After the misery of Oliver Cromwell’s republican ‘Protectorate’, following the execution of Charles 1, his son is restored to the throne. Britain thankfully returns to monarchy. King Charles 11 is different to his father. He is roguish, and nicknamed ‘The Merry Monarch’, loving festivities, gambling and horse racing. His Queen, Catherine, fails to produce an heir, yet he has many mistresses and fathers several illegitimate children. Highly intelligent, he has innumerable interests and furthers both science and astronomy. Although much happier, his reign has problems. Essentially needed is a balanced religious tolerance between Catholics, Protestants and, alarmingly, the rebellious Nonconformists, whose terrorist ‘Fifth Monarchy Men’ pose constant threats. Amongst these is another ‘Rogue’, religious fanatic, womanizer, kidnapper, suspected ‘double agent’ and a thief renowned for the most spectacular heist, ever, for which he should have been executed. Instead, as one of our greatest mysteries, he is pardoned by the King.
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