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The Royal Oak, Collingham, Nottinghamshire

There are many pubs in the UK with this name and there is a good explanation which the following story will show.


Two years after the execution of his father, King Charles II, age 21 and un-crowned, landed in Scotland from France. He was crowned at Scone, raised an army and marched south to defeat Cromwell's Commonwealth Army and restore the monarchy but his army was defeated at the Battle of Worcester on 3rd September 1651. The King and others escaped and rode north to seek shelter at a royalist safe house. The King's hair was cut and his face and arms stained to resemble a countryman. An attempt was made to escape to Wales, but all the bridges across the river Severn were guarded by Commonwealth troops, and the King was forced to hide as Commonwealth troops were already searching the area and woods nearby. The King spent an uncomfortable day in a nearby oak tree before being assisted to return to France. In 1664 (after the Restoration) the King's birthday of 29th May became known as Royal Oak Day. For over 200 years the King's birthday was celebrated by wearing a sprig of oak leaves in remembrance of the event. The tradition is no longer observed, although hundreds of inns and public houses throughout the country are still called 'The Royal Oak'.

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Taken on July 1, 2006