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Printed Musical Propaganda in Early Modern England$

Joseph Arthur Mann

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781949979237

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781949979237.001.0001

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Supporting the Monarchy and the Church of England during the Restoration

Supporting the Monarchy and the Church of England during the Restoration

(p.139) Chapter 3 Supporting the Monarchy and the Church of England during the Restoration
Printed Musical Propaganda in Early Modern England

Joseph Arthur Mann

Liverpool University Press

Abstract and Keywords

With rebellion and regicide an ever-present worry for the newly-restored monarchy and the new king Charles II, public opinion could not be ignored. Charles II was welcomed back to his kingdom with a mix of enthusiasm and relief, but his Church of England faced a more difficult restoration. After being outlawed for a decade, it faced the difficulties inherent in reconstituting the institution itself. It faced the challenge of countering the sentiments against it that had been spread during the Commonwealth. It also needed to establish religious harmony in a populace fractured into numerous denominations than it was before the war. Chapter three reveals how music was consistently pressed into service to maintain a favorable public opinion of Charles II and later James II and in the 1660s to support the restoration of the Church of England. It shows how musical propaganda was used to tout Charles II’s lack-luster victories over the Dutch as masterful triumphs, paint him as a benevolent father-figure to his people, and even give him a fictional victory over Oliver Cromwell. While these tactics recurred during the reign of James II, they were ultimately unable to overcome the public distaste for his Catholicism.

Keywords:   Church of England, Restoration, Charles II, James II, public opinion, Catholicism, propaganda, monarchy, church music

Considering the Civil War and regicide that initiated the Commonwealth government, Royalists exploring possible ways through which they might restore the monarchy to England understandably focused on military action. Charles II had attempted, unsuccessfully, to regain control over the English realm with military force during the early 1650s, and the Duke of Ormond continued to explore the possibility of further military action throughout that decade. That the Restoration ultimately occurred through a bloodless transfer of power instigated by the destabilized Commonwealth government rather than by Charles II or any significant dedicated Royalist endeavor must have seemed both miraculous and suspicious to Royalists at all levels. The subjects of the crown had restored it of their own volition, which evidenced the power of the people over the crown: a power that Charles I had not recognized, to his detriment, before the Interregnum. The undeniable power of public opinion and the assumed primacy of the law over the monarchy made ruling a constant battle for consensus and unity in the divided and conflicted society of post-Restoration England.1 The unprecedented nature of the Restoration also made it especially tenuous. The king had not defeated his enemies; he owed his return to them or at least to some of them.

The country’s old divisions remained. Religion, especially the presence of a variety of Christian sects, continued to be a source of (p.140) disagreement and fear both from the top down (fearing revolution from nonconformists) and the bottom up (fearing a return to Catholicism), especially after James, Duke of York, made his Catholicism public. This fueled fears that Charles II shared his brother’s religious sympathies and would announce a national return to Catholicism at any moment (something that history later revealed to be more fact than fiction via the 1670 Treaty of Dover between Charles II and Louis XIV). Fear of a return to Catholicism only increased when James became James II in 1685, which eventually led to the Glorious Revolution of 1688. Moreover, the crown and Parliament continued to disagree over the balance of political power between them. Pet projects and group divisions among members of Parliament or the executive administration also created a division in Parliament that eventually grew into the political party system of Whigs and Tories by the late 1670s. Occasionally, religious and political divisions, combined with public anger and fear, led to riots, plots, and rebellion.2 Finally, questions concerning the goodness of the monarch led to a public image battle over whether or not the king and his intentions could be trusted. Suspicions from the antebellum period about the monarch’s willingness to disregard English law and affinity for popery, which contributed to the onset of the Civil War, continued to haunt Charles I’s children and ultimately led to the downfall of the Stuart dynasty.

The reigns of Charles II and James II therefore evidence a marked desire to reach consensus and unity in a country that would never again see the social cohesion or trust in the monarchy that it had enjoyed under Elizabeth I or even James I. At the very least, the Restoration monarchs needed to pacify the public enough to prevent another rebellion and regicide. However impossible such a unity might have been, both monarchs had the assistance of a propaganda network. Among the tools of this network, music in a variety of forms served to combat religious division and support the reigns of Charles II and James II, both in terms of their public images and broader political goals. Accordingly, chapter three examines the ways in which music served as political propaganda in support of the restored monarchy and contributed to pacifying and unifying the divided nation Charles II found on his arrival in 1660.

(p.141) Scholarship on the Restoration has traditionally assumed that the English people expressed joyous exuberance at the return of the monarchy in the spring of 1660. Royalist propagandists of the time certainly wanted readers and observers to have this impression. Thus, the return of the Stuarts included a veritable confetti of propaganda leaves of every shape, size, and color before, during, and after the court landed in Dover on May 25. In the waning months of 1659 and the beginning of 1660, broadside ballads appeared that attacked the Rump Parliament, glorified General Monck, and called for a return of the monarchy. An unknown printer published an anthology of twenty-three of these propaganda ballads in 1659 under the title Ratts Rhimed to Death, and Henry Brome published another anthology of forty-seven ballads in 1660 under the title The Rump, or Collection of Songs and Ballads made upon those who would be a PARLIAMENT, and where but the RUMP of an House of Commons, five times dissolv’d.3 Although the majority of the ballads in these anthologies focus on denigrating the Rump, the final stanza of the final ballad from The Rump anthology suggests the purpose of these propaganda ballads and collections: “Now God bless Charles & York & Gloucester/From Many or from One Impostor,/ May Kings and Peers and Commons ioyn/To save us both from Rump and Loyn.”4 Solidifying negative popular opinion against the Rump represents the first stage of this Royalist propaganda campaign, and it encouraged the average person on the street to see the late Interregnum government as chaotic and inept. If that government could be painted as an abject failure, then propagandists could present the return of the monarchy as the only definite means of restoring order and honor to English politics.

Likewise, broadsides published during and after Charles II’s official return encouraged all classes to sing his praises, the praises of his associates, and to mythologize his return as a blessed moment in English history. Iter Boreale, for example, recounts how General Monck resisted the corruption and scheming of the Council of State, rallied the just members of Parliament to vote for restoration of the monarchy, and triumphantly entered London with Charles. The Royall Entertainment asserts that “Such glory and gladnesse was ne’r known before [as] … When London invited the (p.142) King to the City.”5 Propaganda authors also published Ballads suggesting that those who might disagree with the Restoration ought to remain silent: “If any man be angry at this Song,/ What e’re he thinks hee’d best to hold his tongue.”6 General Monck had songs written about him and sung to him at a number of masque-like entertainments put on at London guild halls, including the Skinners’ Hall, Fishmongers’ Hall, and Goldsmiths’ Hall. Publishing information about these celebrations and their contents in broadsides and brief pamphlets both contributed to the creation of an atmosphere of unanimous exhilaration at the return of Charles II and concretized the euphoria of the public in important London civic institutions by pointing out the specific guild halls in which celebrations of the restored monarchy had taken place.7

By attempting to turn popular opinion against the Rump through this initial phase of propaganda campaigning, the publications mentioned above helped to set the stage for the arrival of Charles II. Propaganda performances accompanied the procession from Dover to London at the end of May 1660 and included folk-inspired bonfires, communal singing, martial music, Morris dancing, burning the Rump in effigy as a side of beef at least once, pageants, the reinstallation of and performance on formerly dismantled Cathedral organs at the Guild-Hall celebration in London, performances by town waits, and at least the publication of, if not also the performance of, one masque.8 Some of the folk performances must certainly have grown innocently out of the people’s joy for the return of their king, but including them prominently in the celebrations (and the publications describing them) also sent a clear message that the Interregnum government’s suppression of folk traditions had ended. The reference to erecting organs at Guild-Hall for the celebration of Charles II’s entrance to London holds special significance, as Civil War propaganda had intimately linked the monarchy to the organ as an instrument of sacred music (as discussed in chapter one). Those who went about reconstructing dismantled cathedral organs for a performance given in honor of the restoration of the monarchy likely intended audience members to interpret the act symbolically. Although the war had struck the “Organs Dumb,” their return along with the monarchy represented an end to the Interregnum experiment and a return to the Royalist culture of the antebellum period. Playford’s reference to the organs in 1659 suggests (p.143) that they continued to hold a significant association with the Civil War at least until the eve of the Restoration. In fact, one might make the argument, though no space remains to do so here, that Playford’s reference to the choir and organ in the poem included in the frontispiece of the 1659 collection (from whence the quote above comes) could have been a covert reference to the Royalists (the choir) and monarch (the organ) who had been stricken mute and dumb by the Parliamentarian forces.9

Owing to the scope of the celebrations and the ravages of time, we can be reasonably certain that much of the musical material from these Restoration events has not survived.10 The Subjects Joy for The Kings Restoration, the masque mentioned above, and An Ode upon the Happy Return of Charles II to His Languishing Nations, May 29. 1660, however, have survived in their printed form and probably did appear as part of the celebration, especially considering that both works orient May as the present day.11 The context of the ode more strongly suggests its use in the Restoration celebrations than those of the masque. The title page of the ode indicates that Charles Coleman set it to music, but the print only includes the text of the ode. Therefore, because a prominent composer, who also had ties to the court, set it to music and the music did not appear in the print, someone must have performed the ode along with its musical setting, or at least intended to; otherwise the setting would have served no purpose. The masque, on the other hand, neither mentions a premier performance location on the title page nor provides a cast list, both of which were common practices in printed theatrical works during this period. In any case, both works represent an attempt through their publication to extend the reach of Restoration propaganda to the largest possible audience.

As propaganda, both works focus on discrediting and demonizing the Interregnum experiment with republican rule and on presenting Charles II as a heaven-sent answer to the problems created by the failed experiment. The ode, for example, begins by asking,

  • And is there one Fanatique left, in whose
  • Degenerate Soul a thought can stray,
  • And by the witchcraft of a cloud, oppose
  • This Bright, so long expected, Day?
  • (p.144) Whence are these wild effects of Light,
  • Emergent from our tedious night?12

The fanatics described here allude to the Puritans who Royalists would have agreed had darkened the aspect of the three nations with a cloud that the bright light of Charles’s return now easily dispels: “Purging th’ infected air, our eyes, and mind,” and Shirley asks if this healing light “should strike these poor men [the fanatics] blind?”13 In the conclusion of the ode, Shirley instructs his audience/readers on the means of maintaining their returned blessings: “That Knaves may never preach him out agen, / Nor us into Rebellion, / Tis our turn now to Vote and Vow, / And Justice cry our streets throughout.”14 The reference to preaching offers another clear allusion to the Puritan ministers who stirred up rebellion during the Civil War. This passage also emphasizes the maintenance of the monarchy and lays the responsibility for maintaining justice on the shoulders of the people, which shows government supporters already had the importance of public opinion on their minds.

Similarly, Figure 3.1 greets readers as the frontispiece of the masque and consists of an image of the devil (or some other demon) and Oliver Cromwell—identified above his head as “Jeroboam” (the villain of the masque) and between his feet as “O. Cromwell”—holding up a cart wheel together with a crown sitting on top of it. Around the border of the image, the author includes verse seven from Psalm 52: “Loe this is the man that tooke not god for his strenght but trusted unto the multitude of his riches and strengthen’d himselfe in his wickedness.”15 The author then offers a dedication to General Monck in which he describes his desire

to court the affections, of the most Disloyall. … and [render] Treason … in the Abstract, hateful, both to God, and Man.

Religion and Allegience, are the wings of the soul, to mount her unto Heaven: and the present Masque, is, but to preserve the Beauty, of so fair an Allegation; and to attest before the world, my utter abhorrency of the least Confederation, against the Higher Powers.

