29th May 1660; The Day Charles II Re-entered London

Rufus Sewell as Charles II in BBC Drama Image is NOT mine

Rufus Sewell as Charles II in BBC Drama Image is NOT mine

I do love Serendipity. It so happens that after a few weeks away from a writing project I am working on, I restart working on the Restoration of Charles II on today that just so happens to be the anniversary of the merry monarchs triumphant entry in to London. To mark the occasion below is John Evelyn’s Diary entry for the day.


β€œ29th. This day, his Majesty, Charles the second came to London, after a sad and long exile and calamitous suffering both of the king and church, being seventeen years. This was also his birth-day, and with a triumph of above 20,000horse and foot, brandishing their swords and shouting with inexpressible joy; the ways strewed with flowers, the bells ringing, the streets hung with tapestry. Fountains running with wine; the mayor, alderman, and all the companies in their liveries chains of gold and banners; lords and nobles, clad in cloth of silver gold and velvet; the windows and balconies all set with ladies, trumpets, music and myriads of people flocking, even so far as from Rochester so as they were seven hours in passing the city, even from two in the afternoon till nine at night.

I stood in the strand and beheld it and blessed God. And all this was done without one drop of blood shed, and by that very army which rebelled against him: but it was the Lords doing, for such a restoration was never mentioned in any history, ancient or modern since the return of the Jews from their Babylonish captivity; nor so joyful a day and so bright ever seen in this nation, this happening when to expect or effect it was past all human policy.”

John Evelyn’s Diary 29th May 1660.

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One Response to 29th May 1660; The Day Charles II Re-entered London

  1. If I had to choose a “favorite monarch”, Charles II would win, hands down. A very treasured possession of mine is a letter written entirely in his own hand, dated 1652, to Sir Marmaduke Langdale.

    I love his purported and sardonic comment after his re-entry: that it must have been entirely his fault that he’d stayed away so long, because seemingly there was nobody in London who had not wished fervently for his return. πŸ˜‰

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