Charles II was the most wanted man in England after losing at the Battle of Worcester. A reward of Â£1,000 was offered for his capture, and it seems certain that the king would have been executed for treason had he been caught. Cavalry patrols were on the lookout for the king who was tall and boasted a distinctive appearance. Fortunately, he had the assistance of the Catholics who had vast experience when it came to helping people hide. Charles was smuggled through various towns and famously hid in an oak tree at Boscobel. Finally, he arrived in France and would not return to England until 1660.
The conflict ensured that Ireland, England, and Scotland were among the few nations in Europe that didn’t have a monarch. These countries were ruled by the Commonwealth of England from 1649-1653 and 1659-1660. Oliver Cromwell was effectively the ruler of England from 1653 until his death in 1658 when he was given the title of Lord Protector. His brother, Richard, assumed the role but was removed from his position in 1659 by the Army. After two separate short-lived Rump Parliaments dissolved, the threat of anarchy lingered.
General George Monck marched into England from Scotland, and in April 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda. He outlined the conditions of his acceptance of the English Crown, and Monck organized the Convention Parliament. On 8 May 1660, it ruled that Charles II had been the rightful king since the death of his father. He returned from exile on 23 May 1660 and was acclaimed as king in London six days later. His coronation occurred on 23 April 1661 at Westminster Abbey.
Historians estimate that 200,000 people died in England and Wales during the conflict while up to 150,000 civilians may have died in Ireland and Scotland.