King Charles II of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland Timeline 1630 – 1685

King Charles II

Born – 29th May 1630
Died – 6th February 1685
FatherKing Charles I (1600 – 1649)
MotherHenrietta Maria of France (1609 – 1669)
Spouse – m. 1662 – Catherine of Braganza (1638 – 1705)
Children – No legitimate, 14 illegitimate children
King of Scotland 1649 – 1685, King of England, Wales and Ireland 1660 – 1685
Predecessor – Interregnum – Richard Cromwell Lord Protector – 1658 – 1660
SuccessorJames II – 1685 – 1688


1630 (29th May)
King Charles II, was born to King Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London. He was styled Duke of Cornwall and Rothesay.
1630 (27th June)
Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal at St James’s Palace by William Laud, Bishop of London.
1631 (4th November)
Charles’s sister, Mary, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1633 (18th June)
Charles I was crowned King of Scotland at Holyrood Abbey, Edinburgh. He upset many Scottish lords by insisting that his coronation follow Anglican tradition.
1633 (14th October)
Charles’s brother, James, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1635 (around)
Charles began his education. He was privately educated by personal tutors.
1635 (29th December)
Charles’s sister, Elizabeth, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1637 (17th March)
Charles’s sister, Anne, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1638 (21st May)
Charles was made a Knight of the Garter. He was also designated Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
1639 (29th June)
Charles’s sister, Catherine, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London. She died later that day.
1640 (8th July)
Charles’s brother, Henry, was born to Charles and Henrietta Maria at St James’s Palace, London.
1642 (around)
Charles’s father suggested a marriage between Charles and Catherine of Braganza. Negotiations between England and Portugal began but were ended with the outbreak of the English Civil War.
1642 (10th January)
Charles and his family moved from Whitehall to Hampton Court.
1642 (13th February)
Charles’s mother Henrietta Maria accompanied Charles’s sister, Mary to The Hague for her marriage to Prince William of Orange. While in the Netherlands Henrietta Maria raised funds to support the Royalist cause against Parliament’s increasing demands.
1642 (22nd August)
Charles’s father raised his standard at Nottingham effectively declaring war against Parliament.
1642 (6th September)
The Puritan Parliament ordered that all theatres be closed.
1642 (23rd October)
Battle of Edgehill
Charles and his brother James joined their father in this battle against Parliament. The battle ended in stalemate with neither side able to advance.
1643 (February)
Charles’s mother returned to England landing in Yorkshire.
1643 (July)
Charles was resident at the Royalist capital, Oxford.
1644 (16th June)
Charles’s sister, Henrietta, was born to Charles I and Henrietta Maria at Bedford House, Exeter, England.
1644 (2nd July)
Battle of Marston Moor
This was the largest single battle of the Civil War involving 45,000 men. Although the Royalists led by Prince Rupert were outnumbered, they decided to fight. They were defeated by a Parliamentarian force led by the Earl of Leven. For the first time since the Civil War had begun Rupert’s cavalry were beaten by a Parliamentarian cavalry charge.
1645 (14th June)
Battle of Naseby
The Parliamentarians broke their siege on Oxford and forced the Royalists into battle. Initially the Royalists took up a defensive stance but later the order to attack was given. The battle lasted just three hours and saw the death of most of the Royalist foot soldiers. It was a decisive victory for Parliament. Charles fled the battlefield as soon as it was apparent that he had lost both the battle and the war.
1646 (3rd May)
The New Model Army lay siege to the Royalist capital of Oxford where King Charles was resident. However, he managed to escape dressed as a servant and fled to Scotland.
1646 (5th May)
King Charles I surrendered to the Scots at Newark and they took him north to Newcastle.
1647 (during)
Charles went to France, to the court of his cousin, Louis XIV where he hoped to raise support for his father to take the crown of England.
1647 (June)
The Puritan parliament ordered that Christmas was no longer to be celebrated with carols or feasting.
1647 (11th November)
King Charles I escaped imprisonment and fled to Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight.
1647 (26th December)
King Charles I made a deal with Scotland whereby the Scots would invade England and help him to retake the throne. In return he agreed to change the religion of England to Presbyterianism.
