ANARCHY AND THE RESTORATION. (1659-60.)
By C. H. FIRTH, LLJD., Regius Professor of Modern History, Oxford.
The Long Parliament reassembles . 539
Sir George Booth's rising . 540
Foreign relations . 541
The position of the Republic .542
Causes of the breach with the army . 543
Schemes of government . 544
Lambert's coup d'état . 545
Monck opposes the army . 546
The movement against the army .547
Collapse of the rule of the army . 548
The position of the Rump . 549
General demand for a free Parliament . 550
Monck's change of front . 551
Monck and the Secluded Members . 552
Attempts to obstruct the Restoration . 553
The dissolution of the Long Parliament . 554
Monck's overtures to the King .555
Milton and the elections . 556
Lambert's rising . 557
The Convention and the King .558
Return of the King . 559
ANARCHY AND THE RESTORATION. (1659-60.)
THE fall of Richard Cromwell was a gradual process. It began on April 22, 1659, when he dissolved Parliament, and ended with his formal abdication on May 25. But his government came to an end on May 7, when the Long Parliament reassembled at Westminster. Fleetwood and the great officers of the army who forced Richard to dissolve his Parliament had not intended to overthrow the Protectorate. They meant to limit his power and that of the civil element in his Council, and to govern in his name. Accordingly they at first endeavoured, as a Republican said, " to piece and mend up that cracked Government," though without success. For the inferior officers who were Republicans outvoted their superiors in the Council of the Army, and rejected the plan of the "Grandees." John Lambert, who was readmitted into the army by the Council on April 29, and restored to his old rank of Major-General, made himself the advocate of the Long Parliament which he had helped to expel, and he was seconded by many other officers whom Cromwell had likewise cashiered for opposing the Protectorate. Nor did it a little contribute to the success of the movement that the Independent ministers, especially the extremer sectaries, exerted all their influence with the army in favour of the return to a republic. A hasty negotiation between the leaders of the Long Parliament and the heads of the army followed, in which only the vaguest understanding was arrived at between the two parties. The members of the Long Parliament were then invited to resume their authority ; and forty-two of them reassembled at Westminster on May 7. In all about 130 members were qualified to sit, of whom about 120 put in their appearance at different times ; but the highest number present in the House during the next five months was 76. To this simulacrum of a legislature the army was obliged to commit supreme power, because it needed some shred of constitutional authority to cover its domination and to provide for its maintenance. But the members of the Long Parliament themselves returned to their seats without a doubt that they possessed an indefeasible right to rule a people, some fraction of which
On the other hand the change of Government roused the hopes of the Royalists to an uncontrollable pitch. Oliver's death had given them new courage, and during the winter they had begun fresh preparations for insurrection. The young men of the party were eager for action ; and in March, 1659, the King appointed six new Commissioners for the management of his affairs in England, of whom John Mordaunt was chief. The committee of older men, known as the " Sealed Knot," to whom his business had previously been entrusted, taught by former failures, were reluctant to take up arms, but were pushed into action by Mordaunt and his friends. August 1, 1659, was fixed as the time for a general rising. When the day came, there were gatherings of Cavaliers in Kent, Surrey, Gloucestershire, and Nottinghamshire ; but most of the King's party never stirred. Willis, one of the Sealed Knot, had been in the pay of successive Governments ever since 1656 ; and by postponements and other pretexts he prevented concerted action amongst his party. Nevertheless a formidable rising took place in Cheshire and Lancashire and North Wales, where Sir George Booth, one of the members expelled by Pride's Purge in 1648, got together five or six thousand men. Booth was a Presbyterian ; and the Presbyterian party in general was hostile to the men at Westminster. But he did not openly declare for Charles II ; and his manifesto spoke only of a full and free Parliament, though the Royalists who joined him proclaimed the King at Wrexham and Warrington. Once more Charles II prepared to land in England. In August he left Brussels for Calais, while the Duke of York went to Boulogne. With or without the knowledge of Mazarin, Marshal Turenne had promised James a couple of thousand soldiers, arms for three or four thousand men, and ships to transport them. Rye was fixed upon as the landing-place. There were hopes too from the fleet in the Baltic. A secret agent from Charles had been in negotiation with Admiral Mountagu, who suddenly left his station in the Sound and set sail for England. But all these hopes were made futile by Booth's inability to keep the field. Major-General Lambert marched against him with about 3000 foot and 1200
On the Continent the influence of the Republic had been steadily growing during the four months which had elapsed since its foundation. Its foreign policy, directed by the experienced hand of Vane, was firm and moderate, and the friendship of the United Provinces seemed its chief aim. The Republic continued the Protector's attempt to mediate between the northern Powers, but it was less partial to Sweden. A treaty between France, England, and the States General, signed at the Hague on May 21, 1659, pledged them to joint mediation in order to bring about a settlement based on the terms of Roeskilde. A second agreement between the same Powers on July 24, modified the Roeskilde terms to the advantage of Denmark. By a third (August 4) England and the United Provinces alone undertook to use their fleets to force Sweden and Denmark to accept this compromise. Denmark yielded ; Sweden protested. " Are Republics to give laws to Kings ? " asked Charles Gustavus, indignant at being called on to halt when Copenhagen seemed about to drop into his hands. " Sire," answered Algernon Sidney, the head of the English embassy, " the acceptance of these conditions is the price of the friendship of England." Unluckily the return of Mountagu's fleet to England robbed these lofty words of their effect. " A few shot of our cannon would have made this peace," wrote Sidney ; but the belief that England would not resort to force encouraged the King of Sweden in his obduracy and contributed to his downfall.
