Anna Keay – Royal Rebel, The Duke of Monmouth

Friday 8th June 11am The Meakin Room 


The tumultuous life of James, Duke of Monmouth, the illegitimate son of Charles II, is the subject of this fascinating talk from historian, broadcaster and director of The Landmark Trust, Anna Keay. Born in exile the year his grandfather, Charles I was executed and the English monarchy abolished, Monmouth was abducted from his mother on his father’s orders at just 7 years old. He emerged from a childhood in the backstreets of Rotterdam to command the ballrooms of Paris, the brothels of Covent Garden and the battlefields of Flanders.

Such was his popularity that when the monarchy itself came under threat, the cry was for Monmouth to succeed his father Charles II as King. He inspired both delight and disgust, adulation and abhorrence and, in time, love and loyalty almost beyond measure. Louis XIV was his mentor, Nell Gwyn his protector, D’Artagnan his lieutenant, William of Orange his confidant, John Dryden his censor and John Locke his comrade. The talk will explore his glamorous life and tragic death – and reveal the important part Cheshire and Staffordshire played in his remarkable story.