A sceptre or scepter is a symbolic ornamental staff or wand held in the hand by a ruling monarch as an item of royal or imperial insignia. Figuratively, it means royal or imperial sovereignty; the Was and other types of staves were signs of authority in Ancient Egypt. For this reason they are described as "sceptres" if they are full-length staffs. One of the earliest royal sceptres was discovered in the 2nd Dynasty tomb of Khasekhemwy in Abydos. Kings were known to carry a staff, Pharaoh Anedjib is shown on stone vessels carrying a so-called mks-staff; the staff with the longest history seems to be the heqa-sceptre. The sceptre assumed a central role in the Mesopotamian world, was in most cases part of the royal insignia of sovereigns and gods; this is valid throughout the whole Mesopotamian history, as illustrated by both literary and administrative texts and iconography. The Mesopotamian sceptre was called ĝidru in Sumerian and ḫaṭṭum in Akkadian; the ancient Indian work of Tirukkural dedicates one chapter each to the ethics of the sceptre.
According to Valluvar, "it was not his spear but the sceptre which bound a king to his people."Among the early Greeks, the sceptre was a long staff, such as Agamemnon wielded or was used by respected elders, came to be used by judges, military leaders and others in authority. It is represented on painted vases as a long staff tipped with a metal ornament; when the sceptre is borne by Zeus or Hades, it is headed by a bird. It was this symbol of Zeus, the king of the gods and ruler of Olympus, that gave their inviolable status to the kerykes, the heralds, who were thus protected by the precursor of modern diplomatic immunity. When, in the Iliad, Agamemnon sends Odysseus to the leaders of the Achaeans, he lends him his sceptre. Among the Etruscans, sceptres of great magnificence were used by kings and upper orders of the priesthood. Many representations of such sceptres occur on the walls of the painted tombs of Etruria; the British Museum, the Vatican, the Louvre possess Etruscan sceptres of gold, most elaborately and minutely ornamented.
The Roman sceptre derived from the Etruscan. Under the Republic, an ivory sceptre was a mark of consular rank, it was used by victorious generals who received the title of imperator, its use as a symbol of delegated authority to legates was revived in the marshal’s baton. In the First Persian Empire, the Biblical Book of Esther mentions the sceptre of the King of Persia. Esther 5:2 "When the king saw Esther the queen standing in the court, she obtained favor in his sight. So Esther came near, touched the top of the scepter." Under the Roman Empire, the sceptrum Augusti was specially used by the emperors, was of ivory tipped with a golden eagle. It is shown on medallions of the empire, which have on the obverse a half-length figure of the emperor, holding in one hand the sceptrum Augusti, in the other the orb surmounted by a small figure of Victory; the codes of the right and the cruel sceptre are found in the ancient Tamil work of Tirukkural, dating back to the first century BCE. In Chapters 55 and 56, the text deals with the right and the cruel sceptre furthering the thought on the ethical behaviour of the ruler discussed in many of the preceding and the following chapters.
The ancient treatise says it was not the king's spear but the sceptre that bound him to his people—and to the extent that he guarded them, his own good rule would guard him. With the advent of Christianity, the sceptre was tipped with a cross instead of with an eagle. However, during the Middle Ages, the finials on the top of the sceptre varied considerably. In England, from a early period, two sceptres have been concurrently used, from the time of Richard I, they have been distinguished as being tipped with a cross and a dove respectively. In France, the royal sceptre was tipped with a fleur de lys, the other, known as the main de justice, had an open hand of benediction on the top. Sceptres with small shrines on the top are sometimes represented on royal seals, as on the great seal of Edward III, where the king, bears such a sceptre, but it was an unusual form; this sceptre was, it is believed, made in France around 1536 for James V. Great seals represent the sovereign enthroned, holding a sceptre in the right hand, the orb and cross in the left.
