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King Charles II

(1630-1685), Reigned 1660-85

Sitter associated with 295 portraits
When civil war broke out in 1642, the heir to the throne Prince Charles was only twelve. He courageously engaged in the fighting for the next four years and, on one occasion when advised to retreat, cried 'I fear them not'. He was eventually sent abroad for safety in 1646. His attempt to invade England in 1651 ended in disaster at the Battle of Worcester when he was sheltered by Royalists until he finally escaped back to France. He was restored to the throne in 1660, amid great rejoicing, but with limitations on his powers. He became adept at out-manoeuvring the opposition to his policies, particularly in matters of religion and foreign affairs. The second half of his reign was marked by war with the Dutch after the Royal African Company, which had a monopoly of the Transatlantic slave trade, began to capture Dutch slave-trading posts in 1667. The company was founded by a royal charter issued by Charles in 1672 and was led by his brother, James Duke of York. In 1685, James succeeded as King James II, as although Charles had fathered fourteen children by his mistresses, he had no legitimate heir.

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King Charles II, after Sir Peter Lely - NPG D32293

King Charles II

after Sir Peter Lely
photograph of painting, circa 1955
NPG D32293

King Charles II ('Marine Triumph'), after Antonio Verrio - NPG D32634

King Charles II ('Marine Triumph')

after Antonio Verrio
photograph of painting, circa 1960 (circa 1674)
NPG D32634

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

published by Balthasar Moncornet, after Jan van den Hoeck (Hoecke)
line engraving, published circa 1625-1650
NPG D18935

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Wenceslaus Hollar, published by Johannes Meyssens, after Sir Anthony van Dyck
etching, 1649
NPG D19484

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King Charles II

by Cornelis Visscher, published by Pieter Claesz Soutman, after Gerrit van Honthorst
line engraving, 1650
NPG D19064

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Cornelis van Dalen the Younger, after Pieter Nason
line engraving, early 1660s
NPG D19160

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by David Loggan, after Unknown artist
engraving, 1660s
NPG D19275

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by and published by William Faithorne
line engraving, early 1660s
NPG D19306

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Cornelis van Dalen the Younger, after Pieter Nason
line engraving, early 1660s
NPG D19336

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Robert White
line engraving, circa 1675-1700
NPG D19761

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King Charles II

by Abraham Blooteling (Bloteling), after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, 1680
NPG D18693

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King Charles II

by Robert Williams, published by John Smith, after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
mezzotint, (1685)
NPG D18985

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Bernard Picart (Picard), after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
line engraving, 1724
NPG D19329

Web image not currently available

King Charles II

by Charles Turner, published by Samuel Woodburn, after Sir Peter Lely
mezzotint, published 1816
NPG D20147

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