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 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?

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Queen Anne is often considered a forgotten queen of history, but 2019 film The Favourite reminds us of the power she held, and her strong connection to Greenwich and the Queen's House. 

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He was certainly mercurial and brilliant, and quite possibly lustful and in the grip of dark and foreign powers. King Charles II was however, one of the nation’s most interesting and beguiling rulers.

Anne of Denmark (slider)

Wife of James VI and I, Anne of Denmark comissioned the Queen's House and made it the cutting edge court that it was. 

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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’.

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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.

Oliver Cromwell

He is one of the most divisive figures of British history. But how did he die? 

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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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Our curator, Kristian Martin, looks at the notorious sex life of the famous diarist Samuel Pepys.

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Learn about the origins of Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes Night, and find out more about the history of the Gunpowder Plot.

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