Front Matter Early Times The Druids The Britons Caesar in Britain Queen Boadicea The Great Walls The Great Irish Saint The Anglo-Saxons Brave King Arthur The Laws of the Saxons The Story of St Augustine Three Great Men The Danish Pirates King Alfred and the Cakes Alfred conquers the Danes A King's Narrow Escape The King and the Outlaw The Monasteries An Unlucky Couple St Dunstan King Canute and the Waves A Saxon Nobleman Lady Godiva's Ride The Battle of Hastings The Conquest Lords and Vassals Death of William The Brothers' Quarrels Arms and Armour The "White Ship" Matilda's Narrow Escapes Story of Fair Rosamond Thomas a Becket Murder of Thomas a Becket Richard's Adventures Richard and the Saracens The Faithful Minstrel Death of Richard The Murder of Arthur The Great Charter The Rule of Henry III A Race Persecution of the Jews The Conquest of Wales A Quarrel with France The Coronation Stone The Insolent Favourite Bruce and the Spider Death of Edward II The Murderers punished The Battle of Crecy The Siege of Calais The Age of Chivalry The Battle of Poitiers The Peasants' Revolt Richard's Presence of Mind A Tiny Queen Henry's Troubles Madcap Harry A Glorious Reign The Maid of Orleans The War of the Roses The Queen and the Brigand The Triumph of the Yorks The Princes in the Tower Richard's Punishment Two Pretenders A Grasping King Field of the Cloth of Gold The New Opinions Death of Wolsey Henry's Wives The King and the Painter A Boy King Lady Jane Grey The Death of Cranmer A Clever Queen Elizabeth's Lovers Mary, Queen of Scots Captivity of Mary Stuart Wreck of the Spanish Armada The Elizabethan Age Death of Elizabeth A Scotch King The Gunpowder Plot Sir Walter Raleigh King and Parliament Cavaliers and Roundheads "Remember" The Royal Oak The Commonwealth The Restoration Plague and Fire The Merry Monarch James driven out of England A Terrible Massacre William's Wars The Duke of Marlborough The Taking of Gibraltar The South Sea Bubble Bonny Prince Charlie Black Hole of Calcutta Loss of the Colonies The Battle of the Nile Nelson's Last Signal The Battle of Waterloo First Gentleman of Europe Childhood of Queen Victoria The Queen's Marriage Wars in Victoria's Reign The Jubilee

Story of the English - Helene Guerber

The Restoration

Oliver Cromwell was, as you have seen, a very remarkable man; but great as he is in history, his secretary Milton is even greater than he. This man was a Puritan of great genius, and so very diligent that he spent all his time in study. When only a college student, he wrote a beautiful poem called "Ode on the Nativity," and after a busy life and much hard work, he spent his old age in writing "Paradise Lost," one of the greatest poems in the English language.

Although he had become blind, Milton would not cease to work; so his daughters sat by him, reading aloud learned works in Latin and Greek. But they could not understand these books, for their father said that "one tongue was enough for a woman," and would not let them study more. Milton's poem was published about nine years after Cromwell died, and about seven before the poet's death.

Richard Cromwell was very unlike his father, and unwillingly accepted the office of protector. Seeing that the people were dissatisfied under his mild rule, he resigned at the end of a few months, leaving the country in a very bad state, for both Parliament and the army wanted to rule.

As Cromwell's strong hand was no longer there to hold the reins of government, General Monk, the most capable man in the country, decided that England would be better off under the rule of her rightful king. He therefore came down from Scotland with his army, dismissed the Parliament, and called for a new election.

Most of the members of the new Parliament were so strongly in favour of law and order that when General Monk proposed that Charles should come back, the plan was greatly approved not only by the House of Commons, but also by the House of Lords, which was now assembled for the first time since the death of Charles I. A message was sent to Charles in Holland, and he immediately set out for England, where he landed in May, 1660. General Monk came to Dover to meet him, and escorted him, to London, where he was crowned in Westminster Abbey. This return of the royal family is known as the Restoration; for now the crown was restored to the rightful heir.

All the people received the pleasant-mannered, good-natured king with great delight, and as he encouraged them to resume amusements which the strict Puritans had considered sinful, he is known as the Merry Monarch, and the country was again called "Merry England."

Charles pleased everybody, at first, by promising that every one should be pardoned, except the sixty men who had taken it upon themselves to sentence his father to death, and who were known as the regicides, or king killers. Some of these were already dead, and others had left the country; so only a few were captured and put to death.

Next, the body of Cromwell was taken out of its grave and hung at Tyburn, with those of a few other dead regicides. But Richard Cromwell, who had left England, was soon allowed to come back and end his days in peace there.

With the return of the king the Church of England was restored; but Charles did not follow Cromwell's wise example and allow every one to worship as he pleased. Charles generally allowed his friend the Earl of Clarendon to govern for him. He tried, however, to force even the Scotch to become members of the Church of England, although he had once promised to respect their Covenant. They resisted fiercely, held secret meetings in the mountains, and, when surprised by the king's troops, died like martyrs rather than give up their mode of worship. Exasperated by the cruel treatment inflicted by Claverhouse, commander of the king's troops, the Covenanters finally rebelled, and for many years stoutly resisted every attempt to force them to worship as the king wished.