Oliver Cromwell, who, in the extraordinary manner I have told you, raised himself to the supreme sovereignty of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was a man of great talents, and, as has been already said, not naturally of a severe or revengeful disposition. He made the kingdoms which he ruled formidable to foreign powers; and perhaps no governments was ever more respected abroad than that of the Lord Protector.
At home Cromwell had a very difficult task to perform, in order to maintain his usurped authority. He was obliged on several occasions, as has been successfully done in other countries by usurpers of his class, to convoke some kind of senate or parliament, consisting of his own creatures, who might appear to divide with him the power, and save him, in appearance at least, the odium of governing by his sole authority. But such was the spirit of the English nation, that whenever Cromwell convoked a Parliament, though in a great measure consisting of his own partisans, and though the rest were studiously chosen as mean and ignorant persons, the instant that they met they began to inquire into the ground of the protector’s authority, and proposed measures which interfered with his assumption of supreme power.
In addition to this, the various factions into which the country was divided, all agreed in bating the usurped power of the Protector, and were frequently engaged in conspiracies against him, which were conceived and carried on not only by Cavaliers and Presbyterians, but by Republicans, and even by soldiers among his own ranks.
Thus hard pressed on every side, the Protector displayed the utmost sagacity in his mode of defending himself. On two or three occasions, indeed, he held what he called High Courts of Justice, by whose doom both Cavaliers and Presbyterians suffered capital punishment for plots against his government. But it was with reluctance Cromwell resorted to such severe measures. His general policy was to balance parties against each other, and make each of them desirous of the subsistence of his authority, rather than run the risk of seeing it changed for some other than their own. At great expense and by constant assiduity, he maintained spies in the councils of every faction of the state, and often the least suspected, and apparently most vehement, among the hostile parties, were, in private, the mercenary tools of Cromwell.
In the wandering court of Charles II, in particular, one of the most noted cavaliers was Sir Richard Willis, who had fought bravely, and suffered much, in the cause both of the late King and of his son. There was no man among the Royalists who attended on Charles’s person so much trusted and honoured as this gentleman, who, nevertheless, enjoyed a large pension from Cromwell, and betrayed to him whatever schemes were proposed for the restoration of the exiled monarch. Bu this and similar intercourse, the Protector had the means of preventing the numerous conspiracies against him from coming to a head, and also of opposing the machinations of one discontented party by means of the others.
It is believed, however, that, with all his art, the Protector would not have been able to maintain his power for many years. A people long accustomed to a free government were generally incensed at being subjected to the unlimited authority of one man, and the discontent became universal. It seemed that, towards the conclusion of his life, Cromwell was nearly at the end of his expedients; and it is certain, that his own conduct then displayed an apprehension of danger which he had never before exhibited. He became morose and melancholy, always wore secret armour under his ordinary dress, never stirred abroad unless surrounded with guards, never returned by the same road, nor slept above thrice in the same apartment, from the dread of assassination. His health broke down under these gloomy apprehensions; and on the 3d of September, 1658, he died at the age of sixty. His death was accompanied by a general and fearful tempest; and by another circumstance equally striking in those superstitious times, namely, that he died on the day and month in which he had gained his decisive victories at Dunbar and Worcester.
The sceptre, which Oliver had held with so firm a grasp, was transferred to that of his son, Richard Cromwell; which the funeral of the deceased Protector was solemnized at an expense superior far to what England had bestowed on the obsequies of any of her kings. But this apparent transmission of Oliver’s authority to his son was only nominal. A Parliament, which Richard assembled that they might vote him supplies, commenced an enquiry into the nature of the new Lord Protector’s title; and a council of officers whom he convoked, became refractory, and assumed an authority which he dared not dispute with them. These military despots compelled Richard to dissolve the Parliament, and subsequently obliged him to resign the office of Protector. (22d April, 1659) He descended quietly into humble life, burdened not only by many personal debts, but also by the demands of those who had supplied the exorbitant expenses of his father’s funeral, which the State unworthily and meanly suffered to descend upon him.
