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.

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The Great Plague was one of the worst disasters in London’s history. Samuel Pepys’s diaries provide a fascinating insight into how Londoner’s dealt with this tragedy.

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

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It's 350 years since Samuel Pepys saw the Great Plague devastate London, so why are Americans still being killed today?

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Our curator Kristian Martin discusses the playwright, poet and novelist Aphra Behn. 

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Christmas in Stuart times lasted a full 12 days and was enjoyed by rich and poor alike. At the royal court it lasted even longer. It began officially on 1 November and ended on 2 February!

Pepys and the Royal Society

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?

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


Louise De Keroualle was a key component in the race to find longitude. 

Samuel Pepys: Plague, Fire, Revolution (tile)

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

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Discover the romantic marriage and brave life of the 'Winter Queen', daughter of James I, and hidden figure of British history