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Charles II 1660-1685

Copper half pennies and farthings

 

Charles, 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 at Dunbar and Worcester, he was forced to flee to France.

On 3 September 1658, Oliver Cromwell died. A few months previously, Cromwell had announced that he wanted his son, Richard Cromwell, to replace him as Lord Protector of the Commonwealth. The English army was unhappy with this decision. While they respected Oliver as a skillful military commander, Richard was just a country farmer. In May 1659, the generals forced Richard to retire from government.

Parliament and the leaders of the army now began arguing amongst themselves about how England should be ruled. General George Monk, the officer in charge of the English army based in Scotland, decided to take action, and in 1660 he marched his army to London.

When Monck arrived he reinstated the House of Lords and the Parliament of 1640. Royalists were now in control of Parliament. Monck now contacted Charles, who was living in Holland. Charles agreed that if he was made king he would 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 in the 1630s.

This information was passed to Parliament and it was eventually agreed to abolish the Commonwealth and bring back the monarchy. Parliament raised nearly £1 million and with this money soldiers in the army were paid off and sent home. At the same time Charles was granted permission to form two permanent regiments for himself, the Royal Scots and the Coldstream Guards.

As a reward for his action, General George Monck became one of the king's most important ministers. Many of the men who had fought as Cavaliers against the Roundheads also became ministers and advisers. Some of these men wanted revenge against those who had killed their king. A large number of the people responsible were now dead. However, many of those who were still alive were punished. Eleven members of the House of Commons who had signed Charles I's death warrant were hanged, drawn and quartered. Royalists even dug up the body of Oliver Cromwell and displayed it at Tyburn.

 

Charles II Gold Touch-Piece. Touched by Charles II himself at a Touching Ceremony. Presented to a loyal subject by Charles II 1660- 1685.

Worn around the neck for healing purposes

CARMD.G.M.ER EF.HI.REX on the ship side

GLORIA .SOLI .DEO

George and the dragon

1674 Charles II milled copper half penny

Monster silver find - our first ever large denomination Charles II silver coin

1660-85 - Charles II milled silver half crown (30 pence) 3rd issue

1660-85 milled silver shilling (12 pence) 1668 milled silver shilling
Early 1660 -2 Charles II milled silver half groat - this legend CAROLVS.II.D.G Stunning tiny 1660 Charles II milled silver penny
1671 Charles 1st milled silver 2 pence 1679 Charles II milled silver 3 pence
1664 Charles II milled silver 3 pence 1681 Charles II milled silver 2 pence
1675 Charles II milled silver penny 1677 Charles II milled silver 2 pence
1682 Charles II milled silver 3 pence 1681 Charles II milled silver three pence
1679 Charles II milled silver 3 pence Charles II 1676 milled silver Sixpence
1670 Charles II milled silver penny 1679 Charles II milled silver 3 pence
1679 Charles II milled silver 4 pence 1675 Charles II milled silver 3 pence
1679 Charles II milled silver 2 pence 1679 Charles II milled silver 3 pence
Early 1660 -2 Charles II milled silver half groat - this legend CAROLVS.II.D.G 1663 Charles II shilling 12 pence
1680 Charles II milled silver 3 pence 1681 Charles II milled silver 2 pence
1683 Charles II milled silver 3 pence 1684 Charles II milled silver 4 pence
Stunning early 1660-85 milled silver Charles II milled silver half groat - 2nd Issue mint mark Crown on rev only - without inner circles 1679 Charles II milled silver half groat (2 pence)
1663 Charles II milled silver penny - 2nd issue- bust to edge of coin (machine made single arched crown) 1679 Charles II milled silver penny

1662 Charles II milled silver half groat

Undated issue

Early 1660 -2 Charles II milled silver half groat - this legend CAROLVS.II.D.G
1674 Charles II milled silver one pence

1662 Charles II milled silver half groat - love token

Undated issue

1679 Charles II milled silver three pence 1679 Charles II milled silver two pence
1670's Charles II milled silver 4 pence 1679 Charles II milled silver 4 pence
1677 Charles II milled silver two pence 1685 Charles II milled silver two pence
1680 Charles II milled silver three pence 1682 Charles II milled silver four pence
1678 Charles II milled silver two pence Early 1660 -2 Charles II milled silver half groat - this legend CAROLVS.II.D.G
Early 1660- 2 Charles II milled silver penny - this legend CAROLVS.II.D.G - Crown mint mark 1660-1685 Charles II milled silver sixpence
 
1679 Charles II milled silver three pence  

 

James II gunmetal coinage - shillings (12 pence)

 

 

Born in 1633 and named after his grandfather James I, James II grew up in exile after the Civil War (he served in the armies of Louis XIV) and, after his brother's restoration, commanded the Royal Navy from 1660 to 1673.

James converted to Catholicism in 1669. Despite his conversion, James II succeeded to the throne peacefully at the age of 51.

His position was a strong one - there were standing armies of nearly 20,000 men in his kingdoms and he had a revenue of around £2 million.

Within days of his succession, James announced the summoning of Parliament in May but he sounded a warning note: 'the best way to engage me to meet you often is always to use me well'.

A rebellion led by Charles's illegitimate son, the Duke of Monmouth, was easily crushed after the battle of Sedgemoor in 1685, and savage punishments were imposed by the infamous Lord Chief Justice, Judge Jeffreys, at the 'Bloody Assizes'.
James's reaction to the Monmouth rebellion was to plan the increase of the standing army and the appointment of loyal and experienced Roman Catholic officers. This, together with James's attempts to give civic equality to Roman Catholic and Protestant dissenters, led to conflict with Parliament, as it was seen as James showing favouritism towards Roman Catholics.

Fear of Catholicism was widespread (in 1685, Louis XIV revoked the Edict of Nantes which gave protection to French Protestants), and the possibility of a standing army led by Roman Catholic officers produced protest in Parliament. As a result, James prorogued Parliament in 1685 and ruled without it.
James attempted to promote the Roman Catholic cause by dismissing judges and Lord Lieutenants who refused to support the withdrawal of laws penalising religious dissidents, appointing Catholics to important academic posts, and to senior military and political positions. Within three years, the majority of James's subjects had been alienated.

In 1687 James issued the Declaration of Indulgence aiming at religious toleration; seven bishops who asked James to reconsider were charged with seditious libel, but later acquitted to popular Anglican acclaim.

When his second (Roman Catholic) wife, Mary of Modena, gave birth on 10 June 1688 to a son (James Stuart, later known as the 'Old Pretender' and father of Charles Edward Stuart, 'Bonnie Prince Charlie'), it seemed that a Roman Catholic dynasty would be established.

William of Orange, Protestant husband of James's elder daughter, Mary (by James's first and Protestant wife, Anne Hyde), was therefore welcomed when he invaded on 5 November 1688.

The Army and the Navy (disaffected despite James's investment in them) deserted to William, and James fled to France.
James's attempt to regain the throne by taking a French army to Ireland failed - he was defeated at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690.

James spent the rest of his life in exile in France, dying there in 1701.

1685 James II shillings - 12 pence

1687 milled silver 3 pence 1688 milled silver 2 pence
1687 milled silver one pence 1688 milled silver 3 pence
1687 silver one pence
1686 milled silver 3 pence
1686 milled silver 2 pence 1687 milled silver 2 pence
1687 milled silver 4 pence 1687 James II milled silver one pence
 
1687 James II milled silver four pence