1648 (during)
Charles left France and went to the court of his sister Mary and her husband William II of Orange at The Hague.
1648 (17th August)
Battle of Preston
This was a battle between the New Model Army commanded by Oliver Cromwell and a combined army of Royalists and Scots commanded by the Duke of Hamilton. The two day battle was won by Cromwell’s forces.
1648 (late Summer)
Charles had managed to raise a Royalist force in The Hague but had been unable to reach Scotland before the Battle of Preston.
1648 (late Summer)
Charles began a relationship with Lucy Walter.
1648 (late Summer)
Charles began a relationship with Elizabeth Killigrew.
1649 (20th January)
King Charles I was tried for treason by a High Court of Justice specially set up for the trial. Many members of parliament secretly objected to the trial and stayed away.
1649 (26th January)
The court found Charles I guilty of using his power for personal interest rather than the good of the country and sentenced him to death.
1649 (30th January)
King Charles I was executed by beheading, in front of the Banqueting House at Whitehall Palace, London. He was buried in St George’s Chapel, Windsor.
1649 (5th February)
The Scottish parliament proclaimed Charles King Charles II of Scotland.
1649 (March)
Parliament declared England to be a Republic.
1649 (March)
The Scottish parliament wanted Charles to sign the Covenant and make Presbyterianism the religion of the British Isles but Charles refused. Instead he sent the Marquis of Montrose with a force to take control of Scotland.
1649 (9th April)
A son, James was born illegitimately to Charles and Lucy Walter in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
1650 (27th April)
Battle of Carbisdale
This was a battle between the forces of the Marquis of Montrose and those of the Covenanter army. Montrose was defeated and executed.
1650 (23rd June)
The defeat and execution of Montrose left Charles with no choice but to agree to the Convenanter’s terms. He signed the Covenant as soon as he landed at Moray. Although this pacified the Scots it reduced Charles’s support in England.
1650 (22nd July)
Oliver Cromwell invaded Scotland.
1650 (3rd September)
Battle of Dunbar
The Scottish army was defeated by Oliver Cromwell’s forces and Cromwell took control of Edinburgh.
1650 (late)
Oliver Cromwell had taken control of much of southern Scotland.
1651 (1st January)
Charles was crowned King of Scotland at Scone.
1651 (July)
Charles II of Scotland managed to evade Cromwell’s forces and invaded England with the intent of capturing London. As soon as Cromwell realised Charles had gone south he left Scotland in pursuit.
1651 (3rd September)
Battle of Worcester
Cromwell met Charles II’s forces at Worcester. Cromwell secured victory. Charles managed to avoid being captured by hiding in an oak tree.
1651 (Autumn)
Charles continued to evade capture by Cromwell’s forces.
1651 (16th October)
Charles landed in Normandy.
1651 (Autumn)
Charles ended his relationship with Lucy Walter.
1651 (late)
Charles travelled around Europe trying to find support to mount a campaign to take back control from Cromwell. As France, Holland and Spain refused to back him he had no choice but to remain in exile.
1653 (16th December)
Oliver Cromwell, was appointed Lord Protector of England for life. The title gave him full control over government and the judiciary.
1654 (during)
Oliver Cromwell made alliances with France and Holland which meant that they would not support Charles.
1656 (2nd April)
Treaty of Brussels
This was a treaty made between Philip IV of Spain and Charles. In return for Spanish support to regain the throne of Britain, Charles agreed to raise a force to support Spain against France.
1656 (Spring)
Charles began a relationship with Catherine Pegge.
1658 (14th June)
Battle of the Dunes
Large numbers of Royalists had joined the Spanish army in support of Charles’s alliance with Spain. This battle was fought against the English and French near Dunkirk, France. It was a decisive victory for the French and Charles lost nearly half of his army.
1658 (3rd September)
Oliver Cromwell died in the Palace of Whitehall from a fever. He was succeeded by his son, Richard Cromwell.
1659 (6th May)
Richard Cromwell was removed from power by the army who reinstalled the Rump Parliament (the parliament that had tried King Charles I for treason).
