Monck, George, 1st duke of Albemarle


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Monck or Monk, George, 1st duke of Albemarle,

1608–70, English soldier and politician. He took part (1625) in the disastrous expedition against Cádiz and fought against the Spanish in the Netherlands. After service in the Bishops' WarsBishops' Wars,
two brief campaigns (1639 and 1640) of the Scots against Charles I of England. When Charles attempted to strengthen episcopacy in Scotland by imposing (1637) the English Book of Common Prayer, the Scots countered by pledging themselves in the National Covenant
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, he was given a command in Ireland and was there when the English civil warEnglish civil war,
1642–48, the conflict between King Charles I of England and a large body of his subjects, generally called the "parliamentarians," that culminated in the defeat and execution of the king and the establishment of a republican commonwealth.
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 began (1642). He returned to England to fight for Charles I, was captured (1644) at Nantwich, and was not released until 1646. He gained the confidence of Parliament and was commissioned to help subdue the Irish rebellion. In 1650 he accompanied Oliver CromwellCromwell, Oliver
, 1599–1658, lord protector of England. Parliamentary General

The son of a gentry family, he entered Cambridge in 1616 but probably left the next year.
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 to Scotland and in 1651 was left to complete the subjugation of the Scots. In 1652 he became a general of the fleet in the first of the Dutch WarsDutch Wars,
series of conflicts between the English and Dutch during the mid to late 17th cent. The wars had their roots in the Anglo-Dutch commercial rivalry, although the last of the three wars was a wider conflict in which French interests played a primary role.
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, and in 1654 he resumed his command in Scotland, which he held until 1660. Monck believed in the supremacy of civil authority over the military, and when the Protectorate of Richard CromwellCromwell, Richard,
1626–1712, lord protector of England; third son of Oliver Cromwell. He was the eldest surviving son at the death of his father (Sept. 3, 1658), who had nominated him as his successor.
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 collapsed (1659), he supported the reassembled Rump Parliament (what remained of the Long Parliament after Pride's Purge of 1648) against the army under Gen. John LambertLambert, John,
1619–83, English parliamentary general. He fought in the first civil war (1642–46) and assisted Henry Ireton in drawing up the Heads of the Proposals in 1647.
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. Having marched (1660) on London and seized control, however, he ordered the Rump to fill its vacant seats and then dissolve itself prior to the election of a "free" Parliament. Monck was an effective diplomat as well as an able soldier. In the next months he applied himself to the delicate task of reconciling the army (largely republican) to growing public sympathy for a restoration of the Stuart monarchy. Following the election of the strongly royalist Convention Parliament, he finally declared openly for the RestorationRestoration,
in English history, the reestablishment of the monarchy on the accession (1660) of Charles II after the collapse of the Commonwealth (see under commonwealth) and the Protectorate.
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 of Charles II, convinced that it was the only alternative to anarchy. Acting on Monck's advice, Charles issued the Delcaration of Breda, and Monck secured an invitation for Charles to return. After the Restoration, honors were heaped upon Monck: he was appointed gentleman of the bedchamber, privy councillor, master of the horse, and commander of all military forces; created duke of Albemarle; and granted estates and a pension. In 1666 he shared with Prince Rupert command of the fleet in the second Dutch War. He was left in charge of London at the time of the great plague (1665) and the great fire (1666).
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