Restoration (England)

The Restoration of the English monarchy took place in the Stuart period. It began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under King Charles II. This followed the Interregnum, also called the Protectorate, that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

The term Restoration is used to describe both the actual event by which the monarchy was restored, and the period of several years afterwards in which a new political settlement was established.[1] It is very often used to cover the whole reign of Charles II (1660–1685) and often the brief reign of his younger brother James II (1685–1688).[2] In certain contexts it may be used to cover the whole period of the later Stuart monarchs as far as the death of Queen Anne and the accession of the Hanoverian George I in 1714;[3] for example Restoration comedy typically encompasses works written as late as 1710.

1660 – 1688 (1714)
Charles II of England.jpeg
King Charles II by Lely (c. 1675)
Preceded byInterregnum
Followed byGeorgian era
Leader(s)Sir Thomas Parker

The Protectorate

The Commonwealth, which preceded the English Restoration, might have continued if Oliver Cromwell's son Richard, who was made Lord Protector on his father's death, had been capable of carrying on his father's policies. Richard Cromwell's main weakness was that he did not have the confidence of the army. After seven months, an army faction known as the Wallingford House party removed him on 6 May 1659 and reinstalled the Rump Parliament.[4] 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 9 June 1659, he was nominated lord-general (commander-in-chief) of the army. However, his leadership was undermined in Parliament, which chose to disregard the army's authority in a similar fashion to the post-First Civil War Parliament. A royalist uprising was planned for 1 August 1659, but it was foiled. However, Sir George Booth gained control of Cheshire; Charles II hoped that with Spanish support he could effect a landing, but none was forthcoming.[5] Booth held Cheshire until the end of August when he was defeated by General Lambert. The Commons, on 12 October 1659, cashiered General John Lambert and other officers, and installed Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the Speaker.[6] The next day Lambert ordered that the doors of the House be shut and the members kept out. On 26 October 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, Fleetwood being general.[6] 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.[6]

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. Monck marched to London unopposed. The Presbyterian members, excluded in Pride's Purge of 1648, were recalled, and on 24 December the army restored the Long Parliament.[6] Fleetwood was deprived of his command and ordered to appear before Parliament to answer for his conduct. On 3 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 favour of the Commonwealth by issuing a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill, 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.[6] Lambert was incarcerated and died in custody on Guernsey in 1694; Ingoldsby was indeed pardoned.[7]

Restoration of Charles II

Hendrick de Meijer 001
The departure of Charles II from Scheveningen (1660).

On 4 April 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 organised the Convention Parliament, which met for the first time on 25 April. On 8 May it proclaimed that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649.[8] "Constitutionally, it was as if the last nineteen years had never happened."[9] Charles returned from exile, leaving the Hague on 23 May and landing at Dover on 25 May.[10] He entered London on 29 May 1660, his 30th birthday. To celebrate His Majesty's Return to his Parliament, 29 May was made a public holiday, popularly known as Oak Apple Day.[11] He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661.[10]

Some contemporaries described the Restoration as "a divinely ordained miracle". The sudden and unexpected deliverance from usurpation and tyranny was interpreted as a restoration of the natural and divine order.[12] The Cavalier Parliament convened for the first time on 8 May 1661, and it would endure for over 17 years, finally being dissolved on 24 January 1679. 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.

The leading political figure at the beginning of the Restoration was Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. It was the "skill and wisdom of Clarendon" which had "made the Restoration unconditional".[13]

Many Royalist exiles returned and were rewarded. Prince Rupert of the Rhine returned to the service of England, became a member of the privy council, and was provided with an annuity. George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, returned to be the Captain of the King's guard and received a pension. Marmaduke Langdale returned and was made "Baron Langdale". William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle, returned and was able to regain the greater part of his estates. He was invested in 1666 with the Order of the Garter (which had been bestowed upon him in 1650), and was advanced to a dukedom on 16 March 1665.

