MacLean, Gerald, editor. The Return of the King : An Anthology of English Poems Commemorating the Restoration of Charles II / edited by Gerald MacLean
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library

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The Wonderfull and Miraculous escape92

   [undated: before May?]
To the previous ballad accounts of the king's escape, this broadside offers the first version of the story of the loyal Pendrel brothers, members of a recusant family who helped disguise the king in the days immediately after the battle when Charles, accompanied by Derby, Lauderdale, Buckingham and Wilmot, sought refuge while planning his escape. Other reports of the Pendrel's activities to appear in 1660 include An Exact Narrative and Relation,93 and "T. H."'s The Five faithfull Brothers,94 a prose tract purporting to be a transcription of the conversation between Charles and the brothers after the king's return.

   With characteristic enthusiasm for the Stuart cause, Ebsworth considered this "the best and most important of the many `Restoration Ballads' of the `Royal Oak' which we have had the privilege of bringing back to the notice of loyal Cavaliers" (RB, 9:69).


[92] Wing: J945. Bl brs.
Copies: O Wood
401(173/174). Reprint: Ebsworth, RB, 9:67-69.

[93] Thomason dated his copy "20 July."

[94] The colophon reads "Printed for W. Gilbertson, 1660"; L

The Wonderfull and Miraculous escape of our Gracious King, from that dismal, black and gloomie defeat at Worcester: Together with a pattern to all true and faithfull Subjects, by the five Loyall and faithfull Brothers, with their care and diligence, observance and obedience 8 dayes in the time of his Majesties obscurity.

   The tune is,Come lets drink the time invites.


1: COme you learned Poets let's cal
2:      our Fathers and our Mothers,
3: For wee'l write Historicall,
4:      of five Loyall faithfull Brothers.
5: Richard, Humphry, John and George
6: William once who had the charge
7:      of brave King Charles and others.

8: After Worsters dismall day,
9:      here's a true Relation,
10: How our King escapt away,
11:      and who was the preservation,
12: Of his Sacred Majesty,
13: In his great necessity.
14:      beyond all admiration.

15: He great Kingly acts did doe,
16:      with a brave intention.
17: Ventred Crown and Kingdoms too,
18:      in one day for our Redemption,
19: But in this Ile not insist,
20: The books doth make it manifest,
21:      beyond my wits invention.

22: For when he perceiv'd in sight,
23:      the un-even ground did rout him,
24: Five and twenty miles that night
25:      he rid with all his Lords about him,
26: But it would have griev'd your heart
27: For to have seen them all depart,
28:      What sorrow was throughout them.

29: Though with grief and double feare,
30:      they yet did hold together,
31: On the confines of Staffordshire,
32:      but to goe they knew not whether.
33: The conclusion in the end,
34: Earle Derby said he had a friend,
35:      hard by and they'd goe thither.

36: Then to the place they all did goe,
37:      where the Earle intended,
38: But the people did not know
39:      from what blood they were descended
40: But they set them Bread and Cheese,
41: And the King did highly please,
42:      his sorrow much amended,

43: The Earle of Derby in the end,
44:      all his mind disbursed,
45: Askt if there was any friend
46:      that wherein he might be trusted?
47: William Pendrall then came in,
48: Who said he would be true to him,
49:      else let him be accursed.

50: And further said if't 'twas the King,
51:      nothing should be lacking,
52: In any part that lay in him,
53:      for the escape which he was making.
54: And like unto the Turtle-Dove,
55: This honest William still did prove,
56:      in all his undertakings.


57: ANd George the yongest brother he
58:      made hast and set his clothing,
59: For his Sacred Majesty.
60:      cause the country should not know him
61: Richard he did round his haire,
62: For true Loyallists they were,
63:      all five were faithfull to him.

64: Humphry fetcht him Hat and Band.
65:      of the Country Fashion.
66: Shipskin gloves for his white hand,
67:      likewise John had great compassion
68: Fetcht him shirt and shooes the while,
69: Then the King began to smile.
70:      at his accommodation.

71: Richard fetcht his coat by stealth,
72:      and his best arrayment.
73: Then the King discriv'd95 himselfe,
74:      of his rich and Princely Garment.
75: Nimbly he did put them on,
76: And a Wood Bill in his hand,
77:      this was our Kings preferment.

78: William then went with the King,
79:      Richard he did leave them,
80: Cause Intelligence hee'd bring,
81:      least the Wood it should deceive them,
82: George and Humphry scouting were,
83: Seeing if the coasts were cleare
84:      none might come aneere them,

85: The tydings Humphry had in Town,
86:      put his vaines a quaking,
87: hearing twas a thousand pound96
88:      bid for any one to take him.
89: The King was somthing then dismaid,
90: To think what baits the Jews had laid,
91:      and horrid Plots were making.

92: All the day they wandred then,
93:      in great consultation,
94: Like forlorne distressed men,
95:      that ne'r were in such condition.
96: William to the King bespoke,
97: And said he knew a hollow Oake,
98:      might be his preservation.

99: Then through bushes they did rouze,
100:      the trees were so beronnded,97
101: With brakes and bryers leavs & bows,
102:      that in number they abounded.
103: It was the Castle of our King,
104: And his Royall Court within,
105:      for ever is renowned,

106: William he did bring him food,
107:      like he were a ranger,
108: While he staid within the Wood,
109:      though good King he was a stranger:
110: Hollow Oaks his dwelling place,
111: Where he staid for five days space,
112:      in sorrow and in danger.

113: At last he came to the Lady Lane,
114:      being all disguised,
115: And to her exprest his name,
116:      she good Lady then advised,
117: And appointed out a day,
118: When they both might come away,
119:      and never be surprised.

120: Then Humphry, Richard, John & George
121:      safly did surrender,
122: The King which they had in their charg
123:      on the eighth day of September,
124: The King he leave then took of them,
125: And said if e'r he came agen,
126:      their loves he would remember.

   Printed for F. Coles, T. Vere, and W. Gilbertson.


[95] sic: not in OED.

[96] The Proclamation was not issued until September, after the Penderels had handed Charles over to Jane Lane.

[97] "beronnen" obscure past participle of "berun": OED 1. trans "to run or flow about, or over the surface" 2. "To run round about, encompass."