Life of George Monck
by Charles Harding Firth, ©1894
George Monck - April 23, 1661
George Monck (or Monk), first Duke of Albemarle. Born 6 Dec. 1608 at Potheridge, near Torrington in Devonshire, was the second son of Sir Thomas Monck, knight, by Elizabeth, daughter of Sir George Smith of Maydford in the same county (Thomas GUMBLE, Life of Monck, 1671, p. 1;
Visitation of Devonshire, 1620, ed. Colby, pp. 188-91).
In 1625 the under-sheriff of Devonshire perfidiously arrested Sir Thomas Monck as he went to pay his respects to the king, and George Monck avenged his father's wrongs by thrashing the under-sheriff [who soon after died of his injuries]. To avoid legal proceedings he took service as a volunteer in the expedition to Cadiz, under his kinsman, Sir Richard Grenville, who was then major to the regiment of Sir John Borough.
In 1627 he distinguished himself by bringing a letter from the king to the Duke of Buckingham in the Isle of Ri, "passing the army, which lay before Rochelle, with great hazard of his life." It was probably as a reward for this service that he now obtained an ensign's commission in Borough's regiment [An ensign was the lowest ranking commissioned officer in an army regiment.] (GUMBLE, p. 4; Works of George Granville, Lord Lansdowne, ed. 1736, iii. 253).
About 1629 Monck entered the Dutch service, serving in the regiment of the Earl of Oxford, which after Oxford's death became the regiment of George Goring [a regiment of English officers, soldiers and gentleman adventurers hired by the States General of the Dutch Republic to fight against Spain in the Netherlands]. At the siege of Breda, in 1637, Monck led the forlorn hope in the assault on one of the outworks of the town (Henry HEXHAM, Brief Relation of the Siege of Breda, 1637, p. 27).
Read Hexham's eyewitness account of Monck's assault on Breda
He distinguished himself also as a strict disciplinarian, and earned a reputation as a good officer. A quarrel with the magistrates of Dort on the question of their jurisdiction over the soldiers under Monck's command finally led to his quitting the Dutch service.
A scheme was at this time on foot in England for the colonisation of Madagascar by a joint-stock company, and Monck thought of becoming one of the adventurers in that enterprise. But the outbreak of the Scottish troubles provided him employment in England (GUMBLE, pp. 5-11).
In the list of the army under the command of the Earl of Northumberland in 1640, Monck appears as lieutenant-colonel of the foot regiment of the Earl of Newport (PEACOCK, Army Lists,
2nd edit. p. 75). Gumble attributes to Monck's good conduct the saving of the English guns in the rout at Newburn (p. 10; cf. SKINNER, Life of Monck, 1724, p. 18).
At the outbreak of the Irish rebellion the Earl of Leicester -- a relative of Monck's -- was lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and at once offered Monck the command of his own regiment of foot. The
regiment, consisting of twelve hundred men, landed at Dublin on 21 Feb. 1642 (GUMBLE, p. 15; NALSON, Historical Collections, ii. 919).
Monck gained much honour at the battle of Kilrush, and by defeating the Irish in a number of skirmishes and forays (BORLASE, Irish Rebellion, ed. 1743, p. 100). In June 1642 he "took Castleknock, and killed eighty rebels, besides some that he hanged; and a while after he took the castles of Rathroffy and Clongoweswood in the county of Kildare, and did good execution upon the enemy" (COXE, Hibernia Anglicana, ii. 107).
In December 1642 he relieved Ballinakill, besieged by General Preston, and defeated at Tymachoe an attempt of the Irish to intercept his return to Dublin (CARTE, Ormonde, ed. 1851, ii.
386; BELLINGS, Hist. of the Irish Catholic Confederation, i. 91, ii. 177).
In the summer of 1643 he conducted an expedition for the relief of Castle-Jordan in King's County, captured various places in Wicklow, and took part in an unsuccessful campaign against Owen O'Neill (ib. i. 161, ii. 271, 363; CARTE, ii. 500).
On 7 June 1643 the Earl of Leicester commissioned Monck as governor of Dublin, with a salary of 40s. a day, but the king, at the request of the lords justices, appointed Lord Lambert instead (ib. ii. 347; BELLINGS, ii. 44).
Though he failed to obtain this public recognition of his services, he had gained the confidence of his men, and was "the most beloved by the soldiers of any officer in the army" (CARTE, iii. 43).
George Monck, miniature painted from life
Royalist Colonel in the Civil War
Even before the cessation of September 1643 Monck had obtained leave to return to England, possibly on account of the death of his father. His refusal to take the oath which Ormonde imposed on the Irish army before it was transported to England to serve Charles I proceeded, according to Carte, from a desire to consult his patron, the Earl of Leicester, or to obtain his arrears from the parliament before again entering the king's service, nor did it prevent Ormonde granting him a pass.
But some loose talk of Lord Lisle's about the possibility of gaining over Monck to the
parliamentary cause, and a message which Pym had sent to Monck with that object, drew suspicion upon him. Ormonde consequently sent him under safe custody to Bristol till the king's pleasure should be known, at the same time telling the governor that Monck was a person "that hath very well deserved in the service of this kingdom," and that "no unworthy thing" was laid to his charge.
The governor allowed him to go to Oxford to justify himself, which he succeeded in doing without difficulty. In his interview with Charles I he frankly criticised the conduct of the war in
Ireland, and asserted that ten thousand men properly disciplined and equipped, and commanded by officers of experience, could bring it to a conclusion (ib. iii. 37, v. 504, 525; GUMBLE, p. 17).
His old regiment had been given to his second in command, but he obtained a commission to raise a new one. He rejoined the army just before its defeat by Fairfax at Nantwich (25 Jan. 1644), fought as a volunteer at the head of his old regiment, and was taken prisoner.
Locked up in the Tower
On 8 July he was brought to the bar of the House of Commons, charged with high treason [for serving in the Royalist army], and committed to the Tower of London, where he remained for two years, finding it very difficult even to subsist. [While he was incarcerated Monck met his future wife, Anne Clarges, and wrote his book, Observations upon Military and Political Affairs] (SKINNER, p. 23; CARTE, Original Letters, i. 38, 41; Commons' Journals, iii. 554).
Tower of London, 1670 view
His elder brother, Thomas, who was not rich, and was actively engaged in the king's cause, sent him 50£. In a letter begging for another 50£., on the score of his great necessities, Monck adds: "I shall entreat you to be mindful of me concerning my exchange; for I doubt all my friends have forgotten me." Prince Rupert made an attempt to get him exchanged for Sir Robert Pye, and the king sent him 100£., a gift which he often mentioned with gratitude in later days (GUMBLE, p. 20; SKINNER, p. xix; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. p. 63; Cal. of Compounders, p. 1366; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. iv. 241).
Parliamentary commander in Ireland
In September 1646, when Ormonde was negotiating with the
parliament, one of his requests was that Monck and some other
imprisoned officers might be released and sent over to Ireland,
"being men that knew the country and were experienced in the
service, and therefore fitter to be employed than others" (CARTE,
iii. 270). For the same reason, when the parliament took the
Irish war into its own hands, it decided to employ Monck. On 1
July he obtained leave to go beyond seas, on condition of taking
the "negative oath."
But Lord Lisle, who was chosen by parliament lord-lieutenant of
Ireland, persuaded Monck to offer to serve there. On 12 Nov. 1646
Lisle reported to the lords from the Derby House committee that
Monck had engaged his honour that he would faithfully serve the
parliament if he were employed in Ireland; and, moreover, that he
had taken the negative oath, was willing to take the covenant,
and was ready to start at a moment's notice (Commons' Journals,
iv. 595, 720; Lords' Journals, viii. 562).
The offer was accepted, and there can be little doubt that
Monck actually did take the covenant, though the fact has been
much disputed (GARDINER, Great Civil War, iii. 352; GUIZOT, Life
of Monck, ed. Wortley, p. 39). A royalist tradition represents
Monck before he left the Tower as solemnly begging the blessing
of his fellow-prisoner, Dr. Wren, and pledging himself never to
be an enemy to the king. Whether the story is true or not, Monck,
like Lord Broghill and others, certainly drew a distinction
between bearing arms against the Irish rebels and bearing arms
against the king. But once embarked in the service of the
parliament, military honour led him to be unswervingly faithful
to the government whose pay he took (BARWICK, Life of John
Barwick, p. 267).
In February 1647 Monck set out with Lord Lisle for Munster,
with the rank of adjutant-general, returning in April, when
Lisle's commission expired. Parliament now determined to divide
the command, assigning the government of Leinster to Michael
Jones, and that of Ulster to Monck (CARTE, iii. 324, 331;
GUMBLE, p. 25; Lords' Journals, ix. 336).
During the next two years Monck's ability was chiefly shown by
the skill with which he contrived to maintain his position and to
provide for his men in a ravaged and barren country. In October
1647, and again in August 1648 he joined Jones, and the two made
brief campaigns together and captured a few small fortresses
(Cal[endar of] State Papers, Dom. 1645-7, p. 593; Hist. MSS. Comm.
6th Rep. p. 205; Hist. of the War in Ireland, by an
Officer of Sir John Clotworthy's Regiment, Dublin, 1873, pp. 58-62; Portland MSS. p. 493).
In 1648 the defection of the Scottish army in Ulster made his
position extremely precarious; but by a skilfully arranged plot
he surprised their headquarters at Carrickfergus (16 Sept.) and
Belfast, and sent their general, Robert Monro, a prisoner
to England (Hist. MSS. Comm. 7th Rep. p. 52; BORLASE, p. 255).
