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Monarchy -

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(generated from captions) and tourist alike, Today, for resident

seem to be inextricably linked. the British monarchy and nation After more than 1,000 years, a hereditary sovereign. our head of State is still stability A sign of enviable political reverence for tradition. or perhaps of our constipated But there was a time, not long ago, was very far from reverent when the English attitude to monarchy and the crown anything but stable.

had fought for the thrown For centuries, rival claimants in struggles that were dynastic religious. and then, more dangerously,

in horrified fascination, Finally, in 1649, as Europe watched King Charles I the English parliament executed altogether. and abolished the monarchy

In little more than a decade, of King Charles II, with the restoration a remarkable comeback. the monarchy made But, far from ending the upheaval, a prelude to invasion and revolution. the restoration proved to be only the crown of England Foreign kings would wear

to keep it. and they would spill British blood the revolution and the bloodshed, Nevertheless, in spite of was forged between crown and people. a new political settlement the foundations A settlement that laid of Britain's imperial greatness, the world's first modern State. and would make of this monarchy THEME MUSIC On the 29th of May, 1660,

of London thousands thronged the streets of Charles Stuart. to cheer the arrival from exile Charles had returned to England

to claim his father's throne to the heart of national life. and to restore the monarchy of dreary republicanism, But if, after 11 years of his coronation, the crowds lapped up the pomp English politically elite Charles knew that the were still dangerously divided of kingship. over the nature and rights the will of the people Was an English monarch sustained by or ordained by the will of God? What Charles wanted people to believe of an old superstition. is shown by his encouragement banqueting house Every Friday at the Whitehall

of his ailing subjects he would touch hundreds could cure scrofula, who believed that the royal hands a disfiguring form of tuberculosis. for the 'King's Evil' was ancient, The ceremony of touching nature of English kingship. and it was a sign of the divine the reign of Henry VIII, But ever since

and kingship the connection between divinity had ceased to be merely mystical. It had become political. the pope of Rome Henry VIII had broken with on earth of the Church of England. and made himself supreme head Church and State had fused and the king was supreme in both. For the successors of Henry VIII, of both church and State in England the role of king as head had proved to be a poisoned chalice

of the religious conflict that had made the crown the focus which followed the Reformation. had led to the Civil War In the end, the conflict and the death of Charles I, that these same quarrels and his son knew of English life. still stirred beneath the surface

At first sight, in his coronation portrait, King Charles II, seen here through the resulting quagmire. was well suited to pick his way His father, Charles I,

by the rigidity of his character, whose high Anglicanism was matched the authority of the king had fought a civil war to uphold

and the church. and the State, and the bishops about his son, Charles II, In contrast, the only rigid thing was his male member, bastards by a plethora of mistresses. and he famously fathered at least 17 to which he could not stoop Otherwise, there was nothing his six-foot frame, that he could not turn. no corner, however tight,

once it ceased to be convenient, And no loyalty, however deep, which, he regarded as binding. help him avoid his father's fate? Would that slippery flexibility Or would it prove his undoing? His first test wasn't long in coming. In his last months in exile, the Declaration of Breda, Charles had issued and the nation, a manifesto addressed to parliament which helped him win back the throne. religious toleration in England In it, Charles promised to uphold and liberty to tender consciences. diffuse the religious issue Now, as king, he sought to

by enshrining the declaration in law. But parliament had changed. after the Restoration, In the elections held the political ascendancy the Anglicans had regained they'd lost in the Civil War. They had fought and suffered Church of England. to defend the established for their religious opponents. Now, there would be no toleration Rejecting Charles' declaration,

of allegiance to the Anglican Church they instead required oaths and public servants, from all clergymen Protestants and Roman Catholics alike thus debarring both dissenting from public life. Charles had little sympathy of the Church of England, with the Protestant opponents and his father's execution. whom he blamed for the Civil War But Catholics were a different story. was a proselytising Catholic, His mother, Queen Henriette Maria, and there were persistent rumours to Catholicism, that Charles himself had converted partial to it. or at least was dangerously So, in December 1662, to impose religious toleration Charles tried once again to parliament. and proposed a second declaration to dispense the law In this, he invoked his royal power and non-Anglican Protestants in favour of both Catholics who, modestly and without scandal, in their own way, performed their devotions and he called on parliament general and permanent. to make such a suspension But the House of Commons, majority, with its hard line Anglican refused the king point-blank. Anglicans were the bedrock support And Charles, well aware that had no choice but to climb down. of the restored monarchy, turned to the traditional consolation It was at this point that Charles the diversion of war abroad. of a leader facing troubles at home - of the Dutch Republic. The 17th century was a golden age This resolutely Protestant nation of religious toleration. had been built on a policy But it was their advanced financial system which had helped turn the Dutch into an economic superpower, which threatened to take over English maritime trade. Oliver Cromwell had already tried to cut them down to size in the 1650s.

