Every-Day Book
vol II date    /    index  


May 29.

St. Maximinus, Bp. of Friers, A.D. 349. St. Cyril. St. Conon and his son, of Iconia in Asia, about A.D. 275. Sts. Sisinnius, Martyrius, and Alexander, A.D. 397.

Restoration Day.

This day is so called from its being the anniversary of the day whereon king Charles II. entered London, in 1660, and re-established royalty, which had been suspended from the death of his father. It is usual with the vulgar people to wear oak-leaves in their hats on this day, and dress their horses' heads with them. This is in commemoration of the shelter afforded to Charles by an oak while making his escape from England, after his defeat at Worcester, by Cromwell. The battle was fought on the 3d of September, 1651; Cromwell having utterly routed his army, Charles left Worcester at six o'clock in the afternoon, and without halting, travelled about twenty-six miles, in company with fifty or sixty of his friends, from whom he separated, without communicating his intentions to any of them, and went to Boscobel, a lone house in the borders of Staffordshire, inhabited by one Penderell, a farmer, to whom he intrusted himself. This man assisted by his four brothers, clothed the king in a garb like their own, led him into the neighbouring wood, put a bill into his hand, and pretended to employ themselves in cutting faggots. Some nights he lay upon straw in the house, and fed on such homely fare as it afforded. For better concealment, he mounted upon an oak, where he sheltered himself among the leaves and branches for twenty-four hours. He saw several soldiers pass by. All of them were intent in search of the king; and some expressed, in his hearing, their earnest wishes of seizing him. This tree was afterwards denominated the Royal Oak; and for many years was regarded by the neighbourhood with great veneration. Charles could neither stay, nor stir, without imminent danger. At length he and lord Wilmot, who was concealed in the neighbourhood, put themselves into the hands of colonel Lane, a zealous royalist, who lived at Bentley, not many miles distant. The king's feet were so hurt by walking in heavy boots or countrymen's shoes, which did not fit him, that he was obliged to mount on horseback; and he travelled in this situation to Bentley, attended by the Penderells. Lane formed a scheme for his journey to Bristol, where, it was hoped, he would find a ship, in which he might transport himself. He had a near kinswoman, Mrs. Norton, who lived within three miles of that city, and he obtained a pass (for, during those times of confusion, this precaution was requisite) for his sister Jane Lane and a servant to travel towards Bristol, under pretence of visiting and attending her relation. The king rode before the lady, and personated the servant. When they arrived at Norton's, Mrs. Lane pretended that she had brought along as her servant a poor lad, a neighbouring farmer's son, who was ill of an ague; and she begged a private room for him where he might be quiet. Though Charles kept himself retired in this chamber, the butler, on Pope, soon knew him: Charles was alarmed, but made the butler promise that he would keep the secret from every mortal, even from his master; and he was faithful to his engagement. No ship, it was found, would, for a month, set sail from Bristol, either for France or Spain; and the king was obliged to go to colonel Windham of Dorsetshire, a partisan of the royal family. During his journey he often passed through the hands of catholics; the Priest's Hole, as they called it, the place where they were obliged to conceal their persecuted priests, was sometimes employed to shelter him. He continued several days in Windham's house; and all his friends in Britain, and in every part of Europe remained in the most anxious suspense with regard to his fortunes: no one could conjecture whether he were dead or alive; and the report of his death being generally believed, relaxed the vigilant search of his enemies. Trials were made to procure a vessel for his escape; but he still met with disappointments. Having left Windham's house, he was obliged again to return to it. He passed through many other adventures; assumed different disguises; in every step was exposed to imminent perils; and received daily proofs of uncorrupted fidelity and attachment. The sagacity of a smith, who remarked that his horse's shoes had been made in the north, and not in the west, as he pretended, once detected him; and he narrowly escaped. At Shoreham, in Sussex, a vessel was at last found, in which he embarked. He had been known to so many, that if he had not set sail in that critical moment it had been impossible for him to escape. After one and forty days' concealment, he arrived safely at Fescamp in Normandy. No less than forty men and women had at different times been privy to his concealment and escape.* [1]