Richard Cromwell, removed from the dangers and the guilt of power, lived a long and peaceable life, and died in 1712, at the age of eighty-six. Two anecdotes respecting him are worth mentioning. When he was obliged to retire abroad on account of his debts, Richard Cromwell, travelling under a borrowed name, was led, from curiosity, to visit Pezenas, a pleasant town and castle in Languedoc. The proprietor was the Prince of Conti, a French prince of the blood royal, who, hearing an English traveller was in the palace, had the curiosity to receive him that he might learn the latest news from England, which at this time astonished Europe by its frequent changes of government. The French prince spoke to the stranger of Oliver Cromwell as a wicked man, and a lawless usurper of the government: but then he acknowledged his deep sagacity, high talents, and courage in danger, and admired the art and force with which he had subjected three kingdoms to his own individual authority. “He knew how to command,” continued the prince, “and deserved to be obeyed. But what has become of the poor poltroon, Richard — the coward, the dastard, who gave up, without a blow or struggle, all that his father has gained? Have you any idea how the man could be such a foot, and mean-spirited caitiff?” Poor Richard, glad to remain unknown where he was so little esteemed, only replied, “that the abdicated Protector had been deceived by those in whom he most trusted, and to whom his father had shown most kindness.” He then took leave of the prince, who did not learn till two days afterwards, that he had addressed so unpleasing a discourse to the person whom it principally regarded.
The other anecdote is of a later date, being subsequent to 1705. Some lawsuit of importance required that Richard Cromwell should appear in the King’s Bench Court. The judge who presided showed a generous deference to fallen greatness, and to the mutability of human affairs. He received with respect the man who had been once Sovereign of England, caused a chair to be placed for him within the bar, and requested him to be covered. When the counsel on the opposite side began his speech, as if about to allude to Richard’s descent from the obnoxious Oliver, the judge checked him with generous independence. “I will hear nothing on that topic, sir,” he said; “speak to the merits of the cause before us.” After his appearance in court, Richard Cromwell’s curiosity carried him to the House of Peers, where he stood below the bar, looking around him and making observations on the alterations which he saw. A person who heard a decent-looking old man speaking in this way, said to him, civilly, “It is probably a long while, sir, since you have been in this house?” — “Not since I sat in that chair,” answered the old gentleman, pointing to the throne, on which he had been, indeed, seated as sovereign, when, more than fifty years before, he received the addresses of both Houses of Parliament, on his succeeding to his father in the supreme power.
To return to public affairs in London, where, after the abdication of Richard, changes succeeded with as little permanence as the reflection of faces presented to a mirror, — the attempt of the officers of the army to establish a purely military government, was combated by the return to Parliament of those republican members whom Oliver Cromwell had expelled, and whom the common people, by a vulgar but expressive nickname, now called the Rump Parliament. This assembly, so called because it was the sitting part of what which commenced the civil war, was again subjected to military violence, and dissolved by General Lambert, who unquestionably designed in his own person to act the part of Oliver Cromwell, though without either the talents or high reputation of the original performer. But a general change had taken place in the sentiments of the nation.
The public had been to a certain degree patient under the government of Oliver, to whom it was impossible to deny all the praise which belongs to firmness and energy; but they saw with disgust these feeble usurpers, by whom his vigorous government was succeeded, bustle amongst themselves, and push each other from the rudder of the state, without consulting the people at large. Remembering the quiet and peaceful condition of the kingdom before the civil wars, when its kings succeeded by hereditary right to a limited power, and when the popular and monarchical branches of the constitution so judiciously balanced each other, that the whole British nation looked back to the period as one of liberty, peace, and lawful order; and comparing this happy and settled state of public affairs with the recent manner in which every successive faction seized upon power when they could snatch it, and again yielded it up to the grasp of another and stronger party, al men were filled with dissatisfaction.
Upon the whole, the thoughts of all the judicious part of the nation were turned towards the exiled prince, and there was a general desire to call him back to the exercise of the government, an inclination which was only suppressed by the strong hand of the armed fanatics. It was absolutely necessary that some military force should be on foot, in order to cope with these warlike saints, as they called themselves, before the general disposition of the kingdom could have room or freedom to express itself.
As it was the disturbances in Scotland which first shook the throne of Charles the First, so it was from the same country that the movement took place which eventually replaced on the throne his son and heir. We have already noticed that the kingdom of Scotland had been finally subdued by the efforts of General Monk, who afterwards governed it during the protectorate of Cromwell, and in obedience to his authority.
Monk was a man of a grave, reserved, and sagacious character, who had gained general esteem by the manner in which he managed Scottish affairs. He had taken care to model the veteran troops under his command in that kingdom, so as to subject them to his own separate control, and to detach from their command such officers as were violent enthusiasts, or peculiarly attached to Lambert and his council of officers. Thus having under his immediate command a movable force of between seven and eight thousand men, besides those necessary to garrison Scotland, Monk eagerly watched the contest of the factions in London, in order to perceive and seize on the fit opportunity for action.
