This study fills a major gap in the mainstream narrative of Irish history by reconstructing political developments in the year before the restoration of Charles II. It is the first treatment of the complex Irish dimension of the king's return. The issue of the monarchy did not stand alone in Ireland. Entangled with it was the question of how the restoration of the old regime would affect a Protestant colonial community which had changed in character and fortune as a result of the Cromwellian conquest, the immigration that had accompanied it and the massive transfer of land that followed. As the return of Charles became increasingly probable, Cromwellian and pre-Cromwellian settlers were united in their determination to ensure that the restoration of Charles did not deprive them of their gains. This account discloses how the leaders of the Protestant establishment protected its interests by managing the transition back to monarchy.