Harold Godwinson appears thus in the Bayeux tapestry. The earliest English coronation form of the 9th century mentions a sceptre, a staff. In the so-called coronation form of Ethelred II a sceptre, a rod appear, as they do in the case of a coronation order of the 12th century. In a contemporary account of Richard I’s coronation, the royal sceptre of gold with a gold cross, the gold rod with a gold dove on the top, enter the historical record for the first time. About 1450, Sporley, a monk of Westminster, compiled a list of the relics there; these included the articles used at the coronation of Saint Edward the Confessor, left by him for the coronations of his successors. A golden sceptre, a wooden rod gilt, an iron rod are named; these survived until the Commonwealth, are minutely described in an inventory of the
House of Nassau
The House of Nassau is a diversified aristocratic dynasty in Europe. It is named after the lordship associated with Nassau Castle, located in present-day Nassau, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany; the lords of Nassau were titled "Count of Nassau" elevated to the princely class as "Princely Counts". Early on they divided into two main branches: the elder branch, that gave rise to the German Emperor Adolf, the younger branch, that gave rise to the Princes of Orange and the monarchs of the Netherlands. At the end of the Holy Roman Empire and the Napoleonic Wars, the Walramian branch had inherited or acquired all the Nassau ancestral lands and proclaimed themselves, with the permission of the Congress of Vienna, the "Dukes of Nassau", forming the independent state of Nassau with its capital at Wiesbaden; the Duchy was annexed in 1866 after the Austrian-Prussian War as an ally of Austria by Prussia. It was subsequently incorporated into the newly created Prussian Province of Hesse-Nassau. Today, the term Nassau is used in Germany as a name for a geographical and cultural region, but no longer has any political meaning.
All Dutch and Luxembourgish monarchs since 1815 have been senior members of the House of Nassau. However, in 1890 in the Netherlands and in 1912 in Luxembourg, the male lines of heirs to the two thrones became extinct, so that since they have descended in the female line from the House of Nassau. According to German tradition, the family name is passed on only in the male line of succession; the House would therefore, from this German perspective, be extinct since 1985. However, both Dutch and Luxembourgish monarchial traditions, constitutional rules and legislation in that matter differ from the German tradition, thus both countries do not consider the House extinct; the Grand Duke of Luxembourg uses "Duke of Nassau" as his secondary title and a title of pretense to the dignity of Chief of the House of Nassau, but not to lay any territorial claims to the former Duchy of Nassau, now part of the Federal Republic of Germany. Dudo of Laurenburg is considered the founder of the House of Nassau, he is first mentioned in the purported founding-charter of Maria Laach Abbey in 1093.
The Castle Laurenburg, located a few kilometres upriver from Nassau on the Lahn, was the seat of his lordship. His family descended from the Lords of Lipporn. In 1159, Nassau Castle became the ruling seat, the house is now named after this castle; the Counts of Laurenburg and Nassau expanded their authority under the brothers Rupert I and Arnold I. Rupert was the first person to call himself Count of Nassau, but the title was not confirmed until 1159, five years after Rupert's death. Rupert's son Walram I was the first person to be titled Count of Nassau; the chronology of the Counts of Laurenburg is not certain and the link between Rupert I and Walram I is controversial. Some sources consider Gerhard, listed as co-Count of Laurenburg in 1148, to be the son of Rupert I's brother, Arnold I. However, Erich Brandenburg in his Die Nachkommen Karls des Großen states that it is most that Gerhard was Rupert I's son, because Gerard was the name of Beatrix of Limburg's maternal grandfather. Ca. 1060 – ca. 1123: Dudo 1123–1154: Rupert I – son of Dudo 1123–1148: Arnold I – son of Dudo 1148: Gerhard – son of Rupert I 1151–1154: Arnold II – son of Rupert I 1154–1159: Rupert II – son of Rupert I 1154–1198: Walram I – son of Rupert I 1158–1167: Henry I – son of Arnold I, died in Rome during the August 1167 epidemic 1160–1191: Rupert III, the Bellicose – son of Arnold I 1198–1247: Henry II, the Rich – son of Walram I 1198–1230: Rupert IV – son of Walram I.
