (in "Romeo and Juliet"). It is probably no accident that Shakespeare's plots often called for his female characters to be masquerading as boys. Since they had to be played by boys anyway, this would have added to the realism. The church may have been defeated in the matter of theatre in general, but on the point of women it still ruled supreme. The church forbade the appearance of women, and theatre was not yet powerful enough to resist. There is anecdotal evidence, with probably some element of truth, of a few women pretending to be boys in order to play the parts for which they were more naturally endowed. But at a time when few records were kept, and when they could never be properly recognised anyway for fear of prosecution, these reports cannot now be verified. It is truly strange to consider then that Shakespeare's great romantic tragedies could have become so popular with all the parts being played by men. A true testament to the power of the theatre that a tender and moving speech from a man to a woman could in fact be delivered by one man to another and this glaring anomaly be so easily overlooked.

On the continent there was no such problem, things were already changing. During the early years of Elizabeth's reign in England, women would become firmly established in theatre in Italy, and towards the of her reign the same would become true of France. The Worlds first 'great' celebrated actress was in fact an Italian, Isabella Andreini, a member of a company called the Gelosi who appeared on stage in Florence from around 1578. Still England lagged behind, even ultra-conservative Spain saw the light long before England did. Some travellers to France and Italy saw theatrical productions with the added spectacle of female performers and either approved or disapproved, but this was as yet unknown in Mother England. - (top)

English Theatre continued to flourish during the reign of Charles I (1625-1649), but with the growing Puritan movement the storm clouds were gathering. Charles reign did, however, see the first appearance of professional female players on the stage in England - but they were not English. Charles's Queen, Henrietta Maria, was a Frenchwoman and it was her influence that brought a French company, complete with actresses, to perform in London at the Blackfriars Theatre. London theatregoers were at once fascinated and horrified at the sight of women performing on stage. The Puritans were outraged at such an affront to their religious sensibilities. The conservatives were aghast at the intrusion of a foreign idea so contrary to established tradition. A private letter written to the Bishop of London and signed by one Thomas Brande condemned the piece and noted "Glad I am to saye that they were hissed, hooted, and pippin-pelted from the stage, so as I do not think they will soone be ready to trie the same againe." Although there were those who saw no wrong in such an idea, for the majority, like Brande, it was too soon. The puritans position was actually a somewhat hypocritical one. Not only were they vehemently opposed to the appearance of women on the stage, they also regarded the alternative idea of males taking female parts to be an equally abominable practice. The prominent puritan politician and author William Prynne in his "Histriomastix," (1632) referred to the actresses as "French women, or monsters rather" and went on to describe them as "impudent, shamefull, unwomanish, gracelesse".

So the first introduction of women in English theatre had been a failure, and when Oliver Cromwell rose to power following the English Civil War, theatre found itself cast into another dark age. With the crown temporarily abolished, theatre had lost its greatest ally. To the Puritans, if women performing in public was an offence against morality, then boys masquerading as women, and in particular wearing womens clothing, was an abomination against the scriptures. Not only were women to continue to be banned from the stage, now theatrical performance in its entirety was to be banned, and all of the theatres were closed down.

Paradoxically, this ban on theatre in all its forms would lead to the door finally being opened for English women to appear on the stage. Theatre may have been banned, but the tradition of theatre-going in England was too strong to be entirely suppressed. With the theatres closed, well-to-do patrons of the theatrical profession hosted secretive performances in their own homes to which only trusted friends were invited. And since these performances were illegal anyway, there was little need in staging them to observe the other legal niceties, such as the law that forbade women from acting. So it was that in some of these illicit performances, the first English women were seen to appear in front of paying audiences. Notable among these was Mrs Coleman, a highly respectable married woman who played the leading lady in a dramatic opera written by Sir William Davenant and performed on a small stage in his stately home in front of paying guests. - (top)

The Door is Opened by Royal Charter

By the time of the Restoration of King Charles II, certain of the more prominent elements of English society had seen women acting and had not found it to be so terribly offensive. Moreover, the new King himself was a lover of theatre and during four years of foreign exile had seen many theatrical performances which included women players. He was determined to open the door for women players in England, the problem was how to do it without upsetting his still largely Puritan subjects. Cleverly, he granted a charter to the Drury Lane company, making it the Kings Own Company, and to prevent the moral outrage to his subjects caused by boys dressing up as females the charter required that all female parts must be played by women. So there it was, in a document which exists to this today, the door to the acting profession was opened to women by no less a hand than that of the King himself.

