Convention Parliament (1660)

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The Convention Parliament of England (25 April 1660 – 29 December 1660) followed the Long Parliament that had finally voted for its own dissolution on 16 March that year. [1] Elected as a "free parliament", [2] i.e. with no oath of allegiance to the Commonwealth or to the monarchy, it was predominantly Royalist in its membership. It assembled for the first time on 25 April 1660.


After the Declaration of Breda had been received, Parliament proclaimed on 8 May that King Charles II had been the lawful monarch since the death of Charles I in January 1649. The Convention Parliament then proceeded to conduct the necessary preparation for the Restoration Settlement. These preparations included the necessary provisions to deal with land and funding such that the new régime could operate.

Reprisals against the establishment which had developed under Oliver Cromwell were constrained under the terms of the Indemnity and Oblivion Act which became law on 29 August 1660. Nonetheless there were prosecutions against those accused of regicide, the direct participation in the trial and execution of Charles I.

The Convention Parliament was dissolved by Charles II on 29 December 1660. The succeeding parliament was elected in May 1661, and was called the Cavalier Parliament. It set about both systematically dismantling or recasting all legislation and institutions which had been introduced during the Interregnum, and confirming of the Acts of the Convention Parliament.


In legal statutes, the Convention parliament is cited as 12 Cha. 2 (parliamentary session of the "12th regnal year of Charles II"). Among the acts passed by it were:

As all the acts of the Commonwealth parliaments were obliterated from the legal record, the Convention Parliament replicated some of the legislation they wanted to keep (e.g. the Navigation Act 1651) in new acts.

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  1. Pepys' Diary Entry for 16 March 1660 Entry for 26 April 1660
  2. History of England, Thomas Babington Macaulay pp 109-110
  3. "An Act for removing and preventing all Questions and Disputes concerning the Assembling and Sitting of this present Parliament", originally compiled by John Raithby
  4. "Charles II, 1660: A Subsidy granted to the King of Tonnage and Poundage and other summes of Money payable upon Merchandize Exported and Imported.", originally compiled by John Raithby
  5. "An Act for the speedy provision of money for disbanding and paying off the forces of this Kingdome both by Land and Sea.", originally compiled by John Raithby
  6. [ "An Act of Free and Generall Pardon Indempnity and Oblivion", originally compiled by John Raithby
  7. "An Act for Confirmation of Judiciall Proceedings", originally compiled by John Raithby
  8. "An Act for the Encourageing and increasing of Shipping and Navigation", originally compiled by John Raithby
  9. "An Act takeing away the Court of Wards and Liveries and Tenures in Capite and by Knights Service and Purveyance, and for setling a Revenue upon his Majesty in Lieu thereof", originally compiled by John Raithby
  10. "An Act for prohibiting the Exportation of Wooll Woolfells Fullers Earth or any kinde of Scouring Earth", originally compiled by John Raithby
  11. "An Act for Prohibiting the Planting Setting or Sowing of Tobaccho in England and Ireland", originally compiled by John Raithby