The Personal Rule of Charles II, 1681-85

The Personal Rule of Charles II, 1681-85

Grant Tapsell


Boydell Press



The wider repercussions and consequences of Charles II's personal rule are discussed, with special reference to the fledgling Tory and Whig parties.
This book is concerned with political culture, government, and religion during the personal rule of Charles II, the period between the dissolution of his last English Parliament in 1681 and his death in 1685. The author argues that the nature of this phase of Stuart personal rule was different to that of Charles I in 1629-40. He discusses the nature of whig and tory politics during this crucial period in their formation as political parties, showing how they coped with the absence of a parliamentary forum. He also examines political life in the English localities, the growing importance of news dissemination in political life, and the politics of religious persecution and toleration. Scotland and Ireland are included in this analysis of Charles's rule, setting the discussion in a "Three Kingdoms" context.

GRANT TAPSELL is Lecturer in Modern History at St Andrews University.

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June 2007
250 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Studies in Early Modern Cultural, Political and Social History
ISBN: 9781843833055
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

The Shape of the Period
Political Partisanship and Government without Parliament
The Politics of Religious Persecution
News and Partisan Politics
Print and Polemical Politics
Partisan Politics in the British Monarchies


Mr Tapsell's important study significantly contributes to our understanding of late seventeenth-century political culture. [...] With a dry wit and a sharp eye [he] has written an enjoyable book. SCRIBLERION
A well-produced tome, this is proper history - a thoughtful, scholarly book, grounded in archival research from regional and national archives, as well as an abundance of primary printed sources. ROYAL STUART REVIEW
Admirably readable. a very worthwhile and interesting book. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
A richly documented panorama of whig and tory animosities in the last years of Charles II. PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY YEARBOOK
A sound, scholarly book which offers a reliable account of the period. HISTORICAL JOURNAL
This lively and well-written book has resurrected the last years of Charles II, often left in limbo, and transformed them into a fascinating period of intense religio-political contestation permeated by a vibrant news culture. THE BROWN BOOK

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