Burying the good old cause

in Revolution remembered
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Conclusion Burying the good old cause T he experiences of Edward Bowles were typical of godly clergy who lived through the mid seventeenth century. A supporter of Parliament’s cause, he was appointed chaplain to a regiment of foot in the early months of the civil war. In the next decade, Bowles ministered at York, where he corresponded with Oliver Cromwell’s spymaster John Thurloe. Despite his support for the Protectorate, Bowles saw the restoration of Charles II as the surest method of reaching a political and religious compromise, and, with it, peace and stability. In the final year of the Commonwealth, he actively mediated discussions between General George Monck and Thomas, Lord Fairfax, who were then preparing to declare for a free parliament at Westminster. Despite his active support for the Restoration, Bowles, with other Presbyterians, suffered exclusion in its immediate aftermath. And yet, dying on the eve of the infamous ‘Black Bartholomew’s Day’ in August 1662, he did not quite live long enough to see the ejection of hundreds of his fellow Nonconformist ministers from their livings. Shortly before his death, Bowles paid one last visit to none other than George Monck, by then ennobled as Duke of Albemarle. On encountering the duke, Bowles is said to have explained that ‘I have buried the good old cause, and am now going to bury myself.’1 The word ‘burial’ was on the lips of many of Charles II’s subjects in the first months of his reign. The king himself spoke of his ‘wish[es]...

Revolution remembered

Seditious memories after the British civil wars



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