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5 Engagement and Containment, 1660–78

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents the government's responses to the perceived problem of Highland lawlessness from 1660 until the end of Duke Lauderdale's regime. It explores the strategic underpinnings of the government's approach, before assessing how these ideas influenced the actual development of policy until 1678. The general issue of the Restoration regime's reaction to perceived challenges has of course attracted a fair degree of historiographical attention. Although Charles II had been restored to his thrones in May 1660, the republican authorities continued to exercise control in Scotland until 23 August, when the Committee of Estates, the central executive body of the covenanting era, reconvened in Edinburgh Castle. Such ideas were informed by contemporary conceptualisations of Highland society. The initial policy of bonding, in line with the conservative ethos of the Restoration settlement, represented the early ascendency of indirect thinking, as did the rehabilitation of Argyll as the government's key Highland agent.

Keywords: Argyll; Charles II; Edinburgh Castle.; highland lawlessness; highland society; Lauderdale's regime



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