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Politics, Finance and Government

  • Lionel K. J. Glassey
Chapter
Part of the Problems in Focus Series book series (PFS)

Abstract

One familiar view of the Restoration was well expressed by John Evelyn:

This day [29 May 1660] came in his Majestie Charles the 2d to London after a sad, & long Exile … The wayes straw’d with flowers, the bells ringing, the streetes hung with Tapissry, fountaines running with wine … Trumpets, musick & myriads of people flocking … I stood in the strand, & beheld it, & blessed God: And all this without one drop of bloud.1

Evelyn may well have rubbed shoulders with the Covent Garden barber, Thomas Rugg, who recorded that, ‘beeinge in the Strond’, he listened to ‘such shouting as the oldest man alive never heard the like … all things [done] that might express joy’.2 Thomas Lamplugh, a future Archbishop of York, also witnessed the King’s entry into London. ‘Never was any Prince so welcome to his people’, he told his friends, adding that there had been ‘such acclama[ti]ons as I want words to expresse’.3 North of the border, Edinburgh had rejoiced at the proclamation of Charles II a fortnight earlier. John Nicoll, a lawyer, described in his diary the sound of bells, trumpets and drums, with toasts ‘breking numberis of glasses’, and much ‘dancing about the fyres, and using all uther takins of joy for the advancement and preference of thair native King to his croun and native inheritance’.4

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Bibliography

  1. Two outstanding, up-to-date books, both designed as a general introduction to the political history of the Restoration period, are: Paul Seaward, The Restoration, 1660–1688 (London, 1991);Google Scholar
  2. and Tim Harris, Politics under the Later Stuarts (London, 1993). Neither makes any concessions to over-simplification, yet both are lucid and informative. Their interpretations differ a little in detail, but both emphasize the continuing importance of religion in politics in the period.Google Scholar
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  44. but the best overview is still G. E. Aylmer, The Struggle for the Constitution, 1603–1689 (London, 1963; 2nd edn 1968),Google Scholar
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  50. Christopher Clay, Public Finance and Private Wealth: The Career of Sir Stephen Fox, 1627–1716 (Oxford, 1978) is both a biography of Fox and an analysis of the methods by which he rose to wealth through a combination of private speculation and public service.Google Scholar
  51. Much important work on the political, administrative and financial history of the period has appeared in the form of articles in journals. It is impossible to give more than a selection here, but the following are all relevant and interesting in the treatment of their different subjects: J. Miller, ‘Charles II and his Parliaments’, TRHS, 5th ser., xxxii (1982); J. Miller, ‘The Crown and the Borough Charters in the Reign of Charles II’, EHR, c (1985); J. C. Sainty, ‘A Reform in the Tenure of Offices during the reign of Charles II’, BIHR, xli (1967); R. Willman, ‘The Origins of “Whig” and “Tory” in English Political Language’, HJ, xvii (1974); J. R. Jones, ‘James II’s Whig Collaborators’, HJ, iii (1960); H. Horwitz, ‘Protestant Reconciliation in the Exclusion Crisis’, JEH, xv (1964); J. Miller, ‘The Potential for Absolutism in Later Stuart England’, History, lxix (1984); J. Childs, ‘1688’, History, lxxiii (1988); and W. A. Speck, ‘The Orangist Conspiracy against James II’, HJ, xxx (1987).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© L. K. J. Glassey 1997

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  • Lionel K. J. Glassey

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