The reaction of male actors to the introduction of women to their profession was mixed. Some saw it as adding realism and thereby enhancing their profession, others regarded it as 'unnatural'. Some grumbled at the competition from these raw amateurs in a profession where it was already difficult enough to earn a living, others realised the financial opportunities of introducing their wives and daughters to the stage. Regardless of these murmurings, one thing soon became clear, the theatre-going public once exposed to women playing womens roles on the stage would no longer accept anything less. The more progressive male actors and producers soon realised that women attracted fresh patrons to the theatre, creating more demand for performances and thereby more work for all. - (top)

The first English woman to 'legally' appear on the stage in England was one Margaret Hughes , who on 8th December 1660, played 'Desdemona' in 'The Moor of Venice' (a reworking of Shakespeares 'Othello'). The production, at the Vere Street theatre, was billed as introducing the "first woman that came to act on the stage". The reaction of the crowd is unknown, but overall it seems to have been a success. Certainly it did not put off the lady herself since she would go on to join the original Theatre Royal (Drury Lane) company and play many more roles in a career which would bring her riches through the romantic attentions of Prince Rupert (to whom she gave a daughter). The prologue, written by Thomas Jordan especially for the occasion, is reproduced at the foot of this page. - (top)

Some Other Great Early Actresses

Now that women were finally admitted to the acting profession many other talented actresses would follow that route to fame and fortune. The most famous of all the early English actresses being of course Nell Gwynne (1650-1687). Although she is better remembered as an orange seller (which is uncertain) and as mistress to the King (which is certain), she was primarily an actress. Nell Gwynne was born in 1650, the appellation of 'orange seller' comes from the belief that she began her association with the theatre selling oranges to the audience at the King's Theatre. Whether or not that be true, she did at some point she attract the attention there of the actor Charles Hart, becoming his mistress and taking up acting. She soon established herself as a talented comic actress, especially skilled in singing and dancing. As her acting career blossomed, she caught the eye of Lord Buckhurst, Charles Sackville, becoming in turn his mistress also. But the paramour that cemented her fame was Charles II, King of England (in reference to her previous lovers, Nell would often refer to the King as her Charles III).

King Charles was a notorious womaniser, who had associations with over a dozen mistresses, but of all these Nell would become his favourite. He set her up in a house in Pall Mall, containing a fabulous bed made of solid silver standing in the center of a room lined entirely with mirrors. The bed alone had cost a thousand pounds. Nell is known to have given birth to a son by Charles II, who in all probability was conceived in that very bed. Although the King provided for the child, and for those he believed to be his by his other mistresses, in spite of Nell's most earnest entreaties he refused to grant her wish to give the boy a title. Nevertheless, Nell would remain close to the King until his death and continue to live in the house he had bought her until her own death in 1687.

The frequency with which these early actresses would entertain members of the nobility in their dressing rooms, and often become their mistresses, did litle to enhance the 'respectability' of their profession. Nell Gwynne herself, when mistaken in her carriage for the despised Catholic Duchess of Portland, Louise de Keroualle, and jostled by the crowd retorted "pray good people be civil, I am the Protestant whore". Moreover, many of these early women players came from dubious backgrounds, and that they became celebrities at all was often due more to their morals (or lack thereof) than to their artistic talents.

Even so, more and more women aspired to become actresses, and the need for them was insatiable. Women of good breeding and/or 'character' were to become drawn to the acting profession and the first truly great actresses would soon appear. Among the first of these was Elizabeth Barry (1658-1713), the daughter of a barrister who had been a Colonel in King Charles I army. When the King lost the war to the Parliamentarians, Barry had lost all he owned and the prospects for the daughter of a broken cavalier appeared bleak. Accordingly, when she was old enough at the age of 15, she tried for the stage. After a year with the Dukes Theatre company she was dismissed as being untalented and unteachable. She then found a mentor in the Earl of Rochester, a womaniser who no doubt instructed the pretty young girl in more than just the arts of theatre, but nevertheless he made an actress of her. Elizabeth already had beauty, Rochester gave her 'presence'. That indefineable quality which draws in an audience to believe unflinchingly in the portrayal and take the player to their hearts. In time she became the greatest actress of her era, unrivalled by any other woman on stage.

The next great actress, whose career overlapped that of Elizabeth Barry, was Anne Bracegirdle (Circa 1663-1748). Anne Bracegirdle first appeared on stage as a child and would go on to acheive her greatest successes playing in the comedies of William Congreve (whose mistress she was rumoured to have been). Anne was much loved both by the theatregoing public and by her fellow performers. She was also a famous beauty which led to her becoming the innocent cause of the death of her good friend, the actor William Mountford. Captain Richard Hill, a ne'er-do-well whose amorous advances Anne had spurned, determined to carry her off and enlisted the aid of his equally dissolute friend Lord Charles Mohun. Their attempt failed but when Mountford, hearing of it, rushed to Anne's home to assure her safety he ran into the pair and was murdered by them. Throughout her lifetime Anne had a particular reputation for virtue (notwithstanding the rumours with regard to Congreve), even being presented with 800 guineas from a subscription headed by Lord Halifax as a tribute to her virtue. Her reputation was further enhanced by her conspicuous charity to the poor in Clare Market and around Drury Lane.

Her position as Englands leading actress eventually came to be challenged by another Anne, Anne Oldfield (1683-1730). When the two Annes joined company at The Haymarket in 1705 they became instant rivals. A kind of competition was arranged where the two would play in the same role on alternate nights and the audiences would vote on who was better. When Anne Oldfield won the vote, Anne Bracegirdle determined the time had come for her to retire from the stage.

Anne Oldfield, popularly known as 'Nance', was born low on the social scale and used the stage to raise her status until she had earned her final resting place in Westminster Abbey. She was barely started on that path when Anne Bracegirdle stepped aside for her, having first made a stir as 'Lady Betty' in "Careless Husband" for actor/manager Colley Cibber two years earlier. Nance was a great beauty and a woman of talent, wit and determination. She excelled particularly in comedy for which she was best admired and was generally reluctant to undertake tragedy. She is said to have had a most clear and distinctive voice and was said by the French playwright Voltaire to have been the only English player he could follow without effort.