Charles II. himself wrote a narrative of his remakable "Escape." From this it appears that while journeying with the Penderells, "he wore a very greasy old grey steeple-crowned hat, with the brims turned up, without lining or hatband: a green cloth coat, threadbare, even to the threads being worn white, and breeches of the same, with long knees down to the garter; with an old leathern doublet, a pair of white flannel stockings next to his legs, which the king said were his boot stockings, their tops being cut off to prevent their being discovered, and upon them a pair of old green yarn stockings, all worn and darned at the knees, with their feet cut off; his shoes were old, all slashed for the ease of his feet, and full of gravel: he had an old coarse shirt, patched both at the neck and hands; he had no gloves, but a long thorn stick, not very strong, but crooked three or four several ways, in his hand; his hair cut short up to his ears, and hands coloured; his majesty refusing to have any gloves, when father Hodlestone offered him some, as also to change his stick."

Charles's narrative is very minute in many particulars; especially as regards his getting on shipboard, and his passage across the channel.

"We went," he says, "towards Shoreham, four miles off a place called Brighthelmstone, taking the master of the ship with us, on horseback, behind one of our company, and came to the vessel's side, which was not above sixty tons. But it being low water, and the vessel lying dry, I and my lord Wilmot got up with a ladder into her, and went and lay down in the little cabin, till the tide came to fetch us off.

"But I was no sooner got into the ship, and lain down upon the bed, but the master came in to me, fell down upon his knees, and kissed my hand; telling me, that he knew me very well, and would venture life, and all that he had in the world, to set me down safe in France.

"So, about seven o'clock in the morning, it being high-water, we went out of the port; but the master being bound for Pool, loaden with sea-coal, because he would not have it seen from Shoreham that he did not go his intended voyage, but stood all the day, with a very easy sail, towards, the Isle of Wight (only my lord Wilmot and myself, of my company, on board.) And as we were sailing, the master came to me, and desired me that I would persuade his men to use their endeavours with me to get him to set us on shore in France, the better to cover him from any suspicion thereof. Upon which, I went to the men, which were four and a boy, and told them, truly, that we were two merchants that had some misfortunes, and were a little in debt; that we had some money owing us at Rouen, in France, and were afraid of being arrested in England; that if they would persuade the master (the wind being very fair) to give us a trip over to Dieppe, or one of those ports near Rouen, they would oblige us very much, and with that I gave them twenty shillings to drink. Upon which, they undertook to second me, if I would propose it to the master. So I went to the master, and told him our condition, and that if he would give us a trip over to France, we would give him some consideration for it. Upon which he counterfeited difficulties, saying, that it would hinder his voyage. But his men, as they had promised me, joining their persuasions to ours, and, at last, he yielded to set us over.

"So, about five o'clock in the afternoon, as we were in sight of the Isle of Wight, we stood directly over to the coast of France, the wind being then full north; and the next morning, a little before day, we saw the coast. But the tide failing us, and the wind coming about to the south-west, we were forced to come to an anchor within two miles of the shore, till the tide of flood was done.

"We found ourselves just before an harbour in France, called Fescamp; and just as the tide of ebb was made, espied a vessel to leeward of us, which, by her nimble working, I suspected to be an Ostend privateer. Upon which, I went to my lord Wilmot, and telling him my opinion of that ship, proposed to him our going ashore in the little cock-boat, for fear they should prove so, as not knowing, but finding us going into a port of France, (there being then a war betwixt France and Spain,) they might plunder us, and possibly carry us away and set us ashore in England; the master also himself had the same opinion of her being an Ostender, and came to me to tell me so, which thought I made it my business to dissuade him from, for fear it should tempt him to set sail again with us for the coast of England: yet so sensible I was of it, that I and my lord Wilmot went both on shore in the cock-boat; and going up into the town of Fescamp, staid there all day to provide horses for Rouen. But the vessel which had so affrighted us, proved afterwards only a French hoy.

"The next day we got to Rouen, to an inn, one of the best in the town, in the fish-market, where they made difficulty to receive us, taking us, by our clothes, to be some thieves, or persons that had been doing some very ill thing, until Mr. Sandburne, a merchant, for whom I sent, came and answered for us.

"One particular more there is observable in relation to this our passage into France; that the vessel that brought us over had no sooner landed me, and I given her master a pass, for fear of meeting with any of our Jersey frigates, but the wind turned so happily for her, as to carry her directly for Pool, without its being known that she had ever been upon the coast of France.

