On this day in history : 6th September 1651 – After the defeat of his Royalist Army, by Cromwell’s Parliamentarians at the Battle of Worcester, King Charles II spends the day hiding in an oak tree….

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Charles II circa 1653 – Philippe de Champaigne – Public domain

The Battle of Worcester, which took place on the 3rd of September 1651, was the final battle of the English Civil War…. Oliver Cromwell’s 28,000 strong New Model Army far out-numbered the King’s 16,000 men…. Around 3,000 lost their lives and a further 10,000 were taken prisoner; however, King Charles and other important Royalists managed to escape….

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Oliver Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester – Published by Machell Stace CC BY-SA 2.5

Charles and his companions sought shelter at the safe houses of the White Ladies Priory and Boscobel House (both in Shropshire)…. After a failed attempt to cross the River Severn, dressed as woodsmen, King Charles and his men were forced to return to their safe houses…. However, it was deemed theses hiding places were no longer safe and it was suggested King Charles hide in an oak tree within the grounds of Boscobel House….

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English Heritage – Public domain

And so, this is what he did…. From his vantage point he could see the progress – or rather the non-progress – of the Parliamentary soldiers searching for him…. He later made his escape posing as the servant of Jane Lane of Bentley….

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