This seemed to arrive when the army under Lambert again thrust the Rump Parliament out of doors, and commenced a new military government, by means of a committee of officers, called the Council of Safety. Monk then threw aside the mask of indifference which he had long worn, assembled his forces on the Borders, and declared for the freedom of Parliament, and against the military faction by which they had been suppressed. The persuasion was universal throughout Britain, that Monk, by these general expressions, meant something more effectual than merely restoring the authority of the Rump, which had fallen into the common contempt of all men, by the repeated acts of violence to which they had tamely submitted. But General Monk, allowing all parties to suppose what they thought most probable, proceeded to make his preparations for marching towards England with the greatest deliberation, without suffering even a whisper to escape concerning the ultimate objects of the expedition. He assembled the Scottish Convention of Estates, and asked and received from it a supply of six months’ pay, for the maintenance of his troops. The confidence entertained of his intentions was such, that the Convention offered him the support of a Scottish army of twenty-four thousand men; but Monk declined assistance which would have been unpopular in England. He then proceeded in his plan of new-modelling his army, with more boldness than before, dismissing many of the Independent officers whom he had not before ventured to cashier, and supplying their places with Presbyterians, and even with secret Royalists.
The news of these proceedings spread through England, and were generally received with joy. Universal resistance was made to the payment of taxes; for the Rump Parliament had, on the eve of its expulsion by Lambert, declared it high treason to levy money without consent of Parliament, and the provinces, where Lambert and his military council had no power of enforcing their illegal exactions, refused to obey them. The Council of Safety wanted money therefore, even for the payment of their troops, and were reduced to extreme perplexity.
Lambert himself, a brave man, and good officer, saw the necessity of acting with promptitude; and placing himself at the head of a considerable force of veteran soldiers, marched towards Scotland. His numbers were enhanced by the report of the various spies and agents whom he sent into Monk’s army under the guise of envoys. “What will you do?” said one of these persons, addressing a party of Monk’s soldiers; “Lambert is coming down against you with such numerous forces, that your army will not be a breakfast for him.”
“The north must have given Lambert a good appetite,” answered one of Monk’s veterans, “if he be willing to chew bullets, and feet upon pikes and musket barrels.”
In this tone of defiance the two armies moved against each other. Lambert took up his headquarters at Newcastle. Monk, on the other hand, placed his at Coldstream, on the Tweed, a place which commanded the second best passage over the river, Berwick being already in his hands. Coldstream, now a thriving town, was then so miserable, that Monk could get no supper, even for his won table, but was fain to have recourse to chewing tobacco to appease his hunger. Next day provisions were sent from Berwick; and the camp at Coldstream is still kept in memory in the English army, by the second regiment of guards, which was one of those that composed Monk’s vanguard, being called to this day the Coldstream regiment.
The rival generals at first engaged in a treat, which Monk, perceiving Lambert’s forces to be more numerous than his own, for some time encouraged, aware that want of pay, and of the luxuries to which they were accustomed in London, would soon induce his rival’s troops to desert him.
Disaffection and weariness accordingly began to diminish Lambert’s forces, when at length they heard news from the capital by which they were totally dispirited. During Lambert’s absence, the presidency in the Military Committee, and the command of such of the army as remained to overawe London, devolved on General Fleetwood, a weak man, who really was overcome by the feelings of fanaticism, which others only affected. Incapable of any exertion, this person suffered the troops under his command to be seduced from his interest to that of the Rump Parliament, which thus came again, and for the last time, into power. With these tidings came to Newcastle others of a nature scarce less alarming. The celebrated General Fairfax had taken arms in Yorkshire, and was at the head of considerable forces, both Cavaliers and Presbyterians, who declared for calling a free parliament, that the national will might be consulted in the most constitutional manner, for once more regaining the blessing of a settled government. The soldiers of Lambert, disconcerted by these events, and receiving no pay, began to break up; and when Lambert himself attempted to lead them back to London, they left him in such numbers, that his army seemed actually to melt away, and leave the road to the capital open to Monk and the forces from Scotland.