Meanwhile the relations between France and England, so intimate during the Protectorate, were rapidly becoming less close. The league of the two Powers against Spain expired in March, 1659. On May 8 an armistice between France and Spain was agreed upon ; on June 4 a preliminary treaty was signed ; on November 7 the work of peace was completed by the signature of the Treaty of the Pyrenees. In the armistice England was included for Dunkirk: in the final agreement the only stipulation directly touching the republic was a secret article by which France engaged neither directly nor indirectly to assist England
Yet though the English Republic seemed secure against foreign arms or Royalist insurrection, its apparently imposing fabric was undermined by the dissensions of its supporters. There were no recognised party leaders and no party discipline among the sixty or seventy members who sat at Westminster. "Chaos," wrote a Royalist on June 3, 1659, "was a perfection compared to our present order and government : the parties are like so many floating islands, sometimes joining and appearing like a continent, when the next flood or ebb separates them so that it can hardly be known where they will appear next." In foreign affairs Vane had the chief influence, in matters of internal policy Sir Arthur Heselrige. Vane's alliance with the extreme sectaries and his advocacy of constitutional changes discredited him with parliamentary Republicans, while Heselrige's narrow parliamentarism and overbearing character disqualified him from uniting the military and civil sections of the Republican party. The army leaders, who expected to control the Government they had set up, found themselves reduced to a subordinate position. In the House they had little power ; in the Council of State less than one-third of the seats were allotted to them. " To bring the military sword under the power of the civil authority, as it ought to be in a free nation," was the avowed purpose of the parliamentary leaders ; and they carried it out with very little regard for their temporary allies. Although Fleetwood was appointed by Act of Parliament Commander-in-chief of the forces of the three nations, he was deprived of the power of appointing his officers which previous generals had enjoyed. The selection of officers was entrusted to five Commissioners, but their nominees required the approval of Parliament, and received their commissions from the Speaker's hands. A sweeping purgation of the list of officers followed, in which political as well as moral delinquencies were taken into account. The same process was applied to the navy, while the reorganisation of the militia supplied Parliament with an instrument meant to counterbalance the standing forces.
Parliament's open distrust of the soldiers was made more galling by its neglect of their material interests. The soldiers demanded "an effectual and full Act of Oblivion'1 to protect them from the legal consequences of acts done during the Protectorate. After some delay they obtained merely " an imperfect and ineffectual Act of Indemnity." Without giving them security for what they had done it made them liable for whatever they had received ; and it was possible that some of them might be called upon to refund large sums of money. Another grievance was the neglect of Parliament to confirm the Acts and Ordinances of the Protector, on the validity of which the title-deeds of many soldiers depended.
If there was a cause the army really had at heart it was the maintenance of freedom of conscience, and the further extension of that measure of freedom which had existed during the Protectorate. In this desire it was at one with the sectaries, who had done so much to persuade it to recall the Long Parliament. Both agreed in demanding complete toleration and the separation of Church and State. In the House itself Vane was the chief champion of their views ; outside it, Milton. In February, 1659, Milton had published his Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, showing that it is not lawful for any Power on Earth to compel in Matters of Religion. In August he followed it up by Considerations touching the likeliest means to remove Hirelings out of the Church. Not only tithes, he argued, but all customary fees for ministerial services at baptisms, marriages, and funerals, should be abolished ; for the only lawful maintenance of the ministry consisted in the voluntary offerings of their flocks. Milton had hailed the members of the Parliament lately restored as "the best patrons of civil and religious liberty that ever these islands brought forth " ; but his enthusiasm was dashed by their adoption of Cromwell's policy of maintaining a national Church. Like Cromwell, the House answered petitioners for the abolition of tithes, by voting that their payment should continue till some other more equal and comfortable maintenance could be discovered (June 27). Moreover it turned a deaf ear to the petition of the struggling Independent congregations in Scotland for freedom from the discipline of the Kirk.