Both Anne's could certainly be said to have been full of grace, which makes their shared name particulary apt. The name Anne is derived from Hebrew and means "full of grace". - (top)

In 1755 a daughter was born into a travelling theatrical family headed by actor-manager Roger Kemble and his wife Sarah. The daughter, also named Sarah, was groomed for the stage from birth and was destined to become one of the greatest tragediennes the profession has ever known.

It almost came not to be so, for when her parents forbade her marriage to actor William Siddons, a member of her fathers company, Sarah left the company to take up a position as a lady's maid. But her parents relented, and Sarah returned to the company and married her William - and it was as Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) that she rose to fame. Beginning to make a name for herself in the provinces, in 1775 Sarah was recommended to the great David Garrick who, after a trial engaged her and her husband to play at the Drury Lane. Playing before a large crowd in a purpose built theatre was very different from what she had been accustomed to however. Sarah could not settle or give of her best, she was widely criticised for the quality of her performances and soon retreated back to the provinces.

Seven years later, having greatly added to her poise and experience, and become a great favourite in the provinces, Sarah was ready to try again. Playing the title role in "Isabella", Sarah so won over the Drury Lane audience that after Isabella's death scene the play could not be completed because of the tumult in the adoring crowd. Overnight her fame was assured. All of London went mad about her, her name alone could fill any theatre.

Of the many parts she would play in a distinguished career, it was the role of the tragic heroine that she played best, and none more so than that of 'Lady MacBeth' - a part she would play over many years and, fittingly, in her last stage performance at the Covent Garden in 1812. Even in retirement Sarah would sometimes give readings from Shakespeare which invariably drew large crowds.

Her death in 1831 was a great loss to the theatrical profession. At a time when acting was only just becoming a respectable profession for a woman Sarah's character was irreproachable. As an actress she had never had an equal, and having at first failed but then through perseverence triumphed, she set a shining example for all who aspired to follow her.

Theatre had not long to wait, however, before her most able successor arrived on the scene. And it was another Sarah - Sarah Bernhardt (1845-1923). This Sarah (her stage name) was born in 1844 in Paris as Henriette Rosine Bernard - the illegitimate daughter of a Dutch Jewish courtesan. She was educated in French Catholic convents and trained for the stage at the Conservatoire de Musique et Déclamation.

Sarah Bernhardt's stage career began in 1862, appearing mainly in comic theatre and burlesque. She quickly rose to fame on the stage across Europe and in the United States. Expanding her repertoire as her experience grew she developed a reputation as a serious dramatic actress. At the height of her career she was the most famous actress of her day known, to her adoring fans simply as "the Divine Sarah". She was probably the first truly international 'superstar'.

Sarah also embraced what was then a very new technology, and made several recordings (on cylinders and discs) of famous dialogue from various productions. She was also one of the first actresses to appear on film when she appeared as 'Hamlet' in "Le Duel Hamlet" in 1900. She went on to make eleven films in all. Sarah was also multi-talented, being an accomplished painter and sculptor as well as finding time to publish a series of books and plays throughout her life.

Her social life echoed that of some of her earlier forebears, having a string of lovers including a Belgian nobleman (the father of her only child), the writer Maurice Bernhardt and several artists and actors. She married once to a greek-born actor but it did not last.

On the stage she revelled in tradegic pieces and preferred roles in which her character died at the drama's end. Sarah lost her right leg through amputation in 1915, some years after suffering a serious injury. She carried on her career undaunted however, in spite of having to wear a wooden prosthetic limb. She died in Paris in 1923. Sarah Bernhardt has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. - (top)

That brings us up to the period to which this website is dedicated, the Edwardian era. A time graced by so many beautiful and talented actresses that it was no longer possible to single out any one as being elevated above the rest.

To reach this condition, women had at first for many years been banned from the stage. Then they had been tolerated more than accepted - lauded for their theatrical talents maybe, but still looked down upon as essentialy immoral and and of low character. Because of this, many early actresses adopted the apellation of 'Mrs' whether they were married or not, simply because the married title implied a greater air of respectability.

Gradually, through the efforts of many of the early proponents of their art the situation changed. The idea of theatre without women to play womens roles became inconceivable. Accomplished actresses, once unknown, then finding fame only through their off-stage exploits, eventually entered an age where they could be recognised for what they were. Where they could make their mark through their acting talents alone. No longer forced to trade upon their beauty, charm, and the influence of their lovers. Although some actresses still preferred to use the married title it was no longer necessary, an actress could use the unmarried appelation 'Miss', as in 'Miss Lily Elsie', and it still convey the epitomy of chaste respectability. The day of the actress had come of age, their finest hour had arrived. - (top)

"A Prologue to introduce the first Woman that came to act on the Stage, in the Tragedy called the Moor of Venice:"
Delivered at theatre in Vere Street, on Saturday, December 8th, 1660 - written by Thomas Jordan.

