Explore the BBC
3 Oct 2014
Click for a Text Only version of this page
BBC Homepage
BBC Radio

Radio 4
Radio 4 History
BBC History

This Sceptred Isle


55 BC - 1087

1087 - 1327

1327 - 1547

1547 - 1660

1660 - 1702

1702 - 1760

1760 - 1792

1792 - 1837

1837 - 1861

1861 - 1901

1901 - 1919

1920 - 1939

1940 - 1959

1960 - 1979

1980 - 1999


Contact Us


Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

This Sceptred Isle

The Cavalier Parliament
Charles's reign was dated to 1649 when his father was beheaded. All the Parliamentary acts of Charles I were legal under Charles II, everything that had happened in between was illegal. The power of the king became contained by increasing regional and local responsibilities. Charles II called upon Parliament to pay not only his debts but those of his father, Charles I. The bill was presented to Parliament within four months of the king's return.

The country was in terrible financial straits. Parliament granted the king revenues for life, the king relinquished his feudal dues from wardships, knight service, and other mediaeval survivals. Charles II was not interested in revenge, he tried to prevent Parliament executing Roundheads.

Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury

  • Whig Royalist who changed sides in 1643 and in 1653 joined Cromwell's Parliament
  • Charles II's Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1661
  • Lord Chancellor
  • Supported both Declarations of Indulgence and was against Charles's Catholicism
  • Dismissed from the Privy Council and supported Exclusion
  • Charged with high treason but cleared
  • Died in exile in the Netherlands in 1681

did you know?
The corpses of Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshaw were pulled out of their coffins in Westminster Abbey, where they had been buried a few years earlier in solemn state, drawn through the streets on hurdles to Tyburn, hanged upon the three-cornered gibbet for 24 hours, their heads spiked up in prominent places and the remains cast upon the dunghill.

The committee for public debts, September the Third, sixteen hundred and sixty.

It be reported to the House as the opinion of this committee, that the debts hereafter mentioned are such as Parliament is bound to honour to take care of, which now stand charged as underwritten:

There is charged upon his Majesty's Exchequer and was charged thereupon by his late Majesty during the late troubles, the sum of, sixty five thousand pounds.

Tallies struck for the same, for money lent to his late Majesty by divers of the nobility and gentry, fifty thousand pounds.

There was charged by the Lords and Commons, the twenty second of April, sixteen hundred and forty six, for the yearly support of the queen of Bohemia, his Majesty's aunt, fifty thousand pounds.

For wares and commodities about the years sixteen forty one and sixteen forty two, sixty thousand pounds.

There is due to the old farmers of the Customs, for which they had tallies struck. two hundred and fifty three thousand pounds.

Due to the Princess Royal for her portion, for which his present Majesty is engaged, forty thousand pounds.

Due to his Majesty to the late Tin Farmers, certified as aforesaid, eleven thousand six hundred pounds.

The total being, five hundred and twenty nine thousand, six hundred pounds.

The aforementioned debts were all charged by his late majesty, and for which his present Majesty is engaged in honour to see satisfied, and are humbly offered to the Parliament by this committee as debts which in honour they are bound to take care of.

Memorandum. No part of the debts of his present Majesty, either in England or elsewhere, are brought into this account.

NB Charles II's debts were still to come.

Select historical period

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.dat does not exist

/home/system/data/timb/kwikquiz.html does not exist

1645New Model Army is established
Laud is executed
Use of the prayer book is forbidden
1646Charles I surrenders to the Scots
Receives propositions of Newcastle
1647Scots hand Charles I over to the English
1649Charles I is tried and executed
The monarchy and the House of Lords are abolished
The Commonwealth is declared.
1658Oliver Cromwell dies
1660Charles II signs the Declaration of Breda
Charles II is restored to the throne
1662Charles II marries Catherine of Braganza
1665The Great Plague
1666The Fire of London
1672Charles II issues the Declaration of Indulgence
1677Princess Mary marries William of Orange
1685Charles II dies
James II becomes king of England

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy