This Sunday (29th May) is Royal Oak Day, in our blog post Top 10 Pub Names in the UK we mentioned that the Royal Oak is one of the UK’s most popular pub names, so here’s a very short story on how those Royal Oak pubs got their name.
After a defeat by Cromwell’s New Model Army at the Battle of Worcester on 3rd September 1651, King Charles II had a bounty on his head for the princely (kingly?) sum of £1000. During his escape to France Charles sought refuge at Boscobel House. With the assistance of William Pendrell the house caretaker, Charles spent a day alongside fellow Royalist Colonel William Carlis hiding in an oak tree on Boscobel House grounds.
After Oliver Cromwells death in 1658, England fell into political confusion, it wasn’t until 1660, Charles returning from exile in France entered into London on his birthday 29th May leading to the Restoration of the monarchy, and the restore of order. Parliament declared the 29th May ‘Royal Oak Day’ to be a day of thanks giving in honour of the kings return.
The holiday was formally abolished in 1859, but it’s legacy still continues today on our coinage (some £1 coins) and of course, in one of our most popular pub names, The Royal Oak. So, if you are near to a Royal Oak pub this bank holiday weekend get on down there and order a pint and bask in our great nations history.