Commonwealth regicides and rebels

Major-General Thomas Harrison (General) in Cromwell's Army
Thomas Harrison, the first person found guilty of regicide during the Restoration

The Indemnity and Oblivion Act, which became law on 29 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 59 commissioners (judges) who had signed the death warrant in 1649 were living. The regicides were hunted down; some escaped but most were found and put on trial. Three escaped to the American colonies. New Haven, Connecticut, secretly harbored Edward Whalley, William Goffe and John Dixwell, and after American independence named streets after them to honour them as forefathers of the American Revolution.[14]

In the ensuing trials, twelve were condemned to death. Fifth Monarchist Thomas Harrison, the first person found guilty of regicide, who had been the seventeenth of the 59 commissioners to sign the death warrant, was the first regicide to be hanged, drawn and quartered because he was considered by the new government still to represent a real threat to the re-established order. In October 1660, at Charing Cross or Tyburn, London, ten were publicly hanged, drawn and quartered: Thomas Harrison, John Jones, Adrian Scrope, John Carew, Thomas Scot, and Gregory Clement, who had signed the king's death warrant; the preacher Hugh Peters; Francis Hacker and Daniel Axtell, who commanded the guards at the king's trial and execution; and John Cooke, the solicitor who directed the prosecution. The 10 judges who were on the panel but did not sign the death warrant were also convicted.[15]

Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Judge Thomas Pride, and Judge John Bradshaw were posthumously attainted for high treason. Because Parliament is a court, the highest in the land, a bill of attainder is a legislative act declaring a person guilty of treason or felony, in contrast to the regular judicial process of trial and conviction. In January 1661, the corpses of Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshaw were exhumed and hanged in chains at Tyburn.

In 1661 John Okey, one of the regicides who signed the death warrant of Charles I, was brought back from Holland along with Miles Corbet, friend and lawyer to Cromwell, and John Barkstead, former constable of the Tower of London. They were all imprisoned in the Tower. From there they were taken to Tyburn and hanged, drawn and quartered on 19 April 1662. A further 19 regicides were imprisoned for life.

John Lambert was not in London for the trial of Charles I. At the Restoration, he was found guilty of high treason and remained in custody in Guernsey for the rest of his life. Sir Henry Vane the Younger served on the Council of State during the Interregnum even though he refused to take the oath which expressed approbation (approval) of the King's execution. At the Restoration, after much debate in Parliament, he was exempted from the Indemnity and Oblivion Act. In 1662 he was tried for high treason, found guilty and beheaded on Tower Hill on 14 June 1662.

Regrant of certain Commonwealth titles

The Instrument of Government, The Protectorate's written constitutions, gave to the Lord Protector the King's power to grant titles of honour. Over 30 new knighthoods were granted under the Protectorate. These knighthoods passed into oblivion upon the Restoration of Charles II, however many were regranted by the restored King.

Of the eleven Protectorate baronetcies, two had been previously granted by Charles I during the Civil War – but under Commonwealth legislation they were not recognised under the Protectorate (hence the Lord Protector's regranting of them), however when that legislation passed into oblivion these two baronets were entitled to use the baronetcies granted by Charles I – and Charles II regranted four more. Only one now continues: Sir Richard Thomas Willy, 14th baronet, is the direct successor of Sir Griffith Williams. Of the remaining Protectorate baronets one, Sir William Ellis, was granted a knighthood by Charles II.

Edmund Dunch was created Baron Burnell of East Wittenham in April 1658, but this barony was not regranted. The male line failed in 1719 with the death of his grandson, also Edmund Dunch, so no one can lay claim to the title.

The one hereditary viscountcy Cromwell created for certain,[a] (making Charles Howard Viscount Howard of Morpeth and Baron Gilsland) continues to this day. In April 1661, Howard was created Earl of Carlisle, Viscount Howard of Morpeth, and Baron Dacre of Gillesland. The present Earl is a direct descendant of this Cromwellian creation and Restoration recreation.

Venner rebellion (January 1661)

On 6 January 1661, about 50 Fifth Monarchists, headed by a wine-cooper named Thomas Venner, tried to gain possession of London in the name of "King Jesus". Most were either killed or taken prisoner; on 19 and 21 January 1661, Venner and 10 others were hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason.

Religious settlement

The Church of England was restored as the national Church in England, backed by the Clarendon Code and the Act of Uniformity 1662. People reportedly "pranced around May poles as a way of taunting the Presbyterians and Independents" and "burned copies of the Solemn League and Covenant".[16]

Restoration Britain

Historian Roger Baker argues that the Restoration and Charles' coronation mark a reversal of the stringent Puritan morality, "as though the pendulum [of England's morality] swung from repression to licence more or less overnight".[17] Theatres reopened after having been closed during the protectorship of Oliver Cromwell, Puritanism lost its momentum, and the bawdy "Restoration comedy" became a recognisable genre. In addition, women were allowed to perform on the commercial stage as professional actresses for the first time. In Scotland, Episcopacy was reinstated.