Count Walram II began the Countship of Nassau-Weilburg, which existed to 1816. The sovereigns of this house afterwards ruled the Duchy of Nassau until 1866 and from 1890 the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg; the branch of Nassau-Weilburg became rulers of Luxembourg. The Walram line received the lordship of Merenberg in 1328 and Saarbrücken in 1353. 1344–1371: John I 1371–1429: Philipp I of Nassau-Weilburg, Count of Saarbrücken 1429–1492: Philip II 1492–1523: Louis I 1523–1559: Philip III 1559–1593: Albert 1559–1602: Philip IV 1593–1625: Louis II, Count of Nassau-Weilburg and in Ottweiler, Saarbrücken and Idstein 1625–1629: William Louis, John IV and Ernest Casimir 1629–1655: Ernest Casimir 1655–1675: Frederick 1675–1688: John Ernst 1688–1719: John Ernst 1719–1753: Charles August 1753–1788: Charles Christian 1788–1816: Frederick William 1816: Wilhelm, Prince of Nassau-Weilburg and Duke of Nassau — Nassau-Weilburg merged into Duc
A gold coin is a coin, made or of gold. Most gold coins minted since 1800 are 90–92% gold, while most of today's gold bullion coins are pure gold, such as the Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, American Buffalo. Alloyed gold coins, like the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand, are 91.7% gold by weight, with the remainder being silver and copper. Traditionally, gold coins have been circulation coins, including coin-like dinars. Since recent decades, gold coins are produced as bullion coins to investors and as commemorative coins to collectors. While modern gold coins are legal tender, they are not observed in everyday financial transactions, as the metal value exceeds the nominal value. For example, the American Gold Eagle, given a denomination of 50 USD, has a metal value of more than $1,200 USD; the gold reserves of central banks are dominated by gold bars, but gold coins may contribute. Gold has been used as money for many reasons, it is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to sell.
Gold is easily transportable, as it has a high value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities, such as silver. Gold can be re-coined, divided into smaller units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars, without destroying its metal value; the density of gold is higher than most other metals. Additionally, gold is unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time. Gold was used in commerce in the Ancient Near East since the Bronze Age, but coins proper originated much during the 6th century BC, in Anatolia; the name of king Croesus of Lydia remains associated with the invention. In 546 BC, Croesus was captured by the Persians; the most valuable of all Persian minted coinage still remains the gold drams, minted in 1 AD as a gift by the Persian King Vonones Hebrew Bible new testament. Ancient Greek coinage contained a number of gold coins issued by the various city states; the Ying yuan is an early gold coin minted in ancient China. The oldest ones known are from about the 5th or 6th century BC.
Larger units such as the various talent measures were used for high value exchanges. The German gold mark was introduced in 1873 in the German Empire, replacing the various local Gulden coins of the Holy Roman Empire. Gold coins had a long period as a primary form of money, only falling into disuse in the early 20th century. Most of the world stopped making gold coins as currency by 1933, as countries switched from the gold standard due to hoarding during the worldwide economic crisis of the Great Depression. In the United States, 1933's Executive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold and was followed by a devaluation of the dollar relative to gold, although the United States did not uncouple the dollar from the value of gold until 1971. Gold-colored coins have made a comeback in many currencies. However, "gold coin" always refers to a coin, made of gold, does not include coins made of manganese brass or other alloys. Furthermore, many countries continue to make legal tender gold coins, but these are meant for collectors and investment purposes and are not meant for circulation.
Many factors determine the value of a gold coin, such as its rarity, age and the number minted. Most gold coins minted since the late 19th century are worth more than spot price, but many are worth more. Gold coins coveted by collectors include the Aureus and Spur Ryal. In July 2002, a rare $20 1933 Double Eagle gold coin sold for a record $7,590,020 at Sotheby's, making it by far the most valuable coin sold up to that time. In early 1933, more than 445,000 Double Eagle coins were struck by the U. S. Mint, but most of these were surrendered and melted down following Executive Order 6102. Only a few coins survived. In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced a 100 kilograms gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000, though the gold content was worth over $2 million at the time, it is 3 centimetres thick. It was intended as a one-off to promote a new line of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins, but after several interested buyers came forward the mint announced it would manufacture them as ordered and sell them for between $2.5 million and $3 million.