Still more contentious was the question of the form to be given to the new Government. " It seems to me," wrote the French ambassador, "that if a perfect commonwealth were established, it would appease a great many malcontents " ; but no two sections of the Republican party agreed what a perfect commonwealth was. As a body the members of the Long Parliament held that the best form of republic was a replica of that existing between 1649 and 1653, an omnipotent single Chamber, with a Council of State responsible to it. The politicians of the army wanted a republic in which the supremacy of the representative assembly was limited by a system of checks and balances, as in the written
Parliament was very reluctant to discuss the constitutional problem. It resolved that the present House should not sit beyond May 7, 1660, but that was all. During August the matter was frequently discussed in committees of the whole House, and on September 8 a special committee was appointed to " prepare something to be offered to the House for the settlement of the commonwealth." The sole result was an inconclusive discussion on October 3, " touching filling up the House with members," which indicated a return to the plan frustrated by Cromwell in 1653.
Meanwhile the army was growing impatient. After Booth's defeat the officers of Lambert's army assembled at Derby, and drew up a petition. They declared that the political proposals contained in the army petition of May 12 furnished " the best and only expedient to a happy and durable settlement," demanded that Fleetwood should be appointed Commander-in-chief with Lambert and other general officers under him, and pressed for the severe punishment of all concerned in the late insurrection. The House answered by declaring, on September 23, that to have any more general officers was "needless, chargeable, and dangerous to the commonwealth," and reproved the petitioners. Upon this a new petition, signed by 230 officers, was presented on October 5, in which they added two new demands, that no officer should be appointed save by the commissioners for nomination, and that no officer or soldier should be dismissed save by sentence of a court-martial. The House answered the petition firmly, and took measures more vigorous than wise to overawe the army. On October 11 it passed a Bill annulling all acts and ordinances passed since April 19, 1653, except in so far as they had been confirmed by the present Parliament, and declaring it high treason to levy money contributions of any kind on
"Illegal, scandalous, barbarous," cried Milton, "or rather scarce to be exampled amongst any barbarians, that a paid army should, for no other cause, thus subdue the supreme power that set them up"; but resistance seemed impossible. London was apathetic and indifferent. On the 13th, "in all the hurly-burly the streets were full, everyone going about his business as not concerned," and when Parliament sent for help to the City, the City answered that "it would not meddle in the dispute." It had become customary for the minority in the army to follow the majority, whatever cause it adopted, and the forces in and about London had long determined the action of the whole body. The Irish army remained passive, or rather seemed to favour Lambert ; and its commander, Ludlow, hastened to London to mediate between army and Parliament. The only sign of opposition came from Scotland. As soon as General Monck heard of Lambert's coup d'état he wrote to the Speaker announcing his resolve " to stand by and assert the liberty and authority of Parliament." Monck had no sympathy with the political ambitions of the officers in England. He had been bred, as he said, in Holland, "a commonwealth where soldiers received and observed commands, but gave none " ; and he had escaped the epidemic of democracy which broke out in 1647 because he was fighting in Ireland at the time. Obedience to authority was his guiding principle ; he had been faithful to Cromwell, had acquiesced with reluctance in the removal of Richard, and having accepted the government of the Long Parliament had never wavered in his fidelity to it. During Booth's rising he had refused even to listen to the overtures made to him from the King, and had exacted from the leading Scottish Royalists an engagement not " to act or contrive anything in behalf of Charles Stuart." Though Monck was sore at the removal of some of his favourite officers by Parliament, he promised
In England the army leaders, anticipating no serious struggle, had fallen to their old game of constitution making. On November 1 the Committee of Safety appointed a sub-committee of 14 persons " to consider and prepare a form of government," in whose deliberations Vane, Ludlow, and other members of the expelled Long Parliament condescended to take part. A senate of 70 to be called the Great Council was the favourite plan ; but there was much dispute whether the new constitution should receive its sanction from Parliament or from the Council of the Army. Finally they resolved that it should be submitted to a representative Council, consisting of two officers from each regiment in the three nations and of ten persons elected by the navy, which was to meet on December 6. Civilian wits were as busy as military with political theory. Harrington and his disciples founded the Rota Club, and met every night at Miles' Coffee-House in Palace Yard to discuss and ballot about the principles on which States should be organised. " Their discourses in this kind," says Aubrey, " were the most ingenious and smart that ever I heard or expect to hear,...... ; the arguments in the Parliament House were but flat to it."