"I came, unknown to any of the rest,
To tell the news I saw the lady drest:
The woman plays to-day mistake me not,
No man in gown, or page in petticoat
A woman to my knowledge, yet I can't,
If I should die, make affidavit on't.

Do you not twitter, gentlemen? I know
You will be censuring: do it fairly, though
'Tis possible a virtuous woman may
Abhor all sorts of looseness, and yet play
Play on the stage where all eyes are upon her:
Shall we count that a crime France counts an honour?

In other kingdoms husbands safely trust 'em
The difference lies only in the custom.
And let it be our custom, I advise
I'm sure this custom's better than th' excise,
And may procure us custom: hearts of flint
"Will melt in passion when a woman's in't.

But, gentlemen, you that as judges sit
In the Star-chambers of the house the pit,
Have modest thoughts of her pray do not run
To give her visits when the play is done,
With "damn me, your most humble servant, lady"
She knows these things as well as you, it may be

Not a bit there, dear gallants, she doth know
Her own deserts and your temptations too.
But to the point: in this reforming age
We have intents to civilise the stage.
Our women are defective, and so sized,
You'd think they were some of the guard disguised

For, to speak truth, men act, that are between
Forty and fifty, wenches of fifteen
With bone so large, and nerve so incompliant,
When you call "Desdemona," enter giant.
We shall purge everything that is unclean,
Lascivious, scurrilous, impious, or obscene
And when we've put all things in this fair way,
Barebones himself may come to see a play.'

Primary Sources: "Ladies First", W. McQueen-Pope, Hutchinson 1952 Oxford Companion to the Theatre, 1st Ed. 1951 Oxford Interactive Encyclopaedia, (CD-ROM) 2002 Plus various other online and literary sources.

40 Odd Facts About the Inbred King Charles II of Spain

Born in 1661, King Charles II of Spain was the last Habsburg ruler of the country. Born into a family whose inbreeding was of epic proportions, he suffered severe deformities that led to him being known as El Hechizado, the bewitched. Charles II became King of Spain at the age of three, after his father died in 1665. Charles II often suffered from ill health and much of his reign consisted of others ruling the country in his stead. This led to internal political struggle within his family over who would call the shots. His mother and illegitimate half brother&rsquos feud led to political turmoil and arranged marriages for the young, sick king. Poor King Charles II suffered through ill health, political unrest and two dead wives before he died in 1700. Childless, his will named Phillip Anjou as successor to the throne, leaving the Spanish Empire in uproar and reeling into the War of Spanish Succession. Read on to learn more about his tragic life and reign.

A sketch of King Charles II. Getty Images/ Factinate.

40. He Was the Epitome of Habsburg Inbreeding

The Habsburgs were notorious for marrying cousins, uncles, aunts, whatever, to keep power within their family. Case in point: All of Charles&rsquo great-grandparents were descended from the same parents: Philip I and Joanna of Castile. Basically, their children had all married their cousins, who had all married their cousins (or someone of a close relation). By the time Charles came along, he was more inbred than if his parents had been brother and sister.


“View of New Amsterdam” (ca. 1665), a watercolor by Johannes Vingboons, was painted during the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 1660s and 1670s. New Amsterdam was officially reincorporated as New York City in 1664, but alternated under Dutch and English rule until 1674.

Charles II also set his sights on the Dutch colony of New Netherland. The English takeover of New Netherland originated in the imperial rivalry between the Dutch and the English. During the Anglo-Dutch wars of the 1650s and 1660s, the two powers attempted to gain commercial advantages in the Atlantic World. During the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1664–1667), English forces gained control of the Dutch fur trading colony of New Netherland, and in 1664, Charles II gave this colony (including present-day New Jersey) to his brother James, Duke of York (later James II). The colony and city were renamed New York in his honor. The Dutch in New York chafed under English rule. In 1673, during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674), the Dutch recaptured the colony. However, at the end of the conflict, the English had regained control.

The Duke of York had no desire to govern locally or listen to the wishes of local colonists. It wasn’t until 1683, therefore, almost 20 years after the English took control of the colony, that colonists were able to convene a local representative legislature. The assembly’s 1683 Charter of Liberties and Privileges set out the traditional rights of Englishmen, like the right to trial by jury and the right to representative government.

The English continued the Dutch patroonship system, granting large estates to a favored few families. The largest of these estates, at 160,000 acres, was given to Robert Livingston in 1686. The Livingstons and the other manorial families who controlled the Hudson River Valley formed a formidable political and economic force. Eighteenth-century New York City, meanwhile, contained a variety of people and religions—as well as Dutch and English people, it held French Protestants (Huguenots), Jews, Puritans, Quakers, Anglicans, and a large population of slaves. As they did in other zones of colonization, native peoples played a key role in shaping the history of colonial New York. After decades of war in the 1600s, the powerful Five Nations of the Iroquois, composed of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca, successfully pursued a policy of neutrality with both the English and, to the north, the French in Canada during the first half of the 1700s. This native policy meant that the Iroquois continued to live in their own villages under their own government while enjoying the benefits of trade with both the French and the English.

Charles II

Charles II, son of Charles I, became King of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland in 1660 as a result of the Restoration Settlement. Charles ruled to 1685 and his reign is famous for the 1665 Great Plague that primarily affected London and the 1666 Great Fire of London.