1660 (1st January)
General George Monck, Governor of Scotland, led an army to London where he persuaded parliament to hold elections.
1660 (Spring)
Charles began a relationship with Barbara Villiers.
1660 (25th April)
The newly elected parliament contained many members who supported a return to monarchy and Monck persuaded them to restore Charles II to the throne.
1660 (1st May)
Declaration of Breda
It was publicly announced that by the terms of this document, Charles declared that he agreed to a general amnesty for those that had supported Cromwell and Parliament, freedom of conscience, an acceptable settlement of land disputes and full payment of arrears of pay to the army.
1660 (8th May)
Charles was proclaimed King Charles II by parliament.
1660 (14th May)
Charles was proclaimed King Charles II in Ireland.
1660 (25th May)
Charles landed at Dover.
1660 (29th May)
Charles was formally restored to the throne of Great Britain.
1660 (Summer)
The theatres re-opened and festivals were again celebrated after Charles reversed much of the legislation enacted during the Interregnum. This, as well as Charles’s reputation for enjoying a good time, earned Charles the nickname ‘The Merry Monarch’.
1660 (29th August)
The Indemnity and Oblivion Act
As per the terms of the Declaration of Breda, this act created a general pardon for everyone who had committed crimes during the Civil War and Interregnum with the exception of those who had been involved in the execution of Charles I. A total of 49 people were liable for execution of whom 24 had already died. Some of those listed fled the country while others were executed in the following years.
1660 (3rd September)
Charles II’s brother, James, married a heavily pregnant Anne Hyde, daughter of Edward Hyde.
1660 (13th September)
Charles’s brother, Henry, died of smallpox.
1660 (November)
The Royal Society was founded to promote scientific advancement.
1660 (November)
Dutch representatives presented Charles with the ‘Dutch Gift’ a collection of 28 paintings and 12 sculptures. The Dutch wanted to be on good terms with the English.
1660 (3rd November)
Edward Hyde, father of Anne Hyde who had married Charles’s brother, James, became Baron Hyde and served as Charles’s chief minister.
1660 (December)
Parliament was dissolved.
1660 (24th December)
Charles’s sister, Mary, died of smallpox.
1661 (30th January)
The bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Robert Blake, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton were exhumed and given a posthumous execution.
1661 (23rd April)
Charles was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey.
1661 (23rd April)
Charles’s chief minister, Edward Hyde, was created Earl of Clarendon.
1661 (8th May)
Parliament reconvened. It became known as the Cavalier Parliament.
1661 (23rd June)
A marriage treaty with Portugal agreed the marriage of Charles II to Catherine of Braganza. England was to receive Tangiers in North Africa, the Seven Islands of Bombay as well as trading rights in Brazil and the East Indies as well as a £300,000 cash payment. In return England would provide military support for Portugal in its war with Spain. Catherine, who was a Catholic, would be allowed freedom of worship. Charles took no part in the negotiations and was totally disinterested in the marriage other than for its political value.
1661 (December)
Corporation Act
This act required that all holders of public offices in England had to be members of the Church of England.
1662 (14th May)
Catherine of Braganza arrived in England. However, Charles was not present to welcome his future bride.
1662 (19th May)
Act of Uniformity
This act enforced the use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer.
1662 (21st May)
Charles married Catherine of Braganza who was a Catholic in a public Anglican ceremony.
1662 (Summer)
Charles sold Dunkirk to Louis XIV for around £375,000. This was not well received.
1662 (Autumn)
Catherine of Braganza suffered a miscarriage.
1663 (during)
The English took control of Dutch colonies in West Africa.
1663 (14th February)
Charles’s illegitimate son, James, was created Duke of Monmouth.
1664 (during)
Conventicle Act
This act made it illegal for more than five people, other than family members, to worship together outside of the Church of England.
1664 (27th August)
Four English ships sailed into the harbour at New Amsterdam demanded the surrender of the New Netherlands (Dutch possessions in North America).
1664 (6th September)
Peter Stuyvesant, governor of New Amsterdam, signed New Netherlands over to the English.