Oh Sir! may the Higher Powers be, as safe, as sacred: and may That SaCRed [sic] Person, into whose hands, God, by his Grace; (p.145)

Supporting the Monarchy and the Church of England during the Restoration

Figure 3.1. Frontispiece from Anthony Sadler, The Subjects Joy for the Kings Restoration (London: James Davis, 1660), A1v, RB 147664, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Nature, by Descent; and the Law, by Right; have successively given the Globe and the Scepter: may, He, -----ah may He be, as happy, as He is Good; and as Good, as He is Great: the Best of Men, crowned with the Best of Blessings.16

(p.146) Sadler goes on to use the same sun and cloud imagery in the “Candid Reader” section as Shirley did in his ode, saying, “Rejoyce my Fellow Subjects, All, as One, / Congratulate the Rising of This Sonne; / Whose Royall Lustre hath dispelI’d our Fears, / And Clouds of Grief, to drop with Joyful Tears.”17

Sadler’s masque, like Shirley’s ode, serves to both signal his own loyalty and identity as a royalist and also model absolute devotion and submission to the restored monarchy, glorifying it while condemning all those who fought against it. Indeed, although Sadler ostensibly based the masque on the rebellion of Jeroboam as recounted in the Old Testament (3 Kings 11–16), references to non-Biblical story elements, such as Jeroboam attempting to turn a kingdom into a commonwealth and repeated references to regicide, reveal the work’s conceit as a mythologized discussion of recent English history overlaid with character names and some historical details from the Biblical story (such as the battle in which Abijah defeats Jeroboam’s forces).18 The plot of the masque consists of various characters assuring Abijah that he will regain his kingdom, that God allows treason but condemns traitors to Hell, and that God supports him. All of this talking eventually leads to Abijah’s victory over Jeroboam, which culminates in a fanciful representation of Cromwell (as Jeroboam) repenting as the Devil kills him and casts him into Hell, another decidedly non-Biblical scene:

sate Jeroboam, in a Chair of State: Hell, under him; the Devil, behind him: and King Abijah in a Throne, above him: whom when the Rebel saw; he cries out---- O Treason, Treason: what have I done, and how was I bewitch’t. O Treason, Treason: ceasing, to be Loyal; I left to be Religious; I first, forsook my King: and then my God: Thus, by degrees I fell; and now, I fall;

To be more wretched, then Accursed Saul. With that, the Devil tares him in pieces, and throwes him into Hell. Whereupon, the Party for Abijah, clap their hands.19

The mixing of the Biblical story of Jeroboam with recent English history not only allows Sadler to give Charles II the crushing military victory over Cromwell that he never had, as well as a general victory over (p.147) the rebels that never materialized, but it also gives him the opportunity to explain away the success of the Parliamentarians as a mysterious divine will that reaches its full realization with their damnation at the Restoration. Sadler also carefully emphasizes the idea that loyalty connects inextricably to religion, such that one cannot remain loyal to God if one commits treason against one’s king. In addition to execution then, Hell also awaits those who commit treason. The meshing of sacred and secular history in the conflation of this Biblical story and secular English history adds large-scale reinforcement to the author’s localized statements to this effect.

The fact that such a variety and quantity of works appeared alongside the Restoration evidences an intention to use them as propaganda. Performers used them to celebrate the king’s return, but publishers considered the message in these texts valuable enough to warrant making it available to readers beyond the local and temporal contexts of the original performances, even at the expense of divorcing the texts from their musical settings. Filling a print stall with pamphlets that reproduced accounts and texts from the Restoration celebrations would have helped to make escape from the events impossible and could even have created a false sense of unanimity in the populace. Scholars from the past believed that the entire country favored the return of the monarchy for a reason, and only recently have works like those from Tim Harris shown the actual divergence of popular opinion in the Restoration.20 We can also see in these works an overriding and incessant anxiety over the return of dissent and the possibility of uprising.

Moreover, the variety of media used across these works and the ways in which these media combine and complement each other seems too comprehensive to have arisen accidentally. From simple broadside singing and broadside poems to the aural, visual, and textual crossroad of the masque genre and its printed representation, the publishers of these Restoration-themed works left no segment of the population unpropagandized. Unfortunately, we cannot analyze the works that appeared only in performance, but references to them at least help to complete our view of this propaganda campaign. Furthermore, the majority of celebration descriptions come from broadside ballads, which suggests that propagandists may have thought that common people would be more easily swayed (p.148) by accounts of the spectacle than educated readers would be. Indeed, the prose works tend to emphasize how people reacted to Charles II’s return rather than emphasizing its opulence.

Works about or contributing to the Restoration celebration do not constitute the entirety of the propaganda literature that authors brought to bear on the English public in an effort to ensure a smooth transition of power. Within Sadler’s masque, we already saw an emphasis on the fundamental connection between secular and divine loyalty. Such a connection makes sense, as religion does not simply describe the supernatural and immortal life, but also proscribes mortal interactions with the natural world and other individuals. David Lloyd argues in his biography of Charles II of 1660 that London ministers played a key role in bringing about the Restoration because the

Ministry, … can promise to their adherents eternal happiness, and threaten their adversaries with eternal misery, by both which men are easily prevailed with to despise the profit, pleasure and honour of sin for a season … So powerful is Religion over Souls, not utterly sensless and stupid, that we may say of our Ministers, now, … that they could provoke men to war, and charm them again to peace at their pleasures, with the speculation of eternity.21

Members of the newly revived Church of England such as Richard Henchman, writing in his A Peace Offering in the Temple, argued further that this power of religion, through the aggressive pursuit of conformity to the Church of England, could be used to increase civic unity and guard against societal unrest.22 Indeed, not only Henchman but also John Sudbury, writing in A Sermon Preached at the Consecration, sees social unity as a main function of the clergy. Sudbury writes, for example, that the office of bishop served necessarily “to preserve Truth and Peace and Unity … for there is nothing that so effectually rules the Multitude as Religion.”23

The belief in the power of religion to serve as a vehicle for propaganda and the duty of the clergy to advance government interests may explain the publication of four pamphlets defending the church music practices of the Church of England during the first half of the 1660s. Restored (p.149) clergymen of the Church of England wrote three of the four pamphlets, and the other represents a reprint of The Souls Life, which chapter one argues served as Royalist propaganda during the Civil War. The earliest examples, from 1660, by Portman and Brookbank make the connection between the restoration of church music and the restoration of the monarchy particularly clear.

The reprint of Portman’s work of 1660 makes several telling changes to the 1645 original. The reprint replaces the semi-anonymous R.P. with a full citation of the author, which also notes his status as “chief Organist of his late Majest. Royal Chappel.”24 It also mentions prominently on the title page that the pamphlet includes “His Pious Meditations on the Divine use of Musick.”25 These changes reflect the Royalists’ return to power and the added benefit that association with the monarch could bring to the promulgation of this pamphlet’s message. Because such an association would not have benefited the first edition, its absence there and inclusion here makes sense. The mention of a section on music in the 1660 edition also indicates a desire to create more visibility for that section when compared to the first edition. Moreover, the final section of meditations that appeared in the first edition after the discussion of church music do not appear in the 1660 edition; this represents the only change to the body of the text between editions. This revision also indicates that the publisher considered the meditations less important than the section on music since he excised an entire section of them rather selectively removing individual meditations throughout the work. This also increases the prominence of the discussion of sacred music by making it the final section of the work.

Portman’s text, though written during the Civil War, contains propaganda that still applies to the circumstances of the Restoration. Referring to chapter one, Portman romanticized the antebellum period in England as peaceful, joyful, harmonious, and the envy of the Christian world. From the perspective of the Restoration, especially its beginning in 1660, this passage seeks to remind readers of the wonders of life during the monarchy of Charles I and implies that the Restoration offers a chance to revive this wonderful world in the new age of Charles II. Likewise, when Portman shifts his focus to discussing the destruction and deprivation of the Civil War, he reminds readers of what can happen if they squander this second chance at monarchy. In the context of the Restoration, Meditation (p.150) VII, Portman’s prayer for peace and unity, not only plays into the larger Royalist campaign for unity but also uses the bloody history of the Civil War to remind readers of what will happen if they choose the path of ungrateful rebellion again.26

As discussed above, Portman’s defense of church music may also have been intended as Royalist propaganda and could have, in any case, functioned as such. Disparaging those who do not like Anglican-style church music, for example, tacitly encourages moderate opponents of the practice to rethink their position on the issue in order to avoid being branded as disaffected and possibly possessed by an evil spirit.27 Finally, his defense of church musicians as sinless in the act of producing church music and his criticisms of congregational singing serve to address the criticisms of extreme opponents of Anglican church music. By attempting to clear away these obstacles to the reinstitution of the Anglican service, the posthumous publication of Portman’s The Souls Life further contributes to the cultural and religious reunification of the country.28

Turning to Brookbank’s Well-tuned Organ, the prefatory material alone offers strong evidence that the author intended the work to serve as propaganda. The title page, for example, claims that he published the work “for the Glory of GOD, the Quiet and Peace of these Nations.”29 Such a statement suggests at least that Brookbank meant to pacify if not also unify the kingdom by resolving the conflict over the use of instrumental music in divine services. The dedication adopts a similarly reverent and joyous tone in its dedication to Charles II, whom it calls “The most Pious, Gracious, & Illustrious Prince.”30 Brookbank goes on to describe his service in the Royalist forces during the Civil War, his capture at the battle of Newbury, his rescue by Royalist cavalry, and concludes by saying that “since which time, I have suffered abundantly, becaus I have ever been a devoted Servant unto Truth, abhorrent unto Flattery and sinister Policy, and avers unto Popularity.”31 These statements build an ethos of unwavering dedication to the monarchy and also allow him to reduce the Interregnum to an age of “Flattery,” “sinister Policy,” and “Popularity” before moving on to discredit the ideas about music that the Interregnum government advocated for during that period. He concludes the dedication by reiterating and expanding on the purpose of the work as mentioned on the title page and by making an association between the musical practices of the (p.151) Church of England and Charles II, indicating that an attack on one constitutes an attack on the other:

therefore setting Gods Glory in the first place, your Majesties quiet, and the Peace of your Kingdoms, in the next, I have here, as I trust, vindicated from contradiction, a piece of Gods Service, practiced in Your Majesties Chappel Royal: for which the blackmouth’d vulgar speak unworthily and basely of Divine Worship, and your Gracious Majesties practice.32

He reiterates his intentions again in the body of the work when he writes that he has undertaken this endeavor “therefore out of mine endeared affection to truth, mine ardent desire, and utmost endeavour, after Unity, Peace, and Concord, in the whole Church of God, but especially in these Nations wherein we liv.”33 Through his defense of church music, Brookbank also attempts to defend the monarchy and bring peace to the kingdoms just as he did by taking up arms during the Civil War. The connection of church music to the monarch also encourages readers to agree with his arguments out of loyalty to the newly restored king, or at least to fear dissent because of the implication of treason that might arise from the association. He again reiterates his assertion that an attack on church music constitutes an attack on the king when he writes that all English subjects should rise up “to vindicate his Gracious Majesty, from these foul aspersions; and Divine Worship, (as also Gods Ministers,) from such horrid and devilish rebuke and slander.”34 Brookbank’s insistence that defending church music would help to create unity in the nations may have derived from his belief that “the Church of God was never in a peaceabl [sic], and settled condition, or brought to any measure of strength, and stability, but she hath used Instrumental Musick, joyned with Vocal, in her solemn Assemblies and Services.”35

In the Declaration of Breda, Charles II vaguely promised some form of toleration for the various Protestant denominations. The election of the Cavalier Parliament in 1661, however, gave the government an Anglican, pro-monarchy majority with which to advance a campaign of religious unification and defense of the Church of England. This campaign lasted from 1661 until the fall of Clarendon in 1667 and included legislation (p.152) against nonconformists, such as the five acts passed between 1661 and 1665. The first of these, the Corporation Act, passed shortly after the incorporation of the Cavalier Parliament in 1661. It restricted the holding of government offices to those who were at least publicly Anglican, which helped to ensure governmental unity (at least in terms of religion) even if it only really excluded those unwilling to lie about their religious convictions. The Act of Uniformity followed in 1662 and resulted in the ejection of Calvinist-leaning Anglican ministers from positions in the Church of England and the educational institutions administered by the Church. The Press Licensing Act also passed in 1662 and allowed the government to ensure that the recently ejected dissenters and other non-conformists would not be able to spread their ideologies in print. This anti-dissenter agenda continued with the Conventicle Act of 1664, which made it illegal for dissenters to congregate in non-Anglican religious services. The Five Mile Act of 1665 enhanced the Conventicle Act (and imitated the Interregnum banishment of Royalists) by making it illegal for dissenting ministers who refused to swear never to rebel against the king or to otherwise attempt to alter the state or church to be found within five miles of any location that sends representatives to Parliament or any parish in which they had previously been employed as a minister.