Charles was born on May 29 th 1630 at St. James’s Palace in London. He received his education from the Bishop of Chichester and the Earl of Newcastle. However, what would be deemed his formal education ended when the Civil War broke out in 1642. Any education Charles received after the war broke out was dislocated by the necessity of his family having to move. In 1645, Charles, the heir to the Crown, had to flee England. He spent the next five years as a royal refugee in Jersey, France and the Netherlands.

Charles was in The Hague when he received information that his father had been executed in January 1649.

In 1650, Charles landed in Scotland to lead a Presbyterian rebellion against the English government. On September 3 rd , 1651, an army led by Oliver Cromwell defeated the Scots. The Scots were also defeated at Worcester (3 rd September 1651) after their army had invaded England. This defeat forced Charles abroad again and it placed England very much under the control of Cromwell. Charles lived with his mother in Paris. As a Daughter of France, Henrietta Maria received a small state pension. By 1654, diplomatic relations between England and France started to improve and Charles once again had to move – this time to Cologne.

However, Cromwell’s domestic policies did not endear him to the English and when he died in 1658 it is said that his coffin was guarded by some 30,000 soldiers as it was driven through London before his burial. While it is probable that contemporary commentators exaggerated this figure, there is little doubt that by the time of his death, Cromwell had created a society whereby you were either for Cromwell or against him – with little in between. Many celebrated his death and between 1658 and 1660, it became clear to the government that the restoration of the monarchy was of vital importance if society itself was not going to fragment.

General Monck, commander of the Protectorate’s army in Scotland, believed that the only way to unify the country was for the restoration of monarchy with Parliament governing the country. In this way the people would have an individual to rally around while Parliament continued to represent the will of the people when it came to decision-making. Monck had much sway in London, if only because his loyal army had a good reputation at a time when the armies of Parliament elsewhere in the land were being seriously weakened by desertions. Monck had always maintained connections with Royalists so it was only a matter of time before he and Edward Hyde discussed the terms of any potential restoration.

Edward Hyde, 1 st Earl of Clarendon, negotiated the Restoration Settlement on behalf of Charles. The final settlement was based on the Declaration of Breda (April 1660) in which Charles promised liberty of conscience, a land settlement and arrears of pay for the army. However, Parliament was to work out the details of these intentions– a sign of the relationship Charles and Parliament was to have. Parliament wanted to make it clear that they would not tolerate any similar behaviour associated with Charles I. Charles II would not have needed reminding that his father had paid with his life as a result of taking on Parliament.

Charles landed at Dover, Kent, on May 25 th , 1660. There seems to be little doubt that the Restoration was a highly popular event and contemporary writers record the celebrations that greeted Charles in Dover that extended all the way to Rochester.

Charles himself was too astute to get himself involved in similar political situations to his father – though he was also lazy and preferred enjoying himself to involving himself in political intrigue. However, despite his reputation for licentious behaviour – in stark contrast to the era of the Puritans – Charles was not totally passive when it came to Parliament and politics.

Probably most peoples’ perception of Charles II is of a man who wanted to enjoy himself – and there can be little doubt that Charles disappointed with regards to this – hence his nickname ‘The Merry Monarch’.

Charles had many mistresses while King of Great Britain. Probably the most famous was Nell Gwynn though others included Lucy Walter and the Duchess of Portsmouth. Charles acknowledged that he fathered fourteen illegitimate children.

The reign of Charles can be divided into specific parts.

The Earl of Clarendon was the most important political figure between 1660 and1667 and he dominated political affairs between those years.

The Cabal was the most important political entity between 1667 and 1673.

Sir Thomas Darby dominated politics between 1673 and 1679.

The Exclusion Crisis occurred between 1679 and 1681.

Between 1681 and 1685, Charles dispensed with Parliament and ruled as an absolute monarch.

Charles II died from a stroke on February 6 th , 1685.

“He lived with his ministers as he did with his mistresses he used them, but he was not in love with them. He showed his judgement in this, that he cannot properly be said ever to have had a favourite, though some might look so at a distance. He tied himself no more to them than they did to him, which implied a sufficient liberty on either side.

He had backstairs to convey information to him, as well as for other uses and though such information is sometimes dangerous (especially to a prince that will not take the pains necessary to digest them) yet in the main that humour of hearing everybody against anybody kept those about him in more awe than they would have been without it. I do not believe that ever he trusted any man or any set of men so entirely as not to have some secrets in which they had no share as this might make him less well served, so in some degree it might make him the less imposed upon.”

“He is very affable not only in private but in public, only he talks too much and runs out too long and too far he has a very ill opinion both of men and women, and so is infinitely distrustful he thinks the world is governed wholly by interest, and indeed he has known so much of the baseness of mankind that no wonder if he has hard thoughts of them but when he is satisfied that his interests are likewise become the interests of his ministers, then he delivers himself up to them in all their humour and revenges. He has often kept up differences amongst his ministers and has balanced his favours pretty equally amongst them…..he naturally inclines to refining and loves an intrigue….he loves his ease so much that the great secret of all his ministers is to find out his temper exactly and to be easy to him. He has many odd opinions about religion and morality he thinks an implicitness in religion is necessary for the safety of government and he looks upon all inquisitiveness into these things as mischievous to the state he thinks all appetites are free and that God will never damn a man for allowing himself a little pleasure. I believe he is no atheist, but rather he has formed an odd idea of the goodness of God in his mind he thinks to be wicked, and to design mischief, is the only thing God hates.”