As of May 3, 2007, there were five orders. One of these coins has been stolen. Austria had produced a 37 centimetres diameter 31 kg Philharmonic gold coin with a face value of €100,000. On October 4, 2007, David Albanese stated that a $10, 1804-dated eagle coin was sold to an anonymous private collector for $5 million. In 2012 the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world first gold coin with a 0.11–0.14ct diamond. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coin has been crafted in 99.999% pure gold with a face value of $300. Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion, are traded on commodity markets. Bullion metals may be minted into coins; the defining attribute of bullion is that it is valued by its mass and purity rather than by a face value as money. While obsolete gold coins are collected for their numismatic value, gold bull
Charles I of England
Charles I was the monarch over the three kingdoms of England and Ireland from 27 March 1625 until his execution in 1649. Charles was born into the House of Stuart as the second son of King James VI of Scotland, but after his father inherited the English throne in 1603, he moved to England, where he spent much of the rest of his life, he became heir apparent to the thrones of England and Ireland on the death of his elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, in 1612. An unsuccessful and unpopular attempt to marry him to the Spanish Habsburg princess Maria Anna culminated in an eight-month visit to Spain in 1623 that demonstrated the futility of the marriage negotiations. Two years he married the Bourbon princess Henrietta Maria of France instead. After his succession, Charles quarrelled with the Parliament of England, which sought to curb his royal prerogative. Charles believed in the divine right of kings, was determined to govern according to his own conscience. Many of his subjects opposed his policies, in particular the levying of taxes without parliamentary consent, perceived his actions as those of a tyrannical absolute monarch.
His religious policies, coupled with his marriage to a Roman Catholic, generated the antipathy and mistrust of Reformed groups such as the English Puritans and Scottish Covenanters, who thought his views were too Catholic. He supported high church Anglican ecclesiastics, such as Richard Montagu and William Laud, failed to aid Protestant forces during the Thirty Years' War, his attempts to force the Church of Scotland to adopt high Anglican practices led to the Bishops' Wars, strengthened the position of the English and Scottish parliaments, helped precipitate his own downfall. From 1642, Charles fought the armies of the English and Scottish parliaments in the English Civil War. After his defeat in 1645, he surrendered to a Scottish force that handed him over to the English Parliament. Charles refused to accept his captors' demands for a constitutional monarchy, temporarily escaped captivity in November 1647. Re-imprisoned on the Isle of Wight, Charles forged an alliance with Scotland, but by the end of 1648 Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army had consolidated its control over England.
Charles was tried and executed for high treason in January 1649. The monarchy was abolished and a republic called the Commonwealth of England was declared; the monarchy would be restored to Charles's son, Charles II, in 1660. The second son of King James VI of Scotland and Anne of Denmark, Charles was born in Dunfermline Palace, Fife, on 19 November 1600. At a Protestant ceremony in the Chapel Royal of Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh on 23 December 1600, he was baptised by David Lindsay, Bishop of Ross, created Duke of Albany, the traditional title of the second son of the King of Scotland, with the subsidiary titles of Marquess of Ormond, Earl of Ross and Lord Ardmannoch. James VI was the first cousin twice removed of Queen Elizabeth I of England, when she died childless in March 1603, he became King of England as James I. Charles was a weak and sickly infant, while his parents and older siblings left for England in April and early June that year, due to his fragile health, he remained in Scotland with his father's friend Lord Fyvie, appointed as his guardian.
By 1604, when Charles was three-and-a-half, he was able to walk the length of the great hall at Dunfermline Palace without assistance, it was decided that he was strong enough to make the journey to England to be reunited with his family. In mid-July 1604, Charles left Dunfermline for England where he was to spend most of the rest of his life. In England, Charles was placed under the charge of Elizabeth, Lady Carey, the wife of courtier Sir Robert Carey, who put him in boots made of Spanish leather and brass to help strengthen his weak ankles, his speech development was slow, he retained a stammer, or hesitant speech, for the rest of his life. In January 1605, Charles was created Duke of York, as is customary in the case of the English sovereign's second son, made a Knight of the Bath. Thomas Murray, a presbyterian Scot, was appointed as a tutor. Charles learnt the usual subjects of classics, languages and religion. In 1611, he was made a Knight of the Garter. Charles conquered his physical infirmity, which might have been caused by rickets.
He became an adept horseman and marksman, took up fencing. So, his public profile remained low in contrast to that of his physically stronger and taller elder brother, Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, whom Charles adored and attempted to emulate. However, in early November 1612, Henry died at the age of 18 of what is suspected to have been typhoid. Charles, who turned 12 two weeks became heir apparent; as the eldest surviving son of the sovereign, Charles automatically gained several titles. Four years in November 1616, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester. In 1613, his sister Elizabeth married Frederick V, Elector Palatine, moved to Heidelberg. In 1617, the Habsburg Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, a Catholic, was elected king of Bohemia; the following year, the Bohemians rebelled. In August 1619, the Bohemian diet chose as their monarch Frederick V, leader of the Protestant Union, while Ferdinand was elected Holy Roman Emperor in the imperial election. Frederick's acceptance of the Bohemian crown in defiance of the emperor marked the beginning of the turmoil that would develop into the Thirty Years' War.