That general moved on accordingly, without opposition, carefully concealing his own intentions, receiving favourably all the numerous applications which were made to him for calling a new and free parliament, in order to regenerate the national constitution, but returning no reply which could give the slightest intimation of his ultimate purpose. Monk observed this mystery, in order, perhaps, that he might reserve to himself the power of being guided by circumstances — at all events, knowing well, that if he were to declare in favour of any one party, or set of principles, among the various factious opinions which divided the state, the others would at once unite against him a course which they would be loath to adopt, while each as yet entertained hopes that he might turn to their side.
With the eyes of all the nation fixed upon him and his forces, Monk advanced to Barnet, within ten miles of London, and from thence caused the Parliament to understand that they would do well to send form the city the remains of the army of Fleetwood, in case of discord between his troops and those which at present occupied the capital. The Rump Parliament had no alternative but to take the hint, unless they had resolved to try the fate of battle at the head of those insubordinate troops, who had more than once changed sides between Lanmbert and Fleetwood on one side, and themselves on the other, against the steady veterans of the Scottish wars. The late army of Fleetwood, excepting two regiments commanded by men whom Monk could perfectly trust, were ordered to leave the city, and the general of the army of Scotland entered at the head of his troops, who, rough from a toilsome march, and bearing other marks of severe service, made a far more hardy and serviceable, though a less showy appearance, than those who had so long bridled the people of London.
General Monk, and the remnant of the Parliament, met each other with external civility, but with great distrust on both sides. They propounded to him the oath of abjuration, as it was called, by which he was to renounce and abjure all allegiance to the House of Stewart, and all attempts to restore Charles II. But the general declined taking the oath; too many oaths, he said, had been already imposed on the public, unless they had been better kept. This circumstance seemed to throw light on Monk’s intentions, and the citizens of London, now as anxious for the King’s restoration as ever they had been for the expulsion of his father, passed a vote in Common Council, by which they declared they would pay no taxes or contributions to this shadow of a Parliament, until the vacant seats in it should be filled up to the full extent of a genuine House of Commons.
The Rump Parliament had now, they conceived, an opportunity of ascertaining Monk’s real purpose, and forcing him to a decisive measure. They laid their express commands on him to march into the city, seize upon the gates, break down the portcullises, destroy the ports, chains, and other means of defending the streets, and take from the contumacious citizens all means of protecting in future the entrance into the capital.
Monk, to the astonishment of most of his own officers, obeyed the commands thus imposed on him. He was probably desirous of ascertaining whether the disposition of his troops would induce them to consider the task as a harsh and unworthy one. Accordingly, he no sooner heard his soldiers exclaiming at the disgrace of becoming the tools of the vengeance of the rump members against the city of London, than he seemed to adopt their feelings and passions as his own, and like them complained, and complained aloud, of having been employed in an unjust and unpopular task, for the express purpose of rendering him odious to the citizens.
At this crisis, the rashness of the ruling junto, for it would be absurd to term them a Parliament, gave the general, whom it was their business to propitiate if possible, a new subject of complaint. They encouraged a body of the most fanatical sectaries, headed by a ridiculous personage called Praise–God Barebone, to present a violent petition to the House, demanding that no one should be admitted to any office of public trust, or so much as to teach a school, without his having taken the abjuration oath; and proposing, that any motion made in Parliament for the restoration of the King should be visited with the pains of high treason.
The tenor of this petition, and the honour and favour which it received when presented, gave Monk the further cause of complaint against the Rump, or Remnant of the Parliament, which perhaps was what he chiefly desired. He refused to return to Whitehall, where he had formerly lodged, and took up his abode in the city, where he found it easy to excuse his late violent upon their defences, and to atone for it by declaring himself the protector and ally of the magistrates and community. From his quarters in the heart of London, the general wrote to the Parliament an angry expostulation, charging them with a design to arm the more violent fanatics, and call in the assistance of Fleetwood and Lambert against the army he had marched from Scotland; and recommending to them, in a tone of authority, forthwith to dissolve themselves, and call a new Parliament, which should be open to all parties. The Parliament, greatly alarmed at this intimation, sent two of their members to communicate with the general; but they could only extract from him, that if writs went instantly forth for the new elections, it would be very well, otherwise, he and they were likely to disagree.
The assurance that General Monk had openly quarrelled with the present rulers, and was disposed to insist for a free and full Parliament, was made public by the printing and dispersing of the general’s letter, and the tidings filled the city with most extravagant rejoicings. The Royalists and Presbyterians, forgetting past animosities, mingled in common joy, and vowed never more to gratify the ambition of factious tyrants by their calamitous divisions. The rabble rung all the bells, lighted immense bonfires in every street, and danced around them, while they drank healths to the general, the secluded members, and even to the King. But the principal part of their amusement was roasting rumps of poultry, or fragments of butcher-meat cut into that form, in ridicule of their late rulers, whose power they foresaw would cease, whenever a full Parliament should be convened. The revelry lasted the whole night, which was that of 11th February, 1660.