On 28 Sept. parliament appointed Monck governor of Carrickfergus, and voted him a gratuity of 500£.
The king's execution led to further divisions among the
adherents of the parliament, and the "old Scots" (the colony
established in Ulster by the plantation of James I) now declared
against the parliament, and summoned Monck to join them in
support of Charles II (The Declaration of the British in the
North of Ireland, with some Queries of Colonel Monck, &c., 1648,
4to; HILL, The Montgomery MSS., i. 177-90).
Belfast and Carrickfergus fell into their hands, and Monck was
obliged to retire to Dundalk (April 1649). In this extremity,
finding Jones unable to give him any help, he concluded a
cessation of arms for three months with Owen Roe O'Neill
(8 May 1649). Monck was well aware that the peace propositions
put forward by O'Neill were not likely to be accepted by the
parliament. He succeeded in persuading O'Neill to modify them,
but even when amended considered them "wonderful high," and
believed that O'Neill would be satisfied with much less than he demanded.
As an excuse for his action in concluding the armistice he
pleaded simply military necessity, the ill condition in which he
was between the forces of O'Neill and the Scots, and the
paramount importance of preventing O'Neill from joining Ormonde
in an attempt to drive the English out of Ireland. In forwarding
the convention and O'Neill's propositions to Cromwell personally,
instead of to the council of state, he wrote: "Since there was
great necessity for me to do it I hope it will beget no ill
construction, when the advantage gained to the service, by
dividing Ormonde and MacArt, is fully weighed" (25 May 1649).
From a military point of view the arrangement with O'Neill did
produce some of the results anticipated by Monck. On the other
hand, as soon as it became known, the fidelity of Monck's own men
was shattered. Inchiquin, whom Ormonde sent against him, took
Drogheda, induced nearly all its garrison to join his army, and
intercepted the convoy of ammunition which Monck forwarded to
O'Neill, with a request for help (15 July).
Two days afterwards Inchiquin invested Dundalk, and Monck's own
soldiers forced him to surrender (17 July). Monck then proceeded
to England, landed at Chester on 26 July, and appeared before the
parliament on 10 Aug. The house passed a vote in which they
"utterly disapproved" of his proceedings in the treaty with
O'Neill, but declared their belief in his good faith, and
promised not to question his conduct further. Monck asserted that
he had acted solely on his own responsibility (Commons' Journals,
vi. 277; cf. Aphorismical Discovery, II. vii. 216; CARTE,
Original Letters, ii. 388; WALKER, History of Independency, ed.
1661, ii. 230; The True State of the Transactions of Col. Geo.
Monck with Owen Roe Mac Art, O'Neill, &c., 1649, 4to).
Cromwell and Monck invade Scotland
In July 1650 Cromwell invaded Scotland, and took Monck with
him. There was some difficulty, however, in finding him a
command. Bright's regiment, which had fought against Monck at
Nantwich, was indignant at the suggestion that he should become
their colonel. Cromwell formed a new regiment for him, by taking
five companies from Fenwick's and five from Hesilrige's. On 13
Aug. parliament ordered the regiment thus made to be placed on
the establishment, and it became at the Restoration the
Coldstream guards (Memoirs of Capt. John Hodgson, ed. 1806, p.
139; MACKINNON, The Coldstream Guards, 1833, i. 4).
At Dunbar Monck led the brigade of foot, and did good service,
though Gumble probably exaggerates when he represents him as
teaching Cromwell and the other officers the art of war, and
gives him the whole credit of the victory (CARLYLE, Cromwell,
Letter cxl.; GUMBLE, pp. 34-8).
Cromwell and his cavalry at Dunbar, from a painting by A. C. Gow
Battle of Dunbar - September 3, 1650. Engraved 1654.
Monck was subsequently engaged during November
1650 in the siege of Dirleton Castle and other small
places, and in the spring of 1651 in the capture of the more
important fortresses of Tantallon and Blackness. "Thereby,"
says Gumble, "he increased in reputation and credit with the
general, and seemed to bear the greatest sway in the councils of
war, which drew upon him the envy of all the old officers."
Tantallon Castle, ruined by Monck's artillery, painting by E.T. Crawford
In May 1651 Monck was appointed lieutenant-general of the
ordnance, and when Cromwell marched into England in pursuit of
Charles II he left Monck as commander-in-chief in Scotland
(MACKINNON, i. 32-6; Mercurius Politicus, 29 May-5 June 1651).
Read the official day-by-day account of Monck's campaign in Scotland
They parted on 4 Aug. 1651, and the forces left with Monck
amounted, according to Cromwell's estimate, to five or six
thousand men. On 6 Aug. he summoned Stirling, which capitulated
on the 14th. On the 28th a party of horse, under Colonel Alured,
captured the Earl of Leven and the Scottish committee of estates
at Alyth in Perthshire.
On 1 Sept. Dundee was taken by storm,
after it had been besieged for about ten days. About five hundred
of the garrison were killed, and for the rest of the day and the
following night the soldiers were allowed to plunder at will.
"The stubbornness of the people," apologised Monck to Cromwell,
"enforced the soldiers to plunder the town." Ludlow accused Monck
of ordering Lumsden, the governor of Dundee, to be put to death
in cold blood, but the statement is contradicted by other
authorities, and is improbable. There is no ground for charging
him with exceptional barbarity, and his despatch shows that the
garrison were not indiscriminately put to the sword (CARY,
Memorials of the Civil War, ii. 327, 345; Old Parliamentary
History, xx. 18; GUIZOT, p. 61).
In his answer to the thanks of the parliament, and in previous
letters Monck complained that he was in urgent need of
reinforcements (CARY, ii. 365; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1651, p.
399). He himself was taken ill with gout or rheumatism soon after
the capture of Dundee. Hence, though Montrose, Aberdeen, and
other places submitted, and the Marquis of Huntly and other
leaders laid down their arms, the conquest of Scotland was not
completed till the following year. Lambert was sent to Scotland
in November 1651, and eight commissioners, of whom Monck was one,
were appointed to effect the civil settlement of the country (25
Oct., Commons' Journals, vii. 30).
Generals at sea: the First Dutch War
Monck left Scotland in February 1652, and proceeded to Bath to
recruit his health (GUMBLE, p. 46; Mercurius Politicus, 6-13 Nov.
1650). In June the council of state contemplated ordering him
back to his command, but on second thoughts they retained him in
England, to supervise the fortifications of Yarmouth (Cal. State
Papers, Dom. 1652-3, pp. 329, 624).
With Monck's appointment as one of the three generals of the
fleet on 26 Nov. 1652, a new period in his career begins. Unlike
his two colleagues, Blake and Deane, he had no naval experience,
but parliament regarded energy, resolution, and the habit of
command as sufficient qualifications.
Modern depiction of an Anglo-Dutch sea battle in 1653
The fleet put to sea on 8
Feb., and a three days' battle with the Dutch began off Portland,
18 Feb. 1653. In the first day's battle, "General Monck, in the
Vanguard, then admiral of the white, and all his division, being
at least four miles to leeward of the other generals when the
fight began... the main stress of the fight lay upon the red and
blue divisions" (Memorials of Sir William Penn, p. 478).
But the white division came into action later, and Mildmay, the
captain of the Vanguard, was among the slain. Of the merchantmen
Maarten Tromp was convoying twenty-four were taken, while four Dutch
men-of-war were captured and five sunk (ib. pp. 475, 477; Life
of Cornelius Tromp, 1697, pp. 89-104).
A second battle took place on 2 and 3 June, off the coast of
the Netherlands. Blake's squadron did not arrive till after the
first day's fight was over, and Deane was killed early on the
first day, so that Monck was in sole command during great part of
the battle. Tromp admitted the loss of eight ships, and the Dutch
fleet retired behind the shoals known as the Wielings, between
Ostend and Sluys. The command of the sea fell into the hands of
the English fleet, many rich merchantmen were captured, and the
English "held the coast of Holland as 'twere besieged"
(ib. p. 129; PENN, i. 491-8).
Blake having fallen ill, the council of state on 9 July 1652
sent Monck a commission authorising him to exercise all the
powers which had been granted to the three admirals jointly
(ib. p. 500). Tromp sailed out from his anchorage on 27
July, and a still bloodier battle took place on 29 and 31 July,
in which Maarten Tromp was killed, and the Dutch lost twenty-six
"A Cannon-Shot" by Willem Van de Velde
The success of the English fleet was partly due to the
restoration of discipline among the officers, and to improved
organisation. A letter from Deane and Monck to the council of
state shows with what vigour they urged their advice, and
insisted upon extended powers when the good of the service
required it (Life of Deane, pp. 601, 604, 631).
As much, or more, was due to improved tactics. "Our fleet,"
says a description of the second battle, "did work together in
better order than before, and seconded one another" (ib.
p. 648). The third battle, an officer who took part in it terms
"a very orderly battle," and a French eye-witness describes the
English fleet as "drawn up in a line extending above four
leagues" (GUMBLE, p. 67; Life of Penn, i. 510).
