1649. unbound. 2 pages (front and back), 9 x 6.75 inches, February 10, 1649. Signed as the 19-year-old illegal and contested King of Scotland, ordering payment of 200 pounds sterling to Messrs. Thomas Freeman and Thomas Pitcairn, to be drawn on Sir Edward Walker, Royal Receiver General. On the back is a receipt for the proceeds, signed by Freeman and Pitcairn, February 11, 1649. NOTE: It is quite possible that this offering might be the earliest known document signed by Charles II as King. The English calendar was still not reformed. The month date was 10 days behind the continent, and the year began on March 25th. By the European calendar, Charles I died on February 9, 1649, just one day prior to the date of this document. To add confusion, most modern historians accept the year in this period as starting on January 1st (which was celebrated as New Year); thus the generally used date of Charles 1st's execution is January 30, 1649. In this case, one would make the argument that Charles II signed this document as King five days after the English Parliament denied his ascension to the throne, but it is almost impossible to determine which calendar he used. Accompanied by the document is a magnificent 17th-century engraved copper plate portrait of Charles II at the age of 19 in 1649 by Antonio Van Dyke, proclaiming him "King of Britain, France and Hibernia," 10 x 7.25 inches, mounted to a backing sheet measuring 11 x 8 inches. The document is gently browned on the upper corners and has some light spotting, but is still in very good(+) condition.
Monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. His father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on January 30, 1649, at the climax of the the English Civil War. Although the Parliament of Scotland proclaimed Charles II King of Great Britain and Ireland in Edinburgh on February 5, 1649, the English Parliament instead passed a statute that made any such proclamation unlawful, and the country became a de facto republic, led by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell defeated Charles II at the Battle of Worcester on September 3, 1651, and Charles fled to mainland Europe, spending the next nine years in exile. Upon the death of Cromwell in 1658, the monarchy was restored and Charles was invited to return to Britain.