The Restoration of the monarchy began in 1660 when the English, Scottish and Irish monarchies were all restored under Charles II after the Interregnum that followed the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The term Restoration may apply both to the actual event by which the monarchy was restored, and to the period immediately following the event.
The Protectorate, which followed the Commonwealth and preceded the English Restoration, might have continued if Oliver Cromwell's son Richard, who was made Lord Protector on his father's death, had been capable of carrying on his father's policies. Richard Cromwell's main weakness was that he did not have the confidence of the army. After seven months an army faction known as the Wallingford House party removed him on 6 May 1659 and reinstalled the Rump Parliament. Charles Fleetwood was appointed a member of the Committee of Safety and of the Council of State, and one of the seven commissioners for the army. On 9 June 1659 he was nominated lord-general (commander-in-chief) of the army. However, his leadership was undermined in Parliament, which chose to disregard the army's authority in a similar fashion to the post-First Civil War Parliament. A royalist uprising was planned for 1 August 1659 but it was foiled. However, Sir George Booth gained control of Cheshire; Charles II hoped that with Spanish support he could effect a landing, but none was forthcoming. Booth held Cheshire until the end of August when he was defeated by General Lambert. The Commons, on 12 October 1659, cashiered General John Lambert and other officers, and installed Fleetwood as chief of a military council under the authority of the Speaker. The next day Lambert ordered that the doors of the House be shut and the members kept out. On 26 October a "Committee of Safety" was appointed, of which Fleetwood and Lambert were members. Lambert was appointed major-general of all the forces in England and Scotland, Fleetwood being general. The Committee of Safety sent Lambert with a large force to meet George Monck, who was in command of the English forces in Scotland, and either negotiate with him or force him to come to terms.
It was into this atmosphere that Monck, the governor of Scotland under the Cromwells, marched south with his army from Scotland. Lambert's army began to desert him, and he returned to London almost alone. Monck marched to London unopposed. The Presbyterian members, excluded in Pride's Purge of 1648, were recalled, and on 24 December the army restored the Long Parliament. Fleetwood was deprived of his command and ordered to appear before Parliament to answer for his conduct. On 3 March 1660, Lambert was sent to the Tower of London, from which he escaped a month later. He tried to rekindle the civil war in favour of the Commonwealth by issuing a proclamation calling on all supporters of the "Good Old Cause" to rally on the battlefield of Edgehill. But he was recaptured by Colonel Richard Ingoldsby, a participant in the regicide of Charles I who hoped to win a pardon by handing Lambert over to the new regime. Lambert was incarcerated and died in custody on Drake's Island in 1684; Ingoldsby was pardoned
On 4 April 1660, Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, in which he made several promises in relation to the reclamation of the crown of England. Monck organized the Convention Parliament, which met for the first time on 25 April. On 8 May it proclaimed that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the execution of Charles I on 30 January 1649.. "[C]onstitutionally, it was as if the last nineteen years had never happened". Charles returned from exile, leaving The Hague on 23 May and landing at Dover on 25 May. He entered London on 29 May, his birthday. To celebrate "his Majesty's Return to his Parliament", 29 May was made a public holiday, popularly known as Oak Apple Day. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 23 April 1661.
Some contemporaries described the Restoration as "a divinely ordained miracle. The sudden and unexpected deliverance from usurpation and tyranny was interpreted as a restoration of the natural and divine order"..
The Cavalier Parliament convened for the first time on 8 May 1661, and it would endure for over 17 years, finally being dissolved on 24 January 1679. Like its predecessor, it was overwhelmingly Royalist. It is also known as the Pensionary Parliament for the many pensions it granted to adherents of the King.
The leading political figure at the beginning of the Restoration was Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon. It was the "skill and wisdom of Clarendon" which had "made the Restoration unconditional".