Meanwhile England was beginning to move. Monck's protest against the rule of the sword found echoes everywhere. London shook off' its apathy. Nearly half the commissioners of the City militia were in favour of Monck, and much the wealthier half too. The Committee of Safety found it impossible to raise a loan from the London merchants. The apprentices got up a petition for the restoration of the Parliament, defied the orders of the Committee against it, and mobbed the
The members of the deposed Council of State were active too. On November 24 they sent Monck a commission to command all the forces in England and Scotland. Three of them, Walton, Morley, and Heselrige, persuaded Nathaniel Whetham, the Governor of Portsmouth, to admit them into that stronghold, declared for the restoration of the Parliament, and began to gather troops to effect it (Dec. 3). The regiments sent to besiege them revolted, and went over to Heselrige. Another member, Scot, after failing in a plot for the seizure of the Tower, fled to the fleet in the Downs, and persuaded Vice-Admiral Lawson and his captains to declare against the arbitrary proceedings of the army (December 13). The next news which reached the Committee of Safety was that Ireland was lost. Ludlow had left Colonel John Jones and Sir Hardress Waller to command the army there in his absence, and they had taken the side of the English army. On December 13 Dublin Castle was surprised by Colonels Bridges and Theophilus Jones ; Athlone, Limerick, Drogheda, and other garrisons, were seized in the same way. Sir Charles Coote and Lord Broghill joined the movement, declared for the restoration of the Parliament, and entered into communication with Monck.
By this time Monck was ready to march into England. He had disavowed the treaty of November 15 on the ground that his agents had gone beyond their instructions. He had come to an understanding with representatives of the Scottish shires and burghs, by which they were to endeavour to maintain the peace of their districts during his absence, and, though allowing them to raise a small police force, had successfully evaded their demand for arms. He had obtained from them also a few horses for his cavalry and baggage, a little money, and some recruits for his infantry. On December 8 he established his headquarters at Coldstream, where he brought together about 6000 foot and 1800 horse. Lambert, whose headquarters were at Newcastle, had some 4000 foot and 3500 horse, and his superiority in cavalry made Monck's advance into England dangerous. But Lambert's men had no heart in their cause. They felt that it was not their quarrel. As they marched north some said boldly that they would not fight, but would make a ring for their officers to fight in ; and when the scouts of the two armies met, they fired their pistols into the ground instead of at each other's heads, and indulged in a friendly gossip. While Monck and Lambert faced each other on the border, the Government which the army had set up in England was putting the finishing touches to its new constitution. The general Council of Officers fixed for December 6 met on the appointed date, though without the proposed representation of the regiments in Scotland and Ireland. It discussed for five or six
As soon as Monck received this news he marched into England. Newcastle opened its gates to his vanguard on January 3 ; while Lord Fairfax, who had headed a rising in Yorkshire, occupied York for the Parliament. Lambert's army melted away with the advance of Monck, who at the invitation of Parliament continued his march to London, cashiering officers and reorganising regiments on his way. When the Long Parliament met again on December 26 only 36 members were present, and the House never numbered at its highest more than 53, but its belief in its right to govern England was undiminished. Heselrige, "very jocund and high" at its triumph, was the recognised leader of the House. Scot, the regicide, became Secretary of State, and a new Council, of the purest republicanism, was appointed. The first step taken was to reassert the control of the civil power over the army. Lambert and eight other leading officers were cashiered, and ordered to live remote from London. Once more the army list was purged ; and every man who had supported Lambert and Fleetwood was replaced by an officer of sounder principles. It was said that scarce one in ten of the officers of the army retained his commission. Next came the turn of the members of Parliament who had acted with the army during its usurpation. Vane and Sydenham were expelled, Salwey suspended, Whitelock frightened away from the House, and Ludlow threatened with impeachment for his attempt to mediate. Simultaneously the settlement of the constitution was taken in hand. A Bill was passed obliging all members of the Council of State to take an oath abjuring the line of Stewart. Another was brought in imposing the same test upon all members who sat or should sit in Parliament, but met with unexpected opposition. Fifteen members divided against the first reading, and though the Bill was read twice no attempt was made to
