Henry Jermyn, Spy-master, Favourite and Courtier to the Stuarts
Date of publication: October 2012
Henry Jermyn ensured that Charles II did not suffer the fate of his father. Charles II's ascent to the throne came at a time of national turbulence: his father had been beheaded, and rival Cromwell threatened his right to reign. But, Henry Jermyn, 1st Earl of St. Albans, was there to keep the royal family together: despite his continued affair with the Queen. His skilful, but devious, ways of manipulating government were vital during the Civil War, the establishment of the English Commonwealth, and finally in ensuring the restoration of the Stuart dynasty to the throne. Against this historical backdrop is also the birth of the London that we know today.
Like Christopher Wren, he was a Freemason and used his contacts not only to spy but also to rebuild London with its, now characteristic, uniform squares and wide streets.