6 Sep: Up The Royal Oak

Charles II, the 21 year-old King of Scotland, sought refuge up an oak tree at Boscobel House on 6th September, 1651. Having been chased out of Worcester by Oliver Cromwell’s Roundheads, he feared for his life, and was disguised as a working class woodsman.

The escape was much re-told upon his restoration to the throne, and highly romanticised; being committed to poetry by Cowley, prose by Peyps – and inspiring hundreds of English pubs to name themselves ‘The Royal Oak’.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly reveal that Charles was NOT alone up that tree all day; consider the culinary difference between 17th century posset and British Airways posset; and explore the ways English Heritage have managed to monetise this iconic moment of the English Civil War… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Charles II Hides in the Boscobel Oak’ (History Today, 2001): https://www.historytoday.com/archive/charles-ii-hides-boscobel-oak

• Oak grove that saved Charles II is reborn (The Times, 2020): https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/oak-grove-that-saved-charles-ii-is-reborn-p00hcl8sm

• ‘Tales From English Folklore #4: Charles II and the Oak Tree’ (English Heritage, 2019):