From uniting the kingdoms and the English Civil War, to the hedonism of the 'Merry Monarch' Charles II's court, join us as we delve into the lives and loves of the Stuart monarchs of the 16th and 17th centuries, and examine their impact on British society.

Bubonic plague terrorised Europe for centuries. In 1665 a devastating epidemic struck this country killing thousands of people.

After 11 years of Republican rule the monarchy was restored in May 1660.

The Great Fire of London burned day and night for almost four days in 1666 until only a tiny fraction of the City remained. It came hot on the heels of the Great Plague and left the world's third largest city of the time a shadow of its former self. Was this God's judgment on wicked King Charles II?

Mercurial and brilliant certainly but lustful and in the grip of dark and foreign powers, quite possibly, King Charles II was without a doubt one of the nation’s most interesting and beguiling rulers.

Naval reformer, citizen scientist, serious player on the national stage, MP and prisoner of the Tower of London – Samuel Pepys was all these but it is his candid diary that has ensured he remains a household name centuries after his death.

In 1666 the Great Plague tore through London, wiping out nearly a quarter of its population. See how it spread, who was blamed and how many died in our infographic – packed with surprising facts and figures.

Uncover the salacious side of Stuart London, from the many mistresses of King Charles II to Samuel Pepys's notorious affairs.

Did you know that Samuel Pepys became president of the Royal Society - despite very limited scientific knowledge! How did his love of fish almost stop the publication of Isaac Newton's world-changing Principia Mathematica?

Samuel Pepys, the famous 17th century British diarist, helped to establish the Navy and is often described as ‘the father of the modern Royal Navy’.

There was no full-time navy when James I (VI of Scotland) and Charles I were on the throne. This left the British coastline vulnerable to attack.

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