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On 7 May 2023, Charles Windsor was crowned King Charles III of England and its dominions with the crown of St Edward the Confessor, made for the coronation of Charles Stuart, King Charles II in 1661, following the Restoration.

The history of Charles II makes the St Edward Crown hardly fit to be at the centre of all the religious pomp and ceremony displayed.



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 Charles Stuart Caption

Charles Stuart (referred to as Charles) was born in London, UK, on May 29, 1630 and was the eldest surviving child of Charles I and his French spouse Henrietta Marie. Following the execution of Charles I by order of the British Parliament in 1649, Charles was proclaimed King Charles II. However, the British Isles were governed by the Rump Parliament, of which Oliver Cromwell (referred to as Cromwell) was a member. Charles sought to reclaim the kingdom but was defeated by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Charles escaped to Europe and spent the following nine years in France, Holland, and Spain. In 1653, Cromwell dismissed the Rump Parliament and assumed control of the kingdom, which had previously been renamed as the English Commonwealth, as Lord Protector for life.

Following his death in 1658, Cromwell was succeeded by his son Richard as Lord Protector. However, Richard proved to be ineffective, and following the recall and subsequent dismissal of the Rump Parliament, Charles was invited to return to England. He did so and was again proclaimed king in 1660, thanks to the support of General Monck, who had fought alongside Cromwell in the Civil War.

The population at large abhorred the Puritanism with associated prohibitions introduced by Cromwell and rejoiced at the return of Charles on May 29, 1660, his thirtieth birthday, and his brothers, the Dukes of York and Gloucester. The streets of London were strewn with flowers, the bells rang out, and citizens clad in all their finery lined the route of the spectacular parade accompanying Charles as he made his triumphant way to Whitehall Palace in Westminster.

In the latter years of the Interregnum, Cromwell had presided as a dictator supported by the military and was responsible for bloody wars, curtailment of liberty, and religious restraints. Those included banning swearing, wearing of make-up, and sport; closure of theatres and public houses; bleak dress rules for women; and banning of all feast days, including the celebration of Christmas.

All activities on Sundays, other than attending church, were banned. One day in every month was a day of fasting, during which all eating was forbidden. People apprehended by the military while transgressing could be fined, whipped, placed in the stocks, or imprisoned, depending upon the offense. Enjoyment was, for all intents and purposes, forbidden.

The Commonwealth Adultery Act, passed by Cromwell's Rump Parliament in 1650, notoriously imposed the death penalty on any married woman and any man other than the husband who had sexual intercourse together. Exceptions were rape and the unexplained absence of the husband for at least three years. As referred to above, the Act would be repealed following the Restoration of the Stuart monarchy in 1660.

Cromwell hated the Irish Catholics and led an army to Ireland in 1649. He was responsible for slaughtering the garrisons of Wexford and Drogheda, who refused to surrender to his army 


Many civilians in those towns were also killed. Thousands of Irish people, including children, were transported to sugar plantations in the Caribbean as slave laborers. This was despite Cromwell professing to be a man of deep religion. By the time of his death, Cromwell was a much-hated man in England and Ireland.

Following the triumphant return of Charles as king, the so-called Interregnum was expunged from the records, and the reign of Charles as Charles II was officially recorded as having commenced in 1649, following the execution of his father.

Cromwell’s body, and that of his son-in-law Colonel Henry Ireton who had been present at Drogheda, and who had replaced Cromwell as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland on Cromwell’s departure for England; and that of John Bradshaw, who presided over the trial of Charles I, were exhumed from Westminster Abbey, hung in chains on the Tyburn gallows for a full day, taken down, and beheaded. The heads were displayed on twenty-foot spikes above Westminster Hall, where Charles I had been tried and condemned to death. The headless bodies were later interred in a pit excavated under the gallows.

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The bodies of Cromwell's mother and sister, together with others involved in the death of Charles I, were similarly later removed from the Abbey and thrown into a common pit.

Charles discontinued the restrictions imposed by Cromwell, restored the Anglican Church, and disbanded the army. Despite his Catholic sympathies, the Catholics and the Protestants, who did not acknowledge the priesthood of the Anglican Church and were known as Dissenters, were persecuted, imprisoned, and even killed.

Although married to Catherine of Braganza, Charles was the father of twelve illegitimate children by seven mistresses. He was known as the Merry Monarch and presided over a court of great dissolution.

In 1672, the Royal African Company (Company) was granted a Royal Charter in England, replacing an earlier company similarly chartered in 1663, and given a monopoly by Parliament for trade in slaves and other merchandise from the entire West Coast of Africa to the Americas. The monopoly competed against the Dutch, who were overtaken in the slave trade by the Company. The principal shareholder in the Company was the Duke of York, who was the brother of Charles and would later succeed him as James II. Other shareholders included, among many others, John Locke, Samuel Pepys, and the prestigious Royal Society. Charles was also a shareholder who profited hugely from the slave trade. The Royal Family received half the proceeds, and the Company the other half. The Royal Charter was written to remain in force for 1,000 years and mandated the Company's common seal in the following terms:

Whereas all the regions know by the names of Guinny, Binny, Angola, and South Barbary, and all the parts of Africa to them belonging, and the sole trade thereof, are the undoubted right of us, our heirs and successors; and whereas his Majesty has by Letters Patent, bearing date 18th December 1660, granted all said regions, that is to say, from Cape Blanco to Cape de Bona Esperanza, to James Duke of York and Albany and others for the term of (1,000) years, for the sole use of the Company of Royal Adventurers in Africa, by said Letters Patent incorporated; his Majesty, in consideration of the surrender of said Letters Patent, and tendering the advancement of said Royal Company, by these presents grants to our Royal Consort Queen Katherine, Mary the Queen our mother, our dearest brother James, Duke of York, our dearest sister Henrietta Maria, Duchess of Orleans, … and their successors, all the regions and dominions, extending from the Port of Sallee in South Barbary, and extending to Cape de Bona Esperanza, during the term of (1,000) years; rendering to his Majesty and his successors two elephants, whensoever he or any of them shall land in said regions. Nevertheless, this grant is for the sole benefit of the Company of Royal Adventurers into Africa by these presents incorporated. For the furtherance of the trade, and encouragement in the discovery of the golden mines, and settling of plantations, the society shall be one body corporate, and use a common seal, engraven with, on the one side an elephant supported by two blackamores, and on the other the image of our Royal person.

Brooks Caption


The Charter was for the transportation of African slaves in ships to the Americas in filthy and overcrowded inhuman conditions.

In 1661, the Barbados Parliament, at the insistence of the Royalist Governor Humphrey Walrond, enacted the repressive Barbados Slave Code (An Act for Better Ordering and Governing of Negroes) concerning slaves in Barbados. The Code was adopted throughout the Caribbean. It permitted the whipping and branding of slaves under certain circumstances. Slave owners were to be held blameless if a slave was unintentionally whipped to death.

The Company's slave trading monopoly was terminated in 1689, resulting from a campaign by the Society of Merchant Venturers of Bristol, whose members then joined in the African slave trade.

Then in 1711, the British Government established the South Sea Company (SSC), which was granted a monopoly to transport African slaves to the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in the Americas, with the intention of restructuring the national debt. The SSC was open to investors buying shares, as in present-day companies, but unlike today's companies, dividends paid to shareholders were not based on results but on a fixed rate of six percent.

Spain imposed restrictions on the SSC, causing a significant decline in income. That caused widespread concern among the shareholders, so in 1718 King George I assumed control of the SCC, which caused the price of the shares to skyrocket. But at the end of the day, it was nothing but a giant ponzi scheme in which shares were sold as the principal source of income.

The SCC purchased the national debt in 1720, intending to pay interest on the debt from money obtained by selling its shares. Then in 1720, the inevitable happened, and the SCC collapsed, famously known as The South Sea Bubble. Isaac Newton was one of many investors who lost a fortune.

In 1689, Catholic James II was replaced by his Protestant daughter Mary, Queen Mary II (Mary), and her Protestant husband William of Orange, King William III (William), as joint monarchs, following the success of the Glorious Revolution. Shortly before being crowned, William purchased a large amount of stock in the Company from Edward Colston of Bristol. The funds received by William from the slave trade contributed, directly or indirectly, to the construction costs of converting Nottingham House into Kensington Palace, a royal residence from that day to this, which occurred in 1689. The project was designed and overseen by the renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren. Mary continually harassed the workers, which resulted in the collapse of a wall, causing the death of a worker.

In 1689, Wren, pictured below, also designed and oversaw, the construction of Nottingham Cottage, located in the grounds of Kensington Palace. Nottingham Cottage was also funded by the African slave trade, and has been a residence of royalty from that day to this.

Kensington Palace Caption

Wren Caption

Until 1731, when it ceased trading in slaves and switched to gold and ivory, the Company shipped more than 200,000 men, women, and children to the Caribbean and the British colonies in North America. Many were branded with hot irons on their backs or chests with the letters RAC(Royal African Company), and in the early days, with the letters DY (Duke of York).

Branding Females Slaves Caption

Hundreds of thousands of slaves were to die during transport by the Royal African Company across the Middle Passage, which was the journey by slave ships from Africa to the Americas. On arrival, those who survived were liable to be branded by their new owners for various reasons, including fear of them fleeing. The suffering of the newly branded slaves, packed like sardines in a can into the crowded and unsanitary ships, was indescribable.

The Barbados Slave Code, as referred to above, contained a provision that the Constable would severely whip any slave who struck or offered violence to any Christian for the first offense. For a second offense, the slave would be severely beaten, have his nose slit, and be branded on his face with a hot iron. Should the slave die or suffer bodily damage, no one would be liable for any fine. The brutish slave would not be entitled to a trial by jury.

Whipping Caption

The slaves and their descendants toiled in the plantations and mines of the British colonies in the Americas, and otherwise served their white masters, until slavery was abolished in the British colonies in 1833, where more than 800,000 slaves were freed, and in the United States of America in 1865. During that time, the slaves sold at auction to the highest bidder were whipped unmercifully at the whims of their masters.

As referred to further on in this book, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, presidents of the United States, whose 60 feet high visages have been carved into the side of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, permitted the whipping of the African slaves on their plantations.

The British Parliament banned the transportation of slaves in 1808, but not slavery. Slaves in the US were freed during and after the Civil War. However, under the iniquitous Jim Crow Laws in the South, those freed and their descendants were to suffer discrimination and segregation for at least another 100 years. During that time, mob lynchings of freed slaves and their descendants were not uncommon.

Lynching Caption

On his deathbed in 1685, Charles converted to Catholicism. However, it was all to no avail. He had unleashed too great an evil on the Western world for his power and financial gain. He was condemned to the pit, where he would suffer for all eternity alongside his brother James and arch-enemy Oliver Cromwell.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)

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