"We staid at Rouen one day, to provide ourselves better clothes, and give notice to the queen, my mother, (who was then at Paris,) of my being safely landed. After which, setting out in a hired coach, I was met by my mother, with coaches, short of Paris; and by her conducted thither, where I safely arrived."

An antiquary, a century ago, mentions the "Royal Oak" as standing in his time. "A bow-shoot from Boscobel-house, just by a horse-track passing through the wood, stood the royal oak, into which the king and his companion, colonel Carlos, climbed by means of the hen-roost ladder, when they judged it no longer safe to stay in the house; the family reaching them victuals with the nut-hook. The tree is now inclosed in with a brick wall, the inside whereof is covered with laurel, of which we may say, as Ovid did of that before the Augustan palace, 'mediamque tobere quercum.' Close by its side grows a young thriving plant from one of its acorns. Over the door of the inclosure, I took this inscription in marble:— 'Felicissimam arborem quam in asylum potentissimi Regis Caroli II. Deus O. M. per quem reges regnant hic crescere voluit, tam in perpetuam rei tantæ memoriam, quam specimen fermæ in reges fidei, muro cinctam posteris commendant Basilius et Jana Fitzherbert.

"'Quercus amica Jovi.'"* [2]

A letter from an obliging correspondent, whose initials are affixed, claims a place here, in order to correct a literal inaccuracy, and for the facts subsequently mentioned.

To the Editor of the Every-day Book.

As the "Royal Oak day" will form a prominent subject in your interesting work, I beg to call your attention to the fact, that colonel William Carlos was the companion of his majesty, in his concealment in the tree in Boscobel wood, and to hope that you will point out the right mode of spelling his name; Lord Clarendon, and others who copy from him, always call him colonel Careless, which is a vile misnomer. When a man does an action worthy of record, it is highly grievous to have his name spelt wrong:

"Thrice happy he whose name has been well spelt
In a despatch. I knew a man whose loss
Was printed Grove, altho' his name was Grose."

Lord Byron.

A coat of arms and a grant of ballast-age dues were made to the colonel; but the latter interfering with the rights of the Trinity-house, was given up. A son of the colonel is buried at Fulham church. The book of "Boscobel," first printed in 1660, contains accurate particulars of the event I refer to: this little work you have no doubt seen. I have seen a print of W. Pendrill, in an oval, encircled within the foliage of an oak tree, (as we may still see king Charles's head on some alehouse signs,) with a copy of verses, in which the name of the colonel is correctly spelt.

I am, Sir, &c.
        E. J. C.

April 16, 1825.

The "Royal Oak" at Boscobel perished many years ago, but another tree has been raised in its stead to mark the spot.

Another correspondent, "Amicus," who writes to the editor under his real name, favours the readers of this work with an account of a usage still preserved, on "Royal Oak day," in the west of England.

To the Editor of the Every-day Book.

At Tiverton Devon, on the 29th of May, it is customary for a number of young men, dressed in the style of the 17th century, and armed with swords, to parade the streets, and gather contributions from the inhabitants. At the head of the procession walks a man called "Oliver," dressed in black, with his face and hands smeared over with soot and grease, and his body bound by a strong cord, the end of which is held by one of the men to prevent his running too far. After these come another troop, dressed in the same style, each man bearing a large branch of oak: four others, carrying a kind of throne made of oaken boughs on which a child is seated, bring up the rear. A great deal of merriment is excited among the boys, at the pranks of master "Oliver," who capers about in a most ludicrous manner. Some of them amuse themselves by casting dirt, whilst others, more mischievously inclined, throw stones at him; but woe betide the young urchin who is caught; his face assumes a most awful appearance from the soot and grease with which "Oliver" begrimes it, whilst his companions, who have been lucky enough to escape his clutches, testify their pleasure by loud shouts and acclamations. In the evening the whole party have a feast, the expenses of which are defrayed by the collection made in the morning.

I am, sir, yours, most obediently,        


It has been customary on this day to dress the statue of Charles II. in the centre of the Royal Exchange with oaken boughs. As the removal of this statue has been contemplated, it may interest merchants and persons connected with the corporation, to be informed of the means adopted for placing it there. A correspondent, H. C. G., has enabled the editor to do this, by favouring him with the original precept issued by the court of aldermen on the occasion.