Richard Deane, by Robert Walker
Both the biographers of Penn and Deane claim the adoption of
this system of tactics as due to those admirals, but all the
arguments by which Deane's claim is supported apply with equal
force to Monck's. The essence of the system was the attempt to
introduce into naval warfare something of the order which
distinguished scientifically fought land-battles. In technical
matters Monck undoubtedly owed much to his subordinates, and his
special recommendation of Penn to succeed Deane shows that he
recognised the necessity of professional assistance (ib.
i. 492). He held regular councils of war, and one of his officers
describes him as telling his assembled flag-officers, in a
meeting held after Deane's death, that their joint advice should
be as binding to him as an act of parliament (GUMBLE, p. 64). [Recent scholarship credits Monck with the introduction of signal flags and "line of battle" tactics to the English Navy.]
Admiral Willliam Penn, his Quaker son founded Pennsylvania.
These three great battles practically ended the Dutch war,
though peace was not concluded till the following year. The
parliament voted Monck a gold chain of the value of 300£., and a
medal commemorating his victories (Commons' Journals, vii. 296;
cf. MACKINNON, i. 58). On 1 Oct. 1653 he received the formal
thanks of the house on taking his seat there as one of the
members for Devonshire (Commons' Journals, vii. 328).
During Monck's absence at sea Oliver Cromwell forcibly dissolved the
Long parliament (20 April 1653). In the "Declaration of the
generals at sea, and captains under their command" (23 April
1653), Monck and his colleague Deane accepted the change, and
replied simply that it was "set upon their hearts" that they were
called and entrusted by the nation to defend it against its
enemies at sea, whether Dutchmen or others, and were resolved
unanimously to prosecute that end (DEANE, Memoirs of General
Deane, p. 618; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1652-3, p. 289).
Cromwell dissolves the Long parliament - April 20, 1653.
Contemporary Dutch cartoon.
Cromwell: "Be gone you rogues. You have sat long enough."
On the wall: "This House to Let."
It is evident that Monck did not share the enthusiastic hopes
with which many of his fellow-soldiers regarded this revolution.
In 1659, when he was taunted with his acquiescence in 1653, he
explained that "the variety of times doth much vary the nature of
affairs, and what might then patiently be submitted unto, we
being engaged with a foreign enemy in a bloody war, cannot be
drawn into a precedent at this time, after our repentance"
(Letter to Vice-admiral Goodson, 4 Nov. 1659).
According to Gumble, Cromwell did not venture to act till he
had sounded Monck, and discovered that he had no concern for the
Long parliament, nor any obligation to them (p. 73). But this is
improbable, for Monck had hitherto taken no part at all in
Monck Returns to Scotland
In the spring of 1654 Monck again took the command of the army
in Scotland. A royalist insurrection with which his successor,
Robert Lilburne, was unable to cope had broken out in the
preceding summer, and was at its height when Monck arrived
(Monck's commission, dated 8 April 1654, is printed in THURLOE,
His first act was to issue a proclamation offering an amnesty
to all persons who laid down their arms within twenty days, and
promising a reward of 200£. for Middleton [John Middleton,
first Earl of Middleton], and four other leaders of the
insurrection, dead or alive (4 May 1654, THURLOE, ii. 261).
As he received considerable reinforcements from England, and
was assisted by an expedition from the north of Ireland, he was
able to undertake a skilfully combined campaign in the highlands.
His plan was to burn the corn, to destroy the strongholds of the
enemy, and to establish garrisons at strategic points. So closely
were the royalists pressed that Middleton's army rapidly
diminished, and on 19 July Colonel Morgan overtook him at
Lochgarry (Mercurius Politicus, 27 July-3 Aug., and 10-17 Aug.
1654; BAILLIE, iii. 255).
He followed up his victory by "destroying," as he terms it,
"those parts of the country where the enemy usually harboured in
winter." "By this means," he reported, "and by the sending some
of them to the Barbadoes, their spirits do begin to fail them"
(THURLOE, ii. 526, 555).
Before the summer ended the submission of the royalists made
rapid progress. The Earl of Glencairn made terms on 29 Aug., Lord
Kenmure on 14 Sept., and Middleton escaped to the continent about
February 1655 (NICKOLLS, Letters and Papers addressed to
Cromwell, 1743, p. 130).
In December 1654 the success of Monck's work was threatened by
widespread dissatisfaction among the English troops in Scotland.
A portion of the officers were in close communication with the
parliamentary opposition to Cromwell, and were spreading
seditious pamphlets in the army. Some of the non-commissioned
officers were conspiring with the Levellers in England, and a
plot had been formed to seize Monck and march into England to
overthrow the Protector. Overton, Monck's second in command, who
was believed to sympathise with the movement, was to be placed at
its head. What made the danger greater was that the pay of the
soldiers was many months in arrear.
Monck, with his usual promptitude, suppressed the incendiary
pamphlets, arrested the conspirators, cashiered the minor
offenders, and shipped off the leaders to England. "My opinion
is," he wrote, "that unless his highness be very severe with
those that are disturbers of the peace, we shall never have any
certain settlement" (THURLOE, iii. 45, 76, 179).
George Monck, miniature by Isaac Oliver
During the later years of his government he carefully purged
his army of anabaptists and quakers. From July 1655 Monck was
assisted in the civil government of Scotland by a council, to
which very extended powers were granted. Its most important
member was Lord Broghill [Roger Boyle, Baron Broghill and
first Earl of Orrery], and it contained two Scots, John Swinton
and William Lockhart (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1655, pp. 108, 152, 255).
But Monck's influence alone inspired the government, and little
difference of policy can be detected. Justice was administered
without distinction of persons, caterans and moss-troopers
transported to the sugar plantations, and order rigidly
maintained. "A man," boasted one of the council, "may ride all
Scotland over with a switch in his hand and 100£. in his pocket,
which he could not have done these 500 years" (BURTON, Diary, iv. 168).
The taxes levied on Scotland were extremely heavy, and Monck
urgently pressed their reduction (THURLOE, vi. 330). In
ecclesiastical matters he favoured the "protesters," whom he
termed "the honest party," as against the "resolutionists," but
strongly opposed a proposal to interfere with the autonomy of the
Scottish burghs in favour of the former party (ib. iii. 117, vi. 529).
His courtesy to the Scottish nobility is highly praised by
Gumble, and by the end of his rule he had gained considerable
popularity. "That worthy person, General Monck," said a Scottish
member in Richard Cromwell's parliament, "and those worthy
officers amongst us, have won our affections" (BURTON, Diary, iii. 138; GUMBLE, p. 89).
On the intrigues of the royalists Monck kept a very vigilant
eye. In December 1654 there was a rumour that Charles II was
about to land in Scotland. "If he comes," wrote Monck, "I doubt
not we shall (through the blessing of God) keep him back in such
a country where he cannot ride or travell but in 'trowses' and a
plaid" (THURLOE, iii. 3; cf. v. 348). In spite of this Charles II,
in 1655, sent a letter to Monck, expressing the belief that he
still retained his old affection for his sovereign, and bidding
him reserve himself for the opportunity of future service. Monck
duly forwarded a copy of the letter to Cromwell, and abated
nothing of his activity in arresting the king's agents (GUIZOT,
Life of Monck, ed. Wortley, p. 85).
Oliver Cromwell, "warts and all," by Pieter van der Faes
Between Monck and Cromwell cordial and unbroken confidence
throughout existed. "Your honest general, George Monck, who is a
simple-hearted man," was the Protector's description of him to
one of the officers under his command. In 1657 the Protector
summoned Monck to a seat in his new House of Lords, but he begged
to be excused, on the ground that his presence was indispensable
in Scotland. The royalists eagerly spread unfounded reports that
he had refused to obey the Protector's orders. Cromwell made a
jest of these stories, and is said to have written to Monck:
"There be that tell me there is a certain cunning
fellow in Scotland called George Monck, who is said to lie in
wait there to introduce Charles Stuart; I pray, use your
diligence to apprehend him, and send him up to me" (THURLOE, vi.
741, 863; PRICE, ed. Maseres, p. 712).
Cromwell Silver Shilling, 1658
After Cromwell's Death
On Oliver Cromwell's death Monck wrote to Henry Cromwell, promising
his support to the new protector (Lansdowne MS. 822, f. 243). He
procured an address of recognition from the army in Scotland, and
exerted himself to return supporters of the government to
parliament (THURLOE, vii. 404, 411, 574, 613).
A few days after Richard Cromwell's accession Monck sent him, through
his brother-in-law, Thomas Clarges, a paper of advice, specially
valuable for the light which it throws on its author's political views.
In ecclesiastical matters he advised the protector to favour
the moderate presbyterians, and to call an assembly of divines to
endeavour to find some way of union among the different sects,
hinting, in conclusion, that to his mind toleration had gone a
little too far.
In civil affairs he bade him rely upon St. John, Broghill,
Thurloe, and similar councillors, and to endeavour to engage to
himself "those of power and interest amongst the people, for
which he has a better opportunity than his father, having not the
same obligations to so many disquiet spirits."
Monck's distrust of the leaders of the English army is very
noticeable. He urged Richard to reduce its expense by putting two
regiments into one, which would give him an opportunity to get
rid of "some insolent spirits" among the commanders. "There is
not," he added, "an officer in the army upon any discontent that
has power to draw two men after him if he be out of place"
(ib. vii. 37).
Of his own power to suppress either a royalist rising or a
military revolt, Monck wrote with easy confidence (ib.
vii. 545, 616).
Richard made Monck keeper of Holyrood House, and invited him to
sit in his House of Lords, but, as before, Monck represented that
he could not be spared from Scotland (ib. vii. 526, 579).