Now, Charles was persuaded that he should seek to outdo his republican predecessor by launching a second conflict. The war began well for Charles. The first major engagement was at Lowestoft off the East Anglian coast. The Dutch had assembled a mighty fleet, but they were crushed by the English navy commanded by Charles' brother, James, the Lord High Admiral. 25 Dutch ships were lost for 1 English vessel. The flagship, the 'Royal Charles', blew up the Dutch flagship together with its commander, Admiral Obdam. But Charles' victory was quickly overshadowed by catastrophe at home. In the winter, the Great Plague struck London. Charles and his court decamp to Oxford, but disease ravaged the capital, and the gates of the city of London were closed. The epidemic claimed a 100,000 lives, a fifth of London's population.

Critical supply lines to the navy and Charles' war effort broke down. Another blow was dealt the following year, when the Great Fire of London burned in the city for three days and nights in September 1666. The king left his whores and mistresses and showed high personal courage by directing rescue operations. But the heart of the city was destroyed and a 100,000 people were left homeless. Taking advantage of the dislocation, the Dutch fleets swept into English waters. Things hit rock bottom with the war when the Dutch admiral De Ruyter sailed up the Medway where the English fleet was anchored captured the flagship, the 'Royal Charles',

on which the king had returned to England in 1660, burnt several other ships, and forced the rest to scatter and to beach themselves. It was a disaster that led to a profound bout of national introspection.

"In all things," reflected the diarist Samuel Pepys, "in wisdom, courage, force and success "the Dutch had the best of us, "and do end the war with victory on their side." Was it because their financial system allowed them to outspend the English, or was it because religious toleration led to domestic peace as opposed to the religious conflicts which had so debilitated England? For many of Charles' subjects, the lesson was clear - don't fight the Dutch - imitate them. For there was now a new threat to England's security, Louis XIV's aggressively Catholic France,

which seemed hellbent on remaking the whole of Europe in its own image. Who, the French or the Dutch, would be the ally, and who the enemy? England and Charles would have to choose. Charles II had returned from exile on a wave of popular adulation, but, like his father before him, he'd soon found himself at loggerheads with parliament and humiliated by military defeat. Once again it was clear, the English monarchy wasn't working. If, however, Charles wanted a model of how to run a modern, successful monarchy, he had only to look across the Channel to France.

The Palace of Versailles was a magnificent new setting for the French monarchy. France, like England, had recently been torn apart by civil war. But instead of pitting the king against his subjects, the French conflict was in the highest ranks of the nobility and the royal family itself. It was only finally resolved in 1661 when the 23-year-old Louis XIV, who had been king since the age of 4, began his personal rule. Louis was Charles' first cousin and brother-in-law. The two were similar in appearance with their powerful physique, swarthy complexion,

full lips and hooked nose. They also shared the same insatiable sexual appetite, but there the resemblance ended. For Louis, despite all his lustfulness, was a man of rigid dignity and inflexible will. His iron self control meant, for instance, that he was able to give a public audience immediately after having undergone an operation

without aenasthetic, of course, to treat an anal fistula. And what the king expected of himself he demanded of others. The way Louis ruled France was very different to the limitations on Charles in England. In Louis' Catholic kingdom, there was no representative assembly to come between the king and his people. Instead, Louis personally directed a close-knit group of departmental officials,

who shared his commitment to the glory of France and her king. Versailles expresses in marble and gold, the splendour and absolutism of Louis's reign, his campaign of imperial expansion, state-sponsored industrial growth,

and centralised control of the arts and sciences. All were made to him the glories of Le Roi Soleil - the Sun King. One king, one law,

one Catholic faith. And the formula seemed to work, for, in little more than a decade,

Louis had transformed France

from the 'sick man of Europe' into the continental superpower and the very model of a modern monarchy. For most of Charles' Protestant subjects, French Absolutism was irreligious tyranny. And even Anglicans - traditional defenders of royal power -

were fearful of Louis's aggressive, persecuting Catholicism. But Charles took a very different view. Partly he envied Louis's untrammelled power, but it was also a matter of family connection... ..for Charles was half French through his Catholic mother. He had spent much of his exile in France and the ties were strengthened, when Charles's youngest sister, Henrietta,

married Louis's brother, Phillippe, Duke of Orleans. Henrietta was intelligent and pretty and fast became a firm favourite of Louis and a powerful conduit between the English and French courts. Charles, then, had a strong French Catholic heritage.

