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Cavalier Parliament

Cavalier Parliament, 1661–79. This Parliament succeeded the Convention, which had summoned Charles II back from exile. Though its members were overwhelmingly loyal to the monarchy—well over 100 had fought in the civil wars—they were by no means willing to yield Parliament's rights. The Anglican majority was noticeably less willing to forgive and forget than the king. It began by ordering that the covenant be burned by the public hangman, supported a fierce penal code against dissenters, and forced Charles II in 1673 to withdraw his Declaration of Indulgence. The unusual length of the Parliament gave opportunities for development of party organization, particularly under Danby in the 1670s, even if party as such was still widely condemned and the names of ‘court’ and ‘country’ preferred. When Danby lost control in 1678, Charles dissolved the Parliament, but the three which succeeded were Whig-dominated, took up the issue of excluding James, duke of York (later James II), from the succession, and gave even more trouble.

J. A. Cannon

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