When the protector quarrelled with the army some of his friends
urged Monck to march into England to his support, and he would
doubtless have done so had not Richard been induced to dissolve
his parliament. A royalist represents Monck as saying: "Richard
Cromwell forsook himself, else I had never failed my promise to
his father or regard to his memory," and the phrase truthfully
sums up his conduct (LUDLOW, Memoirs, ed. 1698, p. 643; GUMBLE,
p. 97; Clarendon State Papers, iii. 628).
All parties watched Monck's action with great interest, but he
took the restoration of the Long parliament with composure, and
put his name to the fervid address of congratulation forwarded by
his army to the parliament. In a private letter he simply
expressed his pleasure that so great a change had been effected
without bloodshed, and his hope that the men in power would
"enter upon something to keep us in peace and quietness"
(ib. iii. 475, 480; THURLOE, vii. 667, 669).
But when the newly appointed commissioners for the nomination
of officers began to remove and to change the officers of the
regiments under his command, Monck at once signified his
dissatisfaction (BAKER, Chronicle, ed. Phillips, pp. 670, 675;
Old Parliamentary History, xxi. 427). His discontent was well
known, and in the summer of 1659 overtures were made to him from
Immediately on receiving the news of Cromwell's death Lord
Colepepper had pointed Monck out to Hyde as the instrument best
able to effect the king's restoration. He "commandeth,"
Colepepper wrote, "absolutely at his devotion... a better army
than that in England is, and in the king's quarrel can bring with
him the strength of Scotland... I need not give you his
character; you know he is a sullen man that values him enough,
and much believes that his knowledge and reputation in arms fits
him for the title of Highness and the office of Protector better
than Mr. Richard Cromwell's skill in horse-racing and husbandry
doth. You know, besides, that the only ties that have hitherto
kept him from grumbling have been the vanity of constancy to his
professions, and his affection to Cromwell's person... Nothing of
either of them can now stick with him. The way to deal with him
is, by some fit person to shew him plainly, and to give him all
imaginable security for it, that he shall better find all his
ends (those of honour, power, profit, and safety) with the king
than in any other way he can take" (Clarendon State Papers, iii. 413).
It was accordingly resolved to approach Monck through his
cousin, Sir John Grenville, and his brother, Nicholas Monck.
Charles, on 21 July 1659, gave Grenville full powers to treat
with Monck, and undertook to make good any engagements he might
make to Monck or his officers. At the same time he drew up a
letter to the general himself. "I cannot think," he wrote, "you
wish me ill, for you have no reason to do so; and the good I
expect from you will bring so great benefit to your country and
yourself, that I cannot think you will decline my interest... If
you once resolve to take my interest to heart, I will leave the
way and manner of declaring it entirely to your own judgment, and
will comply with the advice you shall give me" (BAKER, Chronicle,
ed. Phillips, p. 672; Clarendon State Papers, iii. 417, 421, 516).
Nicholas Monck arrived at Dalkeith at the beginning of August
1659, on the ostensible pretext of arranging a match for his
daughter. He communicated the contents of the king's letter to
his brother. The general allowed him to talk freely and listened
favourably, but would not promise to receive the letter
(ib. iii. 543, 618).
Dalkeith House, Monck's headquarters in Scotland
Monck's chaplains, Gumble and Price, have both left accounts of
this incident, but Price was at the time more trusted. He goes
too far, however, when he represents Monck as henceforth resolved
to restore the king, and has to admit that neither then nor much
later durst he venture to mention his name to the general. Both
agree, however, in stating that Monck resolved to co-operate
with, or take advantage of the royalist-presbyterian rising then
on foot in England, and that he concerted some of the necessary
military preparations for that step. Price himself was charged to
draw up a letter from the army in Scotland to the parliament,
declaring for a full and free parliament and for the known laws
and liberties of the nation. But Monck postponed action till the
arrival of the next post from England, and it brought the news of
Lambert's defeat of Sir George Booth. The plan was immediately
abandoned, the letter burnt, and the conspirators sworn to secrecy.
Disheartened by this check, and finding the independence of his
command greatly limited by the action of parliament in displacing
many of his officers, Monck wrote to Lenthall begging leave to
retire (3 Sept.) His intention was to go to Ireland and live on
the estate which he had purchased with his arrears of pay. But
Clarges, Monck's agent in London, and Speaker Lenthall, contrived
to keep back the letter for ten days, till Monck changed his mind
(BAKER, p. 675). One of the reasons for this course was the
prospect of an immediate breach between the parliament and the
army. "I see now," said Monck, "that I shall have a better game
to play than I had before. I know Lambert so well that I am sure
he will not let those people at Westminster sit till Christmas-day" (PRICE, p. 726).
Through Clarges, Monck promised support to the parliamentary leaders, and a letter which parliament received from him on 5 Oct. emboldened them to deal severely with Lambert and his followers. When they revoked Fleetwood's commission as commander-in-chief, Monck was one of the persons in whose hands they vested the command of the army (BAKER, p. 682; Commons' Journals, vii. 792; cf. A Letter from General Monck to the Speaker, 13 Oct. 4to, 1659).
The army leaders had not anticipated Monck's opposition. They
invited him to sign their petition to parliament, to which he
returned an emphatic refusal, and sent Colonel Cobbet to him to
explain the causes of their conduct. Monck received the news of
the expulsion of the parliament on 17 Oct., concerted his
measures the same night, and in the next two days secured
Edinburgh, Leith, Berwick, and other fortresses, placed officers
whom he could trust in command of his regiments, and arrested
those whose defection he feared. On 20 Oct. he despatched a
letter to Lenthall announcing his resolve "to assert the liberty
and authority of parliament," and with it expostulations
addressed to Lambert and Fleetwood, telling the one that England
would not endure any arbitrary power, and the other not to be
deluded by the specious pretences of ambitious persons (Old
Parliamentary History, xxii. 4; BAKER, p. 685).
John Lambert, the general who would be king
These were followed by a series of declarations to the army,
the churches, and the nation (True Narrative of the Proceedings
in Parliament, Council of State, General Council of the Army,
etc., from Sept. 22 to this present, 4to, 1659). All were
conciliatory in tone, and as would-be mediators were many, Monck
agreed to send three commissioners to negotiate with the leaders
of the English army. The commissioners came to an agreement on 15
Nov., but he refused to ratify it, on the ground that they had
gone beyond their instructions (BAKER, pp. 693-5). Further
negotiations to take place at Newcastle were accordingly agreed to.
Delay strengthened Monck's position, for he had 70,000£. in
hand, while the troops opposed to him under the leadership of
Lambert were ill-paid and afterwards unpaid. He was also enabled
thereby to complete his communications with the opponents of
military rule in England and Ireland, and to give them time to
come to his aid. Nine of the old council of state met together in
London, and sent him a letter of thanks (19 Nov.), followed by a
commission constituting him absolute commander-in-chief of all
the forces in England and Scotland (24 Nov.; BAKER, p. 695). At
their instigation the garrison of Portsmouth declared for the
restoration of the parliament (3 Dec.); then the fleet in the
Downs followed Portsmouth's example (13 Dec.), and finally a
revolution in the Irish army, headed by Sir Charles Coote and
Lord Broghill, placed the government of that country in the hands
of Monck's supporters (14 Dec.) The troops in London abandoned
the struggle and submitted to the parliament, which again resumed
its place at Westminster on 26 Dec.
George Monck, 1660 medal by Thomas Simon
Monck and his army enter England
Monck was now able to advance into England. His forces were
inferior in number to Lambert's, and he was especially weak in
horse. To remedy this he had increased the number of pikemen in
each regiment, and turned his dragoons into regular cavalry. His
determination to maintain English authority in Scotland obliged
him to leave four regiments of foot to hold the Scottish
fortresses and to reject suggestions that he should summon the
Scots to his assistance. A certain number of Scotsmen were
enlisted to fill the vacancies in his foot regiments. Monck also
persuaded the Convention of Estates to facilitate his march by
guaranteeing the early payment of the assessments due from the
country. More than a benevolent neutrality he knew he could not
expect, unless he were to declare openly for the king.
Monck had established his headquarters at Coldstream on the
Tweed, about nine miles from Berwick, a position which would
enable him either to bar Lambert's advance if he marched by the
east coast, or to march directly on London if Lambert invaded
Scotland by way of Carlisle (8 Dec.).
Coldstream on the Tweed, a 19th century view
On 24 Dec. he broke off the negotiations with Lambert, and on 2
Jan. 1660 crossed the Tweed into England. His forces amounted to
about five thousand foot and two thousand horse. Lambert's army
broke up as Monck's advanced. Monck marched slowly towards
London, disbanding or purging the rebellious regiments of
Lambert's army on his way.
An opportune riot among some of the soldiers in London supplied
him with a plausible reason for requiring that Fleetwood's forces
should leave London to make room for the troops which he brought
with him. He felt strong enough to send part of his forces back
to Scotland, and entered London on 3 Feb. with four thousand foot
and eighteen hundred horse.
Monck's March from Coldstream to London, from G. Davies 1924
Throughout this journey Monck was besieged by addresses from
all parts of England, asking for the readmission of the excluded
members of parliament. The city, with which he had long been in
correspondence, sent messengers to demand a full and free
parliament (Old Parliamentary History, xxii. 46).
Parliament itself had sent two commissioners to congratulate
Monck, and to watch his movements. He frequently left them the
task of answering the petitioners, his own return "consisting in
a nod, a frown, or the rubbing of his forehead if the speech were
long" (PRICE, p. 755).
