Pretty, Witty Nell

If she were alive today, Nell Gwyn, one of the coolest royal mistresses ever, would be turning 363 years old. Happy birthday, Nell! Nell rose from almost complete obscurity to become a major symbol of the Restoration period, and one of the first actresses to take to the English stage (before her time, women’s roles were played by men). She was probably born in London … Continue reading Pretty, Witty Nell

Best Birthday Ever!

Most people dread hitting their 30th birthdays, but Charles II was delighted. Probably because he got a really awesome gift: the English throne. On May 29, 1660, Charles was reinstated to the throne his father was yanked off of, and with that monarchy returned to England and remains there to this day. After being forced to flee England in his teens during the Civil War, … Continue reading Best Birthday Ever!

James II

On February 6, 1685, James II ascended the throne on the death of his elder brother, Charles II. James would be the last Catholic ruler off England; his religion, along with his pro-French politics and desire to be an absolute monarch resulted in him being kicked off the throne and replaced with his oldest daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. James’s religion and … Continue reading James II