[5. Monmouth's Rebellion, 1685: a rising led at the accession of James II by James Scott, Duke of Monmouth with the aim of installing him as King. Monmouth, bastard son of Charles II, took his supporters largely from the west of England, and they joined the claimant when he landed at Lyme Regis (he had been twice exiled by Charles II (first in 1679-80 and in 1684). On arrival Monmouth denounced James II as a papist and usurper of the Crown. Monmouth had been the Exclusionists' candidate for the succession during the attempt to prevent James II inheriting the throne, 1678-81, principally because he was a Protestant with government and military experience. In the third Exclusion Parliament at Oxford in 1681 the Whigs openly campaigned for Monmouth's succession. Monmouth was trapped by James II's army at Bridgwater and forced to fight the Battle of Sedgemoor, which he lost decisively. Monmouth was executed and around 300 of his followers were hanged on the orders of Chief Justice Jeffreys - which became infamouly known as the 'Bloody Assizes'. A simultaneous invasion of Scotland led by the Earl of Argyll was also easily defeated by James II's army.]

Milton reflects the response of many Puritans to the Restoration. Most sects abandoned the idea of attempting to change the world and alternatively focused on themselves and concentrated on maintaining and developing their own spiritual purity. Even the Quakers, who hitherto had been so outspoken, became introverted and 'respectable'. Fundamentally, the Puritan belief that they had Providence on their side was shattered in 1660. Some, such as Edmund Ludlow, interpreted the Restoration as divine punishment for their sins.

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