The English Restoration of 1660

There had been many years of war and turmoil in England before the restoration period in England; however that soon came to an end by 1660. The restoration refers to that period when Charles II returned to England after his father was beheaded by Cromwell and he was defeated in battle by the Lord Protector as well. He returned via Dover after he accepted the invitation of the members of the Commonwealth headship. There had been military rule for over 11 years, so he reclaimed the throne and oversaw the restoration of the English monarchy.

The Protectorate of Cromwell

Before the British restoration those who were loyal to King Charles I’s experienced defeat from the parliamentarians of Oliver Cromwell, who was an Independent Puritan.  He was open to the beliefs of the Protestants. As one of the commanders of the Army, he was popular and masterful, scaling the ranks of the Army rather quickly. For that reason, a young Charles II, who was then Prince of Wales, had to run for his life in 1646. During the Civil War, the young Prince attempted to save his father, by sending a paper with his signature, agreeing to any terms that Cromwell and the parliament might put forward. Nevertheless, this proved futile. The Lord Protector of England rejected his attempt and later killed his father by cutting off his head in 1649.

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Restoration of Charles II

Charles was backed by his Scottish and Irish supporters. When his father lost his head to a Cromwell led parliament, the young Prince sought refuge in Scotland, they declared him King. He managed to gather an army, but lost the Battle of Worcester to Cromwell, after trying to get back into England. He had to seek asylum in France. He even lived in Spanish Netherlands and Germany before that. Oliver Cromwell did not leave a good legacy because his son was found to be incompetent by the populace who had enough of the military rulers and their Puritanism.

So by 1660, the restoration of King Charles II began in earnest. He wanted to be returned as the rightful heir and King as well as seek retribution for the acts committed against his family. This came about after the King in waiting and General George Monck had negotiations. On the table was amnesty for Monck. This came with the promise of religious freedom for his foes; along with the reinstatement of England’s King. These terms were amiable to both sides and so the English restoration period officially commenced on May 25, 1660. This was the day that King Charles II arrived at Dover; he was victorious and journeyed to London within four days, to take his rightful place.

End of the Restoration

The outcome of the English restoration saw the new King taking the throne to the jubilation of the people. It had been 11 years since they had come under the leadership of a monarch. They had enough of military rule and rejoiced when at 30 years old, Charles II took back the throne. There were consequences for an already dead Oliver Cromwell. The new monarch made it his primary order of business within that first year, to have him charged and convicted of treason. This led to his body being dug from his grave, which was in Westminster Abbey. They posthumously hung him at Tyburn gallows.

Read Also: The English Restoration Essay