THE FUGITIVE KING

INTRODUCTION

Introduction History Timetable of escape Guide to locations Paintings Boscobel Tracts The Civil War The Monarch's Way Film Slideshow & song
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When Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army won the Battle of Worcester in 1651, the British Monarchy seemed to be at an end. The only hopes for survival lay with the son of the executed King Charles I, the young man who claimed the title King Charles II but was now a fugitive. After the battle was lost and won, his only chance was to escape the county and thereby keep hopes of a restoration alive.

This website presents a collection of resources which show how Charles lived to reclaim the throne by reaching safety in France. Pages include:

  • A listing of key locations together with photographs

  • Isaac Fuller's paintings of the early days of the escape, made around 1660

  • A full copy of The Boscobel Tracts, a nineteenth century book which includes a detailed account of the escape supported by many primary texts, including the King's own account.

  • The Moonraker is a 1958 swashbuckling film, loosely based on the final days of the escape and is available to view here.

As a starting point, the map below shows a broad outline of the route taken by Charles and is taken from To Catch a King: Charles II's Great Escape by Charles Spencer:

 

 

 

   

 

The Monarch's Way

This website has been inspired by the Monarch's Way, a 625 mile walking route which approximately follows the path taken by Charles as he escaped the country. I have completed over half of the walk and aim to finish it over the next three years.

The Monarch's Way walk does not attempt to follow the precise roads taken by Charles as he sought to escape from the Roundhead troops - most such roads have long since been surfaced over. What the Monarch's Way does instead is to join together the various towns, villages, country houses and inns associated with the escape using walker-friendly rights-of-way. The result is is a unique lost-distance path - not merely because it is conformably the longest inland walk in the UK, but also because it covers a wide variety of different landscapes: it passes through the Midlands, including the Black Country, onto the Cotswolds and then the Mendips, skirts the Devonshire Downs and the Salisbury Plain and joins the South Downs before finally arriving at the Sussex coast. It is a comprehensive tour of Southern Britain.

This site includes an interactive map of the route.

The Monarch's Way Association maintains its own website which is to be found at www.monarchsway.50megs.com.  They also offer excellent guidebooks of the route which are available for purchase from here.

 

Please note, this website has no connection with the Monarch's Way Association. It has been independently compiled by John Price who can be contacted here - jp@john-price.me.uk

 

February 2019