In concert with these legislative attempts to remove dissent and unify the sacred and secular realms of the English kingdoms, two additional pamphlets on church music and one collection of services and anthems appeared, thereby continuing the practice started in 1660 with the publication of Portman’s and Brookbank’s works. The first of these works, written by Joseph Bentham and published in 1661, makes the connection between the monarchy and church music explicit in its title, The Right of Kings by Scripture. Or, A Collection of some Scriptures Shewing Kings to be of God. … Together with, A Defence of Psalm-Singing. Like Brookbank, Bentham takes the opportunity in his preface to point out his long-standing loyalty to the monarchy and the suffering he endured during the Interregnum because of it. He claims that he wrote the work during the Civil War but did not publish it because a government committee discovered his authorship of it, and he feared making it public after that.36 He goes on in the preface to the entire work (each section has its own preface as well) to address both the returning Anglican ministers and the outgoing dissenters (as well as (p.153) their supporters) and asks both sides to unite in forgiveness and understanding. Of his fellow Anglicans he asks, “That as we formerly shewed much Patience, Courage, Cheerfulness, and Constancy: So now, as much Moderation, Meekness, Forgetfulness of Injuries, forgiving of wrongs,”37 and of dissenters he asks that

especially you who so much favour them [dissenting ministers] as … to condemn us, complaining at our Re-admission; and bewailing their Removal from our Rights; to consider seriously our right, and theirs; our persons, and theirs. … Do not, I humbly intreat you, murmure at our returning … and do not cry out of Cruelty, of Persecution, of our throwing out of good men … Now that you may see that I and my fellow Sufferers had good ground for what we did, and suffered; this Discourse will evidence: so, as (I hope) to cleer us; and to convince you to joyn with us in Fearing God and Honouring our King, and no more to meddle with them who are given to change.38

Notice that, while Bentham asks for unity behind God and the king and against those who desire change, he also encourages dissenters to accept the reinstatement of Anglican ministers at the expense of dissenter ministers and to comply peacefully with the transition. This perspective also supports the Act of Indemnity and Oblivion in its attempt to force the nation to move beyond the divisions of the Civil War and Interregnum.39

Bentham sets the section on psalm singing, like all three sections of the work, as a dialogue. This allows him to construct a scenario in which he can simultaneously disparage his intellectual opposition (by personifying them in a discourteous zealot character), glorify his position (by presenting it through a reasonable character), and give himself a fictional victory over the former (by using a third, undecided character who eventually sides with the Anglican interlocutor). Bentham describes the dissenter character, named Authadaes (sometimes written as Authades in the text), as “a proud Caviller.”40 The ideas he supports suggest that Bentham intended him to stand in specifically as a Quaker, or perhaps in some way to represent a conglomeration (however unnatural in practice) of all the dissenter sects. He argues, for example, against outward singing (p.154) on the grounds of the passage in Ephesians where “The Apostle enjoynes us to speak to our selves; to make melody in our hearts; what is this to their shouting and clamorous noise which they make, many of them together?”41 He objects to mixed congregations of holy and unholy people: “Prophane persons and Children joyn with you in singing, who neither do nor can sing with understanding.”42 He also objects to singing the psalms of David because they contain language that does not apply to the circumstances of the present day: “We are to sing new songs; the Psalms of David are not new. … Because the book of Psalms was penned for the state of the Jews, the Church then. … How can we now sing them?”43 Compare these objections to those raised by Christopher Atkinson and George Whitehead during the 1650s (discussed in chapter two) as additional proof that Bentham meant Authadaes to personify Quaker ideology.

Bentham’s choice to defend psalm singing against a Quaker suggests that the Restoration government inherited concerns over the Quakers and a desire to suppress them from the Interregnum government, as evidenced by the Quaker’s Act of 1662, which resulted in the arrest of 1,300 Quakers in the first year alone.44 Bentham also takes the opportunity to defend instrumental music in church before concluding the work: “Instrumental Musick may still be used in God’s service; so far forth as it may, doth, and will further edification.”45 Shortly after this moment, Planaes, the undecided listener, interrupts the dialogue to say that the discourse has convinced him to return to the divine service of the Anglican Church, and he hopes his Quaker friend will do the same: “Neighbour Authades, I assure you, I am well satisfied, and resolved in Publique to joyn with the Congregation, and to sing at home with my Family as I have done. … Mr. Hodaegos, I thank you, and bless God for this our meeting, hoping my Neighbour will consider better with himself, and alter his mind as I have done.”46

The campaign for religious unity in the kingdoms continued in 1663 with the publication of John Reading’s A Sermon Lately delivered in the Cathedral Church of Canterbury Concerning Church-Musick and J.C.’s The Divine Services and Anthems Usually Sung in the Cathedrals and Collegiate Choires in the Church of England. Although Reading does not make prominent connections between the state and the church, he does make it clear that he wrote the pamphlet in an attempt to convince people of (p.155) the validity of Anglican church music and thereby to encourage them to return to the church. He writes, “I come to you this day … to remove the Stone and Rock of Offence taken at our Church-Musick, that the Flock may be watered. My endeavour shall be … to shew why we use it, and you should joyn with us therein.”47 At the end of the work, he reiterates his point about returning to the church: “If thou hast been a careless or negligent Hearer, yet seriously repent thee, and henceforth more diligently frequent holy Assemblies, and more attentively hear the Word of God: It is as the Eastern Star, to lead Wise men to Christ.”48

As with the works mentioned above, The Divine Services and Anthems collected by J.C. propagandizes for secular and sacred unity but through a slightly different approach. Rather than argue for the benefit and legitimacy of Anglican church music, the author hopes that providing readers with the words for the most commonly used music of the Church of England will “redress this evil of ignorance, and … bring all to the knowledge of this Musical piety … that the people may follow the Choire in their Devotions.”49 He writes of his overall purpose to “inform the Ignorant, reform the Obstinate, conform the Moderate, and confirm all to Communicate in the Church of God.”50 He also recognizes the power of music as propaganda when he writes that “we have a proverb of remark, --- The plainer the better: Considering this, and of how near a relation Musick is to Rhetorick, yea more ravishingly vocall and moving the spirit beyond the others most violent efforts.” Because music exerts a greater persuasive force than rhetoric does, J.C. goes on to say that he will not attempt to disprove the arguments made against church music but rather allow the music of his collection to refute them.51 The arrangement of the anthem texts in his collection suggests that in addition to allowing the music to defend itself, he also intends it to support the monarchy as well. The first two anthems of the collection, for example, focus on the king. Indeed, the first one even mentions him by name, being titled “O Lord make thy servant Charls [sic]” and subtitled “A Prayer for the King.”52 The second anthem’s title also refers to the king: “O Lord grant the King a long life.”53 The text of the first anthem offers a prayer for the protection of the king and for the fulfillment of his desires: “O Lord make thy servant, thy servant Charles our King to rejoice, rejoice in thy strength; give him his hearts desire and deny not the request of his lips … But prevent [sic; (p.156) present] him with thine everlasting blessing, … and give him a long life even for ever and ever … Amen.”54 The request to God for Charles to have “his hearts desire” and all of his requests granted implies that all of his desires deserve fulfillment, which in turn asserts the absolute authority and righteousness of the king. Anthem 126 takes a similar stance as an anthem “For the Kings Inauguration”:

O God of Gods, O King of kings! Eternal Father of all things; In heaven and earth and every where, ij By whom all Kings their Scepters bear God of our Sovereign (Charles) King of peace, Heavens darling, Englands happiness; For him we praise thee in this song: ij And pray, that we may praise the [thee] long, ij And we beseech the mighty Lord, To us such favour to afford; ij That this triumphant Festival, This holy day Imperial.55

The text encourages listeners and readers to see Charles as not only a source of happiness and peace but also as “Heavens darling.” Anthem 127 offers a variation on the previous text and claims that “Great God of Charles our blessed King, ij Who peace and joy ij to us did bring, ij Whom thou a chief and Royal guide, ij Didst for our guideless troups provide.”56 In this iteration, God has sent Charles to bring peace and joy to an otherwise “guideless” nation. Anthem 112 also offers a short prayer for the king, Anthem 128 references the monarchy through a song of thanksgiving for deliverance from the Gunpowder Plot, Anthem 137 offers “A prayer for the King, and the Royal Family,”57 and anthem 155 presents a song in praise of the king and commemorating his coronation. The fact that the author describes these texts as those “usually sung” speaks to how frequently propaganda texts would have and could have appeared before congregations with a professional music program. Therefore, it would appear that the idea of “tuning the pulpit’’ for political purposes extended to the choir as well.58

After 1663, no extant pamphlets with significant discussions of church music appeared until the publication of Thomas Mace’s Musick’s Monument in 1676 and Edward Wettenhall’s Of Gifts and Offices in 1678. After that, another gap appears until the 1690s. While many unintentional occurrences may explain this gap, church-music pamphlet publication may have (p.157) subsided because of the government’s turn toward toleration during this period.59 Those who might have written on church music during this period might also have seen no need to do so because Charles II, James II, and the Church of England administration supported high-church Anglican music throughout this period, meaning that all of the most important people already agreed with them. Allegations of popery against the court may also have made defending church music, a well-established correlate to Catholic practices, unworthy of the risk of drawing further claims of popery onto the government, though the works by Wettenhall and Mace at least suggest that not all authors shared this perspective.60 In any case, after the aggressive push for religious unity gave way at the end of the 1660s, theatrical music publications, including masque and opera libretti, began to appear again with regularity and offered a secular outlet for pro-monarchy propaganda and propaganda that supported government agendas.

Plotting and the ever-present political and religious divisions that had become hallmarks of seventeenth-century English culture marked the last fifteen years of Charles II’s reign (1670–85). Charles II plotted with Louis XIV to return England to Catholicism and to help Louis conquer the Netherlands via the Treaty of Dover (1670), while malefactors falsely accused Catholics of plotting to kill the king (the Popish Plot of 1678 and Meal-Tub Plot of 1679), Parliament plotted to exclude James, Duke of York, from the line of succession because of his Catholic faith (the Exclusion Crisis of 1679–81), a small group of Whigs plotted to kill the king and the Duke of York (the Rye House Plot of 1683), and, at the end of the period, the Duke of Monmouth plotted to overthrow James II and install himself as the new king of England (the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685). During this period of mistrust and intrigue, Charles II and his supporters must have felt the necessity of possessing and maintaining popular support, that valuable and tenuous asset.61 Therefore, while propaganda in support of the musical traditions of the Church of England became less prominent—as far as surviving sources suggest—multi-page, promonarch propaganda not only continued to appear during this period but also increased in quantity.