Not merely incredulity, but contempt and hatred were the dominant feelings in the public mind towards the little gang of Republicans who clung with such avidity to power. In the debates of Richard Cromwell's time, Major-General Browne, one of the Presbyterian leaders, had incidentally styled the fag-end of the Long Parliament " The Rump," and this nickname was now in everybody's mouth. Every day some new derisive ballad about it was sold and sung in the streets of London. «The Re-Resurrection of the Rump," "A New Year's Gift for the Rump," " The Rump Carbonadoed," " The Rump Roughly but Righteously Handled," and the like. In the country the rising spirit of revolt took a more serious form. County after county sent up petitions demanding the readmission of the secluded members, as the first step to the convocation of a full and free Parliament. Devonshire led the way ; Berkshire and others followed the example. The House sent the gentlemen who presented the Berkshire petition to the Tower, and threatened to treat others in the same fashion, but its threats were met by defiance. Recognising that Monck and the force he commanded were the real arbiters of England's fate, the petitioners turned to him, and, as he marched through the Midlands, he was met by similar petitions from the adjacent counties. Monck remained inscrutable. In a letter to the Devonshire gentlemen he declared strongly against monarchy, argued against the readmission of the secluded members, and urged submission to the existing Parliament. Other petitioners he received coldly, and answered with studied brevity and vagueness. Many were left with the impression that he would stand by the Rump through thick and thin; but some were still confident that he would finally declare in favour of their demands. For the moment the Royalist agents abandoned all hope that he would do anything to forward the King's cause. "The most sober judgment,"
One thing Monck had resolved, and that was to keep the power of deciding the crisis in his own hands. As he drew near London he demanded the removal of the regiments quartered there, and their replacement by his own troops. This granted, he entered London on February 8 with 5600 men, dispersing in detachments throughout the country the regiments on whom Parliament had previously relied. The citizens received him coldly ; and, as he passed through the streets, there were repeated shouts for a free Parliament. By the Republican leaders he was effusively complimented ; to fix him to their interest they had recently voted him a thousand a year, and made him Ranger of St James' Park. In reply, he protested his devotion to the Republic. " We must live and die for and with a Commonwealth," he said to Ludlow. On the other hand, he roused some suspicion by refusing the oath of abjuration, and by telling the House, in answer to its thanks, that the fewer oaths and engagements they imposed, the sooner they would attain their settlement. They should endeavour, he added, to broaden, not to narrow, the basis of the Commonwealth by conciliating " the sober gentry," meaning the Presbyterians, and allow no share of power to either the Cavaliers or the fanatics. At the same time he plainly revealed that he considered himself pledged to the convocation of a free and full Parliament, though not to the admission of the secluded members. " Monck has now pulled off the mask and is clearly Republican," wrote a Royalist agent (February 6).
Two days later the quarrel between London and the Parliament came to a head. The City had refused to pay taxes till the House was filled up, and the Republican leaders resolved to reduce it to obedience by force. Monck was charged to march into the City, arrest eleven of the Common Council, remove the posts and chains set up in the streets, and break down the gates and portcullises. He accepted the unenviable duty; but seized the opportunity of posing as mediator between the two antagonists. On February 9, after accomplishing the first part of his task, he wrote to Parliament urging the remission of the order about the gates, because it would exasperate the citizens, and he had reason for hoping to bring them to submission by milder means. At Heselrige's instigation the House answered by bidding him carry out the remainder of his orders, and by voting the immediate dissolution of the Common Council. The favourable reception given the same day to a petition in favour of the abjuration oath showed that there was no prospect of the adoption of a conciliatory policy.
Monck completed his task, and returned to Whitehall; but determined to be no longer the tool of the Rump. Since he came to England he had realised the general hostility of the nation to that assembly ;
Accordingly on the morning of Saturday, February 11, Monck sent a letter to the Parliament in the name of himself and his officers, couched in a tone of command rather than entreaty. The substance was : We took up arms against Lambert, not only to restore you to your trust, but to vindicate the liberties of the people. The reason for the present dissatisfaction and trouble in the nation is that it is not fully represented in Parliament. Therefore we must insist that you issue writs for filling up the vacant seats within the next six days, and that you punctually dissolve by May 6, as you promised to do. Having despatched this manifesto, he marched back into the City, explained his change of conduct to the Corporation, and was welcomed with universal acclamations. Bells and bonfires celebrated the impending downfall of the Rump, and it was burnt in effigy in every street in London.
Parliament showed its resentment by seeking to limit Monck's military power. It rejected the proposals of his partisans to make him Commander-in-chief, and, while reappointing him one of the five commissioners for the government of the army, sought to tie his hands by its choice of his colleagues. Nevertheless it tried to propitiate him by pushing on the Bill for filling up the House, which was passed on February 18 and the writs ordered to be issued. An engagement to be faithful to the Government " in the way of commonwealth or free state, without King, single person or House of Lords," was substituted for the abjuration (February 14). On the same day, however, the House passed a vote that no person whose father had been sequestered as a Royalist should be capable of being elected to the coming Parliament, although hitherto only those who had actually fought for the King had been similarly disabled. It was obvious that the new Parliament would not be the free and representative body Monck and the nation demanded.