Mon, supported at once by military strength and the consciousness of general popularity, did not wait until the new Parliament should be assembled, or the present dissolved, to take measures for destroying the influence of the junto now sitting at Westminster. He compelled them to open their doors, and admit to their deliberations and votes all the secluded members of their body, who had been expelled from their seats by military violence, since it was first practised on the occasion called Colonel Pride’s Purge. These members, returning to Parliament accordingly, made by their numbers such a predominant majority in the House, that the fifty or sixty persons who had lately been at the head of the Government, were instantly reduced to the insignificance, as a party, from which they had only emerged by dint of the force which had been exercised to exclude the large body who were now restored to their seats.
The first acts of the House thus renovated were to disband the refractory part of the army, to dispossess the disaffected officers, of whom there were very many, and to reduce the country to a state of tranquillity; after which they dissolved themselves, 16th March, having first issued writs to summon a new Parliament, to meet on the 25th of April. Thus then finally ended the Long Parliament, as it is called, which had sat for nearly twenty years; the most eventful period, perhaps, in British History.
While this important revolution was on the eve of taking place, Charles the Second’s affairs seemed to be at a lower ebb than they had almost ever been before. A general insurrection of the Cavaliers had been defeated by Lambert a few months before, and the severe measures which followed had, for the time, totally subdued the spirit, and almost crushed the party of the Royalists. It was in vain that Charles had made advances to Monk while in Scotland, both through the general’s own brother, and by means of Sir John Grenville, one of his nearest and most valued relatives and friends. If Monk’s mind was then made up concerning the part which he designed to perform, he at least, was determined to keep his purpose secret in his own bosom, and declined, therefore, though civilly, to hear any proposition on the part of the banished family. The accounts which the little exiled court received concerning Monk’s advance into England were equally disconsolate. All intercourse with the Cavaliers had been carefully avoided by the cloudy and mysterious soldier, in whose hands Fortunes seemed to place the fate of the British kingdoms. The general belief was, that Monk would renew, in his own person, the attempt in which Cromwell had succeeded and Lambert had failed, and again place a military commander at the head of the Government; and this opinion seemed confirmed by his harsh treatment of the City.
While Charles and his attendants were in this state of despondence, they were suddenly astonished by the arrival from England of a partisan, named Baillie, an Irish Royalist, who had travelled with extreme rapidity to bring the exiled Prince the news of Monk’s decided breach with the remnant of the Long Parliament, and the temper which had been displayed by the City of London when his letter became public. The King and his small Council listened to the messenger as they would have done to one speaking in a dream. Overwearied and fatigued by the journey, and strongly excited by the importance of the intelligence which he brought them, the officer seemed rather like one under the influence of temporary derangement or intoxication, than the deliberate bearer of great tidings. His character was, however ever, known as a gentleman of fidelity and firmness, and they heard him with wonder again and again affirm, that London was blazing with bonfires, that the universal wish of the people of all sorts, boldly and freely expressed, demanded the restoration of the King to his authority, and that Monk had insisted upon the summoning of a free Parliament, which the junto called the Rump, had no longer the power of opposing. He produced also a copy of Monk’s letter to the Parliament, to show that the general had completely broken with that body.
Other messengers soon confirmed the joyful tidings, and Sir John Grenville was despatched to London in all haste, with full powers to offer the general every thing which could gratify ambition of love of wealth, on condition of his proving the friend of Charles at this crisis.
This faithful and active Royalist reached the metropolis, and cautiously refusing to open his commission to any one, obtained a private interview with the mysterious and reserved general. He boldly communicated his credentials, and remained unappalled, when Monk, stepping back in surprise, and asked him, with some emotion, how he dared become the bearer of such proposals. Sir John replied firmly, that all danger which might be incurred in obedience to his Sovereign’s command had become familiar to him from frequent practice, and that the King, from the course which Monk had hitherto pursued, entertained the most confident hope of his loyal service. On this General Monk either laid aside the mask which he had always worn, or only now formed his determination upon a line of conduct that had hitherto been undecided in his own mind. He accepted of the high offers tendered to him by the young Prince; and, from that moment, if not earlier, made the interest of Charles the principal object of his thoughts. It has been indeed stated, that he had expressed his ultimate purpose of serving Charles before leaving Scotland; but whatever may have been his secret intentions, it seems improbable that he made any one his confident.
