Royal Oak

Royal Oak

The Royal Oak is the name given to the oak tree within which King Charles II of England hid to escape the Roundheads following the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The tree was located in Boscobel Wood, which was part of the park of Boscobel House. Charles confirmed to Samuel Pepys in 1680 that while he was hiding in the tree, a Parliamentarian soldier passed directly below it. The story was popular after the Restoration; numerous large dishes painted in slip with the Boscobel Oak, supported by the Lion and Unicorn, with the king's face peeping from the branches were made by the Staffordshire potter Thomas Toft. [One is at the Metropolitan Museum ( [ illustration] ).]


After the defeat of Charles's Royalist army at the hands of Cromwell's New Model Army, the King fled with Lord Derby, Lord Wilmot and other royalists, seeking shelter at the safe houses of White Ladies Priory and Boscobel House.

The King was among those sheltered at Boscobel House, where he was disguised as a woodman by the owners of the property, Charles Giffard and the Pendrill family. Their initial attempt to escape to Wales was thwarted by Commonwealth troops, and the King returned to the house. He there met with William Carlis (or Careless), one of the last royalists to escape the battlefield. According to tradition Carelis's variable last name was altered after the Restoration to "Carlos" ("Charles" in Spanish) by Charles II himself to commemorate the events at Boscobel. Carlis's rank is variously reported as Captain, Major and Colonel.

As Commonwealth troops approached the house, searching for Royalists, the King and Carlis spent a day hidden in the Royal Oak, and the next day hidden in a priest hole at Boscobel House. After this, Giffard and the Pendrills were able to use their contacts with other Catholics to smuggle the King and Wilmot to France.

When King Charles returned to England and took the throne in 1660, he granted annuities to the Pendrills for their services (still paid to their descendents to this day), and the Pendrills and Colonel Carlis were permitted to amend their coats of arms to depict an oak tree and three royal crowns.

The Oak today

The tree standing on the site today is not the original Royal Oak, which is recorded to have been destroyed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by tourists who cut off branches and chunks as souvenirs. The present day tree is believed to be a two or three hundred-year old descendant of the original and is thus known as 'Son of Royal Oak'.

In 2000, Son of Royal Oak was badly injured during a violent storm and lost many branches, becoming a shadow of its former self. Another oak sapling was planted near the site of the original Royal Oak in 2001 by Prince Charles; it was grown from one of the Son's acorns and is thus a grandson of the Royal Oak.

In commemoration of the tree's significance in British history a number of places and things have been named after the Royal Oak: see Royal Oak (disambiguation). "The Royal Oak" is the third most common pub name in Britain. [ [ Strange Names ] ]

ee also

* Robur Carolinum, "Charles' Oak", a now-defunct constellation
* Oak Apple Day
* List of famous trees


External links

* [ First Foot Guards: The Royal Oak]
* [ The Fugitive King]
* [ The Leaking Wreck of H.M.S. Royal Oak]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Royal Oak — (engl.: Königliche Eiche) steht für: eine Eiche, in der sich Karl II. von England auf seiner Flucht nach der Schlacht von Worcester 1651 der Gefangennahme durch die Parlamentarier entzog, siehe Royal Oak (Baum), den Namen zahlreicher Schiffe in… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Royal Oak — Royal Oak, MI U.S. city in Michigan Population (2000): 60062 Housing Units (2000): 29942 Land area (2000): 11.816328 sq. miles (30.604149 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.001072 sq. miles (0.002776 sq. km) Total area (2000): 11.817400 sq. miles… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Royal Oak, MI — U.S. city in Michigan Population (2000): 60062 Housing Units (2000): 29942 Land area (2000): 11.816328 sq. miles (30.604149 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.001072 sq. miles (0.002776 sq. km) Total area (2000): 11.817400 sq. miles (30.606925 sq. km)… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • Royal Oak — [in allusion to an oak in which CHARLES II of England is said to have hidden] city in SE Mich.: suburb of Detroit: pop. 60,000 …   English World dictionary

  • Royal Oak — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Royal Oak est le nom du chêne où se cacha une journée durant Charles II d Angleterre, en 1651, lors de la troisième guerre civile anglaise. Ont été nommés …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Royal Oak — Original name in latin Royal Oak Name in other language loyeol okeu State code US Continent/City America/Detroit longitude 42.48948 latitude 83.14465 altitude 204 Population 57236 Date 2011 05 14 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Royal Oak — a city in SE Michigan, near Detroit. 70,893. * * * ▪ Michigan, United States       city, Oakland county, southeastern Michigan, U.S., that is a residential northern suburb of Detroit. First settled in 1819, it may have been named for an oak in… …   Universalium

  • Royal Oak — Roy′al Oak′ n. geg a city in SE Michigan, near Detroit. 64,120 …   From formal English to slang

  • Royal Oak — geographical name city SE Michigan N of Detroit population 60,062 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Royal Oak — city, SE Michigan 48068*; pop. 65,410 …   Webster's Gazetteer

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.