Many Royalist exiles returned and were rewarded. Prince Rupert of the Rhine returned to the service of England, became a member of the privy council, and was provided with an annuity. George Goring, 1st Earl of Norwich, returned to be the Captain of the King's guard and received a pension. Marmaduke Langdale returned and was made "Baron Langdale". William Cavendish, Marquess of Newcastle, returned and was able to regain the greater part of his estates. He was invested in 1666 with the Order of the Garter (which had been bestowed upon him in 1650), and was advanced to a dukedom on 16 March 1665.
The Indemnity and Oblivion Act, which became law on 29 August 1660, pardoned all past treason against the crown, but specifically excluded those involved in the trial and execution of Charles I. 31 of the 59 commissioners (judges) who had signed the death warrant in 1649 were living.
In the ensuing trials, twelve were condemned to death, the full penalty for Fifth Monarchy Men. Thomas Harrison, the first person found guilty of regicide, was the seventeenth of the 59 commissioners to sign the death warrant. He was the first regicide to be hanged, drawn and quartered because he was considered by the new government still to represent a real threat to the re-established order.
In October 1660, at Charing Cross or Tyburn, London, ten were publicly hanged, drawn and quartered: Thomas Harrison, John Jones, Adrian Scroope, John Carew, Thomas Scot, and Gregory Clement, who had signed the king's death warrant; the preacher Hugh Peters; Francis Hacker and Daniel Axtell, who commanded the guards at the king's trial and execution; and John Cooke, the solicitor who directed the prosecution.
On 6 January 1661, 50 Fifth Monarchy Men, headed by a wine-cooper named Thomas Venner, tried to gain possession of London in the name of "King Jesus". Most of the 50 were either killed or taken prisoner; on 19 and 21 January, Venner and 10 others were hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason. John Okey, one of the regicides who signed the death warrant of Charles I, was brought back from Holland along with Miles Corbet, friend and lawyer to Cromwell, and John Barkstead, former constable of the Tower of London. They were all imprisoned in the Tower. From there they were taken to Tyburn to be hanged, drawn and quartered. A further 19 were imprisoned for life.
Oliver Cromwell, Henry Ireton, Judge Thomas Pride, and Judge John Bradshaw were posthumously attainted for high treason. Because Parliament is a court, the highest in the land, a bill of attainder is a legislative act declaring a person guilty of treason or felony, in contrast to the regular judicial process of trial and conviction. In January 1661, the corpses of Cromwell, Ireton and Bradshaw were exhumed and hung in chains at Tyburn.
The Commonwealth's written constitutions gave to the Lord Protector the King's power to grant titles of honour. Cromwell created over 30 new knights. These knighthoods were all declared invalid upon the Restoration of Charles II. Many were regranted by the restored King.
Of the twelve Cromwellian baronetcies, Charles II regranted half of them. Only two now continue: Sir George Howland Francis Beaumont, 12th baronet, and Sir Richard Thomas Williams-Bulkeley, 14th baronet, are the direct successors of Sir Thomas Beaumont and Sir Griffith Williams.
Edmund Dunch was created Baron Burnell of East Wittenham in April 1658, but this barony was not regranted. The male line failed in 1719 with the death of his grandson, also Edmund Dunch, so no one can lay claim to the title.
The one hereditary viscountcy Cromwell created (making Charles Howard Viscount Howard of Morpeth and Baron Gilsland) continues to this day. In April 1661 Howard was created Earl of Carlisle, Viscount Howard of Morpeth, and Baron Dacre of Gillesland. The present Earl is a direct descendant of this Cromwellian creation and Restoration recreation.
The Church of England was restored as the national Church in England, backed by the Clarendon Code and the Act of Uniformity 1662. People "pranced around May poles as a way of taunting the Presbyterians and Independents" and "burned copies of the Solemn League and Covenant"
Theatres reopened after having been closed during the protectorship of Oliver Cromwell, Puritanism lost its momentum, and the bawdy "Restoration comedy" became a recognizable genre. In addition, women were allowed to perform on stage for the first time. In Scotland, Episcopacy was reinstated.
To celebrate the occasion and cement their diplomatic relations, the Dutch Republic presented Charles with the Dutch Gift, a fine collection of old master paintings, classical sculptures, furniture, and a yacht.