Recommend to your Librarian

The Scottish Parliament under Charles II, 1660-1685

Gillian MacIntosh

eBook (PDF) i

On 14 May 1660, Charles II, restored to the throne of his father, was proclaimed king of Great Britain and Ireland at the market-cross of Edinburgh, bringing to an end over twenty years of internal upheaval. At the subsequent meeting of the Scottish parliament in January 1661, the ascendant royalist administration sought to abolish all constitutional innovations introduced during the revolutionary period in an attempt to secure the royal prerogative and prevent a repeat of rebellion from below. This book traces the background to the restoration of the monarchy in Scotland, explains why the Scottish political elite were so willing to relinquish power back to the king and assesses the impact of the restrictive Restoration constitutional settlement on subsequent parliamentary sessions in the reign of Charles II. It provides for the first time a detailed account of Charles II's Scottish parliament - who attended and why, what they did and parliament's role under an increasingly authoritarian crown. Tracing the path from the widespread popular royalism that marked the beginning of Charles II's reign to the increasing violence and resistance which the attempted reassertion of the royal prerogative provoked, each session of parliament is set within the political and historical context of the time in which it sat, to provide a fresh perspective on a previously neglected area of Scottish history.

About the Author

Gillian H. MacIntosh is a Research Fellow in the School of History at the University of St Andrews, project manager of the Scottish Parliament Project. She is editor of the section of the new edition of the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland, covering the period 1643-1707.


Not least of the virtues of MacIntosh's work is that for the first time it provides a clear narrative of parliamentary politics during the reign... MacIntosh's valuable study has brought out - however one rates the performance of the Parliament itself - just how fascinating its politics were, and how unjustly neglected it has been.
- Paul Seward, Scottish Historical Review
Written in clear and brisk prose and based on an exhaustive range of printed and manuscript sources, this book is the work of an accomplished parliamentary historian who evinces both a mastery of chronological and legislative detail and an easy familiarity with a large cast of dramatis personae… a professional, informative and well-researched book.
- Clare Jackson, Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Parliamentary History
That a book has been published which combines a study of the Scottishparliament and the Restoration era is to be doubly welcomed... GillianMacIntosh has provided, for the first time, a thorough account of theinstitution and its role in the government of Scotland under Charles II.But she has done much more than that, for this book goes beyond theclosed doors of parliament house during sittings of the estates. The result is an invaluable and authoritative account of the political manoeuvringsof central government under Charles II.
- Alan MacDonald, University of Dundee, Innes Review