"Martis Vndecimo Die Novembr', 1684, Annoque Regni Regis CAROLI Secudi, Angl', &c. Tricessimo Sexto.

"Whereas the statue of King CHARLES the First (of Blessed Memory) is already Set up on the Royal Exchange, And the Company of Grocers have undertaken to Set up the Statue of His present MAJESTY, And the Company of Clothworkers that of King JAMES, And the Companies of Mercers and Fishmongers the Statues of Queen MARY and Queen ELIZABETH, And the Company of Drapers that of EDWARD the Sixth, This Court doth Recommend it to the several Companies of the City hereafter named, (viz. The Companies of Goldsmiths, Skinners, Merchant-Taylors, Haberdashers, Salters, Ironmongers, Vintners, Dyers, Brewers, Leathersellers, Pewterers, Barber-Chirurgeons, Cutlers, Bakers, Waxchandlers, Tallowchandlers, Armourers, Girdlers, Butchers, Sadlers,) to raise Money by Contributions, or otherwise, for Setting up the Statues of the rest of the KINGS of England (each Company One) beginning at the CONQUEROR, as the Same were There Set up before the Great Fire. And for the better Order in Their proceeding herein, the Master and Wardens, or some Members of the said respective Companies, are desired within some Convenient time to Appear before This Court, and receive the further Directions of This Court therein.

"And in regard of the Inability of the Chamber of London to Advance Moneys for the Carrying on and Finishing the Conduit, begun to be Set up with His MAJESTIES Approbation, at the Upper End of Cheapside, It is earnestly Recommended from This Court to all the Rest of the Companies of This City (other than those before Named) to raise Moneys likewise by Contributions, or otherwise, for the Carrying on and Finishing the said Work, so Necessary to the Ornament of this City; And to Pay the Same into the Chamber, to be Laid out and Imployed for the said Purpose.


It is affirmed of Charles II. that he was mightily delighted with these beautiful stanzas,

The glories of our blood and state
   Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against fate.
   Death lays his icy hands on Kings:
      Sceptre and crown
      Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crooked scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
    And plant fresh laurels where they kill;
But their strong nerves at last must yield,
   They tame but one another still.
      Early or late,
      They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath,
When they pale captives creep to Death.

The garlands wither on your brow;
   Then boast no more your mighty deeds:
Upon Death's purple altar now
   See where the victor victim bleeds:
      All heads must come
      To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in the dust.

If it be really true that this king admired these sentiments, he is entitled to the praise of having libelled himself by his admiration of virtue. Waller in a letter to St. Evremond, relates a dialogue between Charles and the earl of Rochester, which shows the tenour of their manners. Waller says, "Grammont once told Rochester that if he could by any means divest himself of one half of his wit, the other half would make him the most agreeable man in the world. This observation of the Count's did not strike me much when I heard it, but I remarked the propriety of it since. Last night I supped at lord Rochester's with a select party; on such occasions he is not ambitious of shining; he is rather pleasant than arch; he is, comparatively, reserved; but you find something in that restraint that is more agreeable than the utmost exertion of talents in others. The reserve of Rochester gives you the idea of a copious river that fills its channel, and seems as if it would easily overflow its extensive banks, but is unwilling to spoil the beauty and verdure of the plains. The most perfect good humour was supported through the whole evening; nor was it in the least disturbed when, unexpectedly, towards the end of it, the king came in (no unusual thing with Charles II.) 'Something has vexed him,' said Rochester; 'he never does me this honour but when he is in an ill humour.' The following dialogue, or something very like it, then ensued:—

'The King. —How the devil have I got here? The knaves have sold every cloak in the wardrobe.

'Rochester. —Those knaves are fools. That is a part of dress, which, for their own sakes, your majesty ought never to be without.

'The King. —Pshaw! I'm vexed!

'Rochester. —I hate still life—I'm glad of it. Your majesty is never so entertaining as when—

'The King. —Ridiculous! I believe the English are the most intractable people upon earth.

'Rochester. —I must humbly beg your majesty's pardon, if I presume in that respect.

'The King. —You would find them so, were you in my place, and obliged to govern.

'Rochester. —Were I in your majesty's place, I would not govern at all.

'The King. —How then?

'Rochester. —I would send for my good lord Rochester, and command him to govern.

'The King. —But the singular modesty of that nobleman.

