The Restoration Settlement 1660-64

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  • The Restoration Settlement 1660-64
    • The Indemnity
      • The most pressing problem facing the Convention Parliament was the question of rebellion and pardon
        • The General Pardon was given the force of law by the Act of Pardon, Indemnity and Oblivion which was passed in August 1660
          • Charles had agreed to the general pardon in the Declaration of Breda but left it to parliament to decide who would be excluded
        • Many of those who had brought about the Restoration had fought against Charles I and were therefore open to the charge of treason
          • Only the regicides and 29 others were excepted from the Act
            • Only 13 were executed although parliament barred a number of supporters from holding office
      • This was a lenient piece of legislation
        • It was essential in starting to heal the divisions left over from the Civil War
    • The Land Settlement
      • The land question was expected to provide the major stumbling block in achieving a lasting solution to the problem of stability
        • Like indemnity, it was resolved quite easily and succesfully
      • During the interregnum the church and many royalist supporters lost large amounts of land
        • Diocesan land had been sold off when the system of the bishops ended
        • Crown estates were disposed of
        • Catholics suffered similar losses
        • These groups expected their land to be returned to them and those in exile expected further compensation
          • They suffered from heavy taxation and felt that they should be rewarded for their loyalty
            • Their demands had to be weighed against the rights of the purchasers of confiscated land
      • Charles recognised the dangers inherent in the situation. In the Declaration of Breda he left the situation in the hands of parliament
        • It seemed likely that the land question would destroy harmony and stability achieved by the Indemnity Act
      • Only on the issues of crown and church lands lost was any legislative action required
        • It deprived the possessors of former crown and church lands of their legal title
          • It was assumed that others who had lost land in the Civil War had given it up voluntarily
            • They had to seek redress from the courts
              • If land had been confiscated on the basis of political beliefs, then they stood a chance of recovery
              • If land had been confiscated to pay fines then they stood little chance of hope
      • Crown estates that had been confiscated were simply returned
        • Church lands had opposition from those who did not like the wealth of the bishops
          • The Commission of Sales decided the level of compensation for quietening the opposition
      • During the Protectorate many royalists were using paid agents to act for them and to buy up their lands as it was sold
        • This was often successful because there were few potential buyers as they were worried about the legal status of the land being sold
          • Estates were often sold off very cheaply
    • The Army
      • The 40,000 strong army was still a threat to stability
        • It contained radical elements which could be a danger to the monarchy and it was expensive to maintain
      • Monck took on responsibility for the demobilisation of the army and guaranteed that all arrears in pay would be settled in monthly instalments
      • Soldiers had already been assured of indemnity from prosecution  for any crimes they had committed under arms
        • They were allowed to practise trades withut serving an apprenticeship in order to help reabsorb them into civilian life
      • By the time the Convention ended only two regiments remained
        • The king was once more reliant on the local militia
    • Royal Power
      • Convention Parliament
        • They considered how much of the legislation from he 1640s should remain
          • Committees were established to determine which ordinances passed since 1641 should begin in force
        • The question of royal powers had not been resolved
          • Those who wanted to restrict Charles' power now turned to a bill designed to safeguard parliament's privileges
            • This was blocked by the Lords
              • Charles had returned without limits on his power and it would now be difficult to reverse this
                • Charles could still choose his ministers, summon, delay and dissolve parliament as and when he wanted to and frame policy
        • It achieved the basis of settlement
      • Cavalier Parliament
        • Royalists won a large majority in the parliamentary elections
          • It was much more likely to increase Charles' authority
        • The Corporation Act of June 1661 was the first major piece of legislation
          • It was designed to remove persons suspected of disloyalty from town government to be replaced
            • The Act appointed commissioners who could remove anyone who refused the oaths of allegiance and supremacy
        • In July parliament agreed that the king alone should control the militia
          • This shows how willing parliament was willing to negotiate with Charles
        • The Act for the Safety and Preservation of His Majesty's Person and Government went a long way in increasing the king's royal authority
          • It declared it unlawful for parliament to legislate without the king
            • It also invalidated any acts that had not received royal assent
        • Some acts such as the Triennial Act remained in place
    • Financial Settlement
      • In order to grant Charles a revenue of £1.2million, parliament aimed to do this in two ways
        • 1. The income of crown lands and customs was to bring in two-thirds
        • 2. The remainder was to be raised from a new right to collect excise duties on certain commodities
        • Charles would have to surrender the crown's old feudal rights such as wardship
        • In practice the king's income was only 2/3 of the intended amount
      • In the short term the Convention had failed to one of the most important problems of the 1640s
      • Charles would have to ask parliament for additional revenue
    • Religion
      • The financial shortfall allowed parliament to exert influence over Charles over the religious settlement
      • The king had promised the 'liberty to tender consciences' in the Declaration of Breda
      • By the end of 1661 the policy of reconciliation had been replaced and parliament was moving towards the policy enshrined the Clarendon Code
      • The members of the Cavalier Parliament were determined to restore the old Anglican Church without the concessions promised to the Presbyterians in the Worcester House Declaration

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