Stuart England

The Stuart era saw some of the most tumultuous times for the royal family. In 1649 Charles I was executed as a result of the English Civil War, temporarily abolishing the notion of a monarch.

However in 1660 his son Charles II was welcomed back with open arms, and restored as the King of England.

It was also during the Stuart period that ‘Stuart England’ became ‘Stuart Great Britain’ when the act of union between England and Scotland was passed under Queen Anne.


Inigo Jones designed the beautiful Queen's House in Greenwich, bringing Classical architecture to England in the process.

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution - plague

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.

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Henrietta Maria and Charles I loved to present masques - great spectacles of dance, music, poetry and drama.

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Samuel Pepys was a true Londoner and throughout his diary we see him delight at what the capital has to offer. When faced with the Great Plague he refused to leave the city, and when he saw it destroyed by the Great Fire he weeps. We join Londonist on a tour of Pepys's city. 

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Next time you reach for a painkiller, be grateful you weren't relying on Stuart medical treatments.

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Award-winning blogger and creator of Look Up London, Katie Wignall explores why Samuel Pepys was a true Londoner. 

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Get some 17th-century fashion tips - but don't laugh or the make up might crack...

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During Samuel Pepys's life women were first allowed to take to the stage as professional actresses. We speak to playwright Jessica Swale about the actress Nell Gwynn, who is the subject of her Olivier nominated play.

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Greenwich Hospital was founded on the belief that England should look after her injured and aged sailors.

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Our curator Kristian Martin looks at the first actresses to take to the stage in England. Who were they and what did Samuel Pepys say about it?