General Monk consults with Archbishop Sharp and plan for episcopacy.
Extract from The Scotichronicon, Rev J F S Gordon DD (1867) Vol 2.
Note: At this time General Monk was Vice Regent of Scotland and Commander of the Parliamentary Army ( the relic from Cromwell`s rule). Lt General Lambert was a colleague of Monk but a staunch Parliamentarian, who in the event was imprisoned in the Tower at the Restoration.
In November, 1659, when General Monk had arrived at Caldstream, and fully understood the enemies’ posture, he presently dispatched an express to Crail, where Mr. Sharp then was attending his Charge, intreating that with all speed he would repair to him, because he had something of the greatest consequence to impart. Hereupon Mr. Sharp takes journey in very tempestuous weather; and immediately upon his arrival at Caldstream, the General, in a secret Conference, frankly signified to him his earnest desire to restore the King, which he said he well knew Mr. Sharp was passionately inclined for; but that he was so embarassed how to bring that great work about, that he knew not what step first to take, and therefore had called him to know what he thought fit to advise in the matter that many of his Army, beginning to suspect his intentions, had already deserted; and lastly, that Lambert, on the head of the English Republican Army, which was double his numbers, had fallen down as far as Newcastle. Mr. Sharp coldly told him, that he was extremely fatigued with his journey, and therefore, in the first place, desired a little rest; and then after two hours’ sleep, he sat down and penned a Declaration in Monk’s name, shewing the causes of his present posture, and designed March into England; which, without mentioning the King was so exactly accommodated to the tempers of all the then contending parties, that it having been read next morning on the head of Monk’s Army, it soon confirmed them in their duty to their General; and being quickly dispersed over all the Country, it arrived at length at Lambert’s Head Quarters : the effect whereof was, that at least one half of his men deserted over to Monk, who thereupon was encouraged to proceed in his design, and to march straight towards London; and what followed thereupon, is too well known to be here set down. I am credibly informed, that a Copy of this Declaration will within a little time be Published in a greater Work, and therefore thought it not proper to insert it here. But this I know, that the above-mentioned notable Passage was often and openly owned by Monk to his Majesty and many others, after the Restoration; and I have the truth of it attested by many persons of honour and respect (some of them in Letters under their hands), who best knew Mr. Sharps affairs: to which they add, that this was the true cause of the great man’s after promotion.
Monck was rightly cautious in his plans for restoration of the monarchy and he also took the trouble to consult the army in Ireland about the possibility. Nicholls Diary records the celebrations on receipt of agreement from Ireland:
“Upone report and letters
cum from Yreland to Generall Monk, of ane unanimous consent of the suldiaris in Yreland, and of thair declaratioun for a parliament, the governour of the Castell of Edinburgh, and the governour of the Citidaill of Leith, gave out all takins of joy; first fra the Castell of Edinburgh, by roring of thair cannounes by parcellis, amonting in hail! to 26 schott the Citidail! of Leith also, did
the lyke with thair hai!! peces of ordinance. All this wes done with great solempnitie upone
the 26 day of December. being Monday 1659.
Monck made use of the
messenger services of a Scottish merchant in Rotterdam, William Bruce, to
make contact with Charles in exile. He was rewarded and made Sir William
Bruce, 1st Baronet of Balcaskie (21 Oct 1668) and became MP for Fifeshire
from 1669-1674. From 1681-2 he was MP for Kinrosshire and again from
1685-1686. About 1698 he acquired the Baronetcy of Kinross and made major
refurbishments to his new estate on the shore of Loch Leven. A very
influential person as a result of his services to Charles II he held the
office of Master of the King`s Works, in which role he completed the
restoration of Holyrood Palace. Acclaimed as an architect, although not
formally trained, he was responsible for introducing the Palladian style
architecture in Scotland and employed William Adam, scion of that family
which included his son Robert Adam.
Monck himself was a
modest, middle of the road, Presbyterian while his wife was of a stricter
belief.To the Scottish clergy, with whose
leaders he had been in communication through James Sharpe, he was pledged
for the maintenance of Presbyterianism, and therefore opposed the
immediate introduction of episcopacy (CLARENDON, Continuation,
105). He had recommended Sharpe to Hyde and to the king as likely to prove
useful in the settlement of church matters (Clarendon State Papers,
iii. 741). Thus Sharpe was soon appointed Archbishop of St Andrews, and on
his way to becoming the arch persecutor of his former Presbyterian
colleagues as he pursued episcopacy in Scotland.
Link: An excellent biography of Monck by
by Charles Harding Firth, ©1894