(p.158) Of all the primary musical sources discussed in this book, the most consistent scholarly attention by far has been paid to the operas and masques of the Restoration period. Scholars have argued for and against the presence of political allegory in works as early as The Siege of Rhodes and as late as The Judgement of Paris and have provided extensive discussions of the political contexts and contents of these works.62 Therefore, rather than argue for any particular allegorical reading of any of these works, an endeavor beyond the scope of even this study, chapter three proceeds with a discussion of the propaganda arguments made in the prefatory materials of these works and on allegorical connections that can be succinctly argued. In all other instances (especially in those cases where scholars have not yet presented an allegorical reading, or where my own reading contrasts with an existing one), I will briefly present the possible allegory but will not attempt to defend it as intentional on the author’s part or otherwise definitive, presenting it instead as one possibility among others. Because readers of the time would have developed slightly different interpretations of these works, offering multiple allegorical interpretations based on contemporary contextual information brings us closer to the propaganda effect of these works anyway, even if it does not reveal the author’s specific intentions.

The republication of two masques published during the pre-war period and the Interregnum respectively, Coelum Britannicum by Thomas Carew and The Siege of Rhodes by William D’Avenant, represents some of the first musical propaganda from the latter half of Charles II’s reign. In concert with the republication of Portman’s The Souls Life, the authors of these works may have written them specifically for a wholly different context in English history, but they nevertheless contain passages that retain propaganda value for their republishers and relevance for readers of the Restoration. The passage, for example, where one of Carew’s characters advocates the shipping of dissidents to the colonies as a means of cleansing the nation of their “infection” could not only still be applied to Puritans, but it now could also be applied equally to the other nonconformist sects that were actively dividing the religious landscape of England.63

Similarly, the Restoration publishers of The Siege of Rhodes may have repurposed the masque to influence listeners in a different way (p.159) than D’Avenant had intended in 1656. The plot centers on the Sicilian duke Alphonso, who finds himself trapped in the stronghold of Rhodes while the Ottomans under the rule of Suleiman besiege the island. When Alphonso’s wife Ianthe hears of his situation, she sells her jewels and buys supplies to assist her husband and those besieged along with him, even going so far as to bring them to Rhodes herself. The remainder of the plot revolves around the Rhodians’ trying to fend off the Ottomans—while slowly and inevitably being beaten into submission by overwhelming force—and the power of Ianthe’s honor and virtue to win over Suleiman, who allows her to make the terms of surrender for the town and spares Alphonso’s life for her sake.64 While Curtis Price has suggested that “the non-resolution of the drama … was surely an allusion to the exiled King Charles, frustrated by hollow French promises to raise an army against Cromwell,”65 I suggest that Rhodes (not insignificantly an island) may be interpreted as representing all of England, with the siege representing the First English Civil War in which Charles I found himself besieged in his own kingdom, a kingdom that eventually fell to the besiegers. Ianthe’s sale of her jewels could then be an allusion to Henrietta Maria’s sale of her own jewels to buy supplies for the war effort, and Ianthe’s travel to Rhodes to assist her husband could then represent Henrietta Maria’s return to England in 1643. The fact that Rhodes, under imminent threat of conquest, represented the last bastion of Christianity in the region could allude to the religious aspect of the Civil War and the struggle of Anglicans to defend what they would describe as the true church. In 1656, the masque could have therefore served as maintenance propaganda for the Royalist community by encouraging them to remember the bravery and virtue of their king and queen in the face of an unbeatable foe (thereby absolving them of any negative associations with their defeat) and to continue to view the Parliamentarians as an invading, religiously separate, entity.

For Restoration audiences, any potential allegory in the work, whether implied or inferred, might have mattered less than its overall moral. Indeed, D’Avenant provides in the dedication one of the most commonly cited passages about the use of theatrical works to convey propaganda to audiences, writing that “If I should proceed, and tell your Lordship of what use Theatres have anciently been, and may be now, by heightening (p.160) the Characters of Valour, Temperance, Natural Justice, and Complacency to Government, I should fall into the ill manners and indiscretion of ordinary Dedicators, who go about to instruct those from whose abilities they expect protection.”66 D’Avenant wrote this dedication to the Earl of Clarendon, the highest-ranking administrator in the Restoration government, in 1663 when Clarendon enjoyed the height of his influence and power. This quotation echoes those of the contemporary authors already mentioned who indicate their awareness of the use of music, poetry, and drama as vehicles for propaganda, but the most interesting and telling element of this particular quotation comes from the fact that D’Avenant specifically mentions “Complacency to Government,” especially considering that he addresses this passage directly to one of the most powerful individuals in the government of the time.

Although D’Avenant does not explicitly discuss the process by which theatrical works may instill complacency into the populace, he does offer some indications of the process by way of prior statements in the dedication. He writes, for example, of his care “to render the Ideas of Greatness and Vertue pleasing and familiar.”67 He also indicates that audience perceptions of rulers on the stage reflect their perceptions of their own rulers when he writes that “it proceeds from the same mind, not to be pleas’d with Princes on the Stage, and not to affect them in the Throne; for those are ever most inclin’d to break the Mirrour, who are unwilling to see the Images of such as have just authority over their guilt.”68 Authors may therefore use theatrical works not only to model virtue and proper conduct to audiences in general but also to specifically endear them to a particular, desired conception of virtue and greatness by presenting these concepts in a pleasing manner. Furthermore, D’Avenant suggests that theatrical works can serve as litmus tests for the identification of individuals who oppose their rulers by observing how a given individual responds to the content of theatrical works. If he or she opposes theatrical works, and opposes theatrical representations of authority, then he or she will likely oppose authority in real life as well.

In light of D’Avenant’s comments on the use of theatrical works as propaganda, one final passage from the dedication of The Siege of Rhodes may indicate the desired political effect of both the 1663 and 1670 reprints. D’Avenant writes:

(p.161) In this Poem I have reviv’d the remembrance of that desolation which was permitted by Christian Princes when they favour’d the ambition of such as defended the diversity of Religions … in Germany; whilst those who would never admit Learning into their Empire (lest it should meddle with Religion and intangle it with Controversie) did make Rhodes defenceless; which was the only fortify’d Academy in Christendom where Divinity and Arms were equally profess’d.69

Here D’Avenant ascribes the desolation of Christian areas of Europe at the hands of the Ottoman Empire to German princes who tried to allow the coexistence of Catholicism and Protestantism in their realms, ca. 1520. He also blames the fall of Rhodes on the Holy Roman Emperors who would not admit “Learning,” which I take to mean Protestantism, into their empire because it would entangle Catholicism in controversy. In both cases, D’Avenant implies that religious diversity and religious conflict can harm Christianity, and he may even be implying that they will lead to its downfall. Therefore, in taking his message to its logical conclusion, only by uniting behind the learning of true Protestantism—i.e., Anglicanism—can England defend itself from its enemies. Such a message against religious toleration would have been equally relevant in 1663, when the government was still actively pursuing religious unity, and in 1670, as a reaction against the renewed calls for toleration that began around 1667. Although the Cabal and Charles II supported toleration, the agenda proved unpopular with the Anglican majority of the Cavalier Parliament. While Parliament had decided against toleration after the debates at the turn of the decade, Charles II pressed the issue and ultimately failed to establish toleration through his Declaration of Indulgence of 1672. Regardless, Charles moved toward returning England to Catholicism, as per the Treaty of Dover of 1670.70 The republication of The Siege of Rhodes may therefore represent a conscious attempt to support the government’s unity campaign in 1663 (unity within the Anglican Church) and the shift away from support for toleration around 1670.

In addition to The Siege of Rhodes, other authors may have intended their publications to serve as propaganda support for the Anglican Church after Charles II’s administration turned away from toleration. Take, for (p.162) example, John Playford’s Cantica Sacra (1674). Playford’s strong ties to the Royalist community (as discussed in chapter two) and willingness to produce pro-Royalist musical propaganda does not, of course, necessarily mean that he intended this collection of hymns and anthems to serve as pro-Anglican propaganda. It does, however, add to the likelihood that he did. Such an assessment gains further support from the fact that Playford dedicated the collection to Charles II and claimed “the Promotion of the Divine Use of MUSICK” as the purpose of the publication.71 The collection consists of Anglican sacred music, which further suggests that he intended to promote Anglican music rather than sacred music in general.

Playford’s Cantica Sacra contains additional examples of propaganda. The dedication, for example, claims that

Your Majestie since Your most happy Restauration hath extended Your Royall Bounty to the Advancement of this Divine Service more than any of Your Ancestors, which must proceed from that Seraphick and judging Soul Your Majestie is endued with above other Kings. The King of kings grant Your MAJESTY a Long and Prosperous Reign over all Your Subjects, which is the dayly Prayer of Your Majesties Ever-Loyall and most Obedient Subject.72

Playford not only signals his loyalty in this passage, and in the publication of this collection, but he also models loyalty and obedience for Charles II’s other subjects. Also, by connecting Charles II to the advancement of the Anglican divine service, Playford implies a connection between sacred and secular loyalty that encourages loyal subjects to also support the divine service, just as Charles II and Playford have. The work also bears a resemblance to J.C.’s The Divine Services from 1663, and Playford may have been aware of this previous collection and intended his Cantica Sacra to serve a similar function as propaganda. In any case, promoting the hymns and anthems of the Church of England could have functioned as propaganda for the Church through its influence on readers and listeners even if Playford did not specifically intend it to serve that function.

Just as it had during the 1660s, propaganda that encouraged loyalty to the king and stigmatized disagreement as rebellious continued to appear throughout the 1670s. For example, London’s Resurrection to Joy (p.163) and Triumph (1671) by Thomas Jordan (an account of the three pageants that constituted the festivities on Lord Mayor’s Day in 1671) begins with the character Orpheus declaring to Charles II that “To Your Indulgence we this Blessing [of the new Lord Mayor] owe, / Who to your Subjects Peace and Joy bestow. / May we Your Royal Favours still improve, / First to Obey, and next Rejoyce and Love.”73 Immediately, the text asserts that the citizens of the city of London owe their peace and joy to Charles II, and, in exchange for these and still greater blessings, they must obey, be glad, and express their love for the king. Orpheus then turns to the Lord Mayor and speaks about the importance of unity in government, saying that in the beginning

  • Union fill’d all the Universe with free
  • Felicious and Seraphick Harmony.
  • All parts of the Creation did consent,
  • and the world was one well-tun’d Instrument:
  • . … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …
  • Nature it self knew no Antipathy.
  • but when the peace was broke by mans Transgression,
  • Revenge with Rage and Ruine took possession;
  • Disorder rioted, and (in conclusion)
  • Old Amity was turn’d into confusion.
  • But Orpheus whose person I present
  • (The Hieroglyphick of good Government)
  • By the sweet power of his harmonious hand,
  • Reduc’d their salvage [sic] Natures, made’um stand
  • Listen, attend, and with their active paws [that is, the animals of nature]
  • Dance and conform their feet to Musicks Laws.
  • Such is the power of Concord, and Consent,
  • The very soul of humane Government.
  • . … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … . …
  • My Lord, it is your Destiny to rise
  • From one of the most ancient Companies
  • In this Metropolis, we hope y’are one
  • That will restore our long-lost Union [original in black letter type].
  • (p.164) ‘Twill make us Rich, and Righteous, and please God,
  • Firm to our friends, fierce to our Foes abroad.
  • Union breeds Peace, and Plenty in the Land;
  • But Cities self-divided, Cannot Stand.74

This passage uses the language of and references to music to make its point about unity. At the same time, however, the show itself uses music in performance to attempt to unify the audience in the same way that the text describes Orpheus as having unified the animals. It also promises wealth, peace, and bounty in exchange for the people’s consent to unity.

