British Monarchy Restored in 1660

King Charles the II was restored to the throne in 1660 for the simple reason that the Parliament and the people had grown tired of direct military rule.

After Oliver Cromwell, the Lord-Protector and the only person in history to rule England, who was not a monarch, died on 3 September 1658, his son, Richard succeeded him. Richard was not his father. He had no power base in either Parliament or the Army. Also Richard had no desire for power; he really wanted to be a country gentleman farmer. So after a short few months as Lord-Protector, the Army removed him from office.

The army recalled the Rump Parliament that had ruled England before Oliver Cromwell Protectorate. The Rump Parliament soon fell into dispute with the Army and the Army leadership. As the Parliament tried to disband some units and also remove some officers from command. Two of the Generals that the Rump had tried to cashier; Lambert and Fleetwood organized a coup. They barred the doors of Parliament Building excluding all the members.

On October 26 the Army Generals appointed a “Committee of Safety.” Fleetwood and Lambert were two of the seven members. Fleetwood was made Lord-General or Commander and Chief and Lambert made Major-General of all the forces in England and Scotland.

While all this chaos and political maneuvering was going on in London, George Monck, Governor-General of Scotland assumed a wait and watch policy from his capital of Edinburgh. However, when Lambert and Fleetwood declared against the Rump Parliament and then essential removed him from his position by appointing Lambert, Monck moved south.

The Committee of Safety dispatched Lambert north to meet Monck. Lambert’s job was to establish an understanding with Monck or force him to come to terms with the Committee. Soon after leaving London Lambert’s army started to melt away and he soon returned to London virtually by himself. Monck marched into London unopposed.

Monck restored the “Long Parliament” to power. Fleetwood was removed from office and barred from ever holding any public trust again. Lambert was imprisoned in the Tower of London but soon escaped and raised the flag of rebellion again. He was soon recaptured by Colonel Ingoldsby, one of the Regicides. Lambert was soon imprisoned on Drake’s Island where he died. Ingoldsby was later pardoned by Charles II for his part in the execution of Charles I.

Monck along with other Generals soon realized that to restore order that the monarchy, in the person of Charles the Second had to return. Monck organized the Convention Parliament which on 8 May 1660 declared Charles II had been king since his father’s execution on 30 January 1649.

Charles returned to London on 29 May and less than a year later on 23 April 1661 was crowned King.

Charles II rewarded by Monck by knighting him, made him Duke of Albemarle, Earl of Torrington, Baron Monck of Potheridge, Baron Beauchamp and Baron of Teyes. He was also awarded a pension of £700 Pounds a year.

Sources:

THE STEWART RESTORATION. By C. H. FIRTH, at http://www.uni-mannheim.de/mateo/ camenaref/cmh/cmh505.html

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=26183

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=26202

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