Hitherto Monck had refused to take up the cause of the secluded members. He had accepted the compromise proposed by the Parliament, to the effect that the qualifications imposed should be such as not to hinder their re-election if the constituencies wished to choose them. He had arranged two meetings between representatives of the sitting
Accordingly Monck called the secluded members together, and laid before them the conditions upon which he would effect their readmission. They musb engage in writing to settle the government of the army, provide money for its maintenance, issue writs for a new Parliament to meet on April 20, and dissolve themselves as speedily as possible. No time for their dissolution was specified ; but it was thought eight days would suffice for all they had to do. It was understood that they should not alter the form of the government, and their leaders had definitely promised not to attempt it. No force was needed to effect the re-installation. Monck simply ordered the officer in charge of the guard of the House to let them enter on the morning of Tuesday, February 21. " The other members of the House heard nothing of all this till they found them in the House, insomuch that the soldiers that stood there to let in the secluded members, they took for such as they had ordered to stand there to prevent their coming in." This peaceful revolution was hailed with no less joy in London than Monck's declaration against the Rump ten days earlier. The citizens knew what it meant. " It was a most pleasant sight to see the City from one end to another with a glory about it, so high was the light of the bonfires, and so thick round the City, and the bells rang everywhere."
Some 73 secluded members entered the House on Tuesday, February 21, and others followed, so that the total number sitting there rose finally to 150, and the party hitherto in power were hopelessly outvoted. They began their work by voting Monck Captain-general of all the forces in England, Ireland, and Scotland, and joint commander with Mountagu of the navy. They elected a new Council of State thoroughly Presbyterian in colour, restored the privileges of London, and released Sir George Booth and other prisoners of State. They fixed the meeting of the new Parliament for April 25, and the date of their own dissolution for March 15. Some constitutional difficulties arose about the details of the Bill which was to carry out these last resolutions. It was argued that the Long Parliament was legally dissolved by the death of the King, and, on the other hand, that it
During the same weeks a new Militia Act was passed. It disbanded the local levies raised by the Rump, and appointed men of rank and fortune in the various counties to reorganise the militia. Neither Cavaliers nor fanatics were to have a share in the military power. A test was imposed both on commissioners and officers. They were to declare that the war undertaken by both Houses of Parliament in their defence against the forces raised by the late King was just and lawful ; and that magistracy and ministry were ordained by God. Parliament intended to have an armed force at its disposal which it could use, if necessary, against its insubordinate regular army. " When our militia is formed," wrote a Royalist, " we shall be able to declare our desires by our representatives without fear of sectaries or discontented soldiers.'"
At the same time the reorganisation of the Church was taken in hand. In his speech to the secluded members Monck had told them that "moderate not rigid Presbyterian government, with a sufficient liberty for consciences truly tender," would be in his opinion the best way to a settlement ; and they took him at his word. The Presbyterians were in an overwhelming majority in the House, and resolved to complete the establishment of Presbyterianism begun in 1646. The Confession of Faith drawn up by the Westminster Assembly in that year was confirmed and ordered to be published. The Solemn League and Covenant was ordered to be set up it» all the churches, and to be read there publicly once a year. An Act for the appointment and admission of ministers ordered the division of all England into classical presbyteries, while another reaffirmed the right of ministers holding the livings of the ejected clergy to tithes and other emoluments. For though desiring a monarchical restoration the Presbyterians were afraid of its consequences. "The great fear," wrote James Sharpe, "is that the King will come in, and that with him moderate episcopacy at the least will take place." They resolved therefore that Charles should find their own ecclesiastical system impregnably established.
A greater fear still began to possess many of the beaten Republicans. Before their dread of a King their aversion from a Protector began to disappear. If they must have a "single person," Richard or George would be preferable to Charles. About the end of February an intrigue for the restoration of Richard Cromwell was set on foot, but only to be
Within Parliament, as the day fixed for the dissolution drew near, an obvious hesitation to take the plunge manifested itself. In spite of their promises the members of the triumphant majority sought to prolong their tenure of power. "If they dissolve," owned a Presbyterian, " they fear the next Parliament will bring in the King, without security for religion and the public cause." Prynne said boldly that "If the King must come in, it was safest for them that he should come in by their votes who had made the war against his father." There was a general wish to sit longer in order to treat with the King.
Monck was deaf to all arguments for an extension of time. It was all he could do to prevent a revolt in the army. As soon as he became Commander-in-chief he had replaced a number of officers whom he judged too fanatical or too obstinately Republican to be trusted. Major-General Lambert, unable to find the heavy bail required by the Council of State, was committed to the Tower on March 8. Major-General Overton, the Governor of Hull, the most troublesome and dangerous man who still retained a command, was deprived of his government on March 12 ; and the Governors of many minor garrisons were changed. Nevertheless even the officers Monck had brought with him from Scotland began to show signs of alarm and insubordination. They drew up about March 7 a protest, which they urged Monck to present to the House, demanding that it should pledge itself against the restoration of a King and a House of Lords. A week later they endeavoured to prevent or delay the passing of the Militia Bill. Monck answered them stoutly, saying that "He brought them not out of Scotland for his nor the Parliament's Council : that for his part he should obey the Parliament, and expected they should do the same.1" So the stated period passed without open disturbance ; and at last, on March 16, " after many sad pangs and groans," the Long Parliament was dissolved.
