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. 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). 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; for example Restoration comedy typically encompasses works written as late as 1710.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Lambert was incarcerated and died in custody on Guernsey in 1694; Ingoldsby was indeed pardoned.
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. "Constitutionally, it was as if the last nineteen years had never happened." Charles returned from exile, leaving the Hague on 23 May and landing at Dover on 25 May. 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. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Historian Roger Baker argues that the Restoraion 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". 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.
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 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.