1664 (December)
The English attacked the Dutch fleet but failed to secure a victory.
1665 (January)
In retaliation for the English attack on the Dutch fleet, the Dutch opened fire on English warships in the Dutch colonies.
1665 (4th March)
Second Anglo-Dutch War
The English used the Dutch opening fire on English warships as an excuse to declare war on the Dutch.
1665 (June)
New Amsterdam was renamed New York after Charles’s brother, James, Duke of York.
1665 (13th June)
Second Anglo-Dutch War – Battle of Lowestoft
A large Dutch fleet attacked an English fleet off the coast of Lowestoft. The battle was a victory for the English.
1665 (July)
The Great Plague of London
A serious outbreak of Bubonic Plague reached London. Most rich people immediately left the city.
1665 (July)
Charles and Catherine left London for Salisbury to escape the Great Plague.
1665 (late July)
The Great Plague of London
Around 2000 people died from the plague during the last week of July.
1665 (September)
The Great Plague of London
Through September around 7000 people died from the plague each week.
1665 (late Autumn)
The Great Plague of London
Death figures for the disease began to fall.
1666 (late January)
The Great Plague of London
It was considered safe to return to London and Charles and the court returned to the city.
1666 (February)
Catherine of Braganza was delivered of a stillborn child.
1666 (2nd September)
Great Fire of London
A fire broke out at a bakers in Pudding Lane. It destroyed more than 13,000 houses and 87 churches including St Paul’s Cathedral.
1667 (around)
Charles began a relationship with the actress Moll Davis.
1667 (June)
Second Anglo-Dutch War – Raid on the Medway
The Dutch made a surprise raid on English battleships that were anchored off Chatham. Charles lost a number of ships and was forced to sue for peace.
1667 (31st July)
Treaty of Breda
This treaty ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War. The Dutch as victors were able to set terms and gained a monopoly on the trade in nutmeg.
1667 (Summer)
Charles blamed the Earl of Clarendon for the defeat in the Second Anglo-Dutch War and had him charged with treason. Clarendon fled to France.
1667 (late Summer)
Charles chose five politicians to advise him; Clifford, Arlington, Buckingham, Ashle and Lauderdale were collectively referred to as the Cabal (an acronym of their initials).
1668 (during)
Triple Alliance
Charles agreed an alliance with the Netherlands and Sweden to oppose Louis XIV who, by the War of Devolution, was trying to take Habsburg land in the Netherlands for himself. The formation of the alliance led to Louis backing down.
1668 (7th May)
Catherine of Braganza was delivered of a stillborn child.
1668 (27th March)
Charles gave Bombay, which he had gained from Portugal as part of his wife’s dowry, to the East India Company.
1668 (April)
Charles began a relationship with the actress Nell Gwyn.
1669 (around)
Charles ended his relationship with Moll Davis.
1669 (7th June)
Catherine of Braganza was delivered of a stillborn child.
1670 (during)
Charles began a relationship with Louise de Kerouaille.
1670 (during)
Charles granted the East India Company the right to acquire territory, mint money, command fortresses, make laws and use force to protect its assets.
1670 (during)
Charles granted control of Hudson Bay to the Hudson’s Bay Company. Charles’s cousin, Prince Rupert of the Rhine was governor of the company.
1670 (1st June)
Treaty of Dover
Charles signed this treaty with Louis XIV of France. It agreed an alliance against the Dutch with a secret agreement that Charles would receive a personal payment of £200,000 which he would use to help return England to Catholicism.
1670 (November)
Charles’s nephew, William III of Orange, asked Charles to pay back the money borrowed when he was in exile. Charles decided to try to get William on side by making him a part of the plot to return England to Catholicism but when Charles realised that William was a committed Protestant he abandoned the idea.
1672 (during)
The Royal African Company was granted a monopoly in the transportation of slaves from Africa to North America and the Caribbean and their exchange for rum, tobacco, cotton and sugar.
1672 (during)
Royal Declaration of Independence
Issued by Charles this declaration favoured the suspension of all laws against Catholics. The declaration was opposed by parliament who stated that the king had no right to suspend laws made by parliament.