In a letter answering the petition of the gentlemen of
Devonshire, he urged submission to the existing parliament, and
argued that the readmission of the excluded members or the
restoration of monarchy would be contrary to the interests of the
nation. But to the demands of some of his officers that he should
solemnly engage his army to be "obedient to the parliament in all
things, except the bringing of Charles Stuart," he answered that
they must not seem to dictate to parliament, or they would fall
into the same error as the English army (ib. p. 754;
KENNETT, p. 32).
And though publicly discountenancing the demands of the city he
gave private encouragement to its leaders through his chaplain
Gumble (GUMBLE, pp. 209-20; Clarendon State Papers, iii. 649).
The ambiguity of his utterances and the contradiction between
his words and his actions puzzled the shrewdest observers.
Neither Hyde nor the royalist agents in England could guess
whether he meant to serve the king or to maintain the Rump in power.
Parliament had been profusely grateful to Monck for Lambert's
overthrow. On 2 Jan. they elected him one of the council of
state, on the 12th they ordered a bill to be brought in to
justify and approve all his actions, on the 16th they voted him
1,000£. a year, and on 2 Feb. appointed him ranger of St. James's
Park. The commission as commander-in-chief, granted him by the
old council of state, had been confirmed on 26 Jan. Nevertheless,
the parliamentary leaders regarded him with suspicion.
Monck enters London
Monck entered London on 3 Feb., and on 6 Feb. was solemnly
thanked by Speaker Lenthall on behalf of parliament. In reply he
summarised his answers to the addresses he had received, and set
forth the policy he desired parliament to follow. They were to
reconcile the "sober gentry" to the government and to protect the
"sober interest," allowing neither cavaliers nor fanatics any
share of power. Two points in his speech were more alarming. He
plainly hinted that he had pledged himself that the parliament
should be filled up, and its sittings speedily determined. At the
same time he warned them against the proposed imposition of an
oath abjuring the house of Stuart, and it was known that he
himself, on taking his place in the council of state, had refused
to take the oath (GUMBLE, p. 229).
George Monck enters London
Immediately after Monck's arrival the quarrel between the
parliament and the city came to a head, and the latter refused to
pay taxes. On the morning of 9 Feb. Monck marched into the city
with orders to arrest eleven leading citizens, take away the
posts and chains in the streets, and make the gates indefensible.
Having carried out the greater part of his task, he wrote to the
house that he had forborne taking down the gates and portcullises
in order not to exasperate the city, and begged that tenderness
might be used towards it.
But the parliamentary leaders were too exalted by his obedience
to listen to his remonstrances. "All is our own," said Heselrige,
"he will be honest;" or, according to another story, "Now,
George, we have thee, body and soul" (LUDLOW, ii. 825). They
commanded him to execute his orders to the letter, and on the
following day he completed his task (Old Parliamentary History,
Monck's soldiers pull down the gates of London
The result of the two days' work was to change the temper of
Monck's soldiers, and rouse their indignation against the
parliament. No doubt Monck foresaw this result, and counted on
it. When Price soon after asked him how he was engaged to
undertake this detestable piece of service, he answered: "This
was a trick you knew not of, and I assure you that I could not
have done my business so soon without it, and possibly not at
all" (PRICE, p. 763).
He now drew up a letter to parliament peremptorily demanding
the issue of writs for a new parliament within the next week, and
the fixing of a date for the dissolution of the present assembly
(Old Parliamentary History, xxii. 98). The letter was presented
to the house on the morning of 11 Feb., and on the afternoon of
the same day Monck met the corporation in the Guildhall, told
them what he had done, and apologised for his late ungrateful
His declaration was received with general joy, and celebrated
by bonfires, in which the Rump was burnt in effigy all over
London. The parliament received Monck's letter with feigned
thanks, but showed its real distrust by vesting the control of
the army in five commissioners, of whom Monck was one, while
three were of their own faction (LUDLOW, ii. 830).
The council of state humbly pressed him to return to Whitehall,
but Monck turned a deaf ear to their appeals. He was now bent on
procuring the readmission of the members expelled in 1648, and
with that object obtained a conference between the "secluded" and
the sitting members. But the conference led to no result, and he
solved the difficulty by ordering the guards to admit the
secluded members to the house (21 Feb.).
Before they took their seats he pledged them to settle the
government of the army, call a new parliament for 20 April,
dissolve the present one within a month, and appoint a new
council of state to govern in the interval (BAKER, p. 710; Old
Parliamentary History, xxii. 140).
They kept their word, elected a new council with Monck at the
head of the list (21 Feb.), appointed him general-in-chief of all
the land forces in the three kingdoms (25 Feb.) and joint-
commander of the navy (2 March).
George Monck, portrait engraved in London, early 1660
On 16 March parliament was dissolved, but not till it had annulled the engagement to be faithful to a commonwealth previously required from all persons in office.
Hitherto Monck had lulled the suspicions of the republicans by
public and private protestations of his fidelity to the republic.
"As for a Commonwealth," he wrote to Heselrige on 13 Feb.,
"believe me, Sir, for I speak it in the presence of God, it is
the desire of my soul, and shall (the Lord assisting) be
witnessed by the actions of my life, that these nations be so
settled in a free state, without a king, single person, or House
of Peers, that they may be governed by their representatives in
parliament successively" (Clarendon State Papers, iii. 678). In
his speeches and manifestoes he was equally vehement (KENNETT, p.
63; BAKER, p. 711).
Hitherto the republicans had hoped that "Monck could not be
such a devil to betray a trust so freely reposed in him" (LUDLOW,
ii. 816). Now convinced that the restoration of the Stuarts was
imminent, Heselrige and others offered the supreme power to
Monck, and Bordeaux, the French ambassador, assured him of the
support of Mazarin, if he chose to accept the offer (BAKER, pp.
715, 717; GUIZOT, Richard Cromwell, ii. 293).
But Monck refused to listen to these suggestions, and ordered
Bordeaux not to interfere in matters of government.
More serious was the danger of a military revolt. Monck had
prepared to deal with it by removing Fleetwood's troops from
London, quartering the regiments in small sections, and replacing
inflexible republicans by colonels whom he could trust. On 15
March a meeting of officers demanded that he should send to the
parliament to re-enact the engagement against a monarchy, but he
told them "that he brought them not out of Scotland for his nor
the parliament's council; that for his part he should obey the
parliament, and expected they should do the same" (Clarendon
State Papers, iii. 696; BAKER, p. 716).
He then ordered them to their regiments and forbade them to
assemble again, and finally obtained from the whole army an
engagement to submit to whatsoever the Lord should bring forth
from the consultations of the coming parliament (9 April; BAKER,
p. 719). So effectual were these measures, that when Lambert
escaped from the Tower, he was only joined by seven or eight
troops of horse and a few cashiered officers, and his recapture
put an end to the insurrection (22 April).
In contact with King Charles
Before this time Monck had entered into direct communication
with Charles II. The precise date at which he resolved to restore
the king has been much disputed. Speaking of Nicholas Monck's
visit to his brother in July 1659, Clarendon says: "At that time
there is no question the general had not the least thought or
purpose to contribute to the king's restoration, the hope whereof
he believed to be desperate; and the disposition that did grow in
him afterwards did arise from those accidents which fell out, and
even obliged him to undertake that which proved so much to his
profit and glory..." "It was the king's great happiness that he
never had it in his power to serve him till it fell to be in his
power, and, indeed, till he had nothing else in his power to do"
(Rebellion, xvi. 100, 115).
On the other hand, Price represents Monck as first conceiving
the idea of a restoration in July 1659, and covertly avowing his
intention before he entered England (PRICE, ed. Maseres, pp. 721,
746). As early as November 1659 Monck told Clarges that he
intended to readmit the "secluded members," and every politician
knew that this meant the restoration of the monarchy (BAKER, p. 688).
His conduct when he declared against the army in October 1659,
the foresight with which he provided for every possibility, and
the decision with which he acted, all render it difficult to
suppose that he had no clear conception of his ultimate object.
Much of Monck's success was due to his judicious selection of
his instruments. In dealing with the republicans he had made
Gumble his mouthpiece, Sharpe was his agent with the
presbyterians, and Clarges with the officers. To negotiate with
royalists a new personage was required, and for that purpose he
had made choice of his relative William Morice, one of the
secluded members, whom he summoned from Devonshire and made
governor of Plymouth (CLARENDON, Rebellion, xvi. 162; BAKER, p.
Through Morice he arranged an interview with Sir John Grenville
(19 March), and at last received from his hands the letter the
king had sent him in the previous summer. "My heart," he told
Grenville, "was ever faithful to the king, but I was never able
to do him service till the present time." He refused to give
Grenville a letter for the king, but made him commit his
instructions to memory, and despatched him at once to Brussels.
Monck's recommendations were that the king should remove at
once to Breda, and thence offer a general pardon and indemnity,
guarantee all sales of land effected by the late authorities, and
promise religious toleration. In the Declaration of Breda (4
April) the king practically adopted Monck's suggestions, but by
Hyde's advice referred to the ultimate decision of parliament the
interpretation and execution of his general promises. With the
declaration, Charles sent Monck a commission as captain-general,
authority to appoint a secretary of state, and letters for the
city, the council of state, and the parliament (PRICE, pp. 783-
91; CLARENDON, xvi. 166-74).
Monck silently laid them aside until the meeting of parliament.
