|A Chronology 1660-1832
The Restoration Settlement
1660: May, Convention a full and legal Parliament; act for confirming judicial proceedings passed; July,crown lands excluded from land sales bill; act of general pardon, indemnity and oblivion; act confirming ministers of religion inpossession; new Navigation Act; disbandment of army begun.Worcester House conference between anglican and presbyterian representatives; October, conciliatory Worcester House Declaration, but in second session of Convention Parliament legislation based on it failed. Irish land settlement announced.
1661: January, rising of Fifth Monarchists in London. General election (Jan-Feb). Apr, Savoy palace conference between anglicans and presbyterians,which ended in deadlock. May, first session of the 'Cavalier' Parliament; bishops readmitted to House of Lords.Quaker Act. Irish Parliament sat, for only time beteen 1660 and1685, to ratify land settlement. June, alliance treaty signed for marriage of Charles and Catherine of Braganza. Charles's army brought up to 6,000 men. July, Militia Act gave crown supreme control of militia and armed forces. Dec, Corporation Act passed giving crown power to purge the disaffected.
1662: March, uncompromising prayer book accepted by Parliament which passed Uniformity act. Hearth tax imposed. Session ended 19May, and king failed in attempt to suspend Act of Uniformity. 24Aug, ejection of non-conforming ministers. Charles's army increased to 8,000. Sale of Dunkirk to France. Dec, Charles's first declaration of indulgence.
1663: Feb, Parliament reassembled and rejected crown's right to dispense with penal laws. Attempted republican rising in Ireland. July, unsuccessful attempt to impeach Clarendon. Aug, republican conspiracies discovered in Yorks and Durham. Sept, Scottish Parliament dissolved after restoring Lords of the Articles andarmy of 22,000.
1664: April, new Triennial Act; act passed against conventicles.Nov, end to separate clerical taxation, in return for which clergy allowed to vote in future elections. Dec, Parliament voted £2.5m towards anticipated war against Dutch.
1665: March, English declaration of war against Dutch. June, naval victory over Dutch, but in Oct. reconstituted Dutch fleet blockaded the Thames. Plague in London forced Parliament to sit at Oxford. Five mile Act passed against dissenting preachers and teachers. Clarendon's 'non-resisting oath' of loyalty to church and state narrowly rejected by Commons.
1666: Jan, France allied with Dutch against England; Naval defeat in May followed by victory in July. Sept, Great Fire of London. Bitter parliamentary disputes over money and growth of opposition to court.
1667: Buckingham dismissed for parliamentary opposition. Death of Lord Treasurer Southampton allowed treasury to be put incommission. June, Dutch inflicted humiliation on ships in the Medway. July, Peace of Breda ended the war. Dismissal of Clarendon, who was impeached in Oct. and fled to France in Nov.
1668: Apr, Triple Alliance concluded between England, United Provinces and Sweden; but followed by French diplomatic manoeuvres, both public and private, to negotiate an alliance with Charles.
1669: Duke of York converted to Roman Catholicism, and in January Charles allegedly revealed his own catholic and pro-French sympathies at a secret meeting with York, Clifford, Arundel and Arlington. Clandestine negotiations with France. Dec, Charles prorogued Parliament to block a Conventicles bill (to replace the act which expired in May 1668).
1670: Feb-Mar, Second Conventicles bill passed; additional duty on wines granted for royal ordinary revenue for eight years. May, Duchess of Orleans (Charles's sister) met king at Dover and secret treaty with France was signed, including clause declaring king a catholic. Oct, Commons endorsed Triple Alliance policy but in December a public treaty with France was signed, omitting the secret clauses about catholicism. The new treaty declared intention to attack Dutch in Spring 1672.
1671: Feb, further revenue granted for six years. Parliament prorogued in Apr before passage of a Test Act (which would have excluded catholics from office)
1672: Jan, Stop of the Exchequer. Mar, declaration of indulgence issued, and war declared against Dutch. Heavy losses at nava battle of Sole Bay. June, William of Orange became Stadhoulder ofUnited Provinces. July, allied fleet dispersed by storm.
1673: Feb, Shaftesbury (now Lord Chancellor) declared the Dutch to be 'England's eternal enemy'. Commons voted that 'penal statutes in matters ecclesiastical cannot be suspended but by actof Parliament'; voted £1.2m for war but delayed supply bill until religious grievances redressed. Mar, Charles abandoned declarationof indulgence and assented to Test Act; York and Clifford resigned offices. Naval setbacks. Sept, marriage of York with catholic Mary of Modena. Oct, Parliament reassembled in anti-war mood, Nov, disintegration of Cabal.
1674: Jan, Commons attacked Arlington, Buckingham and Lauderdale; voted against standing army. Parliament prorogued to prevent passage of anti-catholic legislation. Feb, Treaty of Westminster ended war. Danby ascendant as minister.
1675: Jan, announcement of new measures against Catholics and dissenters. Apr-May abortive impeachment of Danby. Defeat of Court's 'non-resisting test'. Aug, Louis XIV secretly promised to pay Charles a subsidy to keep Parliament prorogued. Parliament met, but rejected proposal to pay royal debts.
