Charles II, James II , William III and Anne

restoration of monarchy in britain

king charles II Cromwell's failure to put in place a workable alternative to the monarchy, resulted in the country bringing back from exile the monarchy in the form of Charles II, son of the beheaded Charles I. Charles' lasting place in posterity is due to his penchant for mistresses (right) and the resultant illegitimate children, many of whom received dukedoms which survive to this day mistresses of charles II
plague Soon after Charles succession Britain had two major catastrophes - the Plague in 1665 (that is a doctor on the left in protective gear) 70,000 died in London alone and the Great Fire of London (right) the following year.

However it was the succession that concerned the country. Charles produced no legitimate heirs, and it was his Catholic brother James II who succeeded him in 1685. Britain had briefly been republic, but it was now back to Protestant and Catholic kings

fire of london
James II reign proved disastrous, he antagonized the government by suspending the anti Catholic laws, then arresting 6 bishops, finally James second wife produced a male heir, (James the old pretender). Leading politicians turned william of Orange to James II Protestant daughter Mary and her husband William of Orange and offered them the throne. William landed with an army . James fled to Ireland, where he was eventually defeated in battle by William. James II son, the old pretender and grandson, the young pretender, both tried to re-take the throne but failed
Anne, Younger, Protestant daughter of James II succeeded to the throne in 1702.
Her reign is noted for the rise of the Churchill's. Anne,s childhood friend Sarah, married John Churchill. Churchill was a brilliant general, who finally succeeded in defeating the French after marching his army 600 miles across Europe. The battle of Blenheim 1704 saw the end of French dominance in Europe. Churchill was rewarded with the title Duke of Marlborough, and Blenheim Palace was paid for by the nation. Sarah Churchill and Anne quarreled a few years later and their influence on state affairs declined
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