The belief that a king’s laying on of hands could cure the disfiguring disease of scrofula gained new heights of popularity during the Restoration, as Stephen Brogan explains.
In the precarious years that followed the Restoration of Charles II, the senior clergy of the Church of England navigated the country’s shifting politics at their peril. But high principles still had their place, as John Jolliffe explains.
In his career as rake and satirist, writes John Redwood, Rochester illustrated both the vices and virtues of the Restoration court.
Clarendon’s great ‘History’ was composed largely in exile and published after his death. Hugh Trevor-Roper discusses how the historian had originally intended this great work to be private political advice to the King.
The preeminent Restoration actress and infamous Royal mistress died in 1687 at the age of 37. Jane Hoare describes how Charles II had left her well provided.
Howard Shaw introduces Henry Ireton, Cromwell's son-in-law, a regicide, and a man with principles and temper of a Cassius, who “stuck at nothing.”
Meyrick Carre introduces James Howell; an enquiring disciple of the new astronomers who enlivened the British seventeenth-century scene, and ended his life as historiographer-royal to Charles II.
J.P. Kenyon describes how the childlessness of the Queen, and the conversion of James, Duke of York, to Roman Catholicism, produced a febrile state of opinion in Restoration London, out of which rumours of a “Popish Plot” naturally arose.
Not until the Revolution had collapsed from within, and the quarrelsome heirs of the Long Parliament had forfeited the right to govern, was the way clear for the restoration of a Stuart sovereign. The return of the monarchy, writes Austin Woolrych, was welcomed with enthusiasm as an alternative to social anarchy.