Updated:
Original:
Year
1660
Month Day
May 25

The English Restoration begins

Under invitation by leaders of the English Commonwealth, Charles II, the exiled king of England, lands at Dover, England, to assume the throne and end 11 years of military rule.

Prince of Wales at the time of the English Civil War, Charles fled to France after Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians defeated King Charles I’s Royalists in 1646. In 1649, Charles vainly attempted to save his father’s life by presenting Parliament a signed blank sheet of paper, thereby granting whatever terms were required. However, Oliver Cromwell was determined to execute Charles I, and on January 30, 1649, the king was beheaded in London.

After his father’s death, Charles was proclaimed king of England by the Scots and by supporters in parts of Ireland and England, and he traveled to Scotland to raise an army. In 1651, Charles invaded England but was defeated by Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester. Charles escaped to France and later lived in exile in Germany and then in the Spanish Netherlands. After Cromwell’s death in 1658, the English republican experiment faltered. Cromwell’s son Richard proved an ineffectual leader, and the public resented the strict Puritanism of England’s military rulers.

In 1660, in what is known as the English Restoration, General George Monck met with Charles and arranged to restore him in exchange for a promise of amnesty and religious toleration for his former enemies. On May 25, 1660, Charles landed at Dover and four days later entered London in triumph. It was his 30th birthday, and London rejoiced at his arrival. In the first year of the Restoration, Oliver Cromwell was posthumously convicted of treason and his body disinterred from its tomb in Westminster Abbey and hanged from the gallows at Tyburn.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Constitutional Convention begins

Four years after the United States won its independence from England, 55 state delegates, including George Washington, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin, convene in Philadelphia to compose a new U.S. constitution. The Articles of Confederation, ratified several months before ...read more

Babe Ruth hits last home run

On May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Babe Ruth hits his 714th home run, a record for career home runs that would stand for almost 40 years. This was one of Ruth’s last games, and the last home run of his career. Ruth went four for four on the day, hitting ...read more

Oscar Wilde is sent to prison for indecency

Playwright Oscar Wilde is taken toReading Gaolin London after being convicted of sodomy. The famed writer of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest brought attention to his private life in a feud with Sir John Sholto Douglas, whose son was intimately involved with Wilde. ...read more

Chinese government removes ban on Shakespeare

A new sign of political liberalization appears in China, when the communist government lifts its decade-old ban on the writings of William Shakespeare. The action by the Chinese government was additional evidence that the Cultural Revolution was over. In 1966, Mao Tse-Tung, the ...read more