George Monck was born in 1609. He began his career during the Thirty Years' War. During the English Revolution, he fought on the side of Charles I but was captured and imprisoned. He managed to convince Parliament of his loyalty to Cromwell and was released to serve as governor of Ulster in Ireland. From there, he went to Scotland to serve Cromwell and eventually worked his way up through the military to become a naval general. During the wars against the Dutch from 1652 to 1654, he defeated their navies in two separate battles, assuring his reputation as an outstanding officer.
Yet Monck's loyalties remained with the crown: "A letter to John Winthrop, Jr., from a 'Capt. Peverel,' dated November 8, 1659, spoke of administrative chaos and hinted that General Monck was at heart a Royalist" (Black 198-199). The suspicions proved true. Monck led the army in dissolving the Parliament in 1660, allowing Charles II to assume the throne and restore the monarchy.
Monck managed the city government of London during the crisis times of the plague of 1665 and the fire of 1666. During the later wars with the Netherlands, Monck again defeated the Dutch in a naval battle in 1666, again exhibiting his prowess in battle.
Charles II granted him a peerage, making him the first Duke of Albemarle, one of a number of public honors given him for his military prowess, diplomatic skills, and governmental cou