To celebrate the occasion and cement their diplomatic relations, the Dutch Republic presented Charles with the Dutch Gift, a fine collection of old master paintings, classical sculptures, furniture, and a yacht.

End of the Restoration

William III Landing at Brixham, Torbay, 5 November 1688
Equestrian portrait of William III by Jan Wyck, commemorating the start of the Glorious Revolution in 1688

The Glorious Revolution ended the Restoration. The Glorious Revolution which overthrew King James II of England was propelled by a union of English Parliamentarians with the Dutch stadtholder William III of Orange-Nassau (William of Orange). William's successful invasion of England with a Dutch fleet and army led to his accession to the English throne as William III of England jointly with his wife Mary II of England, James' daughter.

In April 1688, James had re-issued the Declaration of Indulgence and ordered all Anglican clergymen to read it to their congregations. When seven bishops, including the Archbishop of Canterbury, submitted a petition requesting the reconsideration of the King's religious policies, they were arrested and tried for seditious libel. On 30 June 1688, a group of seven Protestant nobles invited the Prince of Orange to come to England with an army; by September it became clear that William would invade England. When William arrived on 5 November 1688, James lost his nerve, declined to attack the invading Dutch and tried to flee to France. He was captured in Kent; later, he was released and placed under Dutch protective guard. Having no desire to make James a martyr, William, Prince of Orange, let him escape on 23 December. James was received in France by his cousin and ally, Louis XIV, who offered him a palace and a pension.

William convened a Convention Parliament to decide how to handle the situation. While the Parliament refused to depose James, they declared that James, having fled to France had effectively abdicated the throne, and that the throne was vacant. To fill this vacancy, James's daughter Mary was declared Queen; she was to rule jointly with her husband William, Prince of Orange, who would be king. The English Parliament passed the Bill of Rights of 1689 that denounced James for abusing his power. The abuses charged to James included the suspension of the Test Acts, the prosecution of the Seven Bishops for merely petitioning the crown, the establishment of a standing army, and the imposition of cruel punishments. The bill also declared that henceforth no Roman Catholic was permitted to ascend the English throne, nor could any English monarch marry a Roman Catholic.

See also


  1. ^ Cromwell had intended to make Bulstrode Whitelocke a viscount but it is not clear if he so before he died
  1. ^ CEE staff 2007, Restoration.
  2. ^ EB staff 2012, Restoration.
  3. ^ Yadav 2010.
  4. ^ Keeble 2002, pp. 8–10.
  5. ^ Hutton 2000, p. 121.
  6. ^ a b c d e Chisholm 1911, p. 108.
  7. ^ Firth 1892, p. 10.
  8. ^ House of Commons 1802a.
  9. ^ Harris 2005, p. 47.
  10. ^ a b Pepys Diary 23 April 1661.
  11. ^ House of Commons 1802b.
  12. ^ Jones 1978, p. 15.
  13. ^ Clark 1953, p. 3.
  14. ^ Weight & Haggith 2014, pp. 18–21.
  15. ^ McIntosh 1982, pp. 195–216.
  16. ^ Harris 2005, pp. 52–53.
  17. ^ Baker 1994, p. 85.