The King’s Revenge: Charles II and the Greatest Manhunt in British History

On 30 January 1649 King Charles I of England, Ireland and Scotland was beheaded on a scaffold outside the Banqueting House at Whitehall. He had been condemned for “traitorously and maliciously” levying war against his own people by an extraordinary High Court of Justice, which had been set up as a result of the political manoeuvrings of Oliver Cromwell and a group of hard-line parliamentarian army officers and MPs.

Countless books have been written about the fate of the ‘martyr king’, but what Don Jordan and Michael Walsh have set out to do in this fast-paced, lively work is to trace the fates of those who were most prominent in bringing about the king’s death. They tell the story of the luckless individuals who, following the restoration of the monarchy in the person of Charles’s son, Charles II, in 1660, would be hunted down as ‘regicides’.

No one could mistake The King’s Revenge for a loyal literary garland intended to celebrate the occasion of the present queen’s diamond jubilee. Sporting a grim cover depicting a crown superimposed on a headsman’s axe and a blood-spattered union flag, this is a book that wears its heart upon its sleeve, and from first to last it is made abundantly clear that the authors’ sympathies lie with “the men who dared to sit in judgement upon King Charles I” rather than with their royalist and neo-royalist opponents. Thus Charles is described at one point as a ruler “more likely to know the names of 15th-century Venetian painters than those of his own subjects,” while his son is portrayed as a vindictive and unscrupulous young man who was determined to wreak revenge upon his father’s executioners by whatever means he could.

The authors begin by retelling the story of Charles I’s trial – here characterised, with a nod to Geoffrey Robertson, QC, author of The Tyrannicide Brief, as “the first war crimes trial in history [which] was to provide the basis of the rights and freedoms we take for granted today”.

Next, they describe the initial attempts of royalist assassins to hit back at the men who had sat in judgement on the king during the late 1640s and early 1650s.

Finally, they move on to explore the complex sequence of events which unfolded between 1660 and 1662, as many of the prominent former parliamentarians who had played a part in bringing about the king’s execution managed to wriggle off the hook, while others – more humble, more unfortunate or simply more principled – were exempted from pardon, tried and eventually executed.

Jordan and Walsh provide vivid accounts of the bravery and fortitude with which the condemned men met their deaths and there are many poignant vignettes, including that of Charles I’s former prosecutor, the lawyer John Cook, attempting to cheer his fellow captive, the Puritan preacher Hugh Peter, on the day fixed for their execution with the words: “Come, brother Peter, let us knock at heaven-gates this morning. God will open the doors of eternity to us before twelve of the clock!”

While the authors’ language is anachronistic at times, and their bibliography is sketchy (it seems remarkable that Ronald Hutton’s penetrating study of Charles II is not cited here), few could deny that they have provided a stirring hymn of praise to their republican heroes.

Mark Stoyle is professor of early modern history at the University of Southampton


fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on June 21, 2020:

Thanks for reading and his last words spoke volumes.

Virginia Gobetz on June 20, 2020:

"Let not poor Nellie starve."King Charlesll to his brother and heir,James referring to Nell Gwynn,on his death bed.

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on March 16, 2020:

Rosina S Khan on March 15, 2020:

It&aposs nice to know about King Charles II who cared enough for his wife, Queen Catherine and yet had so many mistresses and illegitimate children. Charles also did a number of good deeds during his reign. Yes, his account is interesting to read. Thank you for sharing.

Mitara N from South Africa on March 15, 2020:

fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on March 15, 2020:

6. He Sent Him Away

Soon, the tides changed and it the Royalists began to lose ground. Fearing for his son and heir’s life, Charles I made a heartbreaking decision. He sent Charles II, then 16 years old, on the long journey to France, where he’d find safety with his mother and her family. It was a wise decision, as things were about to get way worse.


Nell Gwyn (Gwynne)

“Pray good people be civil, I am the Protestant whore” was Nell Gwyn’s cheeky retort to the masses pushing around her coach in the mistaken belief that it was that of the Duchess of Portsmouth, the Catholic Louise de Keroualle.

‘Pretty, witty Nell’ was perhaps the best known and remembered mistress of King Charles II.

She was one of many (there were 13 in all during his lifetime), but she was the least ‘greedy’ of them all. When he lay dying he begged his heir, the Duke of York, “not to let poor Nellie starve”.

In her early teens, Nell Gwyn was engaged to sell oranges at the King’s Theatre. Her natural wit and complete lack of self-consciousness caught the eye of the actor Charles Hart and others, and Dryden wrote plays to exploit her talents as a comic actress.

She became Charles Hart’s mistress, she called him Charles the First, and was then passed to Charles Sackville, Lord Buckhurst, whom she dubbed Charles the Second, and later the King, calling him her Charles the Third.

Lady Castlemaine (Barbara Palmer) had been King Charles’ mistress for many years when he became enamoured of Nell.