His negotiation with the king meant, as Charles told Grenville,
"the king's restoration without conditions." Monck's apology for
thus anticipating the action of parliament lay in the belief that
he could not guarantee the peace of the nation during the time
that a treaty would require (BURNET, Own Time, i. 161, ed. 1833).
Parliament met on 25 April, and the next day Monck was solemnly
thanked by both houses. The king's letters were presented on 1
May, and the restoration of the monarchy was voted the same day.
George Monck greets Charles Stuart on the beach at Dover
Charles Stuart riding to London
On 25 May the king landed at Dover. Monck met him on the shore
with expressions of humility and devotion. Charles "embraced and
kissed him" (cf. GUMBLE, p. 383).
Next day at Canterbury Monck was knighted, invested with the
order of the Garter and made master of the horse (Cal. State
Papers, Dom. 1659-60, p. 447). On 7 July he was raised to the
peerage by the titles Baron Monck of Potheridge, Beauchamp, and
Teyes, Earl of Torrington, and Duke of Albemarle, granted a
pension of 700£. a year, and given the estate of New Hall in Essex.
Monck's early 1660 portrait was re-engraved to show his new titles
The selection of these titles was an implicit admission of the
claims set forth in the pedigree which his panegyrists had lately
published, representing him as descended from Richard Beauchamp,
earl of Warwick, and from Arthur Plantagenet, a natural son of
Edward IV (Complete Peerage, by G. E. C., i. 58). But his
paramount merit was that set forth in Sir Richard Fanshawe's
Latin preamble to his patent, whose recital of his services
closes with the words, "haec omnia, prudentia ac felicitate summa,
victor sine sanguine, perfecit" (PECK, Desiderata Curiosa, ii.
For the moment the king's obligations made Monck's influence
enormous, but he used it with moderation. He presented Charles
with a list of about seventy persons recommended for office, but
greatly to the king's relief explained that it was a mere
formality. Of his kinsmen, Morice became secretary of state,
Nicholas Monck bishop of Hereford, and Clarges was knighted and
made commissary-general of the musters. He never wearied of
advancing the interests of Grenville and his family, and Ashley
Cooper owed to Monck's special recommendation his immediate
admission to the privy council (CLARENDON, Continuation, 13;
Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1664-5, p. 436).
Charles II, as depicted in 1850
Monck's influence was naturally greatest in military affairs.
His position as captain-general was confirmed by a patent for
life (3 Aug. 1660). While the rest of the army was disbanded, his
own regiment of foot was continued as the king's guards, and a
large part of his horse regiment was re-enlisted in the horse
guards. Their necessity had been shown by Venner's insurrection (7 Jan. 1661).
Read about the Coldstream Guards' 1930 re-enactment
In purely political questions Monck's influence was far less
powerful. His views as to the details of the restoration
settlement are contained in a paper sent to the king about 9 May
1660 (LISTER, Life of Clarendon, iii. 500). He proposed that five
persons only should be excepted from the Act of Oblivion; that
the sales of church lands and crown lands by the late authorities
should be confirmed as leases for a term of years; and that
those who had bought lands belonging to private persons should
have the usufruct of them until the purchase-money was repaid.
The solution which the royalist zeal of the convention
preferred was far more sweeping. Monck himself sat among the
judges of the regicides, but cannot fairly be blamed. He was not,
like some of his colleagues, partly responsible for the policy
which prepared the way for the king's execution; he had
endeavoured to limit the number of victims, and he faithfully
observed his personal pledges to Heselrige and others, whose
lives he had promised to save (Hist. MSS. Comm. 8th Rep. p. 212).
In ecclesiastical matters, also, the policy adopted was not
that which he advocated. All the evidence tends to prove that
Monck was at heart a moderate presbyterian, just as his wife was
a violent one. "Moderate, not rigid, presbyterian government,
with a sufficient liberty for consciences truly tender," was his
definition of the settlement he desired the "secluded members" to
establish. It was with great difficulty that Price induced him to
promise not to engage himself against bishops (Old Parliamentary
History, xxii. 142; PRICE, p. 774; WODROW, Church History, ed.
1828, i. 5-19).
The compromise Monck proposed to the king was that an assembly
of divines should be called to settle, in conjunction with
parliament, the future government of the church. As an advocate
of comprehension he was present at the Worcester House conference
(22 Oct. 1660), and two years later intervened in support of the
attempt to suspend the enforcement of the Act of Uniformity
(CLARENDON, Continuation, 335-8; PEPYS, Diary, 3 Sept. 1662).
Coronation procession (detail) April 23, 1661. Charles II at left,
followed by Monck, who is "Leading a Horse of Estate."
Another view of the procession, identifying Monck.
In the settlement of Scotland Monck's advice naturally had
considerable weight. He appears, however, to have been opposed to
the withdrawal of the English garrisons and to the destruction of
the forts erected there during the English conquest (WODROW,
Church History, ed. R. Burns, 1827, i. 44).
But he had promised the Scots nobility before going into
England that "he would befriend them in all their just
liberties," and this was one of the points they had most at
heart. 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). Clarendon also attributes Glencairne's
employment to Monck's recommendation (Continuation, 95).
The part which Monck took in procuring Argyll's condemnation
has been much controverted. One of the charges against Argyll was
his active support of the English government of Scotland against
the Scottish royalists, and when there was a difficulty about
proving it Monck forwarded a selection from Argyll's letters to
himself and other English governors. This fact, asserted by
Baillie and Burnet, but denied by later writers, is now
conclusively proved (BURNET, i. 225; BAILLIE, ed. Laing, iii.
465; Hist. MSS. Comm. 6th Rep. p. 617; for the controversy, see
GUIZOT, Monk, ed. Wortley, p. 293). Burnet terms this an act of
"inexcusable baseness;" on the other hand, the letters were not
of the private nature which he asserts, but a part of the
official correspondence of the English government in Scotland
which had, according to custom, remained in Monck's possession
(Own Time, i. 225).
George Monck, engraving by Loggan
At the Restoration Monck had been appointed lord-lieutenant of
Ireland, but was unwilling either to quit England or to resign
his post. His Irish estate, according to Clarendon, amounted to
4,000£. a year, "which he thought he could best preserve in the
supreme government, though he was willing to have it believed in
the city and the army that he retained it only for the good of
the adventurers, and that the soldiers might be justly dealt with
for their arrears" (Continuation, 124).
In the Act of Settlement provisos were inserted in favour of
Monck's rights, and his influence was undoubtedly used on behalf
of the English colony. At first the king appointed Lord Roberts
to act as Monck's deputy, but as that arrangement proved
unsatisfactory three lords justices were appointed instead
(December 1660). The death of one of these caused a new
difficulty, which Monck solved by resigning his commission and
begging the king to make Ormonde lord-lieutenant (November 1661;
ib. a 198, 234).
Monck's part in the foreign policy pursued during the early
years of the reign is obscure. Burnet, on the doubtful authority
of Sir Robert Southwell, attributes to him the suggestion of the
Portuguese match. It is clear that Monck was a strong supporter
of the scheme, if not actually its originator (Own Time, i. 300;
KENNETT, Register, p. 394; CARTE, Ormonde, iv. 102).
Burnet represents him as the chief adviser of the sale of
Dunkirk, but, according to the letters of d'Estrades, Clarendon
told him that Monck was one of its chief opponents. Nevertheless,
his position as lord-general naturally led to his appointment as
one of the commissioners to arrange the details of the sale (Own
Time, i. 312; Clarendon State Papers, iii. Appendix, p. xxv;
LANSDOWNE, Works, 1732, i. 459).
The Second Dutch War
Public opinion regarded Monck as one of the instigators of the
Dutch war. "Some," says Gumble, "did report him the chief
councillor, but they are mistaken, for he scarce declared himself
in it till the parliament had voted to adhere with their lives
and fortunes" (p. 410). Foreign observers, however, shared the
popular view, and the Dutch ambassador reported to his masters a
conversation in which Monck announced that at any cost England
must have her proper share in the trade of the world (PONTALIS,
Jean de Witt, i. 325; CHRISTIE, Life of Shaftesbury, i. 278).
Throughout the war, whether Monck was at home or at sea, the
burden of its management rested largely on his shoulders. When
the Duke of York took command of the fleet he deputed his
authority as lord high admiral to Monck instead of entrusting it
to commissioners (22 March 1665; Memoirs of Naval Affairs, 1729,
p. 124). "It is a thing that do cheer my heart," wrote Pepys;
"for the other would have vexed us with attendance, and never
done the business" (Diary, 17 March 1665).
The Plague Year
All through the plague-year Monck remained in London, executing
the duties of his office, maintaining order in the city, and,
with the assistance of William Craven, earl of Craven (1606-
1697), superintending the measures taken to check the plague. His
example and his presence were of the greatest value (CLARENDON,
Continuation, 662; GUMBLE, Life of Monk, p. 419).
Rupert and Monck - war at sea
In November 1665 the king decided to employ Monck at sea. At
first he hesitated to accept, on the ground that he was more
necessary in London, "as he thought he had done the king better
service by staying in London than he could have done in any other
place" (CLARENDON). Finally he consented, but begged that his
acceptance might remain a secret for the present; "for if his
wife should come to know it, before he had by degrees prepared
her for it, she would break out into such passions as would be
very uneasy to him." Her "cursed words" when she did learn it are
recorded by Pepys (Diary, 9 Dec. 1665).
