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CHARLES II 1660-1685
Charles II was 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 by Oliver Cromwell at
Dunbar and Worcester, he was forced to flee back to France.

On 3 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell died. Cromwell had announced that he
wanted his son, Richard Cromwell, to replace him as Lord Protector of the
Commonwealth, however the English army was unhappy with this decision. They
didn't feel Richard was the man to lead the country so the generals forced Richard to
retire from government.

The army led by General George Monk, invited Charles II back to Britain to become
king and rule the country as long as he agreed to 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.

Charles and his wife Catherine of Braganza did not have any children so upon his
death on the 2nd of February 1685 aged 54, his brother James II replaced him as
king.
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