Following the exposition of these ideas concerning union and division, Jordan reinforces them through the dialogue of the third pageant, which begins with the characters Hoyden and Freeman (representing country folk and city folk respectively) arguing about the relative worth of city and country people. They soon come to the realization that they need each other. Then Billet (a soldier) appears and informs them that they also need him as much as he needs them. In conclusion, they all sing a chorus: “Let the City, the Countrey, the Camp, and the Court, / Be the Places of Pleasure, and Royal Resort: / And let us observe, in the midst of our Sport, / That Fidelity makes us as firm as a Fort: / A Union well-grounded no Malice can hurt.”75 After realizing their interdependence on each other, a new character named Oliver Faction arrives; the allusion to Oliver Cromwell will become obvious. Just in case his name does not fully reveal his factious nature and villainous purposes, he introduces himself:

  • Oliver Faction is my Name,
  • I love as life
  • To sow the seeds of Strife
  • ‘Twixt Father, Mother, Sister, Brother, Husband, and Wife.
  • My Nature too is like my Name,
  • All peaceful Minds abhor it;
  • I put all Nations in a Flame,
  • And give them Reasons for it:
  • I deal debate
  • In Church and State,
  • And bring all in Combustion.76

(p.165) After boasting of how he used religion to cause the division in England that led to the Civil War, the characters Country-Man and Citizen attempt to take him to jail for his crimes and insist that he will never again be able to spread his division in England: “You sha’not, nor cannot comply with [i.e., find or produce] a Citizen / That will support your pride. / Their hearts now with faith and reality / Are united so much unto Loyalty, / Love true Religion and Loyalty, / They to the Sovereign power do fix, / Your new knacks will never prevail with us,” but in the end they allow him to stay because he promises to toast a health to the king.77 In doing so, they have both proven their immunity to his divisive designs and also created even greater unity by forcing him to unify with them such that no opposition remains to loyalty and cooperation in the kingdom. Unity holds such a central place in this celebration text that the text exhibits unity among the characters, extols the virtue of unity though dialogue, and makes it clear exactly who this unity must coalesce around. While later works will reference specific historical events, the generic nature of the propaganda message presented in London’s Resurrection suggests a desire on Jordan’s part to maintain the fundamental unity of the city and kingdom and a constant focus on the maintenance of public opinion.

Musical propaganda that extolled the virtue of unity and the dangers of division continued to appear in the 1670s in the form of two dramatic works from 1676, Musick; or A Parley of Instruments and Beauties Triumph. A Parley of Instruments does not include a dedication or any other prefatory material that might provide context for the work, but the stage directions within the text suggest that the author intended the work to appear in a context similar to that of a masque. The work consists of a dialogue between three characters, Alexis, Corydon, and Strephon, with brief interjections from a fourth character, Pallas. The plot of the brief work revolves around a disagreement between the three main characters over the superiority of each instrumental family (bowed strings, plucked strings, or wind instruments) in comparison with the others. Much like the disagreement that occurs between Hoyden, Freeman, and Billet in London’s Resurrection, the characters of this dialogue eventually conclude that they sound better together in cooperation and union. First, Strephon and Alexis agree that “Strephon: Since we cannot agree while our Notes we compare, / Let’s joyn in a Chorus, / Alexis. Let’s joyn in a Chorus / Strephon. Of melodious, of melodious Air. (p.166) / Chorus. Of melodious, of melodious Air.”78 Finally, Strephon and Corydon conclude the work by saying that

  • Corydon. But to your scatter’d Parts we add a Sp’rit.
  • Strephon. Then let us mix and make one great Compound.
  • Chorus. Like Birds wee’l engender and bill in the Air,
  • The Gods never envy’d so happy a pair.
  • Then let us unite, and merrily play,
  • Wee’l sport all the Night, and wee’l sing all the Day;
  • In Consorts of Love
  • Each Couple shall move,
  • Then the new-marry’d Bride more chearfull and gay.
  • Like Birds wee’l engender, &c.
  • In a various Chorus of Musical Lays,
  • Our Fancies shall meet, and our Spirits embrace;
  • While the Goddess of Love
  • Our mirth shall approve,
  • And the Nymphs in a Row our Nuptials shall grace.
  • Like Birds wee’l engender and bill in the Air,
  • The Gods never envy’d so happy a pair.79

Whereas their division only caused disagreement previously, their union now makes them so happy and filled with love that even the gods will envy them.

Unlike the previous examples of discord resolving into unity, Beauties Triumph takes the opposite course, showing what can happen when discord dissolves unity. The plot of the masque centers on the judgment of Paris. The story in this iteration begins with Fate enraged by the peace, joy, and harmony that will result in the world from the union of beauty, wisdom, and power as personified by the three goddesses. Fate therefore concocts a plan to divide them by sending discord to tempt them with the golden apple that can only be possessed by the fairest goddess:

  • Fate. Juno and Pallas with Venus joyn,
  • The awfull Throne of Fate to undermine:
  • (p.167) Ingratefull pow’rs! I’le break your close design.
  • Hoe Discord! Hoe!
  • ……………………………………………………………………
  • When power and wisedom with beauty unite,
  • Mankind will be drown’d in such Seas of delight,
  • My frowns they’l despise, and my favours they’l slight.
  • Proud Deities, dare you oppose my Yoke,
  • When your poor petty Cobweb plots are broke?80

Discord and his furies then sing a song that reinforces the idea that discord ruins all human endeavors:

  • Disc. Lean Vertue shall down with her barren reward,
  • When Discord comes on she’l no longer be heard.
  • 1 Fur. Great Power, and Wisedom, and Beauty we’l sever,
  • 2 Fur. And singly destroy what would conquer together:
  • 3 Fur. The fair shall be foolish, the wise shall be mad,
  • And by their delusions the great be misled.
  • Chorus. The Fair, &c.81

Just as Duffett makes it clear that discord causes all of the problems in the plot of this masque, he also repeatedly emphasizes the value of unity. He even dedicates an entire scene to a celebration by shepherds and shepherdesses in honor of the fall of fate and the rise of virtue as a result of the alliance between Venus, Juno, and Pallas: “Come, come away, / To solemnize this happy day; / with joyfull cries / Let’s rend the skies, / For Fortune’s fall is Virtue’s rise.”82 The next scene begins with the direction that the goddesses “Enter Juno, Pallas and Venus, embracing,” but this unity ends when discord throws the golden apple down at their feet, which they begin to fight over; they continue to fight as they leave the stage.83 The conclusion of the story, though only alluded to in the masque, brings horror, death, and destruction to Greeks and Trojans alike, all because Juno, Pallas, and Venus allowed their unity to dissolve into jealous, vain squabbling. Although the plot takes an opposite approach to propagandizing in favor of unity, the moral remains the same: strength, peace, and (p.168) joy come from unity, while chaos, weakness, violence, and suffering result from faction and division.

In addition to general political propaganda that serves the ever-present governmental need for popular support and ideological unity, a number of works appeared in the latter half of Charles II’s reign that make mention of or allusions to specific political events of the period. The opera Ariadne (1674) by Louis Grabu (spelled “Grabut” in the publication) offers one of the first examples of this kind of propaganda, but many song collections during the latter half of the Restoration included propaganda songs that lauded the monarch and criticized his political opponents/dissidents in general (Quakers, for example).84 In both its dedication and prologue, Grabu uses Ariadne to spread pro-monarchy propaganda relating to the recently ended Third Angelo-Dutch War. He also mentions the recent marriage of Mary of Modena to James, Duke of York, in 1673. The dedication to Charles II begins with Grabu’s assertion that “WHilst [sic] all Europe besides, lies now groaning under the Weight of a Crual War … England alone, by Your Royal Care, does now injoy a happy Tranquility and sees Peace and Justice raign in all her Borders.”85 He goes on to call England a “New Ark” and “An Earthly Paradice, inviron’d round about with Sandy Desarts.”86 He also asserts that “Your Vast Mind was not yet fully satisfied, in having by Your Invincible Force made her Triumph over her Fierce and Audacious Enemies, bringing them (in spight of their Obstinacy) to Beg Peace at Your Royal Hands, and by that happy Peace, fild the hearts of Your People with Joy and Satisfaction.”87 Grabu not only glorifies Charles for the recent peace with the Dutch and reminds his readers how happy and satisfied they should be by that peace treaty, but he also makes a larger point about their good fortune as people of England, living safe and bountiful lives in comparison to the rest of Europe.

To reinforce this point about the good fortune of living in England in comparison to other countries in Europe, the prologue of the opera offers a dialogue between the Thames, Tiber, Seine, and Po rivers in which the Thames invites the other rivers to come and witness the greatness of England. Having done so, they remark on its beauty and credit Charles II for it:

  • (p.169) APproach, [sic] approach fair Sisters, cross the Main,
  • To come and tast my Sweets, ye Tyber, and Sein.
  • Every thing here doth seem to smile!
  • Cupid himself raignes in this Isle:
  • E’r since, Venus resolv’d to quit
  • Her Native Throne, to come and dwel in it.
  • Fair Albion now will new Cythera prove,
  • And must be call’d, The Sweet Island of Love.88

The Tiber replies with an allusion to Charles being the reason for the creation of this paradise:

  • Fairest Thamis, thou Famous Flood,
  • Whose Monarch ever Great and Good,
  • By Wholsom, Just, and gentle Laws,
  • In calm his Restor’d Empire awes;
  • Whilst his Dreadful Navies, controul
  • And rule both Seas, from Pole to Pole;
  • Making Commerce and Arts flourish at home,
  • As in my Caesars-times they did in Rome.
  • To Him, and thee I come this day,
  • My Homages and Tribute to pay.89

The Seine then reiterates the statements about navies and war, thereby propagating the exaggeration that the English soundly defeated the Dutch:

  • Fairest of Flouds, How glorious is thy Fate!
  • The World and I, have seen thy Sons of late,
  • As invincible as thy Victorious Fleet,
  • The very Ocean with thy Foes submit,
  • Whilst on the Land, a Warlike Duke of thine,
  • Whose Lofty Meen speaks him of Royal Line,
  • In Lewis’s sight, his valliant hand imbrues
  • In Belgian-blood, and Maestrickt-Wals subdues.90

(p.170) The Tiber then remarks with marvel that “Such Prudent-heads thy happy Albion bears, / As its great State secures from storms and fears.”91 This eventually leads the Thames to confide that, although valor and justice constitute a big part of England’s success, it mainly stems from Charles’s love for his people and their love for him in turn: “Vallor and Justice both may act their parts, / But Love makes Charles to Rule his Peoples hearts.”92

As the prologue concludes, the Po enters and says that she has left her “fertil Plains, and Shoars, to bring / A Royal Sister to thy Greatest King.”93 The Thames then expands upon this reference to Mary of Modena, claiming that even though some expressed displeasure over the announcement that the Duke of York intended to marry a Catholic, she has nevertheless won over all of England: “And thou maist see his People now, / To thy Princess, both love and honor shew: / This Bliss, thou ow’st to her alone, whose Charm, / In spight of Fate, all resistance disarm: / And makes Envy it self t’adore / Her now, whom it oppos’d before.”94

The dedication of John Dryden’s The State of Innocence, and Fall of Man—his opera from 1677 that neither received a musical setting nor a performance during the seventeenth century—evidences an additional attempt to sway public opinion in favor of Mary of Modena with propaganda that depicts her as both great and beautiful. The first indication of the importance of the work as propaganda for Mary of Modena appears in the title page, where the dedication to “THE DUTCHESS” features so prominently that the font size exceeds the font used for the title of the work. The prominence of the dedication increases due to its rarity, being one of only three published operas or masques from the period between 1660 and 1677 to mention the dedicatee of the work or otherwise name a person in whose honor the author made or published the work. The other two examples of this practice have already been discussed, Sadler’s The Subjects Joy from 1660 and Jordan’s London’s Resurrection from 1671. In contrast, seven other operas or masques from this period appeared without such a dedication.95

