Charles II

Richard Cromwell's accession to the Protectorate at his father's death marked the end of the relative governmental stability there had been in Britain since 1653, Less able but more popular than his younger brother Henry, Richard could not control the army and became a prisoner of its civilian opponents. The third Protectorate Parliament gave way to a restored Rump, Cromwell was deposed, and the army was firmly established as arbiter of government, ostensibly headed by John Lambert who had crushed the Booth Rising. Lambert's eminence was resented by other army chiefs including George Monck, the ex-royalist who had virtually ruled Scotland in 1654/5, and Edward Montagu commanding the Baltic Fleet. Monck's capacity to maintain peace in Scotland during the 1659 uprising in England served him well, and his army background coupled with his espousal of the civilian/parliamentarian position in England made him a figure of national importance to rival Lambert. By October 1659 Monck was clearly threatening the English army leaders, Lambert and Fleetwood, but neither side was militarily ready for any confrontation and in November talks were initiated at London. The talks went against Monck in an agreement on 15 November, but he remained inactive, opting for further discussions in December at Alnwick in Northumberland, but actually preparing his army to march.

Monck's relations with the Rump in 1659 had not been altogether cordial: the MPs themselves were suspicious of him. In the summer of 1659 the Parliament had endeavoured to reorganise Monck's Scottish army and make it effectively subservient to the Rump itself, causing Monck considerable disquiet and leading to his exchange of blunt letters with the Speaker of the House. As it was, little drastic was achieved by the Rump's seven-man committee (which included Lambert and Fleetwood) before the Rump itself fell to army pressure in England, but Monck himself undertook a systematic purge of his officer corps before January 1660 to create the semblance of unity of purpose that he required for his intended march into England. He was trying to weld together a personal army quite as much as was Lambert, but he did it more efficiently since he lacked concerted internal resistance, and because he dominated Scotland so thoroughly. Moreover, Monck's army was financially stronger than Lambert's, and the guarantee of pay made it potentially more reliable in the event of confrontation. Monck himself came to Berwick on 2 December, and established his command post at Coldstream on the 8th. On 1 January 1660 the infantry crossed the Tweed into England, followed by the rest of the army on the 2nd, and on 11 January entered York. The army followed the Great North Road, passing through Doncaster, Newark, Grantham, Stamford, Royston and Ware and entered London on 3 February 1660. Monck had encountered no resistance. On 21 February he restored the members expelled in Pride's Purge of 1648, recreating the Long Parliament for its final session that would usher in the Restoration of the monarchy. On 16 March the Parliament dissolved itself, new elections were called, and the Convention Parliament first sat on 25 April, with a truncated but restored House of Lords. John Lambert, whose army had disappeared at the advance of Monck, had escaped from confinement in the Tower, and was trying to raise forces in Northamptonshire in the same month, but his

men proved untrustworthy and went over to troops loyal to Monck, Lambert was taken again and entered upon a twenty-year term of imprisonment until his death. As early as 4 April Charles II had issued from the Netherlands the Declaration of Breda containing promises as to his future intentions, and he was proclaimed King on 8 May. On the 25th he landed in style at Dover and was escorted to London, a King who had ruled in name only since 30 January 1649.

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