The way was now clear for the meeting of a free Parliament and the recall of the King. On March 16, as an outward sign of the changed times, the inscription " Exit tyrannus Regum ultlmus " set up by the Commonwealth in the Exchange where the King's statue had once stood, was publicly blotted out at noonday. " The controversy," wrote a Royalist agent to Hyde, " begins now to be rather upon what terms, than whether the King shall be restored." For the forty days which intervened before the Parliament met, government was in the
Nevertheless, either to secure himself, or to facilitate the good understanding between King and Parliament which the nation plainly desired, Monck did not scruple to enter into communication with Charles behind the backs of his colleagues. Two or three days after the dissolution he sent for his cousin, Sir John Greenville, and accepted at last the letter which the King had written to him in the previous summer. "If you once resolve to take my interest to heart," wrote Charles, "I will leave the way and manner of declaring it entirely to your own judgment, and will comply with the advice you shall give me." Monck answered that at heart he had been ever faithful to the King, though till now never able to do him service ; and then set forth the policy which he wished the King to adopt. Charles was to promise a general amnesty from which not more than four persons should be excepted; he was to confirm the possessors of confiscated property in their acquisitions, whether obtained by gift or purchase, and whether the lands in question were Crown lands, Church lands, or the forfeited estates of Royalist delinquents ; he was to grant liberty of conscience to all his subjects. Finally, since England was still at war with Spain, he urged the King for the sake of his own security to remove at once from Spanish to Dutch territory, and recommended Breda as a suitable resting-place.
Armed with these verbal instructions (which Monck was too wary to commit to writing) Greenville reached Brussels about March 26. The King submitted Monck's proposals to Hyde, Ormonde, and Nicholas. The principle upon which they were based, that the King's concessions
Meanwhile in England the elections were in full swing. Never had there been such competition for a seat in Parliament. "The meanest place," wrote a Royalist, " hath five or six importunate pretenders, many fifteen, sixteen, or twenty." In the little boroughs, where the electors were few, some Republicans managed to get chosen. Scot was elected at Wycombe ; Ludlow persuaded 19 out of the 26 electors of Hindon to give him their votes. In the counties, where the electors numbered thousands, the King's friends carried all before them. The torrent of reviving loyalty was irresistible.
Among the few who opposed it to the last was Milton. About the end of February he had published his Ready and Easy Way to Establish a Free Commonwealth. His scheme for the organisation of the Republic was more practicable than Harrington's, which he condemned as too intricate and too rigid, rejecting altogether the scheme of rotation. The governing body of the State was to be a permanent Grand Council, renewable, if it were thought well, by degrees, and combined with this an extended system of local self-government, so that each county would become a sort of little commonwealth, with council, schools, and law-courts of its own. Yet England was not to be a loose federation of sovereign States like the United Provinces, but " many commonwealths under one united sovereignty." Wise or unwise, such schemes were now idle fancies which had ceased to attract even a moment's attention. It was rather as the last word of expiring Republicanism that it forced a hearing. Milton sought to stay " the epidemic madness " which was driving the misguided multitude back to the thraldom of kingship. To him a Free Commonwealth seemed " the noblest, the manliest, the equalest, the justest government, the most agreeable to all due liberty and proportioned equality both human, civil, and Christian, most cherishing to virtue and true religion." He cared little that mobt
Englishmen sincerely preferred monarchy. Freedom was a natural right of which the greater number could not justly deprive the less and a minority might forcibly compel a majority to remain free.
By this time even the army had abandoned the Miltonic theory of the rights of minorities. On April 10 the officers of the regiments about London presented Monck with an address in which they declared their willingness to submit to whatever settlement the coming Parliament's consultation should bring forth, " knowing that Parliaments only can secure us in our religious and civil rights." On the same day Lambert escaped from the Tower, and set to work to raise an insurrection. But the officers remained faithful to their pledge ; and the soldiers obeyed their officers. Three colonels and a few captains joined Lambert ; a troop mutinied at Nottingham ; and some deserters tried to surprise York; but the anticipated military revolt did not take place. The parliamentary Republicans did not stir. Heselrige was too dejected, Scot was in hiding, Ludlow, like many others, distrusted the sincerity of Lambert's republicanism. Those who took up arms represented no definite principle, except aversion from monarchy. Ludlow asked one of Lambert's agents what his general declared for; he was answered that "It was not now a time to declare what we would be for, but what we would be against, which was that torrent of tyranny and popery that was ready to break in upon us." A purely negative programme was a bad rallying-cry ; and Lambert got together less than a thousand men. Colonel Ingoldsby, with a force of about the same strength, met them near Daventry on Easter Sunday; Lambert's men would not fight, and the insurrection collapsed without a blow. Lambert, taken by Ingoldsby as he fled, was brought prisoner to London on April 24. So ended the rising of the " fanatics," which for some months all men had dreaded. "Their whole design is broken," wrote Pepys, " and things now very open and plain, and every man begins to be merry and full of hopes."