Even if we set aside the title page as an oddity and nothing more, the length and language of the dedication itself bears mentioning. At five full pages of continual praise, the dedication offers a marathon of propaganda selling Mary of Modena to the reader. A few examples from Dryden’s dedication will serve as representative of his extensive praise:

(p.171) Give me leave, MADAM, to acquaint the World that I am Jealous of this Subject [her beauty]; and let it be no dishonour to You, that after having rais’d the Admiration of Mankind, You have inspir’d one Man to give it voice. But with whatsoever Vanity this new Honour of being Your Poet has fill’d my mind, I confess my self too weak for the Inspiration; the Priest was always unequal to the Oracle: The God within him was too mighty for his Breast: He labour’d with the Sacred Revelation, and there was more of the Mystery left behind than Divinity it self could inable him to express. I can but discover a part of Your Excellencies to the World.96

He goes on to say that

He [God] has plac’d You so near a Crown, that You add a Lustre to it by Your Beauty. You are Join’d to a Prince who only could deserve You: whose Conduct, Courage, and Success in War, whose Fidelity to His Royal Brother, whose Love for His Country, whose Constancy to His Friends, whose Bounty to His Servants, whose Justice to Merit, whose Inviolable Truth, and whose Magnanimity in all His Actions, seem to have been rewarded by Heaven by the gift of You. You are never seen but You are blest: and I am sure You bless all those who see You. We think not the Day is long enough when we behold You: And You are so much the business of our Souls, that while You are in sight, we can neither look nor think on any else.97

Even when Dryden focuses on propagandizing for James, Duke of York, he still manages to bring the monologue back to Mary with a discussion of how all the great things about James have made him alone worthy of her greatness and beauty.

However much the Royal family may have wanted the statements in these sources to prove true, time revealed that Mary and her Catholic identity (not to mention James’s Catholicism) represented one of the most unpalatable aspects of James’s court when he acceded to the throne. Indeed, fears over the prospect of an unbroken Catholic line of monarchs (p.172) springing from their union and eventually leading England back to the Pope became a pivotal consideration when Parliament eventually decided to offer the crown to William of Orange in exchange for the deposition of James II via the Glorious Revolution. The fact that so few English people rose up to defend James II and his son from the Dutch usurper proves that Mary had not won over quite as many hearts and minds as Dryden’s prologue claims.

Just as Dryden echoed Grabu’s praise for Mary of Modena, so too did John Crowne echo Grabu’s praise and commentary on the Third Angelo-Dutch War in the prologue of his masque Calisto from 1675. The prologue begins with the Thames sitting with two nymphs, symbolizing peace and plenty, as characters representing Europe, Asia, America, and Africa bring gifts to lay at her feet. Voices crying offstage for assistance interrupt the scene, and the text later reveals that the voices belong to the inhabitants of Europe, probably because of the Franco-Dutch and the Scanian wars that raged across Europe at this time. This frightens the Thames and makes her worry, especially when she notices Augusta (identified by a marginal note as London) crying as well. Because of this, she fears that peace, plenty, and the four corners of the world will desert her. These characters, however, insist that they will not abandon her. With Augusta still crying, the Genius of England awakens and proceeds to further attempt to allay the Thames’s fears. He argues that “These fears do not belong to Her [Augusta] nor You; / Europe onely should lament, / The Nymphs of his fair Continent. / Some Gyants now pursue. / But this sweet isle no Monster can invade.”98 The Thames then comments that someone should send help to Europe. Europe then informs her that Charles II has already sent help in the form of two heroes (most likely the Duke of Monmouth and either the future Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, or James, Duke of York):

  • From the mild power of this happy place.
  • Who is inclin’d,
  • To make the World as peaceful as his mind,
  • They have already gain’d the grace:
  • Two Heroes of his own Celestial Race
  • Are sent; the one to Triumph o’re the Seas,
  • And all the watery Divinities.
  • (p.173) The other, Monsters of the Land to quell,
  • And make the Nymphs in safety dwell.99

The two heroes then receive victors’ crowns, and the Genius of England encourages them to then place their prizes at Charles II’s feet as a symbol of how their fame derives from him.100 This prologue exhibits several similarities with the form, content, and overall message of the prologue from Grabu’s Ariadne. Not only do both focus on the Thames as the central character, but both emphasize the peace and plenty present in England in contrast with the war and deprivation that dominated much of the continent at the time. They both also emphasize military prowess and send the message that Charles wields considerable power and much more generosity than other rulers, with the implication that his subjects will not find a better ruler anytime soon or anywhere nearby. Promonarchy propaganda also appears in works that are largely apolitical, including works on musical instruction, collections of songs, and poetic miscellanies. See, for example, the health to the king in A.B. Philo-Mus’s Synopsis of Vocal Musick from 1680; the ballad in the anonymous Mock Songs and Joking Poems from 1675 about how the heralds at Physick Garden managed to prevent the removal of Charles I’s coat-of-arms from the gate by instead removing the Earl of Danby’s coat-of-arms; the song in Henry Bowman’s Songs for One, Two & Three Voices from 1678 that describes the injustices suffered by Charles I during the Civil War; the song of praise to Charles and James in Henry Playford’s The Theater of Music from 1685; and the dedications to the king and queen in A Paraphrase upon the Psalms of David.101

Yet another example of current-events propaganda appeared in the wake of the Exclusion Crisis in the form of an unusual music collection. Rather than simply containing propaganda songs, An Heroick Poem to his Royal Highness the Duke of York, on his Return from Scotland (1682) consists entirely of musical and poetic propaganda, including an extensive introductory poem, one catch text without music, and nineteen songs, complete with sheet music.102 The title references the period prior to the end of the Exclusion Crisis during which Charles II sent James to Scotland, ostensibly for the practical purpose of re-establishing order after the Covenanters’ rebellion of 1679. The texts of the collection take (p.174) full advantage of the fact that the crisis has already ended and James has been vindicated, which obviates the need to address the question of his legitimacy at all. The propaganda within the collection focuses on three main themes: presenting the Exclusion Crisis as a Whig plot; extolling the virtue of James while also portraying him as an endearing figure; and condemning the Whigs for causing the Exclusion Crisis.103 The collection also references Royalist culture through the extensive use of drinking songs (nearly half of the collection) and the use of pastoral themes and imagery, as exemplified in “A Pastoral Song.”104 While the inclusion of so many drinking songs may represent an attempt to connect to and promote Royalist culture, it may also have served a practical purpose. After all, singing drinking songs in their intended context of a tavern, ale house, or some other social gathering would spread the propaganda message of the text and moreover do so in an atmosphere that encouraged the subversion of rational thought. Drinking songs can also set the tone of conversation within the group of individuals singing the songs. Therefore, these drinking songs help to ensure that Royalists would both maintain their support and admiration for James, Duke of York, and their disdain for Whigs, even in their moments of relaxation and merriment.

Just as every argument bears approach from multiple perspectives, propaganda campaigns often include some works that endorse the propagandists’ side, some works that denigrate the opposition, and some works that perform both functions. Thus, alongside the pro-monarch propaganda of the Restoration, propagandists also published musical works targeting those who disagreed with Charles II during the latter half of his reign. After 1679—when the two-party system of Tories and Whigs developed in the wake of the Popish Plot and the Exclusion Crisis—this propaganda often took advantage of the ideological simplification of the political parties to attack Whigs without having to name or criticize specific individuals or ideas. This in turn provided space for the en masse character attacks that historically form a significant part of any system of government that relies on popular support for its legitimacy and authority. The anonymous The King’s Health: Set to Farrinel’s Ground (1682), for example, not only praises Charles and James, Duke of York, but also attacks the Whigs as rebellious, saying, “Let Tories guard the King, Let Whigs in Halters swing … Faction and Folly, and State Melancholy, with Tony [Anthony Ashley-Cooper, (p.175) 1st Earl of Shaftesbury] in Whigland for ever shall dwell; let wit, Wine, and Beauty, then teach us our Duty, for none e’re can love, or be wise and rebel.”105 The True-Blue-Protestant Dissenter, set “To the Tune of the Down-fall of Anthony” (another reference to Anthony Ashley-Cooper), vigorously links the Whigs of its present with the Puritans of the past and thereby uses guilt by association to cast all Whigs as traitorous liars. The ballad begins with an allusion to Oliver Cromwell as Jeroboam (as in Sadler’s The Subjects Joy) and then claims that while present-day dissenters (ca. 1682) differ from those of the Interregnum, they nonetheless share in the legacy of Puritanism:

  • WHEN Jeroboams Calves were rear’d,
  • And Church was neither lov’d nor fear’d:
  • When Treason had a fine new Name,
  • And Pulpits did like Beacons flame. … Dissenter (now grown a great Rabby)
  • Was then in’s Swadling Clouts a Baby:
  • Dissenter, Son of Presbyter,
  • Who was undoubted Son and Heir
  • Of Puritan.106

The author goes on to address the dissenter as

  • Thou little Mortal of three Names,
  • Pilot of Plots, and Sire of Shams,
  • Thou Subteranean, secret Spring,
  • Tht mov’st all Engines ‘gainst the King:
  • If thou Forsake us, we dispair,
  • The Tory Sheriffs, and new Mayor
  • Will th’ Righteous all to pieces tear.
  • ………………………………………………………………
  • Wo unto thee thou stubborn Whigg,
  • Who whilom lookd so bold and big,
  • Thou willt be taught another Jigg!
  • Goals, Dungeons, Racks (he knock’d his Breast,
  • Inspir’d as Prophet, and as Priest)
  • (p.176) Ropes, Halters, Hatchets, Pillories
  • Present themselves before our Eyes:
  • Oh true blew Protestant Rioters!
  • Off goes your Heads, and eak our Ears;
  • The Sisters pour’d out floods of Tears.107

The author concludes the ballad by stating that no matter how many times the king pardons the crimes of the Civil War, dissenters will always be traitors.

By this point, Shaftesbury had fled England, and rumors of Whig rebellion received a real-life justification in the shape of the Rye House Plot of 1683, in which a group of former Civil War Parliamentarians and their supporters plotted to kill Charles II and his brother James while they traveled to or back from Newmarket, where they frequented the horse races. While the plot never materialized, one of those involved informed on the others, which led to retaliatory investigations, trials, and executions. The plot resulted in a win-win for the Tories; its conspirators failed to attempt it in the first place, and the planning of the plot alone gave justification to the propaganda claims that Tory propagandists had already made against the Whigs: calling them traitors and regicides looking for another opportunity to strike again.

