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Revolution remembered

Seditious memories after the British civil wars

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Edward Legon

Parliamentarians continued to identify with the decisions to oppose and resist Crown and established church after the Restoration. By expressing these views between 1660 and 1688, these men and women were vulnerable to charges of sedition or treason. This book examines these ‘seditious memories’ and asks why people risked themselves by expressing them in public. It does so without dismissing such views as evidence of discontent or radicalism, showing instead how they countered experiences of defeat. As well as in speech and writing, these views are shown to have manifested themselves as misbehavior during official commemoration of the civil wars and Restoration. It also considers how such views were passed on from the generation of men and women who experienced civil war and revolution to their children and grandchildren.

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Staging the revolution

Drama, reinvention and history, 1647–72

Rachel Willie

Staging the Revolution offers a reassessment of drama that was produced during the commonwealth and the first decade of the Restoration. It complements the focus of recent studies, which have addressed textual exchange and royalist and republican discourse. Not all parliamentarians were opposed to the theatre, and not all theatre was illegal under the commonwealth regimes. Equally, not all theatrical experience was royalist in focus. Staging the Revolution builds upon these findings to examine ways in which drama negotiated the political moment to explore the way in which drama was appropriated as a means of responding to the civil wars and reinventing the recent past and how drama was also reinvented as a consequence of theatre closure. The often cited notion that 1660 marked the return to monarchical government and the rebirth of many cultural practices that were banned under an austere, Puritan, regime was a product of the 1650s and 1660s and it was fostered in some of the dramatic output of the period. The very presence of these dramas and their textual transmission challenges the notion that all holiday pastimes were forbidden. Covering some of the work of John Dryden and William Davenant as well as lesser-known, anonymous and non-canonical writers, the book examines contemporary dramatic responses to the civil war period to show that, far from marking a new beginning, the Restoration is focused upon the previous thirty years.

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Edited by: Andrew McRae and John West

Part V: 1685 Introduction The accession of James II was an event that many had feared for a long time, and that some had actively sought to prevent. James had converted to Catholicism in the early 1670s. As it became clear over the course of that decade that Charles was not going to father a legitimate heir, the prospect of a Catholic succession began to look ever more likely. For a Protestant nation, that was a source of extreme anxiety. The last Catholic to sit on the English throne had been Mary I, and during her reign hundreds of Protestants had been

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The French connection

Luxury, portraiture and the court of Charles II

Laura L. Knoppers

267 Chapter 13 The French connection: luxury, portraiture and the court of Charles II Laura L. Knoppers W hen, writing in 1660, John Milton made a frantic, last-​minute attempt to stave off the seemingly inevitable return of kingship to England, he contrasted the virtues of a commonwealth, ‘wherein they who are greatest are perpetual servants and drudges to the public at thir own cost and charges’, with a king who ‘must be adored like a demigod, with a dissolute and haughty court about him, of vast expense and luxury’.1 If attacks on luxury had marked

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Division and unity I

Revolution and party

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Andrew Mansfield

. Following the Restoration, the issues of the Civil War that had led to much bloodshed and regicide still cast a shadow. This chapter will discuss the potential for absolute sovereignty after the Restoration, assessing the political and ideological consequences of Charles II and James II’s reigns. Charles’s reign empowered his brother James II to continue upon a course of absolute royal prerogative that instigated a lasting opposition against the crown’s behaviour. The endeavour cost James II his throne, as his subjects rebelled during the Dutch-led invasion of Britain

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The performance of loyalty

Ritual in loyal addressing

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Edward Vallance

Newmarket presented Charles II with the Hallamshire Cutlers’ address. The text was well received, even though Reresby’s Memoirs suggest that the King was not terribly familiar with either Hallamshire or its cutlers. Reresby, however, did not miss the opportunity to use his audience with Charles to score political points, informing the King ‘of a neighbouring justice of the peace (presumably Jessop), who refused to sign of the addresse, though he lived within the compas of Hallamshire, and to discourage others from doing it

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Addresses, abhorrences and associations

Subscriptional culture and memory in the 1680s

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Edward Vallance

would eventually lead to him facing serious reprisals. 2 Nonetheless, Bower’s letter is indicative of the persistence of the memory of the addressing activity of the Cromwellian period and its importance to political debates in the latter years of Charles II’s reign, especially during the Exclusion Crisis. It was remarkable, in the first place, that the address had come into Bower’s possession at all. Yarmouth corporation had ordered on 3 January 1661 that ‘the Addresse made to Richard Cromwell (the late pr

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Edited by: Robert M. Bliss

Charles II inherited the English colonies by right, and Restoration parliaments did little to direct or to lessen his powers over his American patrimony. The Navigation Act had limited impact on the crown’s colonial decisions, and proposals to annex Jamaica and New England to the crown by legislation came to nothing. 1 Thus, while the crown was forced to adapt to

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Cromwell’s trunks

The origins of the loyal address, 1658– 61

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Edward Vallance

the supposedly ‘loyal’ texts sent to Richard, it was unsurprising that the second Lord Protector’s period in office was so notoriously brief. Nonetheless, the value of addresses both as legitimating devices and campaigning tools was recognised by first the restored Rump, then by those campaigning for a ‘free’ Parliament and finally by the Stuart monarchy itself. Although the congratulatory addresses sent to Charles II sought to differentiate themselves from their interregnum predecessors, emphasising the social status

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John Spurr

Twenty years ago I published a history of the Restoration Church of England that was intended to provide a comprehensive picture of the established church in the reigns of Charles II and James II, one that took account of preaching, piety, and theology as well as politics and preferment, and one that did not rely on the categories of the Augustan era or the Oxford Movement. 1 That book was prompted by a simple thought