So, when in 1668, his brother, James, confessed to Charles that he'd converted to Rome, far from expressing horror at the news, Charles made a remarkable admission of his own - that he too intended to do the same. This was playing with fire - for how could the King, as head of the Church of England, become a Catholic.

All too aware of the risks, Charles did his best to cover his tracks. A secret meeting was summoned in James' private study at which only the King, his brother, and three confidential advisors were present.

Tearfully, Charles explained his determination to adopt the true faith. But how? Unanimously, the rest advised him to inform Louis XIV and to seek the French King's powerful advice and assistance. Charles and Louis had already opened secret negotiations

using Charles's sister as a go-between, for a romves a mon doleance that would see France and England joining together to make war on the Dutch. Charles' apparent resolution to convert now drove discussions forward. It took over a year to reach agreement. Finally, in May 1670, under cover of a flying visit by the Duchess of Orleans to see her brother, the King, a secret treaty - the secret Treaty of Dover - was signed. In it, Charles re-affirmed his determination to reconcile himself to the church of Rome,

while Louis, for his part, promised the large subsidy of 2 million livre to help Charles suppress any armed resistance to his conversion, together, if need be, with 6,000 crack French troops.

The two kings were then to coordinate an attack on the Netherlands, with Louis bearing the brunt of the land warfare and Charles the naval. Charles was still smarting from his humiliation at Dutch hands. Was his promise to convert to Catholicism simply a ploy to draw Louis into an alliance against them? Or was it sincere? Either way, in flirting with Catholicism, the King was taking a terrible risk. Though the text of the Treaty of Dover was kept secret, rumours of its contents began to circulate. The result was a dangerous polarisation in English politics. The worst fears of the King's opponents were confirmed when, on 15 March 1672, he issued the Declaration of Indulgence which, modelled on the abortive declaration of a decade earlier, used his royal authority to suspend the penalties on Catholics as well as Protestant dissenters. Then, only two days later, Charles joined Louis XIV in declaring war on the Dutch. The effect was disastrous, confirming as it did in the popular mind

the fatal association of arbitrary government, Catholicism, and a deeply unpopular foreign policy. Charles committed a fleet of higher quality than previously to this third Dutch war. But English efforts to secure naval supremacy were thwarted by canny Dutch tactics in a series of battles in the North Sea.

At first, the French fared better. Louis's army advanced into Holland

and occupied five out of seven Dutch provinces. But the Dutch refused to roll over. They broke their dykes and they used the floodwaters to stop the French advance. Neither Louis nor Charles had won the crushing victory they expected. Even worse, the man who lead the heroic Dutch resistance was Charles' own nephew, William Prince of Orange, son of his elder sister, Mary. The princes of Orange

were originally the rulers of a little principality in the south of France, but, thanks to their heroic leadership of the Protestant Dutch in their struggle for freedom against their Catholic Spanish rulers, they'd become the leading family in the Dutch Republic.

William was brought up here in his birthplace of the Binnenhof Palace in The Hague. From his tutors, he observed an austere Protestantism - a sense of the historic destiny of the House of Orange - and a passionate love of hunting. He also emerged as a man's man, with little time for women and a lot for attractive young men. And all of these things - his religiosity, his family pride, even his homo eroticism - came together when, in the great crisis of 1672, he discovered his lifelong vocation - to lead the military resistance to the encroaching might of Catholic France, first in the Netherlands and then throughout western Europe. William was one of several Protestants in Charles's family, for, even though their father had converted to Catholicism, Mary and Anne - the children of Charles's brother, James - had been brought up as Anglicans. The Protestant line was further strengthened when it was decided that it would be politic that Mary should marry William of Orange. The wedding took place here at St James's Palace on 4 November, 1677 - the Prince's birthday. Despite the happy anniversary, however, the marriage got off to a rocky start. Mary is said to have wept for 1.5 days when she was told that she had to marry the ugly little Dutchman, whilst William, we know, had already made prudential inquiries, via the wife of the English ambassador in The Hague, as to Mary's suitability for a man like himself who might not, perhaps, be very easy for a wife to live with. Nevertheless, William and Mary soon became mutually devoted. Indeed, Mary would put her loyalty to her husband above that to her own father -

