Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether summer clothe the general earth
With greeness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Oak Apple Day

Today, the 29th of May, is Oak Apple Day, the day that commemorates the Restoration of the Monarchy when Charles ll returned from exile in France to become king in 1660. The date was declared a holiday by Parliament but was formally abolished in 1859 which seems rather a shame.

Oak apples or sprigs of oak leaves were worn on this day in remembrance of the day after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, when the future Charles II of England escaped the Roundhead army by hiding in an oak tree near Boscobel House in Shropshire while fleeing to exile in France.

May 29th 1660 was also the thirtieth birthday of the Merrie Monarch so ' A Health Unto His Majesty' who would certainly would have known how to have a good time on his birthday!


OhSoVintage said...

Well, I've learnt something today.

ruthie said...

i love visits to your wonderful blog, always full of so many interesting things!

Derrick said...

Hello Rowan,

BBC Radio 3 had told me about Charles accession but I didn't hear them mention Oak Apple Day, so thanks for that; I never knew!

Rosie said...

Boscobel House is very interesting to visit - I loved reading stories about the Civil War and the exile in France and the return of the 'Merrie Monarch' when I was a child, books like 'Gamble for a Throne' and 'Children of the New Forest':) Have you ever been to the Castleton 'garlanding' ceremony held I think, on Oak Apple Day?

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

So interesting. I did not know about Oak Apple Day. And...I love the music you are playing today!! Have a lovely weekend!

MurmuringWheel said...

Great post Rowan. I had a feeling that if anyone else was likely to know about Oak Apple Day it would be you. I got some really funny looks for walking around wearing my sprig of oak leaves on Friday!

Thimbleanna said...

Wow, is that ever a gorgeous tree in that second photo. Thanks for the history lesson -- so very interesting, as always!

Sheila said...

I've always had a crush on
Charles II. There is also a tree near to where we lived in Worcs, that locals claimed he hid in.
It was probably good for tourism through the years to promote the story.
Locally there is an old pub called The Black Boy, which I've been told was his nickname, since he was so swarthy. Whether it has a connection to his escape I don't know.

solsticedreamer~laoi gaul~williams said...

very interesting~i am writing an essay ont he wars of the three kingdoms at the moment (tearing my hair out over it too!)

Matt said...

Hi, have a look at the Royal Oak Day (or Oak Apple Day) website: