"Very little was restored, even less was settled" - How far do you agree with this assessement of the Restoration Settlement?


Crown and Prerogative Issues

  • On one hand, was some witholding of monarchical prerogative
    • Ship money remained illegal
    • Prerogative courts still abolished
    • Feudal dues were taken.
  • Hill says these are the most important - was King 'by the grace of merchants and squires'
  • Also arguable that much power was restored, and that a conservative backlash after the later protectorate lead, in actuality, to a desire to curtail Parliament's power's, not the crown's:
    • Charles could still veto Parliamentary legislation
    • Militia acts of 61 and 62 placed milita under his control
    • Triennial act was repealed in 1664 and reissued without Parliamentary condition.
    • Fines were imposed on those who claimed that Parl could legislate without king.
  • In terms of settling, relationship between Crown and Parliament remained ambiguous, and conflicts continued to arise in Convention and Cavalier Parliaments, culminating in the exile of Clarendon in 1667.
  • Therefore perhaps RESTORATION, but not SETTLEMENT.
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  • Definitely arguable that much was done by the Restoration settlement to resolve issues remaining from the protectorate.
    • 1660 Act of Indemnity pardoned all crimes in the civil war and interregnum
    • Pardoned all but 13 of those who had been involved in Republic
    • This was (on the surface) a successful policy of forgive and forget
  • LAND
    • Land was in theory returned to its Royalist owners.
  • ARMY
    • Was paid the £850,000 it was owed which settled pay grievances 
    • All but 2 regiments were disbanded.
  • HOWEVER this did not settle political issues in the long run.
    • 13 involved in Republic were executed.
    • Bodies of Cromwell and Ireton were dug up and their heads cut off and stuck spikes outside Westminster Hall. This was a psychological reminder of the renewed authority of the crown.
    • In practice Royalist land was not returned, and this plus the lenient forgiving policy meant that Royalists were bitter about what they had suffered for the King since the ECW.
    • There was bitterness on both sides which settled nothing and lead to political disharmony.
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  • The Protectorate left a public debt of £2.5 million and measures were put in place to rectify this and get Crown revenue to an assessed 1.2 million a year:
    • Tonnage and poundage was granted for life
    • A sales and excise tax were introduced to make up for losses in feudal dues
    • A Heart tax was introduced in 1662
  • After the economic chaos of 58-60, the economy relatively stabilised but certainly was not restored or settled.
  • £1.2 million turned out to be inadequate (however some say this was down to Charles II's extravagance and war with the Dutch from 1665)
  • Plague and the fire of London in 66 plunged the economy back into despair however is of course not linked to Restoration Settlement.  
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  • Compared to the dismantling of the C of E that took place during the Republic and Protectorate with the banning of bishops from the House of Lords and disestablishing national church settlement) can be said that the Church was restored in 1660.
  • By the reintroduction of bishops and the 1559 Book of Prayer.
  • However this was an issue that was certainly not settled in 1660 and was constantly being addressed throughout Cavalier Parliament.
  • The liberty to tender consciences and the Declaration of Indulgence issued by Charles the second were intial steps towards religious toleration.
  • In actuality over the next 7 years the Cavalier Parliament would pass measures to create a narrow church that went beyond even the King's expectations. THE CLARENDON CODE:
    • The Corporation Act 1661
    • The Act of Uniformity 1662
    • The Quaker Act 1662
    • The Conventicle Act 1664
    • The Five Mile Act 1664
    • The Second Conventicle Act 1670
  • While these acts pleased Parliament, the Church got narrower until religious minorities were persecuted and access to public offices were restriced to Anglicans.
  • Cannot be seen as a restoration or settlement.
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