The rivalry between Nell, Lady Castlemaine, Frances Stuart, Louise de Keroualle, Lucy Walters, Moll Davis and sundry others made the King’s life difficult at times!

Charles had 13 children by these ‘ladies’ and agreed to support the children he believed were his. He had doubts about some of Lady Castlemaine’s children as he had caught her in a compromising position with John Churchill, later Duke of Marlborough. Lady Castlemaine’s last child, born 1672 was acknowledged to be Churchill’s.

Other ladies came and went – one Winifred Wells was a Maid of Honour. She was described as having the ‘carriage of a goddess but the physiognomy of a dreamy sheep’ !

Moll Davies, also an actress, had a child by the King. The child was known as Lady Mary Tudor. Moll was given a house in Suffolk Street and a ring worth £600 by the King before she fell from favour.

Nell was not greedy and grasping like her rivals, but did receive a house near Pall Mall and when she first knew the King, she asked for just £500 a year!

King Charles gave her a pension of £4000 a year from rents in Ireland and later another £5000 a year out of the Secret Service Fund.

Towards the end of 1669 Nell withdrew from the stage because she was pregnant. The child was a boy: however her other son, born two years later, died.

Unlike Charles’ other mistresses, Nell never received a title herself, but by using clever tactics she obtained a title for her son.

“Come here you little bastard” she is reputed to have said to her small son in the Kings presence. The King was horrified, but as Nell asked, “what should she call him, was not bastard true?” The King immediately made him Duke of St. Albans!

When the King died in 1685 Nell’s creditors descended upon her – she never did starve, but was in grave danger of being sent to a Debtors prison. She appealed to King James and to his credit, he settled her immediate debts and gave her a pension of £1500 a year.

James asked in return that her son should become a Catholic but James was to be disappointed.

Nell survived Charles by only two years and was only in her thirties when she died. She became a legend, the only royal mistress in English history to provoke popular affection.

“She would not”, she told a hopeful suitor in her colourful language that was part of her charm, “lay a dog where a deer laid”!

King of Scotland and England

(20) KING CHARLES II. was born 1630, but after his father´s death the country was ruled by Oliver Cromwell. He was crowned King of Scots in 1651, but was not crowned King of England till 1660. In 1662 he married Catherine, daughter of King John IV. of Portugal, but died without legitimate issue in 1685.

Arms: of King Charres II. when he recorded in the Lyon Office, in 1672, his achievement as King of Great Britain, France and Ireland.-1 and 4. Scotland. 2. Quarterly France and England. 3. Ireland. The shield encircled with the Orders of St. Andrew and The Garter. CREST: A red lion sejant affronte crowned gold, holding aloft in the right paw a naked sword proper, and in the left a sceptre proper. SUPPORTERS: Dexter, A silver unicorn, horned, maned and hoofed gold, crowned with an imperial and gorged with an open crown of fleurs-de-lis and crosses patty, gold, to the last a gold chain is affized passing betwixt the fore legs and reflexed over the back. He holds aloft a blue banner charged with a silver saltire Sinister, A lion guardant crowned gold. He holds aloft a white banner charged with a red cross. MOTTOES: Above the Crest "In_defence," and below the shield "Dieu_et_mon_droit" (Stodart).

King Charles II. had many illegitimate children

(a) James Crofts, afterwards Scott, son of King Charles II. by Lucy Walters, was born 1649. In 1663 he was created DUKE OF MONMOUTH, Earl of Doncaster, Baron Scott of Tindall (Tynedale), and two months later he married Anne, Countess of Buccleuch. The two were then created DUKE AND DUCHESS OF BUCCLEUCH, Earl and Countess of Dalkeith, Lord and Lady Scott of Whitchester and Eskdale. The Duke defeated the Covenanters at Bothwell Bridge in 1679, but in the same year he was ordered to leave the country. He returned in 1685, shortly after his father´s death, and assumed the title of King. He was defeated at Sedgemoor on 5th July, captured three days later, and was beheaded 15th July 1685 in London. His own honours were forfeited, but the other honours have continued to his descendant, the present Duke of Buccleuch. The Earldom of Doncaster and Barony of Scott of Tindall were restored to the family in 1743, but not the Duchy of Monmouth.

(1) First Arms, I and 4. Ermine, on a red pile three gold lions passant guardant. 2 and 3. Gold, a blue shield charged with three gold fleurs-de-lis, this shield within a red double tressure fiory-counter-fiory (Woodward).

(2) On his Seals, 1669 and 1673.-I and 4. Scotland

2. France and England, quarterly. 3. Ireland. The whole surmounted by a ribbon, sinister. En surtou4 On a bend a star followed by two crescents for Scott. CREST: A lion statant guardant crowned. SUPPORTERS: A unicorn and stag, each gorged with a coronet and chained (Macdonald).

(3) The present Duke of Buccleuch bears the Arms of King Charles II. in Quarters I and 4, debruised by a silver baton sinister. 2. Gold, on a blue bend a mullet of six points between two crescents gold (Scott). 3. Quarterly first and fourth, Silver, a red heart crowned gold, on a blue chief three silver stars (Douglas) third and fourth, Blue, a bend between six cross crosslets fitchy gold (Mar). This quarter within a gold bordure charged with a red double tressure flory-counter-flory. CREST: A stag trippant proper, horned and hoofed gold. SUPPORTERS: Two ladies richly attired in green habits, their under robes blue, the uppermost white, and upon their heads plumes of three white ostrich feathers. MOTTO: "Amo."