James Duke of York, the heir to the throne. English history would have been very different otherwise. For the marriage of William to Mary offered Englishmen, unhappy with Charles's aping of Louis XIV, a very different model of monarchy. For William wasn't king, but the more or less hereditary governor of the Dutch provinces and captain-general of the army. This made him, in effect, the constitutional prince-president of the Dutch Republic. In 17th century Europe, the Dutch hybrid of hereditary monarchy and republic was an anomaly, but it had proved its resilience in decades of bitter fighting with the might of Louis XIV's France. In this struggle, between the Protestant David and the Catholic Goliath, Charles, in the eyes of most of his subjects, had picked the wrong side. Would the King choose anymore wisely in the even-greater crisis that was about to erupt at home over the succession to the throne? The signs were not good. Since the reign of Henry VIII, two issues had plagued English politics - first, the controversial question of the King's right to determine the religion of his subjects, and, second, the matter of the succession. Early in his reign, Charles had failed to enforce his will on the issue of religion. He would now face his greatest challenge on the issue of the succession. In 1662,

Charles had married the daughter of the King and Queen of Portugal When Charles had first seen Catherine of Braganza with her hair dressed in long, projecting ringlets in the Portuguese fashion, he's said to have exclaimed, "They have brought me a bat." The King, so fertile with his mistresses, had no children with Catherine. But, despite her repeated miscarriages

and at least one serious exploration of divorce on grounds of her barrenness, Charles, perhaps out of guilt, perhaps out of affection, stuck with her. Charles childlessness by his wife

meant that his legitimate heir was his brother, James - the James who had so fervently embraced Catholicism. But could a Catholic be king? For the king wasn't only monarch, he was also supreme governor of the Church of England, and a Catholic king would, it was widely feared, try to make the church Catholic, too. To the vast majority of Protestant Englishmen

this was intolerable. The result was a struggle, known as the Exclusion Crisis, between the King, who was determined to keep his brother in the succession and many of his subjects who were equally determined to exclude James from it. The Catholic James was made of very different stuff

from his sinuous elder brother. James was as highly sexed as Charles - indeed, he copulated as promiscuously as a rabbit - but he was otherwise formal, unimaginative, and good only giving and receiving orders.

Unlike Charles, who was careful not to associate himself public ally with Catholicism James never once deviated from it. It was an attitude that made conflict inevitable. In 1673, the Anglican dominated parliament passed legislation banning anyone from public office who would not take communion according to the right of the Church of England, or sign a declaration denying the key Catholic tenet

that the bread and wine in the mass

were the actual body and blood of Christ. As Lord Admiral, James held high public office, but, as a now-convinced Catholic, he could take neither the required oaths nor the Anglican sacrament. The deadline for swearing the oaths was 14 June.

That same day, James surrendered the admiralty to the King. But his resignation raised a bigger question still - if, as a Roman Catholic, James couldn't be Lord Admiral, how could he be entrusted

with the infinitely greater office of king? As yet, few Englishmen, still traumatised by the execution of Charles I, were willing to contemplate removing his legitimate heir from the succession. But then England was swept by one of the strangest episodes of mass delusion in her history, starring a most remarkable hoaxer. Titus Oates was lame, stunted, homosexual and extraordinarily ugly. His mouth was described as being in the middle of his face. Moreover, he'd failed at everything. He'd been expelled from school, passed through two Cambridge colleges without taking a degree, been ordained on false pretences, and driven out of his parish for making the false accusation of sodomy, been cashiered as a naval chaplain for committing buggery himself, and, finally, after a probably false conversion to Roman Catholicism, he'd been frogmarched out of no fewer than three Jesuit seminaries abroad. By July 1678, Oates was back in London, thirsty and searching for revenge against the world in general

and Roman Catholics in particular.

From his febrile imagination Oates conjured a gigantic Catholic conspiracy in which his erstwhile teachers, the Jesuits, would murder Charles and forcibly re-convert England. He wrote the whole thing up in a pamphlet. On 13 August, a copy of Oates's account was handed to Charles on his usual brisk early-morning walk in St James's park. On 6 September, Oates swore to the truth of his account before Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey, a fashionable, rather publicity-seeking magistrate and on 28, 29 September, he appeared before the Privy Council itself.

