MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
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Henry Jones: The Royal Patient Traveller86

A unique ballad from the collection, now in the Bodleian, of Anthony Wood who dated it "1660" after the colophon, and noted above the title that the ballad was "Made by Hen. Jones an old Ballad-singer of Oxon."

   What is specially interesting here is Jones's invention and recounting of comic incidents at the king's expense involving class and gender inversions. These incidents serve to humanize the king without actually subverting anything. Jones is specially good when imagining Jane Lane slapping the king's face, one of several incidents original to this ballad. It is worth noting that as soon as Lane has awed the soldiers, thereby recovering the incident from danger by means of her nobility, Jones immediately attributes the king's escape to divine, not female, agency. A classic instance of low-comic inversion merely re-confirming the old orders of class and gender once more.

   Jones appears to follow the stragegy of J. W.'s Royal Oak with an initial warning to those hostile to the king's return, reminding us that monarchy was far from popular with everyone.


[86] Wing: J945. Bl brs. Copies: O Wood 401(171/172), ms dated "1660." Reprint: Ebsworth, RB, 7:638-41; Broadley, The Royal Miracle, pp. 91-97.

The Royal Patient Traveller,
The wonderful Escapes of His Sacred Majesty King CHARLES the Second from Worcester-Fight; And his making a Hollow Oke his Royall Pallace. The going in a Livery Cloak with Mis. Lane. And the Discourse between the Kings Majesty, and the Cook-maid imploying the King to wind up the Jack; but being not used to do it, did wind it up the wrong way.
To the tune of, Chivy Chase, Or, God prosper long our Noble King.


1: GOd hath preserved our Royal King
2:      the second of that name,
3: And those that will not pray for him,
4:      indeed they are too blame:
5: For thousands have against him spoke,
6:      but I shall so disclaim,
7: And with all others have a care
8:      how they should do the same,
9: David we read had enemies
10:      that did him sore annoy,
11: So CHARLES the Second had the same,
12:      who is fair Englands joy.
13: In May it was the twenty nine,
14:      King Charles of high Renown.
15: Being his birth-day (as 'tis known)
16:      to London came to town.
17: But had you seen the tryumph made
18: And Bonfires flaming high.
19:      and all the people for to cry
20: God save his Majesty.
21: I will rejoyce at his happiness,
22:      and pray he long may reign,
23: And of some passages he had
24:      with honest Mistris Lane,
25: From Scotland he to Worcester came
26:      though friends did look about,
27: Yet Cromwel came with a mighty Force
28:      and did give him the Rout.
29: A journey long I am sure he had
30:      with frinds the loving Scot,
31: King Charles mounting himself so brave,
32:      three times his Horse was shot.
33: The King did therefore for his safety,
34:      make friends to have some pitty,
35: For so our Saviour he doth say
36:      as I write in this Ditty:
37: If persecution being great,
38:      of such then have a care,
39: So at that time tis very true
40:      one did cut off his Hair.
41: His princely cloaths he off did strip,
42:      and did himself disguise,
43: So of King Alfred I have read,
44:      that was a Prince most wise.
45: A Chain of gold that he had then,
46:      worth hundreds without doubt
47: He gave away unto a friend,
48:      who lead him there about,
49: Into a wood where Inns was none
50:      nor Lodgings there bespoke,
51: The best of Lodgings he could get,
52:      was in a hollow Oke.
53: O happy Oke (saith Mistris Lane,
54:      that ever I did see,
55: A Pallace for a Prince thou wast
56:      but he will go with me.


57: HEr Serving-man King Charles became
58:      For so he thought it best,
59: And she to free him from his foes
60:      Did travel towards the West.
61: For all the Land was up in Arms
62:      in City and in Town.
63: And for King Charles to find him out,
64:      it was a thousand pound.87
65: But Mistris Lane vertuous and wise,
66:      so much did understand,
67: What woful hunting they did make,
68:      for Charles of fair England.
69: For through a Town they then must pass,
70:      for there was no back Lane
71: The Horses heels then up did trip,
72:      and down fell man and Dame.
73: The Souldiers seeing of the same,
74:      at them did laugh and jeer,
75: And she suspition for to shun,
76:      struck him a Box on the Ear.
77: With angry words she seemed to speak,
78:      I think I am well mann'd
79: For such another I am sure
80:      is not within the Land,
81: To second it her brother in Law
82:      so much in anger spoke,
83: Well, must my Father then said he
84:      carry your mans Cloak,
85: It was too heavy then (said she)
86:      what need you be so cross
87: The burthen off it was so great
88:      it threw us off the horse.
89: Her nimble tongue and wit in prime,
90:      and being a Lady gay,
91: The Souldiers laughing at them then
92:      did let them pass their way,
93: God freed them from their Enemies
94:      For with him there is pitty,
95: At the three Crowns King Charles then lay88
96:      which is in Bristow City,
97: For in the Kitchin he was plac'd
98:      by his most loving friend,
99: And modestly he there did stand,
100:      fearing he should offend, 100
101: It made the Kitchin-maid much muse,
102:      she could not understand,
103: That in the Kitchin by her stood
104:      King Charles of fair England.
105: For being by the fire-side,
106:      She asked what Country man,
107: At Brumingham the King replyed
108:      and a Naylors son.
109: With bobs and speeches for some Sluts,
110:      in words they are not slack,
111: At her command King Charles must be
112:      for to wind up the Jack.
113: Though mildly he did take this task,
114:      it seems he did want skill,
115: The wrong way he did go about
116:      and did do it some ill:
117: Great Clownish booby she him calls
118:      yet he was meek and mild,
119: And though she us'd such taunting words
120:      He at her did but smile,
121: He venters to another house,
122:      Where people came so thick.
123: That all the day his Chamber kept.
124:      as if he had been sick.
125: But comming down one night indeed,
126:      he spyed a servant old,
127: And for a glass of Wine he craves,
128:      because he was a cold.
129: The Butler quickly him describd
130:      and knew he was the King,
131: With hat in hand thus did he say,
132:      you may have any thing.
133: So easily his Majesty,
134:      although in cloth so plain,
135: No notice of his words he takes,
136:      to his Chamber goes again,
137: The Butler being not satisfi'd,
138:      with courage spake he can,
139: Of master Lastel89 he must know
140:      how long he had that man.
141: And whispering he told him then,
142:      I know it is my Liege,
143: And do not do him any wrong.
144:      I do you now beseech.
145: Designs still failing, yet no doubt,
146:      to God he still doth yeeld,
147: And to a trusty friend he went,
148:      that then was in the field.
149: And for three weeks the King conceald
150:      and then did back return,
151: And for a time he made a stay,
152:      it seems in fair London:
153: Where he beheld such things as was
154:      sad to his tender heart,
155: Some grief at that time did he feel,
156:      from London he did part.
157: A Master of a Ship at last
158:      it seems was a good man,
159: Did Hoise up sail,
160:      and so to France, as I do understand.

   By Henry Jones of Oxford: Printed for the Authour.


[87] This was the sum offered by parliament for information leading to the king's capture. The Proclamation for the Discovery and Apprehending of Charles Stuart was issued on 10 September (LT 669.f.16[25]), and reprinted in newsbooks; see, for instance, The Weekly Intelligencer 37 (9 to September, 1651), pp. 285-86.

[88] A confusion for the "Crown" at Cirencester.

[89] i.e. Henry Lascelles.