(b) Charles Fitz-Charles, son of King Charles II. by Catharine Peg, was born 1657. In 1675 he was created EARL OF PLYMOUTH, Viscount Totnes, Baron Dartmouth. He died without issue, i68o. Arms.

Arms of King Charles II., debruised by a baton sinister, vair (Woodward).

(c) Charles Fitz-Roy, son of King Charles II. and Barbara Villiers, Countess of Castlemaine, afterwards created Duchess of Cleveland, Countess of Southampton Baroness Nonsuch. He was born 1662, and in 1675 was created DUKE OF SOUTHAMPTON, Earl of Chichester, Baron of Newbury. He died 1730, and was succeeded by his son

(i) William Fitz-Roy, DUKE OF CLEVELAND AND SOUTHAMPTON. He died without issue in 1774. Arms:-Arms of King Charles II., debruised by a baton sinister, ermine (Nisbet).

(d) Henry Fitz-Roy, second son of King Charles II. and the above Duchess of Cleveland. He was born 1663, and was in 1672 created Earl of Euston, Viscount Ipswich, Baron Sudbury, and in 1675 was created DUKE OF GRAFTON. "He_distinguished_himself_in_suppressing_the_rebellion_of_the_ Duke_of_Monmouth_(his_natural_brother,_No.20_a),_but_was_one_of_the_first_to_ desert_his_uncle,_King_James_II._JAMES_VII._and_II_,_ King_of_Scotland_and_England,_and_join_William_of_Orange" (G. E. C.). He died 1690. His descendant is the present Duke of Grafton. Arms:-Arms of King Charles II., debruised by a baton sinister company, silver and blue (Nisbit). The present Duke has for CREST: On a red chapeau, turned up ermine a gold lion statant guardant, crowned with a blue ducal coronet and gorged with a collar counter compony, silver and blue. SUPPORTERS: Dexter, A gold lion rampant guardant, crowned with a blue ducal coronet and gorged with a collar counter compony, silver and blue Sinister, A silver greyhound gorged as the other. MOTTO: "Et_decus_etpretium_recti."

(e) George Fitz-Roy, third son of King Charles II. and the above Duchess of Cleveland, was born 1665. In 1674 he was created Earl of Northumberland, Viscount Falmouth, Baron Pontefract, and in 1683 DUKE OF NORTHUMBERLAND. He died without legitimate issue, 1716.

Arms:-Arms of King Charles II., debruised by a baton sinister compony, ermine and blue (Nisbet). Crest and Supporters as 20 d (Doyle).

(f) Charles Beauclerk, son of King Charles II. and Eleanor (Nell) Gwynne, was born 1670, and in 1676 was created Earl of Burford, Baron Hedington, and in 1684 DUKE OF ST. ALBANS. He died 1726. The present Duke of St. Albans is his descendant. Arms:-Arms of King Charles II., debruised by a red baton sinister, charged with three silver roses, barbed and seeded green (Woodward). The present Duke bears these Arms.-i and 4, quartered with 2 and 3. Quarterly Red and gold, in the first quarter a silver mullet (De Vere). CREST: On a red chapeau turned up ermine, a gold lion statant guardant, crowned with a ducal coronet per pale, silver and red, gorged with a red collar, charged with three silver roses, barbed and seeded green. SUPPORTERS: Dexter, A silver antelope horned and hooftd gold Sinister, A silver greyhound. Both SUPPORTERS gorged with a collar like the crest. MOTTO: "Auspicium_melioris_oevi"

(g) Charles Lennox, son of King Charles II. and Louise de Keroualle, Duchess of Portsmouth, was born 1672, and in 1675 was created DUKE OF RICHMOND, Earl of March, Baron Settrington, and in the same year DUKE OF LENNOX, Earl of Damley, Lord Torboltoun (S.). He died 1723, and his descendant is the present Duke of Richmond, Lennox, and Gordon.

Arms:-Arms of King Charles II. within a bordure compony red and silver, the silver panes each charged with a red rose. Over all an escutcheon of Aubigny, red, three gold buckles (Woodward). [Plate I., fig. 9].

The present Duke bears these Arms.-1 and 4, quartered with 2 and 3. Quarterly first, Blue, three gold boars´ heads couped (Gordon) second, Gold, three red lions´ heads erased (Badenoch) third, Gold, three crescents within a double tressure fiory-counter-fiory, red (Seton) fourth, Blue, three silver fraises (Fraser). CRESTS: 1. On a red chapeau, turned up ermine a gold lion statant guardant, crowned with a red ducal coronet, and gorged with a collar as the bordure round the Arms.. 2. Out of a gold ducal coronet a stag´s head and neck, affront

proper attired with ten gold tynes. SUPPORTERS: Dexter, A silver unicorn, horned, maned and hoofed gold Sinister, A silver antelope, horned and hoofrd gold. Each Supporter gorged with a collar as the bordure round the Arms. MOTTOES: "En_la_rose_je_fleuris," and over the second Crest "Bydand"

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