As in previous periods, political propaganda appeared in a variety of works during the Restoration, including those that appear apolitical at first glance. Works like The Newest Collection of the Choicest Songs, As they are Sung at Court, Theatre, Musick-Schools, Balls, etc. (1683), for instance, collate political propaganda into an overtly innocent and apolitical collection of popular songs. In total, six of the fifty-three songs in the collection contain propaganda references to loyalists or Whigs. The first of the six, “A Momento to the Whigs, or a Looking-Glass for Deceivers,” begins by declaring, “REmember [sic] you Whigs, / What has lately been done, / What cursed intreagues / Your dire Plottings brought on” and proceeds to remind readers of the atrocities committed against the church and monarchy during the Civil War, concluding with the assurance that “now we grow wise, / It shall never be said, / That we’ll shut our Eyes / Whilst the Nation’s betray’d.”108 This text encourages readers to condemn all Whigs as plotters and betrayers and offers emotive reminders of what (p.177) the Parliamentarians had done to the Church of England and Charles I, such as “Church-Plunder was counted / An innocent sport,” and “They ruin’d the Nation, / And Murther’d their King,” to encourage readers to never again allow the political descendants of the Parliamentarians to gain political power over the country.109

Although no direct evidence supports the assertion that the author of “A Momento” wrote it as a campaign song for an election, even if it has that air about it, the text of “Loyalty Triumphant” marks it as a victory song for the election of two Tory sheriffs in London, probably Dudley North and Sir Peter Rich, in 1683.110 All three stanzas of this song include a mix of praise for the new Tory Sheriff and Lord Mayor of London and invectives against the Whigs, as evidenced in the first stanza: “NOw [sic] Loyalists cast up your Caps and rejoyce, / Since of Loyal Sheriffs, the City’s made choice. / The Torrent of Faction begins to decline, / And those that succession oppos’d i’th right Line. /… / And in vain they do study more shams to invent.”111

Likewise, “The Loyal Health” builds up James, Duke of York, while tearing down Whigs as traitors: “Let us mark ‘um for Whigs, who were never yet Loyal, / And out of our company strait let them hie all. / For this is a place set a part for true Tories; / We’l here have no Canting nor seditious stories.”112 “Country Discourse” uses language that imitates the northern dialect to mock Whigs for what appears to be a recent electoral loss (though it could also be at the revelation of the Rye House Plot, or both). The country characters of Tom and Dick discuss the event, saying:

  • [Tom:] I’se tell thee, ther’s News from London Town;
  • Loyalty at last got up, and Faction tumbled down.[Dick:] I’vaith
  • I’se hear as much Tom, the De’l [devil] has now forsook u’m;
  • The London Mons no longer will suffer Whigs to Rook u’m.
  • …………………………………………………………………………
  • [Dick:] Zouz now, I’se don’ think on’t, where Don Whigland [Shaftesbury] stand[s],
  • Every where, where Treason brings up the Rear or Van.113

“The Grievances of the Nation Discovered” proves that Royalists still sought unity in the nation, with its declaration of “A Pox of these Whigs let (p.178) us rout ‘um, / Too long they have pester’d the Nation. /… / The Kingdom will soon have a blessing, / If Faction and Schisme once perish, / For Union will spread past expressing.”114 Finally, “The Loyalists Delight” credits “Great CHARLES our blest Sovereign” with having “At last … subdued / The Murmuring Faction / That strove to intrude / Into Matters of State / For to Imbroil the Nation; Sedition no More / Shall be made a Vocation.”115 The similarity in messaging among these songs suggests that the publisher of The Newest Collection of the Choicest Songs (1683) purposefully included them in the collection as propaganda. Moreover, none of the songs in the collection express a pro-Whig position or anything close to criticism for the crown or Tories, which further suggests political intentions on the part of the publisher.

Even if the general public strongly suspected that Charles II had converted to Catholicism, expressed significant criticisms of the hedonistic atmosphere of his court, and disliked his political agendas and dealings, he still commanded sufficient loyalty to maintain his throne against such uprisings as did occur. James II, however, could not replicate his brother’s feat. While Charles II’s Catholicism had long been suspected (in fact, he converted on his deathbed), James II’s had been undeniable as early as 1673, when he refused to comply with the Test Act. His marriage to Mary of Modena that year promised a Catholic succession and the prospect of England’s return to communion with Rome. Fears about James’s accession had triggered the Exclusion Crisis of 1679–81, during which Parliament tried to block Catholics from the line of succession. Charles II supported his brother, and the attempt eventually failed, but at a heavy political cost. The defeat of the Exclusion Bill did not eliminate the anxieties over the Catholicism of the royal family, however, and these fears provided an opening for the Monmouth Rebellion. Fortunately for James II, the uprising proved harmless, but it showed the level of public anxiety surrounding a Catholic monarch in England.116

The anxieties of James II’s subjects only intensified because of his unwillingness to compromise politically on what seemed to be his most pressing goal: achieving legal equality and political power for the (p.179) long-disenfranchised Catholics of England. In the end, his insistence on the existence of a standing, professional army, which he stocked with Catholic officers, his dispensing with the Test Act and subsequent appointment of Catholics to offices in government, his Declarations of Indulgence from 1687 and 1688, and his punishment of Anglican bishops for requesting in print that he withdraw his Declarations, made opponents of arbitrary government (i.e., absolute government) and opponents of Catholicism extremely concerned. The final straw for many English citizens and members of Parliament, however, came with the birth of James II’s son and heir in June of 1688. This signaled that the previously next in line for the crown, William of Orange and his wife Mary Stuart, could no longer wait out James II and fix what he had done after his death. A month after the birth of James, Prince of Wales, William of Orange agreed to intervene on behalf of the English people in the Glorious Revolution that ended the reign of James II.117

The musical propaganda that did appear during, or just before, James II’s brief reign follows a similar style and content as the propaganda that appeared in support of Charles II during the previous two and a half decades. As in the beginning of Charles II’s reign, 1685 saw the publication of A Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs, a collection of broadside ballads originally published between 1678 and 1683 and enhanced in this collection with the inclusion of their accompanying tunes (an uncommon practice for individual broadside publications throughout the century). Like The Rump (1660) by Henry Brome, this collection preserves and concentrates Loyalist propaganda that centers on a specific Royalist agenda. In the collection from 1660, the agenda involved denigrating the Rump Parliament and its supporters while elevating General Monck and Charles II in anticipation of the return of the monarchy. A Choice Collection seeks to use the Exclusion Crisis and the Rye House Plot to neutralize the political propaganda of the Whigs and ensure obedience and complacency in the populace. Indeed, the author admits as much in his preface, while also providing another contemporary statement on the value of music as a vehicle for propaganda during this period:

AMongst [sic] the several means that have been of late years to reduce the deluded Multitude to their just Allegiance, this of (p.180) BALLADS and LOYAL SONGS has not been of the least influence, While the Fergusons, and Heads of the Factions were blowing up Sedition in every corner of the Countrey, these flying Choristers were asserting the Rights of Monarchy, and proclaiming Loyalty on every street. The mis-in-form’d Rabble began to listen; they began to hear to Truth in a SONG, in time found their Errours, and were charm’d into Obedience. Those that despise the Reverend Prelate in the Pulpit, and the Grave Judge on the Bench; that will neither submit to the Laws of God or Man, will yet lend an itching Ear to a Loyal Song, nay, and often become a Convert by it, when all other means prove ineffectual.118

The author also hopes that in publishing the collection “the World may see I have not been Idle in the worst of times, but have done my endeavour (to the utmost of my Talent) for the Interest of the KING and Government; which That [sic] they may flourish in spight of all his Adversaries.”119

Furthermore, some recurring propaganda publications from Charles II’s reign continued into the reign of James II. Thomas Jordan published Lord Mayor’s Day pageant libretti consistently during the 1670s and early 1680s, and two examples of Lord Mayor’s Day pageant libretti did appear in print during James II’s reign. Instead of Thomas Jordan, however, Matthew Taubman authored both of the examples discussed here. He published London’s Yearly Jubilee (1686) for the election of Sir John Peake as Lord Mayor for that year. Like Jordan’s pageant publications, it presents propaganda that encourages viewers and readers to admire the king and feel gratitude for his beneficence. In the first speech to the Lord Mayor from Neptune, for example, the sea god indicates that the Lord Mayor owes his authority to James, who possesses the power of Neptune himself:

  • This Honour to your State, an Homage due,
  • First to Illustrious JAMES, and next to you.
  • To him long since I did my Power resign,
  • Of Seas of floods, and what e’re else was mine.
  • His boundless Soveraignty none dare withstand,
  • invincible by Sea as well as Land.
  • (p.181) Who forc’d the lofty Foe to truckle under,
  • And makes the Sea-Gods tremble at his Thunder.120

Similarly, London’s Triumph, or the Goldsmiths Jubilee from 1687 praises the power and kindness of the king, but it also propagandizes on behalf of the recent Declaration of Indulgence, with passages such as this one from the second speech of the pageant, given by St. Dunstan:

  • Amphion and old Orpheus playing by,
  • To keep our Forge in tuneful Harmony.
  • These pontifical Ornaments I wear,
  • Are types of Rule and Order all the Year.
  • In these white Robes none can a fault descry,
  • Since all have liberty as well as I:
  • Nor need you fear the Shipwrack of your Cause,
  • Your loss of Charter or the Penal Laws,
  • Indulgence granted by your bounteous Prince,
  • Makes for that loss too great a Recompence.121

The author anticipates the shock to the crowd of St. Dunstan appearing in pontifical robes and reminds them that they have just as much right to a similar freedom of religion as he does thanks to the generosity of James II. He also reminds them that the Declaration of Indulgence—in allowing Protestants freedom of religion—more than makes up for the freedom that it similarly grants to Catholics. Taubman even objectifies liberty of conscience as a shield that the character Liberty carries along with the king’s banner.122 Another character, Janus, informs listeners at the end of his speech that for the benefit of the future of the nation, he has provided them with “Wisdom and Providence to be your guide; / With Liberty of Conscience to be just, / That you with Honour may discharge your Trust.”123 This implies that justice requires liberty of conscience and requires that all people trust each other to live and let live.

Finally, opera continued to function as a vehicle for Royalist propaganda during the reign of James II. The most prominent example of this comes from Albion and Albanius (1687), the opera by John Dryden and Louis Grabu. As Dryden describes in the 1691 edition of the libretto, work (p.182) on the opera began before Charles II’s death, and because “The Subject of it is wholly Allegorical; and the Allegory it self so very obvious, that it will no sooner be read than understood,” the end had to be changed to accommodate his death.124 The allegory relates the stories of the restoration of the monarchy; the Popish Plot; the subsequent exile of James, Duke of York, (represented allegorically as Albanius) to the continent; the Rye House Plot and its failure; and the death of Charles II (represented as Albion). Throughout the opera, Albion and Albanius appear as noble heroes who Zelota, Tyranny, and Democracy, the allegorical representations of the Whigs, undermine and plot against. Referencing Grabu’s dedication to the 1687 edition

The feigned Misfortune of two Persecuted Hero’s, was too thin a Veil for the Moral not to shine through the Fable; the pretended Plot, and the true Conspiracy, were no more disguis’d on the private Stage, than they were on the publick Theater of the World. Never were two Princes united more straightly together in common Sufferings from ungrateful and Rebellious Subjects.125

As Grabu alludes to here, the plot of the opera posits that Whigs fabricated the Popish Plot to create division between Charles and James, but Charles saw through the plot and ended up trapping the plotters in their own plot. Shortly after, Jove summons Charles as Albion to heaven, leaving James as Albanius in charge of the kingdom in his stead.

Throughout the Restoration, the royalist faction within the government considered maintaining public support for the reigning monarch a significant concern. Charles understood that his father’s failure to take public opinion into account proved fatal, and he feared making the same mistake. He also feared, by extension, the groups that contributed to his father’s downfall, especially the dissenters.126 In the early days of the Restoration, creating cultural and religious unity in the nation offered one means by which the administration could manage public opinion. As much of the (p.183) propaganda from this period attests, authors saw unity as a means to peace and a cure for conflict.

Along with this pro-unity propaganda, propagandists published musical works and writings about music that encouraged readers to adore and respect the royal family. By extolling their generosity, virtue, military power, and martial skill, authors both implied that no one should want to oppose them and that no one could militarily oppose them. While this propaganda may have helped to bolster Charles II’s public image enough to help him retain control over the country until his death (even if there were periods of significant difficulty for him), it ultimately proved unsuccessful at improving the public images of James, Duke of York, or Mary of Modena, Duchess of York. Their Catholicism loomed too largely in the eyes of the English people, and propaganda that focused on personal abilities or virtues could not eclipse it. The insistence that James II showed in his quest for equality (or perhaps even superiority) for English Catholics and the birth of his Catholic son pushed the English people to seek and endorse the transfer of power from James II to William of Orange, which ultimately led to the Glorious Revolution and the exile of James II and his immediate family. Indeed, their bodies remain in exile to the present day.

