Administrative History

James, Duke of York, later James II, was the third son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry IV of France. Created duke of York and Albany (1643), James fled England during the Civil War and spent 12 years abroad. He returned to England with his elder brother Charles II at the Restoration (1660). With Charles' ascent to the throne, James was made lord high admiral and warden of the Cinque Ports, as well as heir to the throne. James was also governor of the Company of Royal Adventures Trading to Africa, which was informally at war with the Dutch trading companies on the coast of West Africa. In 1664 an English squadron surprised and seized the Dutch province of New Netherland for which the duke had been granted a secret royal patent. New Amsterdam and Fort Orange were renamed New York and Albany in his honor. He commanded the fleet in Naval battles with the Dutch in 1665 and 1672, but the Test Act cost him his naval post in 1673. He ascended the throne upon the death of his brother Charles II in 1685.

Charles II was born May 29, 1630 and died February 6, 1685. He was the second son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria. After his father's execution in 1649, he assumed the royal title. He was in exile on the continent for nine years until his restoration in 1660, and he reigned until his death in 1685.