Charles II (29 May 1630 – 6 February 1685) was the King of England, Scotland and Ireland from 30 January 1649 (de jure) or 29 May 1660 (de facto) until his death. Charles II's father, Charles I, had been executed in 1649 following the English Civil War; the monarchy was then abolished and replaced with a military dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell, who had named himself "Lord Protector'. In 1660, shortly after Cromwell's death, the monarchy was restored under Charles II.
Unlike his father, Charles II was skilled at managing Parliament. It was during his reign that the Whig and Tory political parties developed. He famously fathered numerous illegitimate children, of whom he acknowledged fourteen. Known as the "Merry Monarch," Charles was a patron of the arts and less restrictive than many of his predecessors. By converting to Roman Catholicism on his deathbed, Charles II became the first Roman Catholic to reign over England since Mary I's death in 1558.