At the meeting of the new Parliament, the House of Peers, which regained under this new aspect of things the privileges which Cromwell had suspended, again assumed their rank as a branch of the legislature. As the royalists and Presbyterians concurred in the same purpose of restoring the King, and possessed the most triumphant majority, if not the whole votes, in the new House of Commons, the Parliament had only to be informed that Grenville awaited without, bearing letters from King Charles, when he was welcomed into the House with shouts and rejoicings; and the British Constitution, by King, Lords, and Commons, after having been suspended for twenty years, was restored at once and by acclamation.
Charles Stewart, instead of being a banished pretender, whose name it was dangerous to pronounce, and whose cause it was death to espouse, became at once a lawful, beloved, almost adored prince, whose absence was mourned by the people, as they might have bemoaned that of the sun itself; and numbers of the great or ambitious hurried to Holland, where Charles now was, some to plead former services, some to excuse ancient delinquencies, some to allege the merit of having staked their lives in the King’s cause, others to enrich the Monarch, by sharing with him the spoils which they had gained by fighting against him.
It has been said by historians, that this precipitate and general baste in restoring Charles to the throne, without any conditions for the future, was throwing away all the advantage which the nation might have derived from the Civil Wars, and that it would have been much better to have readmitted the King upon a solemn treaty, which should have adjusted the prerogative of the Crown, and the rights of the subject, and settled for ever those great national questions which had been disputed between Charles the First and his Parliament. This sounds all well in theory; but in practice there are many things, and perhaps the Restoration is one of them, which may be executed easily and safely, if the work is commenced and carried through in the enthusiasm of a favourable moment, but which is likely enough to miscarry, if protracted beyond that happy conjuncture. The ardour in favour of monarchy, with which the mass of the English nation was at this time agitated, might probably have abated during such a lengthened treaty, providing for all the delicate questions respecting the settlement of the Church and State, and necessarily involving a renewal of all the discussions which had occasioned the Civil War. And supposing that the old discord was not rekindled by raking among its ashes, still it should be remembered that great part of Cromwell’s army was not yet dissolved, and that even Monk’s troops were not altogether to be confided in. So that the least appearance of disunion, such as the discussions of the proposed treaty were certain to give rise to, might have afforded these warlike enthusiasts a pretext for again assembling together, and reinstating the military despotism, which they were pleased to term the Reign of the Saints.
A circumstance occurred which showed how very pressing this danger was, and how little wisdom there would have been in postponing the restoration of a legal government to the even of a treaty. Lambert, who had been lodged in the Tower as a dangerous person, made his escape from that state prison, fled to Daventry, and began to assemble forces. The activity of Colonel Ingoldsby, who had been, like Lambert himself, an officer under Cromwell, but who was now firmly attached to Monk, stifled a spark which might have raised a mighty conflagration. (23rd April) He succeeded in gaining over and dispersing the troops who had assembled under Lambert, and making his former commander prisoner with his own hand, brought him back in safety to his old quarters in the Tower of London. But as the roads were filled with soldiers of the old Cromwellian army, hastening to join Lambert, it was clear that only the immediate suppression of his force, and the capture of his person, prevented the renewal of general hostilities.
In so delicate a state of affairs, it was of importance that the Restoration, being the measure to which all wise men looked as the only radical cure for the distresses and disorders of the kingdom, should be executed hastily, leaving it in future to the mutual prudence of the King and his subjects to avoid the renewal of those points of quarrel which had given rise to the Civil War of 1641; since which time, both Royalists and Parliamentarians had suffered such extreme misery as was likely to make them very cautious how the one made unjust attempts to extend the power of the Crown, or the other to resist it while within its constitutional limits.
The King landed at Dover on 26th May, 1660, and was received by general Monk, now gratified and honoured with the dukedom of Albemarle, the Order of the Garter, and the command of the army. He entered London on the 29th, which was also his birth-day; and with him came his two brothers, James Duke of York, of whom we shall have much to say, and the Duke of Gloucester, who died early. They were received with such extravagant shouts of welcome, that the King said to those around him, “It must surely have been our own fault, that we have been so long absent from a country where every one seems so glad to see us.”
Last updated Sunday, January 3, 2016 at 12:16