1676: Jan, Compton census of religious opinion. Feb, new secret treaty between England and France, which Danby refused to countersign. July-Aug French military victories over Dutch.
1677: Parliament recalled but four lords sent to Tower for arguing that it was legally dissolved. Mar-Apr MPs urged anti-French and pro-Dutch foreign policy, but Charles made alliance with France in return for 2m French livres to keep Parliament prorogued and Danby gave consent. Nov, marriage of William of Orange to Princess Mary (daughter of York). Dec, Anglo-Dutch treaty concluded.
1678: King ratified Anglo-Dutch treaty but used it to obtain more money from France. Feb, Parliament granted £1m for anti-French war. May, further secret agreement between Louis XIV and Charles. Commons voted to disband army. July France and UnitedProvinces made peace.
1678: Sept, Titus Oates revealed Popish Plot to murder the King and massacre protestants; 17 Oct, Sir Edmund Berry Godfrey found murdered; Nov,Cavalier Parliament passed Second Test Act excluding catholics (except duke of York) from Parliament. Dec, Ralph Montagu revealed to MPs Danby's secret negotiations with France; Danby impeached.
1679: Jan, dissolution of Cavalier Parliament. General election went against the Court. Mar, York sent into exile in Brussels by Charles. Apr, Privy Council remodelled to include Shaftesbury and court critics; Danby committed to Tower. May, first exclusion bill introduced and passed second reading but prorogation of Parliament prevented further progress. Habeas Corpus act passed; Licensing law lapsed. June, Rebellion in Scotland defeated by Monmouth. Parliament dissolved. Aug, King's serious illness prompted return of York.Parliament deferred after defeat at polls for Court.
1680: Jan, petitions presented unsuccessfully calling for Parliament to meet. Resignation of key members from privy council. Apr, 'abhorrences' of petitions presented. Oct, James exiled to Scotland. Nov, second exclusion bill passed Commons but defeated in Lords. Parliament discussed 'limitations' on a popish successor. Bills for comprehension and toleration introduced.
1681: Jan, Parliament dissolved. Mar, French agreement withCharles concluded; Parliament met at Oxford for only a week before dissolution. Apr, Charles issued Declaration justifying the dissolutions. July, Shaftesury sent to Tower on charge of treason. Scottish Parliament confirmed James's right of succession. Purges of local office holders signalled start of 'Tory reaction'.
Partisan politics 1681-8
1682: May, James returned from Edinburgh. July, Tories won rigged London election for sheriffs. Nov, Shaftesbury fled to Holland.
1683: Jan, Quo Warranto issued against London charter which (June) was declared forfeit. June, Rye House Plot discovered, leading to execution of Algernon Sidney and Lord Russell.
1684: Mar, Charles ignored Triennial Act and failed to summon Parliament. May, James restored to Privy Council in defiance of Test Act. Quo warrantos continued against local corporations.
1685: Feb, accession of James II. Mar-Apr rout of Whigs at election. May, Parliament granted king further ordinary revenue. May, Monmouth rebellion; July, Monmouth executed; Aug-Sept, 'bloody assizes' lead to 300 executions. Oct, Louis XIV revoked Edict of Nantes. Nov, second session of Parliament protested against catholic appointments in army. Press Licensing act renewed.
1686: Tyrconnel began purging Irish army of protestants. June, Godden vs Hales case established royal dispensing power. July, Ecclesiastical Commission set up to strengthen royal control over church. Sept, Bishop Compton suspended for refusing to silence anti-catholic preaching in London. Dec, Rochester dismissed as lord treasurer.
1687: Feb, Declaration of Indulgence in Scotland followed in Apr by one in England. James began attack on Magdalen College, Oxford. Oct-Dec, 'Three Questions' asked regarding support for repeal of Test and penal laws. Remodelling of corporations.
1688: Apr, second Declaration of Indulgence issued, and ordered in May to be read in all churches. May, Archbishop Sancroft and six other bishops refused and were prosecuted for seditious libel (acquitted June); birth of Prince of Wales. 30 June, invitation issued to William of Orange to intervene by force.
1688 Oct, William of Orange issued Declaration to justify his impending invasion; James II cancelled elections but restored charters and jps. First invasion fleet repelled by storms, Sunderland dismissed. 5 Nov, second invasion attempt succeeded. Churchill deserted James and royal army retreated from Salisbury without fighting. 8 Dec James' commissioners contacted William to negotiate terms; 11-15 Dec, James' first (abortive) flight, 18-22 second (successful) flight. 28 Dec. Convention Parliament summoned.
1689: Jan elections gave Whig majority; rebellion in Ireland. 13 Feb, Declaration of Rights and joint sovereignty offered to William and Mary. Scottish Jacobite uprising suppressed. 5 May war declared against France. Toleration Act.
1690-1694 confused politically:
In 1689 William appointed a mixed ministry, with a slight preponderance of whigs. Disillusioned radical whigs and William increasingly disillusioned with Whigs. Turn to Tories for 3 years. Then to Whigs.
