Good morning, we are continuing our journey through the Stuart dynasty. This time, King Charles II comes back to reclaim his throne after the English Civil War and the death of Cromwell. King Charles II had spent years in exile and when he returned, he would bring back unity to the country. He brought back glamour to the country after the years of austerity under Cromwell. It was exciting for the people. Unfortunately, during the years of Cromwell, the Winns suffered. Would they bounce back in the new reign? Tune into this episode to find out.
Oliver Cromwell was the protector of England and ruler of the Commonwealth. He went on to work reforming England in light of his beliefs. The Royal Family was being hunted and then went into exile. Charles II suffered humiliating defeats and was in exile. Nobody wanted to tell him that his father was executed until one courtier came and called him “Your Majesty.”
The Winn family suffered under the reign of Oliver Cromwell. Sir Richard Winn died a few months after the death of Charles I. Sir Owen Winn was now the head of the family. He had to be careful under Cromwell. His estate could be seized at any moment by the Commonwealth. Would Sir Owen manage to navigate these choppy waters?
However, at the age of sixty, Oliver Cromwell died. He was succeeded by his son, Richard. This got people thinking. How was this succession be different from the succession of the king? A group of men in parliament came together to rise against Richard Cromwell. The rebellion was in the works and The Winn family was caught in the middle. Richard Winn was imprisoned as one of the leaders of the rebellion. It was a challenging time for the Winn family.
Across the English Channel, Charles II waited patiently. Even though the rebellion failed, the ideas continued to live on. A second rebellion was coming. This rebellion would succeed. General Monk took the side of the Stuarts. The army was gone and on the side of the king, Sir Richard Cromwell gave up his right to be Lord Protector. Charles II was invited back to be king.
Charles II promised Parliament he would accept anything they said. However, Parliament made no conditions for his return. Charles II arrived in England and the English celebrated his return. The Winn family was jubilant at the return of the King. He pardoned the people who took part in the English Civil War, except for nine people. Even after his death, Oliver Cromwell would be held accountable. He was hung and decapitated. Charles II’s hatred for the people who murdered his father would never end.
England would undergo a cultural rebirth under Charles II. Theaters were brought back. Celebrations were reinstated. The sciences flourished. Discoveries were made. There was a new spirit of optimism. Charles II had a political intelligence his father never had. He was willing to work with many people and wanted to see healing for the country. He was a man who would rather disappoint his friends than his enemies. He had the nickname “the Merry Monarch.” Would normal life return for the English? King Charles II’s reign would face many challenges: the Great Fire of London and the plague would return. How would Charles navigate these challenges?
Would the Winn family prosper again? Sir Owen Winn would die the year Charles II became king. Would his son Richard restore the family fortunes?
This was a fascinating episode on Charles II, some of the Winn family stuff was a little bit too much at times. Overall, it still was a good episode and would be something to show in a history class.
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