Charles shredded Oates evidence though his advisors were inclined to take it more seriously. Then, for the first time in his life, Oates struck lucky for one of those that he accused was Edward Coleman -

secretary to James' second wife, Mary of Moderna, and, like her husband, another Roman Catholic. In Justice Godfrey, Oates had gained official recognition of his plot. In Edward Coleman, Oates claimed to have found proof. Coleman was almost as great a fantasist as Oates. He had written to Louis XIV's private chaplain soliciting help for the conversion of England. Coleman's papers were searched and the correspondence discovered. Here at last it seemed

was proof positive of Oates's allegations. We have a mighty work upon our hands -

no less than the conversion of three kingdoms. Success would give the greatest blow to the Protestant religion that it had received since its birth. Even more opportune was the fate of Justice Godfrey who'd first given official recognition to Oates's fantasies. Oates's winning streak continued, even more sensationally when Justice Godfrey went missing in mysterious circumstances on 12 October. Already that evening, rumours swept the city that he'd been murdered by the papists. Five days later, the rumours appeared to be confirmed when his body was discovered face down in a ditch on Primrose Hill. There was heavy bruising around his neck and his own sword had been driven through his heart so hard

that the point protruded several inches from his back. Indeed, it was so much a case of overkill that some suspected, even at the time, that the death was really a suicide disguised as a murder.

But in the heat of the moment such doubts were swept aside - the coroner's jury returned a verdict of murder and the London mob were sure that it knew just who had Godfrey's blood on their hands - Oates's papist conspirators. On 31 October, Godfrey was given an impressive funeral at St Martin's in the Fields at which the preacher delivered a fiery sermon on the text, "As a man falleth before the wicked, "so fellest thou." The idea of a Catholic plot now took hold and a national panic ensued. A series of trials were set in motion

and no fewer than 35 people, most of them Catholic priests, were condemned to the hideous death of a traitor on the mere say-so of Oates and his steadily growing band of informers.

Oates had touched the raw nerve of rabid anti-Catholicism in all Protestant Englishmen. Emboldened, a powerful parliamentary faction, lead by the Earl of Shaftesbury, now took aim at the biggest Catholic target of all - James, the King's brother and heir-presumptive of the British crown. The Earl of Shaftesbury was one of the most complex and controversial figures of the age. Described by the poet Dryden as, "Resolved in mind to ruin or to rule the State," Shaftesbury went from being Charles's chancellor at the Exchequer to becoming the most vigourous opponent of his younger brother James's succession. Shaftesbury and his supporters drew on their skills as propagandists to blacken James's name, and they used London's newest magnificent landmark

to spread the message. This is the monument built to commemorate the fire of London and finished only a year before the outbreak of the Popish Plot. The monument was a modern marvel.

At 202ft, it was the highest vantage point in the city.

In a pamphlet entitled 'An Appeal from the Country to the City', the anonymous author entreated Londoners "to climb the 311 steps to the top of your newest pyramid," and admire their rebuilt capital. But then, they were to imagine the city on fire once more, its streets running with blood,

and the fires of Smithfield burning their Protestant victims at the stake again. just as they'd done in the reign of the last Catholic monarch - Bloody Mary. And all this would happen, the appeal insisted, if the Catholic James were allowed to succeed as king. The appeal didn't name James directly. Instead, it alluded to the bas relief at the foot of the monument which showed James and his brother, Charles, inspiring the rebuilding of the city after the Great Fire. But James's concern was a sham, the pamphlet claimed. Instead, one eminent papist - James - had connived in the disaster,

pretending to extinguish flames - lit, of course, by Catholics - and rejoiced in the destruction of the city. Fired by such propaganda, the electorate returned parliament's, in 1679 and again in 1680, in which there was a clear majority for James' exclusion. Charles would have to fight for his brothers right to the thrown, and with it for the very idea of hereditary monarchy itself. The Oxford Parliament of 1681

was the setting for the turning point in the reign of Charles II, as the crisis over the succession reached its climax. Faced with two successive parliaments in which there had been a clear majority for the exclusion from the crown for his brother James, Charles dissolved them both. Now, as he faced yet another exclusionist parliament, Charles exploited a key weakness in the opposition. For the exclusionists were divided over who should succeed Charles. The more moderate favoured James's daughter, Mary, and her husband, William of Orange. While the Earl of Shaftesbury, and more radical members of parliament, backed Charles's eldest bastard son, the Duke of Monmouth. Born in 1649, Monmouth was handsome, charming, but also spoiled, badly educated and possessed of an ugly streak of violence,

having being involved in both a mutilation and a murder. But there was a problem with Monmouth's candidacy to the throne. For he was illegitimate - or was he? Rumours, fanned by Monmouth himself, were circulated that his parents had been secretly married.

