In 1660 Charles II seemed the very man to bring order and stability back to an England embroiled in the chaos of the Civil Wars and Interregnum. First and foremost, Charles was the legitimate heir to the throne; the force of this point should not be underestimated as England had endured a decade of illegality and illegitimacy in its government. Thirty years old when he returned to take the throne, Charles was mature and wise. Further, Charles had an almost universal appeal - he was a 'child of the new age', acquaintance of Hobbes and patron of science and the Arts, witty and appealing to the new generation of courtiers. At the same time, the King had a personal appeal to the older generation such as the earl of Clarendon. Furthermore, Charles was a symbol of the cult of monarchy that had grown around the 'martyrdom' of his father Charles I's execution in 1649. Preachers were quick to exaggerate reality and draw the comparisons - of Charles II as the saviour and his father the martyr who had sacrificed himself for the people. In political and constitutional terms, neither the 'Revolution' of the 1640s nor the Restoration of 1660 settled any of the fundamental issues that had precipitated so much violence and upheaval in Stuart England. After a rapturous welcome in 1660, the Restoration soon disappointed the almost universal hopes and expectations for a return to political stability and settled order in the state, the Church and in society at large, and the demands for an end to arbitrary fiscal and political methods by the government. On three occasions (1681, 1685 and 1688) England loomed on the brink of civil war, though the reality of this happening again in the manner of the 1640s were slim.

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