It’s that crazy time again, Weekend Warriors, when we delve into British history as part of your cultural prep for your upcoming international relocation to London. Last week, we introduced King Charles II, whose father Charles I had been kicked to the curb by those seeking commonwealth versus monarchical rule, which had paved the way for Oliver Cromwell to become Lord Protector. Well, now that both Charles I and Oliver are dead, and Oliver’s son Richard has in turn been kicked to the curb to restore the monarchy, it’s the latest episode of “Charles II in Charge.” (Huh, this is the last place I’d ever think I could make a Scott Baio reference…)
Anyway. Last we saw, Charles II‘s reign was seein’ some tough times: plague, fire, and defeat in war. This Second Anglo-Dutch War had been instigated by the British capture of New Amsterdam—in the New World—from the Dutch in 1664. In 1665, New Amsterdam was reincorporated as New York under British law. Nonetheless, in ultimately losing to the Dutch in 1667, Charles II now seeks an alliance with France against them, securing a secret treaty with King Louis XIV in 1670. In doing so, Charles II agrees to support the French against the Dutch in the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-1674 as well as promises to restore England as a state of Catholicism. In return, France pays subsidies to him, which he’s in need of given Parliament’s current domination of government, thus, tight hold on the king’s purse strings.
Anti-Catholicism is on the rise again in England, however, and it’s an issue that the Whig party uses to undermine the king. In addition to his perhaps not-so-secret alliance with France, Charles II has bred plenty of illegitimate children, but he has none with his actual wife, so his closest heir is his Catholic brother James. Parliament tries in vain to pass an exclusion bill that would prevent Catholics from holding public office, and Charles II spends his remaining years defending his brother’s right to the throne and winning the support of the Tory party. Tensions between the king and Parliament are further heightened by his attempts at becoming a sole ruler—which he does become after dissolving Parliament in 1681. A few years later, Charles II suffers a stroke and subsequent complications; he converts to Catholicism on his death bed in 1685.
Well, whatever your religious or political views, your London Relocation agent will make sure no tensions arise during your London apartment search; London rent prices could figuratively cause a stroke, so London Relocation will negotiate that down for you and keep you in charge of the process, not the London lettings agents or landlords. (How’s that for a none-too-subtle plug?)