Restoration

Restoration of Charles II

After the death of Oliver Cromwell in Sept., 1658, the English republican experiment soon faltered. Cromwell's son and successor, Richard, was an ineffectual leader, and power quickly fell into the hands of the generals, chief among whom was George Monck, leader of the army of occupation in Scotland. In England a strong reaction had set in against Puritan supremacy and military control. When Monck marched on London with his army, opinion had already crystallized in favor of recalling the exiled king.

Monck recalled to the Rump Parliament the members who had been excluded by Pride's Purge in 1648; the reconvened body voted its own dissolution. The newly elected Convention Parliament, which met in the spring of 1660, was overtly royalist in sympathy. An emissary was sent to the Netherlands, and Charles was easily persuaded to issue the document known as the Declaration of Breda, promising an amnesty to the former enemies of the house of Stuart and guaranteeing religious toleration and payment of arrears in salary to the army. Charles accepted the subsequent invitation to return to England and landed at Dover on May 25, 1660, entering London amid rejoicing four days later.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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