The fall of the monarchy involved a reversion to a pre-monarchical state.
The knights of St John having been driven from Rhodes by the Turks, obtained the grant of Malta, Gozo and Tripoli in 1530 from the emperor Charles V., subject to a reversion in favour of the emperor's successor in the kingdom of Aragon should the knights leave Malta, and to the annual tribute of a falcon in acknowledgment that Malta was under the suzerainty of Spain.
Cecil, meanwhile, had obtained the reversion to the office of custos rotulorum brevium, and, according to his autobiographical notes, sat in.
In the beginning of 1772 his ambition was stimulated by the nomination to the 'second place in council in Bengal with a promise of the reversion of the governorship when Mr Cartier should retire.
Ministers were naturally anxious to obtain the reversion to his vacant post, and Indian affairs formed at this time the hinge on which party politics turned.