'Rochester. —He would certainly conform himself to your majesty's bright example. How gloriously would the two grand social virtues flourish under his auspices!

'The King. O, prisca fides! What can these be?

'Rochester. —The love of wine and women!

'The King. —God bless your majesty!

'Rochester. —These attachments keep the world in good humour, and therefore I say they are social virtues. Let the bishop of Salisbury deny it if he can.

'The King. —He died last night. Have you a mind to succeed him?

'Rochester. —On condition that I shall neither be called upon to preach on the 30th of January or the 29th of May.

'The King. —Those conditions are curious. You object to the first, I suppose, because it would be a melancholy subject; but the other—

'Rochester. —Would be a melancholy subject too.

'The King. —That is too much—

'Rochester. —Nay, I only mean that the business would be a little too grave for the day. Nothing but the indulgence of the two grand social virtues could be a proper testimony for my joy upon that occasion.

'The King. —Thou art the happiest fellow in my dominions. Let me perish if I do not envy thee thy impudence!'

"It is in such strain of conversation, generally, that this prince passes off his chagrin; and he never suffers his dignity to stand in the way of his humour."

This showing is in favour of Charles, on whose character, as a king of England, posterity has long since pronounced judgment. A slave to his passions, and a pensioner to France, he was unworthy of the people's "precious diadem." He broke his public faith, and disregarded his private word. To the vessel of the state he was a "sunk rock," whereon it had nearly foundered.

Trinity Sunday.

In the Romish church this was a splendid festival, with processions and services peculiar to its celebration; devotions were daily addressed to every person of the Trinity: as the other festivals commemorated the Unity in Trinity, so this commemorated the Trinity in Unity.* [3]

In the Lambeth accounts are church-wardens' charges for garlands and drink for the children, for garnishing-ribbons, and for singing men in the procession on Trinity-Sunday-even.† [4]

It is still a custom of ancient usage for the judges and great law-officers of the crown, together with the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council, to attend divine service at St. Paul's cathedral, and hear a sermon which is always preached there on Trinity Sunday by the lord mayor's chaplain. At the first ensuing meeting of the common council, it is usual for that court to pass a vote of thanks to the chaplain for such sermon, and order the same to be printed at the expense of the corporation, unless, as sometimes has occurred, it contained sentiments obnoxious to their views.

In Curll's "Miscellanies, 1714," 8vo. is an account of Newnton, in North Wiltshire; where, to perpetuate the memory of the donation of a common to that place by king Athelstan and of a house for the hayward, i. e. the person who looked after the beasts that fed upon this common, the following ceremonies were appointed: "Upon every Trinity Sunday, the parishioners being come to the door of the hayward's house, the door was struck thrice, in honour of the Holy Trinity; they then entered. The bell was rung; after which, silence being ordered, they read their prayers aforesaid. Then was a ghirland of flowers (about the year 1660, one was killed striving to take away the ghirland) made upon an hoop, brought forth by a maid of the town upon her neck, and a young man (a bachelor) of another parish, first saluted her three times, in honour of the Trinity, in respect of God the Father. Then she puts the ghirland upon his neck, and kisses him three times, in honour of the Trinity, particularly God the Son. Then he puts the ghirland on her neck again, and kisses her three times, in respect of the Holy Trinity, and particularly the Holy Ghost. Then he takes the ghirland from her neck, and, by the custom must give her a penny at least, which, as fancy leads, is now exceeded, as 2s. 6d. or &c. The method of giving this ghirland is from house to house annually, till it comes round. In the evening every commoner sends his supper up to this house, which is called the Eale-house: and having before laid in there equally a stock of malt, which was brewed in the house, they sup together, and what was left was given to the poor."

An old homily for Trinity Sunday declares that the form of the Trinity was found in man: that Adam, our forefather of the earth, was the first person; that Eve, of Adam, was the second person; and that of them both was the third person: further, that at the death of a man three bells were to be rung as his knell in worship of the Trinity, and two bells for a woman, as the second person of the Trinity.* [5]


Blue Bottle. Centauria montana.
Dedicated to St. Cyril.


Notes [all notes are Hone's unless otherwise indicated]:

1. Hume. [return]

2. Stukeley, Itiner. Curios. 1724. [return]

3. Shepherd. [return]

4. Lysons in Brand. [return]

5. Hone on Ancient Mysteries. [return]