In addition to pro-unity and public-image propaganda, authors and publishers also used music to convey invective propaganda against the royal court’s enemies to audiences across the spectrum of social classes. After the Exclusion Crisis, this negative propaganda focused squarely on the Whig party and its prominent members, such as Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury. Whereas positive-image propaganda for the royal family focused on their skills and virtues, negative-image propaganda against the Whigs focused consistently on tying their political and ideological lineage to the Parliamentarians of the Civil War and Interregnum, with the implication that they were little more than a group of traitors and schismatics who wanted nothing more than to bring chaos and death to the kingdom. It just so happens that they did revive revolution in the nation, in the form of the Glorious Revolution, but the propaganda claims made against them would ultimately prove, unsurprisingly, exaggerated. (p.184)


(1) See John Montano, Courting the Moderates: Ideology, Propaganda, and the Emergence of Party, 1660–1678 (Newark, DE: University of Delaware Press, 2002), 52–54.

(3) Ratts Rhimed to Death. or, the Rump-Parliament Hang’d up in the Shambles (London, 1659); The Rump, or Collection of Songs and Ballads made upon those who would be a PARLIAMENT, and where but the RUMP of an House of Commons, five times dissolv’d (London: Henry Brome, 1660).

(5) The Royall Entertainment (London: Francis Grove, 1660).

(6) A Loyal Subjects Admonition (London: Francis Grove, 1660).

(7) T.H., Iter Boreale (London: Henry Brome, 1660); A Song to his Excellency the Ld. General Monck, at Skinners-Hall (London: William Anderson, 1660); A Speech Made to His Excellency The Lord General Monck And the Council of State, At Fishmongers-Hall (London: William Godbid, 1660); A short Representation Performed before The Lord Generall Monck. At Goldsmiths-Hall (London: Thomas Morgan, 1660).

(8) Montano, Courting the Moderates, 54. For the bonfires and communal singing and the performance by the South-Wark Waits, see The Glory of these Nations (1660). For the martial music, see England’s Gratulation (p.269) (1660) and The Noble Progresse (1660), which also mentions bell ringing. For the pageants and organ performances, see The Royall Entertainment (1660).

(9) John Playford, Select Ayres and Dialogues (London: William Godbid, 1659), A1v.

(10) For a reconstruction of the instrumental forces and performers present at the coronation, see Eric Halfpenny, “The ‘Entertainment’ of Charles II,” Music & Letters 38, no. 1 (January 1957): 32–44.

(11) Anthony Sadler, The Subjects Joy for The Kings Restoration (London: James Davis, 1660), A4r. For clues as to the temporal orientation of these works, see the title page of the ode and the beginning of the “To The Candid Reader” section in the masque.

(12) James Shirley, An Ode upon the Happy Return of Charles II to His Languishing Nations (London, 1660), A2r.

(16) Sadler, The Subjects Joy, A3v-r. The capitalized “CR” in the middle of sacred is consistently repeated throughout the masque and may have been a symbolic association of the word sacred to Charles II, perhaps with a meaning of “Charles Restored” or “Carolus Rex.” I owe thanks to Tobias B. Gregory for suggesting the “Carolus Rex” interpretation.

(20) See for example: Timothy Harris, “Introduction: Revising the Restoration,” in Politics of Religion, ed. Timothy Harris, Mark Goldie, and Paul Seaward (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990) and Timothy Harris, “Understanding Popular Politics in Restoration Britain,” in A Nation Transformed: England After the Restoration, ed. Alan Craig Houston and Steven C.A. Pincus (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001).

(21) David Lloyd, Eikon Basilike: or, The True Pourtraicture of his Sacred Majesty Charles the II (London: Henry Brome, 1660), bk 3, 51–52.

(24) Portman, The Souls Life (London: John Playford, 1660), A1r.

(29) Joseph Brookbank, The Well-tuned Organ (London, 1660), A1r.

(33) Brookbank, The Well-tuned Organ, 4. John Gauden, Considerations Touching the Liturgy of the Church of England (London: John Playford, 1661), A1r also takes as its main motivation a “happy union in church and state” and attempts to bring it to fruition through a defense of the liturgy of the Church of England, including a brief defense of church music. That Playford published the work is also telling.

(36) Joseph Bentham, The Right of Kings … Together with, A Defence of Psalm-Singing (London: William Tompson, 1661), A2r–A3v.

(39) David Norbrook, Writing the English Republic (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000), 1.

(44) George Clark, The Later Stuarts, 1660–1714 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), 23.

(47) John Reading, A Sermon Lately delivered in the Cathedral Church of Canterbury Concerning Church-Musick (London: Thomas Newcomb, 1663), 1.

(49) J.C., The Divine Services and Anthems Usually Sung in the Cathedrals and Collegiate Choires in the Church of England (London: Henry Brome, 1663), A6r.

(58) See for example Barbara Shapiro, Political Communication and Political Culture in England, 1558–1688 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2012), 166–67.

(p.271) (62) For scholarly works on the topic, see Curtis A. Price, “Political Allegory in Late-Seventeenth-Century English Opera,” in Music and Theatre: Essays in Honour of Winton Dean, ed. Nigel Fortune (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987), 1–29; Amanda Eubanks Winkler, “Enthusiasm and Its Discontents: Religion, Prophecy, and Madness in the Music for Sophonisba and The Island Princess,” Journal of Musicology 23, no. 2 (Spring 2006): 307–30; Anthony Welch, “The cultural politics of Dido and Aeneas,” Cambridge Opera Journal 21, no. 1 (March 2009): 1–26; Andrew R. Walkling, “Political Allegory in Purcell’s ‘Dido and Aeneas,’” Music & Letters 76, no. 4 (November 1995): 540–71; Amanda Eubanks Winkler, “‘O Ravishing Delight’: The Politics of Pleasure in ‘The Judgment of Paris,’” Cambridge Opera Journal 15, no. 1 (March 2003): 15–31; Robert D. Hume, “The Politics of Opera in Late Seventeenth-Century London,” Cambridge Opera Journal 10, no. 1 (March 1998): 15–43; and Andrew R. Walkling, Masque and Opera in England, 1656–1688 (New York: Routledge, 2017). See Winkler, “Politics of Pleasure;” and Hume, “Politics of Opera.”

(63) Coelum Britannicum was originally published in 1634 and again in 1651; The Siege of Rhodes was originally published in 1656 and republished in 1659, 1663, and 1670. Thomas Carew, Poems, Songs, and Sonnets, Together with a Masque (London: Henry Herringman, 1670), 186; see chapter two for the quotation of this passage.

(64) William D’Avenant, The Siege of Rhodes (London: Henry Harringman, 1670), 1–5, 6–7, and 87–99.

(71) John Playford, Cantica Sacra (London: William Godbid, 1674), Bv.

(73) Thomas Jordan, London’s Resurrection to Joy and Triumph (London: Henry Brome, 1671), 5. For additional and similar comments about this work, see Montano, Courting the Moderates, 126–27.

(78) Musick: or A Parley of Instruments (London, 1676), 8.

(80) T. Duffett, Beauties Triumph (London, 1676), 4–5.

(84) Some examples include: Thomas D’Urfey, Choice New Songs Never before Printed (London: John Playford, 1684); Wit and Mirth (London: John Playford, 1684); and Catch that Catch can (London: John Playford, 1685).

(85) Louis Grabut, Ariadne (Savoy: Thomas Newcombe, 1674), A2r.

(95) See Charles D’Avenant, Circe (London: Richard Tonson, 1677); Duffett, Beauties Triumph; John Crowne, Calisto (London: Thomas Newcomb, 1675); Grabut, Ariadne; D’Avenant, The Siege of Rhodes; Thomas Duffett The Mock Tempest (London: William Cademan, 1675); and Matthew Locke, The English Opera (London: Ratcliff and Thompson, 1675).

(96) John Dryden, The State of Innocence, and Fall of Man (London: Henry Herringman, 1677), A2v.

(101) A.B. Philo-Mus., Synopsis of Vocal Musick (London: Dorman Newman, 1680), 94–95; Mock Songs and Joking Poems (London: William Birtch, 1675), 56–62; Henry Bowman, Songs for One, Two & Three Voices (Oxford: Thomas Bowman, 1678), 43–44; Henry Playford, The Theater of Music (London: Henry Playford, 1685), 18–19; and John Playford, ed., A Paraphrase upon the Psalms of David (London: William Godbid, 1676).

(102) A note after the catch text suggests to readers that they can sing the text to any melody they please. The table of contents lists fourteen songs, as the medleys are counted together. Matthew Taubman, An Heroick Poem to his Royal Highness the Duke of York, on his Return from Scotland (London: John Smith, 1682).

(103) For songs focused on the Exclusion Crisis as a Whig plot: “Medley on the Plot,” “Second Part,” “Medley on the Association,” “The Healths,” “The Duke’s Return from Scotland,” “A Pastoral Song,” and “The Plot Unvail’d.” For songs focused on extolling the virtues of James, Duke (p.273) of York, see “To the Duke,” “Second Change,” “Fourth Change,” “Fifth Change,” “A Drinking Catch,” “Old Jemmy,” “The Healths,” “York and Albany,” “The Duke’s Return from Scotland,” “On the Duke’s Return after Shipwrack,” “Great Jemmy,” “Young Jemmy, a Catch,” For songs focused on condemning the Whigs, see “Third Change,” “Fifth Change,” “A Drinking Catch,” “Philander,” “A Song,” “The Healths,” “York and Albany,” “The Duke’s Return from Scotland,” and “The Plot Unvail’d.”

(104) The eight drinking songs in the collection: “A Drinking Catch,” “The Healths,” “The Duke’s Return from Scotland,” “On the Duke’s Return after Shipwrack,” “Great Jemmy,” “Young Jemmy, a Catch,” Ossery, a Catch,” and “The Plot Unvail’d.”

(105) The King’s Health: Set to Farrinel’s Ground (London: Joseph Hindmarsh, 1682), 1–3.

(106) The True-Blew-Protestant Dissenter (London: W. Davis, 1682).

(108) The Newest Collection of the Choicest Songs, As they are Sung at Court, Theatre, Musick-Schools, Balls, etc. (London: T. Haly, 1683), 43–45.

(110) John Noorthouck, “Addenda: The Mayors and Sheriffs of London,” in A New History of London Including Westminster and Southwark (London: R. Baldwin, 1773), 889–93, British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/new-history-london/pp889–893.

(116) Uprisings such as the Scottish uprisings of 1666 and 1679. See Harris, A Nation Transformed, 29–130; Timothy Harris, “Introduction: Revising the Restoration,” in Politics of Religion, ed. Timothy Harris, Mark Goldie, and Paul Seaward (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), 3; Harris, “Introduction: Revising the Restoration,” 15.

(117) George Clark, The Later Stuarts, 1660–1714 (Oxford: Clarendon, 1965), 121–26 and 133.

(118) N.T., A Choice Collection of 180 Loyal Songs (London: N.T., 1685), A2r–A3v.

(120) Matthew Taubman, London’s Yearly Jubilee (London: Henry Playford, 1686), 6.

(121) Matthew Taubman, London’s Triumph, or the Goldsmiths Jubilee (London: J. Leake, 1687), 7.

(p.274) (124) John Dryden, Albion and Albanius (London: John Tonson, 1691), Br and B2r.

(125) Louis Grabu, Albion and Albanius (London: William Nott, 1687), A2r.