- Evaluate why the Stuarts were brought back and restored to the English throne
- Richard Cromwell was Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland after Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658, but he lacked his father’s authority. He proved unable to manage the Parliament and control the army and was removed from his office after several months.
- In the aftermath of Richard’s removal, power struggles ensued, with George Monck emerging as a key figure in the restoration of monarchy and bringing Charles II back to England.
- On April 4, 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, in which he made several promises in relation to the reclamation of the crown of England. Charles entered London on May 29 and was crowned in 1661.
- The Cavalier Parliament convened for the first time in May 1661, and it would endure for over seventeen years. Like its predecessor, it was overwhelmingly Royalist. It is also known as the Pensionary Parliament for the many pensions it granted to adherents of the king.
- Many Royalist exiles returned and were rewarded. The Indemnity and Oblivion Act, which became law in August 1660, pardoned all past treason against the Crown, but specifically excluded those involved in the trial and execution of Charles I.
Pride’s Purge of 1648
An event that took place in December 1648, during the Second English Civil War, when troops of the New Model Army under the command of Colonel Thomas Pride forcibly removed from the Long Parliament all those who were not supporters of the Grandees in the New Model Army and the Independents. It is arguably the only military coup d’état in English history.
A parliament in English history which, owing to an abeyance of the Crown, assembled without formal summons by the sovereign.
Its 1660 assembly followed the Long Parliament that had finally voted for its own dissolution in March of that year. Elected as a “free parliament,” i.e., with no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth or to the monarchy, it was predominantly Royalist in its membership.
Indemnity and Oblivion Act
A 1660 act of the Parliament of England that was a general pardon for everyone who had committed crimes during the English Civil War and Interregnum, with the exception of certain crimes such as murder, piracy, buggery, rape, and witchcraft, and people named in the act, such as those involved in the regicide of Charles I.
Declaration of Breda
A proclamation by Charles II of England in which he promised a general pardon for crimes committed during the English Civil War and the Interregnum for all those who recognized Charles as the lawful king; the retention by the current owners of property purchased during the same period; religious toleration; and the payment of pay arrears to members of the army and the recommission of the army into service under the crown. The first three pledges were all subject to amendment by acts of parliament.
The English Parliament after Colonel Thomas Pride purged the Long Parliament on December 6, 1648, of those members hostile to the Grandees’ intention to try King Charles I for high treason.
An English Parliament that lasted from 1640 until 1660. It followed the fiasco of the Short Parliament, which had been held for three weeks during the spring of 1640, and which in its turn had followed an eleven-year parliamentary absence.
Committee of Safety
A committee established by the Parliamentarians in July 1642. It was the first of a number of successive committees set up to oversee the English Civil War against King Charles I and the Interregnum. Its last installment was set up in 1659, just before the Restoration, in response to the Rump Parliament, which the day before tried to place the commander of the army Charles Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the speaker.
Richard Cromwell and the Protectorate
Richard Cromwell (1626–1712) was Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland after Oliver Cromwell’s death in 1658. Richard lacked his father’s authority. He attempted to mediate between the army and civil society and allowed a Parliament that contained a large number of disaffected Presbyterians and Royalists. His main weakness was that he did not have the confidence of the army. He summoned a Parliament in 1659, but the republicans assessed Oliver’s rule to be “a period of tyranny and economic depression” and attacked the increasingly monarchy-like nature of the Protectorate. Richard proved unable to manage the Parliament and control the army. On May 7, a Committee of Safety was formed on the authority of the Rump Parliament, displacing the Protector’s Council of State, and was in turn replaced by a new Council of State on May 19.
Charles Fleetwood was appointed a member of the Committee of Safety and of the Council of State, and one of the seven commissioners for the army. On June 9, 1659, he was nominated lord-general (commander-in-chief) of the army. However, his leadership was undermined in Parliament. A royalist uprising was planned for August 1, 1659, and although it never happened, Sir George Booth gained control of Cheshire. Booth held Cheshire until the end of August, when he was defeated by General John Lambert. On October 26, a Committee of Safety was appointed, of which Fleetwood and Lambert were members. Lambert was appointed major-general of all the forces in England and Scotland, with Fleetwood being general. The Committee of Safety sent Lambert with a large force to meet George Monck, who was in command of the English forces in Scotland, and either negotiate with him or force him to come to terms.
It was into this atmosphere that Monck, the governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland. Lambert’s army began to desert him, and he returned to London almost alone, though he marched unopposed. The Presbyterian members, excluded in Pride’s Purge of 1648, were recalled, and on December 24 the army restored the Long Parliament. Fleetwood was deprived of his command and ordered to appear before Parliament to answer for his conduct. In March 1660, Lambert was sent to the Tower of London, from which he escaped a month later. He tried to rekindle the civil war in favor of the Commonwealth, but he was recaptured by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, a participant in the regicide of Charles I, who hoped to win a pardon by handing Lambert over to the new regime. Lambert was incarcerated and died in custody in 1684; Ingoldsby was, indeed, pardoned.
Restoration of Charles II
On April 4, 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, in which he made several promises in relation to the reclamation of the crown of England. Monck organized the Convention Parliament; on May 8, it proclaimed that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I on January 30, 1649. Charles entered London on May 29, his birthday. To celebrate his Majesty’s Return to his Parliament, May 29 was made a public holiday, popularly known as Oak Apple Day. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on April 23, 1661. The Cavalier Parliament convened for the first time in May 1661, and it would endure for over seventeen years. Like its predecessor, it was overwhelmingly Royalist. It is also known as the Pensionary Parliament for the many pensions it granted to adherents of the king.
Many Royalist exiles returned and were rewarded. The Indemnity and Oblivion Act, which became law in August 1660, pardoned all past treason against the crown, but specifically excluded those involved in the trial and execution of Charles I. Thirty-one of the fifty-nine commissioners (judges) who had signed the death warrant in 1649 were living. In the ensuing trials, twelve were condemned to death. In October 1660, ten were publicly hanged, drawn, and quartered. Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Judge Thomas Pride, and Judge John Bradshaw were posthumously attained for high treason. In January 1661, the corpses of Cromwell, Ireton, and Bradshaw were exhumed and hanged in chains at Tyburn.