The conflict confined to Bohemia, spiralled into a wider European war, which the English Parliament and public grew to see
James II of England
James II and VII was King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The last Roman Catholic monarch of England and Ireland, his reign is now remembered for struggles over religious tolerance. However, it involved the principles of absolutism and divine right of kings and his deposition ended a century of political and civil strife by confirming the primacy of Parliament over the Crown. James inherited the thrones of England and Scotland with widespread support in all three countries based on the principle of divine right or birth. Tolerance for his personal Catholicism did not apply to it in general and when the English and Scottish Parliaments refused to pass his measures, James attempted to impose them by decree. In June 1688, two events turned dissent into a crisis; the second was the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for seditious libel. Anti-Catholic riots in England and Scotland now made it seem only his removal as monarch could prevent a civil war.
Representatives of the English political elite invited William to assume the English throne. In February 1689, Parliament held he had'vacated' the English throne and installed William and Mary as joint monarchs, establishing the principle that sovereignty derived from Parliament, not birth. James landed in Ireland on 14 March 1689 in an attempt to recover his kingdoms but despite a simultaneous rising in Scotland, in April a Scottish Convention followed their English colleagues by ruling James had'forfeited' the throne and offered it to William and Mary. After defeat at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690, James returned to France where he spent the rest of his life in exile at Saint-Germain, protected by Louis XIV. James, the second surviving son of King Charles I and his wife, Henrietta Maria of France, was born at St James's Palace in London on 14 October 1633; that same year, he was baptised by William Laud, the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. He was educated by private tutors, along with his older brother, the future King Charles II, the two sons of the Duke of Buckingham and Francis Villiers.
At the age of three, James was appointed Lord High Admiral. He was designated Duke of York at birth, invested with the Order of the Garter in 1642, formally created Duke of York in January 1644; the King's disputes with the English Parliament grew into the English Civil War. James accompanied his father at the Battle of Edgehill, where he narrowly escaped capture by the Parliamentary army, he subsequently stayed in Oxford, the chief Royalist stronghold, where he was made a M. A. by the University on 1 November 1642 and served as colonel of a volunteer regiment of foot. When the city surrendered after the siege of Oxford in 1646, Parliamentary leaders ordered the Duke of York to be confined in St James's Palace. Disguised as a woman, he escaped from the Palace in 1648 with the help of Joseph Bampfield, crossed the North Sea to The Hague; when Charles I was executed by the rebels in 1649, monarchists proclaimed James's older brother king as Charles II of England. Charles II was recognised as king by the Parliament of Scotland and the Parliament of Ireland, was crowned King of Scotland at Scone in 1651.
Although he was proclaimed King in Jersey, Charles was unable to secure the crown of England and fled to France and exile. Like his brother, James sought refuge in France, serving in the French army under Turenne against the Fronde, against their Spanish allies. In the French army James had his first true experience of battle where, according to one observer, he "ventures himself and chargeth gallantly where anything is to be done". Turenne's favour led to James being given command of a captured Irish regiment in December 1652, being appointed Lieutenant-General in 1654. In the meantime, Charles was attempting to reclaim his throne, but France, although hosting the exiles, had allied itself with Oliver Cromwell. In 1656, Charles turned instead to Spain – an enemy of France – for support, an alliance was made. In consequence, James was forced to leave Turenne's army. James quarrelled with his brother over the diplomatic choice of Spain over France. Exiled and poor, there was little that either Charles or James could do about the wider political situation, James travelled to Bruges and joined the Spanish army under Louis, Prince of Condé in Flanders, where he was given command as Captain-General of six regiments of British volunteers and fought against his former French comrades at the Battle of the Dunes.
During his service in the Spanish army, James became friendly with two Irish Catholic brothers in the Royalist entourage and Richard Talbot, became somewhat estranged from his brother's Anglican advisers. In 1659, the French and Spanish made peace. James, doubtful of his brother's chances of regaining the throne, considered taking a Spanish offer to be an admiral in their navy, he declined the position.