1672 (during)
Third Anglo Dutch War
Charles openly supported Louis XIV against the Dutch and declared war on the Dutch.
1673 (29th March)
Test Act
This act stated that anyone in public office had to swear an oath of allegiance and could not be a Catholic.
1673 (during)
Charles’s advisor, Clifford, who had converted to Catholicism, resigned rather than denounce his faith. He committed suicide shortly afterwards.
1673 (during)
Charles ended his relationship with Barbara Villiers who had given him five children.
1674 (during)
Third Anglo Dutch War
Parliament refused to grant Charles any more money for the war which effectively forced Charles to abandon the war against the Dutch and to make peace.
1674 (during)
The power of the Cabal had reduced as Charles began to favour Lord Danby.
1675 (4th March)
Charles appointed John Flamsteed as Astronomer Royal. He was charged to find a method of calculating longitude.
1677 (during)
There was growing concern over the succession since Charles II had no legitimate children. Heir to the throne was Charles’s brother, James who had converted to Catholicism. In a bid to persuade people that the royal family were not Catholic, Charles insisted that James’s daughter Mary be married to her cousin William III of Orange.
1678 (during)
Test Act
The 1673 Test Act was extended and effectively barred Catholics from being members of either the House of Commons or the House of Lords.
1678 (September)
Popish Plot
Titus Oates claimed that there was a plot to assassinate Charles and replace him with his brother James who had converted to Catholicism. The rumour sparked a wave of anti-Catholic hysteria and supposed conspirators were executed.
1678 (late)
Lord Danby was charged with high treason for negotiating a secret alliance with Louis XIV. Although Danby stated that he had only negotiated the treaty because he was ordered to do so by Charles he was not believed.
1679 (during)
Habeas Corpus
This Act, which states that no one can be imprisoned without a trial, was passed by parliament.
1679 (January)
To save Danby from execution, Charles dissolved parliament.
1679 (March)
Charles ordered his brother James to leave England and go to Brussels. It was felt James was better out of England until the furore regarding the Popish Plot had blown over.
1679 (6th March)
Parliament reconvened. Most members of parliament were concerned that Charles would attempt to use the army to suppress parliament.
1679 (Spring)
Lord Danby resigned as Treasurer and Charles II publicly pardoned him. However, parliament revoked the pardon. The House of Lords voted to exile Danby but the Commons thought it too mild. Eventually Danby was imprisoned in the Tower of London.
1679 (15th May)
Exclusion Crisis
A group of MPs introduced an Exclusion Bill into parliament in a bid to exclude Charles’s Catholic brother James from the succession. Some supporters of the bill felt that Charles’s eldest illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, should succeed to the throne. Rather than allowing the bill to pass, Charles dissolved parliament.
1679 (Summer)
Exclusion Crisis
Parliament, when recalled, continued to be divided over the succession of James. Those that supported the Exclusion Bill were known as Petitioners (later to become the Whigs) while those that opposed the bill were called Abhorrers (later to become the Tories).
1681 (March)
Parliament met at Oxford. Once again the question of succession and the Exclusion Bill was brought up. Charles learned of this and dissolved parliament.
1683 (1st April)
Rye House Plot
This was a plot to assassinate King Charles II and his brother James while they were at the races at Newmarket. However, a fire in Newmarket led to the cancellation of the races and the plot failed. The uncovering of the plot also led to a wave of sympathy for Charles and James.
1683 (April)
News of the failed Rye House Plot leaked and Charles’s illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, was implicated as being one of the conspirators. He fled England and sought refuge in the court of William III of Orange.
1685 (2nd February)
Charles II suffered a seizure.
1685 (5th February)
Charles realised he was close to death and converted to Catholicism. He also requested that Nell Gwyn be provided for.
1685 (6th February)
King Charles II died. He was succeeded by his brother as James II.


Published Sept 20, 2018 @ 2:16 pm – Updated – [last-modified]

Harvard Reference for this page::

Heather Y Wheeler. (2018 – 2020). King Charles II of England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland 1630 – 1685. Last accessed [date]

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