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Charles II (1630-1685)
Son of the executed Charles I, he was crowned in Scotland in 1651. Attempted to wrest control of England from Oliver Cromwell; his failure resulted in exile to France and Holland. In 1660, Charles was able to return to England. His rule was marked by religious discord as anti-Catholic sentiment rocked the country. Though sympathetic to Roman Catholicism, Charles could only acknowledge his faith on his deathbed. His niece, Mary, married William of Orange, thus assuring Protestant succession to the throne.