Charles II of England
Charles II was king of England and Ireland. He was king of Scotland from 1649 until his deposition in 1651, king of England and Ireland from the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 until his death. Charles II's father, Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II king on 5 February 1649, England entered the period known as the English Interregnum or the English Commonwealth, the country was a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651, Charles fled to mainland Europe. Cromwell became virtual dictator of England and Ireland. Charles spent the next nine years in exile in France, the Dutch Republic and the Spanish Netherlands. A political crisis that followed the death of Cromwell in 1658 resulted in the restoration of the monarchy, Charles was invited to return to Britain. On 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday, he was received in London to public acclaim.
After 1660, all legal documents were dated as if he had succeeded his father as king in 1649. Charles's English parliament enacted laws known as the Clarendon Code, designed to shore up the position of the re-established Church of England. Charles acquiesced to the Clarendon Code though he favoured a policy of religious tolerance; the major foreign policy issue of his early reign was the Second Anglo-Dutch War. In 1670, he entered into the Treaty of Dover, an alliance with his first cousin King Louis XIV of France. Louis agreed to aid him in the Third Anglo-Dutch War and pay him a pension, Charles secretly promised to convert to Catholicism at an unspecified future date. Charles attempted to introduce religious freedom for Catholics and Protestant dissenters with his 1672 Royal Declaration of Indulgence, but the English Parliament forced him to withdraw it. In 1679, Titus Oates's revelations of a supposed Popish Plot sparked the Exclusion Crisis when it was revealed that Charles's brother and heir, Duke of York, was a Catholic.
The crisis saw the birth of anti-exclusion Tory parties. Charles sided with the Tories, following the discovery of the Rye House Plot to murder Charles and James in 1683, some Whig leaders were executed or forced into exile. Charles dissolved the English Parliament in 1681, ruled alone until his death on 6 February 1685, he was received into the Catholic Church on his deathbed. Charles was one of the most popular and beloved kings of England, known as the Merry Monarch, in reference to both the liveliness and hedonism of his court and the general relief at the return to normality after over a decade of rule by Cromwell and the Puritans. Charles's wife, Catherine of Braganza, bore no live children, but Charles acknowledged at least twelve illegitimate children by various mistresses, he was succeeded by his brother James. Charles II was born at St James's Palace on 29 May 1630, his parents were Charles I, who ruled the three kingdoms of England and Ireland, Henrietta Maria, the sister of the French king Louis XIII.
Charles was their second child. Their first son died within a day. England and Ireland were predominantly Anglican and Catholic. Charles was baptised in the Chapel Royal, on 27 June, by the Anglican Bishop of London, William Laud, he was brought up in the care of the Protestant Countess of Dorset, though his godparents included his maternal uncle Louis XIII and his maternal grandmother, Marie de' Medici, the Dowager Queen of France, both of whom were Catholics. At birth, Charles automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay, along with several other associated titles. At or around his eighth birthday, he was designated Prince of Wales, though he was never formally invested. During the 1640s, when Charles was still young, his father fought Parliamentary and Puritan forces in the English Civil War. Charles accompanied his father during the Battle of Edgehill and, at the age of fourteen, participated in the campaigns of 1645, when he was made titular commander of the English forces in the West Country.
By spring 1646, his father was losing the war, Charles left England due to fears for his safety. Setting off from Falmouth after staying at Pendennis Castle, he went first to the Isles of Scilly to Jersey, to France, where his mother was living in exile and his first cousin, eight-year-old Louis XIV, was king. Charles I surrendered into captivity in May 1646. In 1648, during the Second English Civil War, Charles moved to The Hague, where his sister Mary and his brother-in-law William II, Prince of Orange, seemed more to provide substantial aid to the royalist cause than his mother's French relations. However, the royalist fleet that came under Charles's control was not used to any advantage, did not reach Scotland in time to join up with the royalist Engager army of the Duke of Hamilton before it was defeated at the Battle of Preston by the Parliamentarians. At The Hague, Charles had a brief affair with Lucy Walter, who falsely claimed that they had secretly married, her son, James Crofts, was one of Charles's many illegitimate children who became prominent in British society.