Next day the newly elected members of the Commons met at Westminster. One of the last acts of the Long Parliament had been a vote for restoring the ancient rights of the peerage, and thirteen peers met also. The leaders of the Presbyterian party in the Council of State had planned to set on foot at once a treaty with Charles II. They hoped to secure a majority by enforcing the restrictions against the election of Cavaliers in the Lower House, and by limiting the numbers of the Upper. According to their theory only those peers who had remained faithful to the parliamentary cause during the war had a right to sit. The lords who had sided with the King, those created by him during the war and the exile, and even the young lords who had inherited peerages or grown up to manhood during the interregnum, were to be shut out; Manchester, Northumberland, and about fifteen others would thus have controlled the action of Parliament. But the
Some days before the two Houses met, Sir John Greenville reached England bearing the King's declaration, and letters to Monck, to the Speakers of the Lords and Commons, and to the City of London. On April 27 Greenville waited on Monck ; as the letter to the General was to be communicated to the Council of State, Monck did not open it, but told Greenville to hand it to the Council. The Council refused to open it without the directions of Parliament, and bound Greenville over to attend the next sitting of the House. On Tuesday, May 1, the letters and declaration were read in both Houses. Charles granted a free pardon to all who should claim its benefit within forty days ; "excepting only such persons as shall be hereafter excepted by Parliament." "We declare," he added, "a liberty to tender consciences, and that no man shall be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom ; and we shall be ready to consent to such an Act of Parliament as upon mature deliberation shall be offered to us for the full granting that indulgence." He concluded by promising that all differences relating to sales and purchases of confiscated lands should be determined in Parliament, and that the soldiers of the army under Monck should receive full satisfaction for their arrears of pay. This reference of all disputed questions to Parliament was accompanied by a panegyric of the parliamentary system which Hyde placed in the mouth of the King. " We do assure you upon our royal word that none of our predecessors have had a greater esteem of Parliaments than we have... We do believe them to be so vital a part of the constitution of the kingdom, and so necessary for the government of it, that we well know neither prince nor people can be in any tolerable degree happy without them...we shall always look upon their counsels as the best we can receive, and shall be as tender of their privileges, and as careful to preserve and protect them as of that which is most near to ourself and most necessary for our own preservation."
Both Houses received the King's declaration with enthusiasm. " Its reception," wrote Clarendon, "was beyond what even the King could expect or hope." A joint vote for the restoration of the ancient government was passed, and a joint committee appointed to answer the declaration. On May 8 King Charles was publicly proclaimed; and the proclamation emphasised the fact that his Majesty's title to the
Crown dated from the moment of his father's death, and that the throne was his not in virtue of any parliamentary recognition, but " by inherent birthright." Though there was some show of drawing up Bills for presentation to the King, any attempt to make his restoration conditional was abandoned ; and on May 29 Charles entered London.
The restoration of the monarchy was the inevitable consequence of the rupture between the civil and military sections of the Republican party which occurred in October, 1659, and of the division between the two which dated from April, 1653. In the confusion which followed every imaginable form of republic was proposed, with the result that the feeling in favour of the old constitution became irresistible. It seemed the only form which offered an escape from the two alternatives of military rule or anarchy. Monck perceived this feeling, and by using first one party, then another, enabled the national will to find expression through the constitutional channel. It was not without dissimulation and falsehood that he achieved his purpose. Doubtless he regarded them as weapons which it was justifiable to use, in politics as well as war, in order to secure success. " Victor sine sanguine" ran the words of the patent which made him Duke of Albemarle. " Monck has done his business, but with some baseness," was the verdict of one of his helpers. The generation Monck served condoned the baseness because he effected without bloodshed a settlement which closed eighteen years of revolution. The question which perplexed contemporaries was not the morality of his conduct, but the precise date when he resolved to work for the King. Was it by accident or design that Monck became the instrument of his restoration ? Grumble and Price, Monck's biographers, assert that he was a Royalist from August, 1659 ; Clarendon, that he was converted to loyalty about March, 1660. Despite his panegyrists it is impossible to accept the view that he projected a restoration in August, 1659, and certain that he intended it when he readmitted the secluded members in February, 1660. While the Restoration was the result of a general movement of opinion too strong to be withstood, the shape it actually took was due in the main to Monck. His determination to reserve the settlement for a free Parliament coincided with the resolve adopted by Charles under Hyde's influence to leave the details to the same body. Owing to this coincidence the Restoration was from the first a restoration of parliamentary monarchy rather than of personal government.