There was supposed to be witnesses and a black box containing irrefutable written evidence. But Charles, fond though he was

of the strapping first fruit of his loins, was not prepared to allow Monmouth to shunt his own legitimate brother, James, aside. So, in January 1679, Charles summoned the Privy Council and, in the presence of almighty God,

solemnly declared that he had been married to no woman whatever but his wife, Queen Catherine. The exclusion crisis had now penetrated the royal family and split it, as it had done the nation. Both rivals to the throne, first James and later Monmouth,

were dispatched into honourable exile in a vain attempt to lower the political temperature. The inability of the exclusionists to agree on a single Protestant candidate for the throne was one thing that strengthened the hand of Charles and James, the other was the exclusionists perceived extremism, which revived uncomfortable memories of the Civil War. The result was that the exclusion crisis provoked another war of words and ideas, out of which was born a modern two-party system. On the one side were the Whigs who believed in religious toleration and a monarchy that finally answered to the people. At times, their language, demagoguery and allies amongst Protestant dissenters revived memories of the Civil War.

On the other side were the Tories,

originally an abusive term for Irish cattle thieves, who were sympathetic to James' right to succeed his brother. They believed that the authority of the monarch came directly from God, rather than from the people. They also believed in hereditary succession, passive obedience

and a monopolistic persecuting Church of England. The Whigs had made the running during the exclusion crisis. Now it was the turn of the Tories. Charles met his fourth parliament here in the Convocation House at Oxford. The Commons and Shaftesbury's group in the Lords, as usual, were hot for exclusion. But the king, sensing the turning of the political tide, stood firm. Indeed, he even seized the initiative. and, setting aside his own personal religious beliefs, attached his crown firmly to the Tories and the Anglican Church. "I have," the king declared from the throne, "Law and reason, and all right-thinking men on my side.

"I have the church," and here the king gestured towards the bench of bishops. "And nothing will ever separate us." In this grandstand moment,

Charles had successfully capitalised on the growing fear that Whig supremacy would lead to Republican chaos and civil war. Charles, having dissolved the Oxford Parliament, now turned his attention to the congenial task of taking revenge on Shaftesbury and the Whigs for their part in the Popish plot and the exclusion crisis. The king attacked the stronghold of the Whigs in London, and other town governments, and purged them from public office. In despair at the sudden turn of events, the Whig leaders now made the mistake of dabbling in treason. A plot was unearthed to kill the king and his brother at Rye House on the road from Newmarket. Charles ruthlessly struck at anyone remotely involved.

One Whig lord committed suicide in the tower, two were publicly beheaded and many of the rest, including Shaftesbury and Monmouth, fled into exile in the Netherlands. ROYAL MUSIC PLAYS England now witnessed a Tory royalist triumph. Like the French absolutism of Louis XIV he so much admired, Charles celebrated his reign in soaring stone and massive bronze. A statue of Charles' executed father was re-erected in London.

And, above all, the great bulk of St Paul's Cathedral was rising over the city.

The noblest, most eloquent, most crushing symbol of an Anglican absolutism.

The Church of England now condemned all the doctrines of Whigism as false, seditious and impious, and declared most of them heretical and blasphemous as well. Toryism was proclaimed as an eternal verity, and the duty of submission and obedience to kings to be absolute and without exception. By throwing himself unreservedly into the arms of the Church of England, Charles had recruited the Anglican Tories to an unequivocal support of his power and his brother James's succession. All thoughts of Dutch-style toleration or constitutional monarchy were cast aside as England seemed set to follow the French-style route to modernity with an Anglican, rather than a Catholic, absolute monarchy. But what would happen if the king ceased to be Anglican? England would soon find out. For on his death bed, 5 February 1685, Charles finally converted to Catholicism. The following morning he died and was succeeded, without a struggle, by his out-and-proud Catholic brother, James. The result would test the relationship of church and State to destruction, and send a Stuart on his travels once more.