With Rupert as his colleague in command Monck put to sea on 23
April 1666. Rupert with twenty ships was detached in May to
prevent the junction of the French squadron with the Dutch. This
resolution was taken, according to Sir William Coventry, "with
the full consent and advice" of Monck (ib. 24 June 1666;
CLARENDON, Continuation, 868).
During Rupert's absence the Dutch fleet appeared off the North
Foreland (1 June), and though Monck had but fifty-four ships to
their eighty he at once attacked. The English fleet had the
weather gauge, but could not use their lower deck guns. Monck's
tactics have been highly praised by a modern critic, but when the
day closed the English fleet, especially the white squadron, had
lost heavily (MAHAN, The Influence of Sea Power upon
History, p. 121). The Swiftsure, which carried the flag of
Vice-admiral Sir William Berkeley, had been taken, and Rear-
admiral Sir John Harman's ship, the Henry, completely disabled.
The next day the battle was renewed, the Dutch, according to
English accounts, receiving a reinforcement of sixteen ships. By
night the English fleet, reduced to thirty-four fighting ships,
was in full retreat. On the third day the retreat continued. "My
Lord-general's conduct," wrote Sir Thomas Clifford, "was here
well seen to be very good, for he chose out sixteen of the
greatest ships of these thirty-four to be a bulwark to the rest,
and to bring up the rear in a breast, and so shoved on the others
in a line before him, and in this way we maintained an orderly
and good retreat all Sunday" (Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-6, p. xx).
At three in the afternoon Prince Rupert's squadron was sighted,
but the junction of the two fleets was attended by the loss of
the Royal Prince, Sir George Ayscue's flagship, which struck on
the Galloper Sands, and was burnt by the Dutch. Monck's own ship,
the Royal Charles, also grounded but was got off, and his evident
determination to blow her up rather than surrender greatly
alarmed the gentlemen volunteers on board (GUMBLE, p. 436; Works
of Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham, ii. 6).
On the fourth day the English fleet again attacked and was
worsted, but the Dutch were in no condition to keep the seas, and
both navies returned to their ports to refit. The lowest estimate
of the English loss was eight hundred killed and fifteen hundred
wounded. The Dutch claimed to have taken twenty-three men of war
and lost but four.
Monck's conduct in engaging at once instead of waiting for
Rupert to join him was severely criticised. It was said that his
success in beating the Dutch in the earlier war had made him
over-confident and foolhardy (EVELYN, Diary, 6 June; PEPYS,
Diary, 4 July).
On the other hand Monck had good reason to believe that Rupert
would have joined him before the fleet was shattered by two days'
hard fighting. He also complained bitterly of the conduct of his
captains. "I assure you," he wrote to Coventry, "I never fought
with worse officers than now in my life, for not above twenty of
them behaved like men" (PEPYS, Correspondence, ed. Smith, i.
110). The sailors, however, never fought better (cf. TEMPLE,
Works, ed. 1754, i. 144).
Monck and Rupert put to sea again on 17 July, and on the 25th
and 26th engaged the Dutch. The jealousy which existed between
Cornelis Tromp and De Ruyter facilitated victory for the English. The
Dutch lost two ships only, but three admirals and a great number
of men, and were driven to take shelter in their ports (Life of
Cornelius Tromp, pp. 374-89; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1665-6, p. 579).
A fortnight later (8, 9 Aug.) a detached squadron of small
ships from the English fleet landed one thousand men on the
islands of Vlie and Schelling, and burnt 160 Dutch merchantmen in
harbour, whose cargoes were valued at a million sterling.
Monck and the Fire of London
Monck was summoned from sea by the news of the great fire of
London. He was back by 8 Sept., and his influence in the city was
of the greatest use in restoring order (PEPYS, Diary, 8 Sept.).
The Fire of London, 1666, by Lieven Verschuur
Monck and the Chatham Disaster
He could not be spared to resume his command of the fleet
during 1666, and for 1667 the government, at its wits' end for
money, took the fatal resolution of laying up the great ships in
harbour. The lighter ships were to be sent out to prey on Dutch
commerce, and the English coast was to be protected by
fortifications at Sheerness, Portsmouth, and Harwich. Sir William
Coventry was credited with the suggestion, but the council in
general shares the blame of its adoption, and popular rumour
represented Monck as unsuccessfully opposing it (Cal. State
Papers, Dom. 1667, pp. xxiv, xxvii; PEPYS, Diary, 14 June 1667).
When the Dutch fleet appeared in the Thames, he was, as usual,
despatched to the point of danger (cf. MARVELL, Last Instructions
to a Painter, l. 510). By sinking ships and raising batteries he
endeavoured to protect the men-of-war laid up at Chatham, and
wrote hopefully that he had made them safe (PEPYS, Diary, 12
June, 20 Oct. 1667).
But the negligence with which his orders were executed rendered
all his exertions fruitless, for on 12 June the Dutch broke the
chain across the Medway, burnt eight great ships, and captured
Monck's old flagship, the Royal Charles. The narrative which
Monck laid before the House of Commons proved that he did all a
commander so badly seconded could do, and the house thanked him
for his eminent merit in the late war (Commons' Journals, ix. 6,
11). "The blockhead Albemarle," comments Pepys, "hath strange
luck to be loved, though he be the heaviest man in the world, but
stout and honest to his country" (Diary, 23 Oct. 1667).
The Chatham Disaster, 1667, by Jan Pieters
This was Monck's last public service. He had been appointed
first lord of the treasury when it was put into commission (24
May 1667); but he took little part in the business of the board.
When Clarendon fell into disgrace, Monck at first tried to
reconcile him with the king, but finally used his influence in
parliament against him (CLARENDON, Continuation, 1136, 1177).
Towards the end of 1668 his increasing infirmities obliged him
to retire permanently to New Hall. Ever since his recovery from a
dangerous fever (August 1661) he had been liable to asthma, and
to swellings which finally developed into dropsy. He was
suffering from these complaints when he entertained Cosmo III of
Tuscany (12 June 1669), grew rapidly worse in the following
December, and died on the morning of 3 Jan. 1670. He died, wrote
an eye-witness, "like a Roman general and soldier, standing
almost up in his chair, his chamber like a tent open, and all his
officers about him" (Monckton Papers, ed. Peacock, 1885, p. 94).
His old friend, Seth Ward, who was with him in his last
moments, preached his funeral sermon ("The Christian's Victory
over Death," 4to, 1670).
The grateful king took the charge of funeral and monument out
of Christopher Monck's hands, and announced that he would bear
the cost of both himself. Monck's funeral was consequently long
delayed. "It is almost three months," wrote Marvell on 21 March,
"and he yet lies in the dark unburied, and no talk of him"
(Works, ed. Grosart, ii. 317). The funeral, celebrated with great
pomp, took place in Westminster Abbey on 30 April 1670 (SANDFORD,
The Order used at the Solemn Interment of George, Duke of
Albemarle, fol. 1670; MACKINNON, i. 132).
The monument Charles never erected, but one was at last put up in 1720, in pursuance of the will of Christopher, second duke of Albemarle.
Tomb of George, Anne, and Christopher Monck
in Westminster Abbey.
George is sculpted in armor with his General's baton,
fouled anchors, and trophies of arms.
Anne in a classical gown leans on
a shield that depicts Christopher.
Monck's effigy, dressed in armour, was long one of the
sights of the abbey, and the contributions of the curious were
usually collected in his cap. The effigy is still preserved, but
for a time was only shown to visitors by the dean's order; it
can, however, now be seen, but is in a very decayed condition
(STANLEY, Memorials of Westminster, ed. 1868, pp. 228, 343; DART,
Westmonasterium, i. 153).
Funerary armor of George Monck in Westminster Abbey
A portrait of Monck, by Walker, is in the possession of the
Earl of Sandwich, and one by Lely is in the Painted Hall at
Greenwich; a third, by an unknown painter, was No. 815 in the
National Portrait Exhibition of 1866; and a fourth was painted by
Dr. Logan, an engraving of which and two others are in the
possession of James Falconer, esq. The Sutherland Collection in
the Bodleian Library contains about twenty engraved portraits.
Gumble chose this image of Monck crowned Duke of Albemarle.
Monck's appearance is thus described by Gumble: "He was of a
very comely personage, his countenance very manly and majestic,
the whole fabric of his body very strong."
George Monck, 1st Duke of Albemarle, 1668, by John Michael Wright
A French traveller who
saw him in 1663 is more explicit: "Il est petit et gros; mais il
a la physionomie de l'esprit le plus solide, et de la conscience
la plus tranquille du monde, et avec cela une froideur sans
affectation, et sans orgueil, ni didain; il a enfin tout l'air
d'un homme fort moderi et fort prudent" (Voyages de B. de
Monconys, ed. 1695, II. ii. 167).
An Italian, writing of six years later, describes him as "of
the middle size, of a stout and square-built make, of a
complexion partly sanguine and partly phlegmatic, as indeed is
generally the case with the English; his face is fair, but
somewhat wrinkled with age; his hair is grey, and his features
not particularly fine or noble" (MAGALOTTI, Travels of the Grand
Duke Cosmo III, 1821, p. 469).
Brutally frank, Peter Lely portrayed Monck in failing health.
The great court artist painted only his subjects' faces, leaving
the rest of each picture to be completed by his assistants.
Of Monck's habits Gumble gives a minute account (pp. 465-75).