  • Baker, Roger (1994). Drag: A History of Female Impersonation In The Performing Arts. New York City: NYU Press. p. 85. ISBN 0-8147-1253-3.
  • CEE staff (2007). "Restoration". The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia (6th ed.). Columbia University Press. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  • Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Lambert, John" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 16 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 108, 109.
  • EB staff (2012). "Restoration". Encyclopaedia Britannica (online ed.). Retrieved 15 April 2012.
  • Clark, Sir George (1953). The Later Stuarts 1660–1714 (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. p. 3.
  •  Firth, Charles Harding (1892). "Ingoldsby, Richard (d.1685)" . In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 29. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 9–11.
  • Harris, Tim (2005). Restoration:Charles II and His Kingdoms 1660–1685. Allen Lane.
  • "House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 8 May 1660". Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 8, 1660–1667. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office: 16–18. 1802a.
  • "House of Commons Journal Volume 8: 30 May 1660". Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 8, 1660–1667. London: His Majesty's Stationery Office: 49–50. 1802b.
  • Hutton, Ronald (2000). The British Republic 1649–1660 (2nd ed.). Macmillan. p. 121.
  • Jones, J.R. (1978). Country and Court: England 1658–1714. Edward Arnold. p. 15.
  • Keeble, N. H. (2002). The Restoration: England in the 1660s. History of Early Modern England Series. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-23617-1.
  • McIntosh, A.W. (1982). "The Numbers of the English Regicides". History. 67 (220): 195–216. doi:10.1111/j.1468-229X.1982.tb01387.x. JSTOR 24418886.
  • Weight, Richard; Haggith, Toby (February 2014). "Reluctant Regicides". History Today. 64 (22): 18–21.
  • Yadav, Alok (18 July 2010). "Historical Outline of Restoration and 18th-Century British Literature". Retrieved 15 April 2012.

Further reading

  • Lockyer, Roger (2004). Tudor and Stuart Britain: 1485–1714 (3rd ed.). ISBN 978-0582771888.

External links

1714 in Great Britain

Events from the year 1714 in Great Britain. This marks the beginning of the Georgian era.

1714 in science

The year 1714 in science and technology involved some significant events.

Claude Duval

Claude Du Vall (or Duval) (1643 – 21 January 1670) was a French highwayman in Restoration England. He came from a family of decayed nobility, and worked in the service of exiled royalists who returned to England under King Charles II. Little else is known of his history. According to popular legend, he abhorred violence, showing courtesy to his victims and chivalry to their womenfolk, thus spawning the myth of the romantic highwayman, as taken up by many novelists and playwrights.

Drown (surname)

Drown is a surname which originated in Yorkshire, England. It is the Americanization of the Surname Drowne. Many branches of this family dropped the E during the late 18th century as a part of the American Spelling Reform movement, forming the surname Drown. It is possibly derived from the Middle English word "drane", or drone, the male honey bee.The first Drowne/Drown in North America was Leonard Drowne (1646–1729) who came from Penryn, Cornwall to what was then part of Kittery in Massachusetts soon after the Restoration (England) of the monarchy in 1660. Leonard, a ship-wright, established a shipyard near Sturgeon Creek in what is now Eliot, York County, Maine. Leonard married Sarah Abbott of Portsmouth, New Hampshire around 1675.

Leonard helped organize and build the first Baptist Church in Maine in 1682. During King William's War, many Maine towns were raided and English settlements were massacred by the Wabanaki people in conjunction with the French. In 1696, 28 members of the Baptist Church moved to Charleston, South Carolina and established the first Baptist church there while the Drownes moved to Boston, Massachusetts in 1699, due to the ongoing war and violence. After Sarah Abbott died, Leonard married his also-widowed sister-in law, Mary (Abbott) Caley. This marriage was performed by the Rev. Cotton Mather in Boston, November 4, 1707. Leonard Drowne died in Boston, October 31, 1729. Leonard Drowne and other early members of the family are buried in Copps Hill Cemetery in Boston.

Edmund Boldero

Edmund Boldero (1608–1679) was an English royalist clergyman and academic, Master of Jesus College, Cambridge from 1663.

Edward Fowler

For the American Civil War officer, see Edward Brush Fowler

Edward Fowler (1632 – 26 August 1714) was an English churchman, Bishop of Gloucester from 1691 until his death.

George Speke

George Speke (1623–1689) was an English politician. A Royalist during the English Civil War, after the Restoration (England) he became an early Whig supporter in Parliament.

John Dryden

John Dryden (; 19 August [O.S. 9 August] 1631 – 12 May [O.S. 1 May] 1700) was an English poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright who was made England's first Poet Laureate in 1668.He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. Walter Scott called him "Glorious John".

John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor

John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor and Viscount Bodmin (1606 – 17 July 1685), known as The Lord Robartes (or John, Lord Roberts) between 1634 and 1679, was an English politician, who fought for the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War. He retired from public life before the trial and execution of Charles I (1649) and did not take an active part in politics until after the Restoration (England) in 1660. During the reign of Charles II he opposed the Cavalier party (because he wanted more toleration of non-Anglican religious sects). Towards the end of his life he opposed the more extreme Protestant groups, led by Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who refused to accept the succession of James because he was a self-declared Catholic.