1690: Jan, Whig Corporation bill lost. 6 Feb, Parliament dissolved. Tory gains at election (Feb-Mar). July, Battle of Boyne victory for William over Franco-Irish army.
1691: Oct, surrender of Limerick ended war in Ireland.
1692: Churchill (now Marlborough) dismissed from commands on suspicion of Jacobitism. Predominantly Tory administration. May, victory at La Hogue ended fear of French invasion.
1693: Mar, king vetoed Triennial bill. Sunderland, June, began to exert influence over William.
1694: Jan, place bill vetoed by William. May, changes of ministry in favour of Whigs. Dec, Triennial bill passed, death of Queen Mary.
1694-1698 dominance of Whigs
1695: Attack on corruption. May lapse of Licensing Act. Oct-Nov, general election - Whig gains.
1696: Feb, Plot to assassinate William revealed; Parliament adopted Whig proposal for an Association, declaring William as 'rightful and lawful king'.
1697: May, peace congress opened at Ryswick. Dec, criticism of standing army.
1699-1702 Loosening of party divisions
1699: Jan, disbanding bill passed. Junto under attack.
1701: May act ofsettlement, providing for a Protestant Hanoverian succession. Impeachment of Junto Whigs, but acquitted by House of Lords. France recognised James III.
1702-1704 Tory Government.
1702: Mar, death of William III, accession of Queen Anne. July general election gave Tories a decisive victory.
1704: Fall of High Tory ministers. Moderate Robert Harley appointed secretary of state. Nov, third occasional conformity bill.
1705-8 Moderate Party Government
1705: general election, Whig gains leaving parties equally balanced.
1707: Mar, royal assent to union with Scotland.
1708: Fall of Robert Harley after attempt to institute a moderate Tory government. Apr, Anne split with erstwhile favourite, the duchess of Marlborough. Oct, death of Anne's husband George weakened her opposition to the Junto. Somers and Wharton re-entered cabinet.
1708-1710 Whig party dominant
1709: Nov. Henry Sacheverell preached against 'false brethren in church and state' and impeached.
1709: 5 Nov, Henry Sacheverell preached against 'false brethren in Church and State'. Dec, Whigs voted to impeach him.
1710-14 High Church/Tory power
1710: March Sacheverell found guilty but received very light sentence. Tories won landslide victory at general election.
1711: May, Harley created Lord Treasurer. Sept preliminary peace terms signed. Dec, government defeated in Lords over 'no peace without Spain'; crisis resolved by creation of 12 new peers and dismissal of Marlborough. Dec, 4th occasional conformity bill passed.
1712: Oct, clash in cabinet between Oxford (Harley) and Bolingbroke (St.John).
1713: Mar, Peace treaty signed. Whigs lost election.
1714: Tories split over succession. Oxford dismissed (July) but death of Queen prevented Bolingbroke seizing power. 1Aug, George I proclaimed king. Sept-Oct sweeping government changes in favour of whigs. Oct, George I's coronation accompanied by some pro-Jacobite disorders.
1714-16 Succession and Jacobitism
1714: 1 Aug, George I proclaimed king. Sept-Oct sweeping government changes in favour of whigs: treasury in commission under Halifax and rest of junto in cabinet plus Walpole as paymaster-general. Oct, George I's coronation accompanied by some pro-Jacobite disorders.
1715: Jan-Feb, Whig electoral victory. Bolingbroke fled to France. May-July Jacobite riots, requiring Riot Act to be passed. Deaths of Wharton and Halifax. June, motions to impeach Bolingbroke and Oxford; July, latter committed to Tower. Sept, Jacobite rebellion in Scotland. Oct, Walpole appointed first lord of treasury.
1716-1720 Whig Schism
1716: Apr, remnants of rebellion in Scotland suppressed; Septennial act extended life of Parliaments to seven years. Sept, intrigues among whig ministers (Stanhope and Sunderland vs Townshend and Walpole) began 'whig schism'.
1717: arrest of Swedish minister Gyllenborg for Jacobite conspiracy. Mar, Bishop Hoadley preached controversial sermon ('My kingdom is not of this world'). Townshend dismissed and Walpole resigned after opposing supply for possible war against Sweden. Walpole and his supporters began to harrass Stanhope-Sunderland ministry. July, Oxford acquitted. Dec. Prince George ordered by king to leave St James's Palace.
1718: Dec, Stanhope introduced bill to repeal occasional conformity and schism acts; Britain declared war on Spain which had refused the European settlement.
1719: bill to repeal occasional conformity and schism act narrowly passed. Feb peerage bill introduced (to replace Scottish representative peers in Parliament with hereditary ones, but thereafter no more than six new peerages to be created) and passed in Nov. in Lords but defeated in Commons, largely due to Walpole.
1720: Mar, Irish Declaratory act declared Ireland 'to be subordinate unto and dependent upon the imperial crown of Great Britain, as being inseparably united and annexed thereto'; Westminster to have power to make law for Ireland. Spring, reconciliation between Walpole/Townshend and Whig ministry. Sept, South Sea Bubble burst. Oct, proclamation by the Pretender. Dec, Walpole devised rescue package for stock market.