He was very temperate, and before his sickness "was never known
to desire meat or drink till called to it, which was but once a
day, and seldom drank but at his meals." But if occasion arose he
could drink deep, and when some young lords forced him to take
part in a drinking bout, he saw them all under the table, and
withdrew sober to the privy council (JUSSERAND, A French
Ambassador at the Court of Charles II, 1892, p. 96).
Three views of the London house of George Monck, Duke of Albermarle, in Grub Street, which is now known as Milton Street.
Throughout he retained much of the puritan in his manners, was
"never heard to swear an oath," and never gambled till his
physicians advised it as a distraction.
In religion Monck was careful in all observances, at heart
"inclined much to the rigidest points of predestination," and he
sometimes inserted religious reflections in his despatches.
His courage, which was always conspicuous, was "a settled habit
of mind," and "as great in suffering as in doing."
But the virtue which his biographer praises as "paramount in
him and mistress of all the rest" was his prudence, including
under that term the practical dexterity with which he made use of
all men and all means to bring about the Restoration. The
perjuries which it cost him to effect it never troubled his
conscience. He regarded them as legitimate stratagems sanctified
by the end in view. His natural reserve had made dissimulation
easy to him, and his character for honesty and simplicity made
him readily believed.
Monck was an indefatigable official, rising early, sleeping
little, and despatching an enormous amount of business. He had
very little education, spelt badly, and expressed himself
awkwardly, and often tautologically, but his letters are always
clear and to the point. As a general he was remarkable for his
care of his men, and for a knowledge of military science rare
among the self-taught commanders of the Commonwealth. He occupies
a place in Walpole's "Royal and Noble Authors" by virtue of
Observations upon Military and Political Affairs, written when
he was a prisoner in the Tower, and published by John Heath in 1671.
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Anne, duchess of Albemarle, born 25 March 1619 (Sloane MS. 1708,
f. 117), was the daughter of John Clarges, a farrier in the
Savoy, by his wife, Anne Leaver. She married, on 28 Feb. 1632-3,
Thomas Radford, also a farrier, and afterwards a servant to
Prince Charles, "from whom she was separated in 1649, but of
whose death before her second marriage no evidence appears to
have been obtained." Her remarriage to Monck took place on 23
Jan. 1652-3 at St. George's, Southwark (CHESTER, Westminster
Abbey Registers, p. 171).
Farriers at work
Aubrey asserts that she was Monck's seamstress when he was
prisoner in the Tower, and hints that she was also his mistress.
A letter written in September 1653, mentioning the marriage,
describes her character in the harshest terms, but these
scandalous stories contain inaccuracies which destroy their
credit (Letters from the Bodleian, ii. 452; THURLOE, i. 470).
By her Monck had two sons: first, Christopher, born in 1653,
second duke of Albemarle; secondly, George, who died an infant,
and was buried in the chapel at Dalkeith House (SKINNER, p. 70).
The Duke of Albemarle & his Duchess, dressed for travel.
Behind them marches a "division" (company) of Coldstream Guards.
Officers armed with halberds lead and follow the musketeers and pikemen.
The regimental colours are in the center of the formation.
In 1659 all Mrs. Monck's influence with her husband was
exercised on behalf of the restoration of the monarchy. Price
dwells on the freedom she was wont to use in her evening
conversations with the general after his day's work was over. At
night too he was sometimes "quickened with a curtain lecture of
damnation -- a text that his lady often preached upon to him"
(PRICE, ed. Maseres, pp. 712, 716). This zeal gained her the
praise of Hyde's correspondents, who speak of her as "an extreme
good woman," and "a happy instrument in this glorious work"
(Clarendon State Papers, iii. 739, 741, 749).
The Duchess of Albemarle
After the Restoration her defects became more obvious, and
Clarendon terms her "a woman of the lowest extraction, the least
wit, and less beauty;" "nihil muliebre praeter corpus gerens"
(Rebellion, xvi. 98). To Pepys she seemed "a plain, homely
dowdy," and he complains that when he dined at the duke's he
found him with "dirty dishes, and a nasty wife at table and bad
meat" (Diary, 4 April 1667). Her worst fault, however, was
avarice, and she was commonly accused of selling offices in her
husband's department, and of even worse methods of extortion
(ib. 22 June 1660; 16 May 1667). She died on 29 Jan. 1670,
aged nearly 51, and was buried in Westminster Abbey on 28 Feb.
(CHESTER, p. 171).
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Of separately published lives of Monck the most important is
The Life of General Monck, Duke of Albemarle, with Remarks upon
his Actions, by Thomas Gumble, D.D., 8vo, 1671. Gumble was
Monck's chaplain during 1659 and part of 1660, and derived much
of his information from Monck and his officers.
The Life by Thomas Skinner is for the most part a mere
compilation, though Skinner was promised the use of original
papers by Lord Bath and the second Duke of Albemarle (Notes and
Queries, 1st ser. i. 377, 8th ser. iv. 421). It was first
published in 1723 by William Webster, curate of St. Dunstan's-in-
the-West, London, who added a preface containing some original
Of modern lives the most important is that by Guizot, originally
published in 1837. Of this there are two translations, the first,
published in 1838, with valuable annotations by J. Stuart
Wortley [first Baron Wharncliffe], the second, published in 1851,
by A. R. Scoble, from Guizot's revised edition of his work
(1850), with an appendix of diplomatic correspondence.
A life, by Julian Corbett, 1889, is included in the series of
English Men of Action.
Lives of Monck are also in:
Winstanley's Worthies, 1684;
Biographia Britannica, v. 3134;
Campbell's British Admirals, 1744;
Prince's Worthies of Devon, 1701.
A pedigree is given in the Visitations of Devon, ed. by Colby.
In 1660 a pamphlet was printed, entitled The Pedigree and Descent
of his Excellency, General George Monk, setting forth how he is
descended from King Edward III, by a Branch and Slip of the White
Rose, the House of York; and likewise his Extraction from
Richard, King of the Romans.
For particular portions of Monck's career the following are the
1. For his service in Ireland:
Carte's Life of Ormonde;
Carte's MSS. in the Bodleian Library;
Gilbert's Aphorismical Discovery of Treasonable Faction.
2. For his services at sea:
Granville Penn's Memorials of Sir William Penn, 1833;
J. B. Deane's Life of Richard Deane;
The Life of Cornelius Van Tromp, translated 1697;
the parliamentary newspapers for 1653, and
the Calendar of Domestic State Papers.
3. For his government of Scotland:
The Thurloe State Papers, 1742;
MSS. of Sir William Clarke at Worcester College, Oxford
(published by Camden Soc.);
Mackinnon's Hist. of the Coldstream Guards, 1833;
Masson's Life of Milton, vol. v.
4. For the Restoration:
The Mystery and Method of his Majesty's happy Restoration, by
John Price, one of Monk's chaplains, 8vo, 1680; reprinted by
Maseres in Select Tracts relating to the Civil Wars in England,
The Continuation of Sir Richard Baker's Chronicle of the Kings of
England, by Edward Phillips, printed in the edition of 1661 and
subsequent editions, in what relates to Monck is based on the
papers of his brother-in-law, Sir Thomas Clarges;
the papers of Monck's secretary, Sir William Clarke, throw much
light on the history of this part of Monck's life (published by
Camden Soc. from MSS. at Worcester College, Oxford, or in the
possession of F. Leyborne Popham, esq., of Littlecote);
Ludlow's Memoirs, 1698; the Clarendon State Papers, vol. iii.;
Guizot's Hist. of Richard Cromwell and the Restoration of Charles
II, translated by A. R. Scoble, 1856.
Letters and declarations by Monck during this period, reprinted
from contemporary pamphlets, are to be found in the Old
Shortly after the Restoration A Collection of Letters and
Declarations, &c., sent by General Monk, 4to, 1660, was
published, which was reprinted in 1714 in 8vo. This was meant to
expose his perfidy, and his protestations in favour of a republic
were all printed in italics. It contained a letter to the king on
30 Dec. 1659, which is a forgery.
5. For the post-Restoration period of Monck's life:
Burnet's Hist. of his own Time;
the Continuation of Clarendon's Life, and
the Diary of Samuel Pepys.
A Vindication of General Monck from some Calumnies of Dr. Burnet
and some Mistakes of Dr. Echard, in relation to the sale of
Dunkirk and the Portuguese match, was published by George
It called forth an answer,
to which Granville replied in A Letter to the Author of
Reflections Historical and Political, occasioned by a Treatise in
Vindication of General Monk.
Both are reprinted in the Genuine Works of Lord Lansdowne, 2
On Monck's death the university of Oxford published a collection
of Latin verses, Epicedia Universitatis Oxoniensis in Obitum
Georgii ducis Albemarlif, fol., 1670; and
Cambridge added Musarum Cantabrigiensium Threnodia, 1670, 4to.
Payne Fisher wrote an Elogium Sepulchrale,
and Thomas Flatman a Pindarique Ode. Robert Wild, Iter Boreale,
1660, 4to, celebrates Monck's march from Scotland, and Dryden's
Annus Mirabilis, 1667, his four days' sea-fight.
More recent works include
Godfrey Davies, The Early History of the Coldstream Guards, 1924
Oliver Warner, Hero of the Restoration, a life of General George Monck, 1936
J. D. Griffith Davies, Honest George Monck, 1936
Ted R. Jamison, George Monck and the Restoration, Victor Without Bloodshed, 1975
Maurice Ashley, General Monck, 1977
John D. Grainger, Cromwell against the Scots, 1997
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Misidentified as General Monck, this portrait depicts his son Christopher