Books / Sullatober Dalton / Uncategorized

Coming out of Lockdown

When you think of it, when the people heard that the monarchy was being restored in the shape of Charles 11 it must have been like the announcement of the vaccine; people would be able to dance again and celebrate Christmas. The trouble was, old Charlie seems to have gone overboard and turned it into an excuse for all kinds of goings on. It has always been said that his religion and that of his brother that led to their replacement but, with his extra-marital affairs, he’s never sounded a very serious Roman Catholic to me; he may have wanted other people to do as they should, but he certainly didn’t set much of an example. It must have created total confusion in the minds of the people – should they follow the King, or the Pope, or the Puritans? All, at that time, extremes.

All this makes me think the mood of the people wasn’t set so much on a Protestant succession as on finding some middle way and the Dutch background of William of Orange offered that. He wasn’t ideal, he was never really popular, but he was a way out. Not only that but, instead of using people from one part of the kingdom to subdue another part, he brought foreigners to do it, and united the whole country in their moans over the enforcers. The Stuarts never learned from that and kept splitting their realm, particularly Scotland, by bringing Highlanders down to teach the Lowlanders loyalty.

The other thing that never seemed to penetrate was that the main foreign trade rivals of London, Bristol, and in growing importance, Liverpool and Glasgow, was France. The French understood it and, at every opportunity, created turmoil and uncertainty in mainland Britain from the time of the marriage of Princess Mary to the Dauphine to Culloden.