Despite his son's diplomatic efforts to save him, King Charles I was beheaded in January 1649, England became a republic. On 5 February, the Covenanter Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II "King of Great Britain and Ireland" at the Mercat Cross, but refused to allow him to enter Scotland unless he accepted the imposition of Presbyterianism throughout Britain and Ireland; when negotiations with the Scot
Mary II of England
Mary II was Queen of England and Ireland, co-reigning with her husband and first cousin, King William III and II, from 1689 until her death. William and Mary, both Protestants, became king and queen regnant following the Glorious Revolution, which resulted in the adoption of the English Bill of Rights and the deposition of her Roman Catholic father, James II and VII. William became sole ruler upon her death in 1694, he reigned as such until his own death in 1702. Mary wielded less power than William when he was in England, ceding most of her authority to him, though he relied on her, she did, act alone when William was engaged in military campaigns abroad, proving herself to be a powerful and effective ruler. Mary, born at St James's Palace in London on 30 April 1662, was the eldest daughter of the Duke of York, his first wife, Anne Hyde. Mary's uncle was King Charles II, who ruled the three kingdoms of England and Ireland, she was baptised into the Anglican faith in the Chapel Royal at St James's, was named after her ancestor, Queen of Scots.
Her godparents included Prince Rupert of the Rhine. Although her mother bore eight children, all except Mary and her younger sister Anne died young, King Charles II had no legitimate children. For most of her childhood, Mary was second in line to the throne after her father; the Duke of York converted to Roman Catholicism in 1668 or 1669 and the Duchess about eight years earlier, but Mary and Anne were brought up as Anglicans, pursuant to the command of Charles II. They were moved to their own establishment at Richmond Palace, where they were raised by their governess Lady Frances Villiers, with only occasional visits to see their parents at St James's or their grandfather Lord Clarendon at Twickenham. Mary's education, from private tutors, was restricted to music, drawing and religious instruction, her mother died in 1671, her father remarried in 1673, taking as his second wife Mary of Modena, a Catholic, only four years older than Mary. From about the age of nine until her marriage, Mary wrote passionate letters to an older girl, Frances Apsley, the daughter of courtier Sir Allen Apsley.
Mary signed herself'Mary Clorine'. In time, Frances became uncomfortable with the correspondence, replied more formally. At the age of fifteen, Mary became betrothed to her cousin, the Protestant Stadtholder of Holland, William III of Orange. William was the son of the King's late sister, Princess Royal, thus fourth in the line of succession after James and Anne. At first, Charles II opposed the alliance with the Dutch ruler—he preferred that Mary wed the heir to the French throne, the Dauphin Louis, thus allying his realms with Catholic France and strengthening the odds of an eventual Catholic successor in Britain; the Duke of York agreed to the marriage, after pressure from chief minister Lord Danby and the King, who incorrectly assumed that it would improve James's popularity among Protestants. When James told Mary that she was to marry her cousin, "she wept all that afternoon and all the following day". William and a tearful Mary were married in St James's Palace by Bishop Henry Compton on 4 November 1677.
Mary accompanied her husband on a rough sea crossing back to the Netherlands that month, after a delay of two weeks caused by bad weather. Rotterdam was inaccessible because of ice, they were forced to land at the small village of Ter Heijde, walk through the frosty countryside until met by coaches to take them to Huis Honselaarsdijk. On 14 December, they made a formal entry to The Hague in a grand procession. Mary's animated and personable nature made her popular with the Dutch people, her marriage to a Protestant prince was popular in Britain, she was devoted to her husband, but he was away on campaigns, which led to Mary's family supposing him to be cold and neglectful. Within months of the marriage Mary was pregnant, she suffered further bouts of illness that may have been miscarriages in mid-1678, early 1679, early 1680. Her childlessness would be the greatest source of unhappiness in her life. From May 1684, King Charles's illegitimate son, James Scott, Duke of Monmouth, lived in the Netherlands, where he was fêted by William and Mary.
Monmouth was viewed as a rival to the Duke of York, as a potential Protestant heir who could supplant the Duke in the line of succession. William, did not consider him a viable alternative and assumed that Monmouth had insufficient support. Upon the death of Charles II without legitimate issue in February 1685, the Duke of York became king as James II in England and Ireland and James VII in Scotland. Mary was playing cards when her husband informed her of her father's accession, that she was heir presumptive; when Charles's illegitimate son the Duke of Monmouth assembled an invasion force at Amsterdam, sailed for Britain, William informed James of the Duke's departure, ordered English regiments in the Low Countries to return to Britain. To William's relief, Monmouth was defeated and executed, but both he and Mary were dismayed by James's subsequent actions