John Selden

John Selden (16 December 1584 – 30 November 1654) was an English jurist, a scholar of England's ancient laws and constitution and scholar of Jewish law. He was known as a polymath; John Milton hailed Selden in 1644 as "the chief of learned men reputed in this land."

Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis

Mycobacterial cervical lymphadenitis, also known as scrofula, refers to a lymphadenitis of the cervical lymph nodes associated with tuberculosis as well as nontuberculous (atypical) mycobacteria.

Nell Gwyn

Eleanor Gwyn (2 February 1650 – 14 November 1687; also spelled Gwynn, Gwynne), more commonly known as Nell Gwyn, was a prolific celebrity figure of the Restoration period. Praised by Samuel Pepys for her comic performances as one of the first actresses on the English stage, she became best known for being a long-time mistress of King Charles II of England and Scotland. Called "pretty, witty Nell" by Pepys, she has been regarded as a living embodiment of the spirit of Restoration England and has come to be considered a folk heroine, with a story echoing the rags-to-royalty tale of Cinderella. Gwyn had two sons by King Charles: Charles Beauclerk (1670–1726); and James Beauclerk (1671–1680) (the surname is pronounced boh-clair). Charles was created Earl of Burford and later Duke of St. Albans.

Peter Sterry

Peter Sterry (1613 – 19 November 1672) was an English independent theologian, associated with the Cambridge Platonists prominent during the English Civil War era. He was chaplain to Parliamentarian general Robert Greville, 2nd Baron Brooke and then Oliver Cromwell, a member of the Westminster Assembly, and a leading radical Puritan preacher attached to the English Council of State. He was made fun of in Hudibras.

Rachel Judith Weil

Rachel Judith Weil (born 1959) is a teacher and scholar, specializing in gender and culture in 17th and 18th century England. She is currently a professor of early modern English political and cultural history in the Department of History at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Weil received her B.A. degree from Brown University in 1981 and her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 1991 with a dissertation titled "Sexual Ideology and Political Propaganda in England 1680-1714". She has continued scholarly studies of the historical relationship of sexuality and politics in such essays as "Sometimes a Scepter is Only a Scepter: Pornography and Politics in Restoration England" (1993). Weil later published Political Passions: Gender, the Family & Political Argument in England 1680-1714 (1999), a further examination of the political implications of family and gender relationships in early modern English history. Her most recent work concerns early modern English political intrigue and conspiracy.

Robert Crosse

Robert Crosse (1606–1683) was an English puritan theologian.

The Gay Cavalier (TV series)

The Gay Cavalier was a 1957 British television adventure series set during the English Civil War and starring Christian Marquand as a fictionalised Captain Claude Duval. The series was made by Associated Rediffusion and shown on ITV between May and August 1957.

In truth, Duval was a successful gentleman highwayman who came from France to post-Restoration England, but The Gay Cavalier portrayed him in heroic fashion. In each of the series 13 episodes, Duval was to be seen embarking on an adventure which required him to undertake such tasks as retrieving a piece of treasure, thwarting a plot by the Roundheads or saving a woman in trouble. Each of the adventures was self-contained and Duval was often accompanied on these exploits by a female companion (usually a different one in each episode).

The series also featured a number of other actors who generally appeared in one of the adventures. These included Christopher Lee, John Le Mesurier, Conrad Phillips, Nigel Stock and Sam Kydd.

The series was similar in genre to others of the time, such as The Adventures of Robin Hood, and though it was shot on film, it is unique in that not one of its episodes has survived.

Thomas Betterton

Thomas Patrick Betterton (c. 1635 – 28 April 1710), the leading male actor and theatre manager during Restoration England, son of an under-cook to King Charles I, was born in London.

Thomas Foote

Sir Thomas Foote, 1st Baronet (1598 – 12 October 1687) was a wealthy Citizen and grocer of London. He was Lord Mayor of the City of London in 1649. During the Protectorate he was knighted by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell in 1657, and after the Restoration (England) he was made a baronet by Charles II.

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