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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I. Anticipation

Martin Parker: The King Enjoys His own Again

The King enjoys his own again [undated]

England's Great Prognosticator [undated]

A Worthy Kings Description [before May?]

   Frequently imitated before and after the Restoration, Martin Parker's ballad was by far the best known of the popular cavalier songs of the civil war and commonwealth period, keeping alive in a communal form the wish that the king would soon return.20 According to Ebsworth, it was first printed between 1643 and 1646 in a five-stanza version entitled Upon Defacing of Whitehall, to the tune of "Marry me, marry me, quoth the Country Lass."21 But in several reprintings and subsequent versions, the tune -- and the stanzaic patterning that accompanies it -- soon came to be known and recognized as "When the King enjoys his own again." Several ballads printed during 1660 imitate other features of Parker's original, but making versions of it was not an activity confined to print since the familiarity of the tune and refrain would surely have provoked any number of ad hoc performances and versions among royalists.22 At least one vanquished cavalier wrote a version into his commonplace book.23

   Other notable ballads to this tune include the "trunk" ballad The Glory of These Nations, and The Last News from France which purports to offer Jane Lane's account of the king's escape.24 The tune remained popular once the king was back. One blackletter ballad on the coronation signed "By me O. G.," Englands Joyfull Holiday, or, St Georges-Day, holy[. . .] Honoured being the joyfull Solemnity, so long lookt for, of the Coronation of King CHARLS the second, who was most highly attended by all his Dukes, Earls, and Barons from the Tower, through the City to Westminster, where he was Crowned on St. Georges Day, being 23. of April: To the Tune, The King enjoys his own again, is printed on the verso of another ballad; a ms note reads "This page and fol 28b were covered with thick paper till 1881."25


[20] For Martin Parker, see DNB and Rollins, Cavalier and Puritan.

[21] Ebsworth, RB, 7:633-34. I have not been able to find the original of this ballad, also mentioned by the DNB entry on Parker, so have followed Ebsworth's text in the subsequent notes and comments when referring to this work.

[22] See Lois Potter, Secret Writing, pp. 33-5, on the singing of subversive songs by defeated cavaliers.

[23] Now in the Edinburgh National Library at shelfmark ADV l9.3.4(29).

[24] I have only seen the copy at GU Euing 181. This undated ballad provides such an inaccurate account of the events that it was probably issued shortly after the events it describes.

[25] The colophon reads: London, Printed for Richard Burton at the Horse-shoe in Smithfield; O Wood 401(27/28b).

The King enjoys his own again26

   Martin Parker


In its often imitated opening line, Parker's ballad refers to one of the more celebrated fortune tellers of the time, John Booker, engaging the theme of prophecy in order to describe a wish. Booker (23 March 1603-8 April 1667), was born in Manchester but apprenticed to a London haberdasher; disliking the business, he taught writing at Hadley School in Middlesex. According to Mr. William Lilly's History of His Life and Times, From the Year 1602, to 1681 (1715), "he wrote singularly well both Secretary and Roman" and served as clerk to various London Aldermen "and by that Means became not only well known, but as well respected of the most eminent Citizens of London, even to his dying day" (p. 28). His first almanack was Telescopium Uranium (1631). After successfully predicting the deaths of Gustavus Adolphus and the Elector Palatine, Booker gained the position of licenser of mathematical books. Elias Ashmole bought his papers for £140 -- "far more Money than they were worth" according to Lilly (p. 29) -- and erected a gravestone for him (Ebsworth, RB, 7:634). "To say no more of him," wrote Lilly, "he lived an honest Man, his Fame now questioned at his Death" (p. 29).27

   The original stanzas map a program of loyal resignation suitable for the second half of the 1640s when royalist affairs were going poorly. The stanzas added in 1660 touch on several topics that seem to have been commonly in the thoughts of hopeful royalists that year: reform of the universities, settlement of the church, agreement between parliament and the crown, and a return of many things -- prosperous trading, justice, law, security, peace, and marital harmony.

   There are two printed versions in the British Library, one in roman type, the other in blackletter, that presumably belong to the year of the king's return, though both are undated. The text given here follows the version in roman type (L1) rather than that in blackletter (L2), since it contains more substantive variants from earlier versions, suggesting a greater degree of revision specifically for the occasion. The major difference between the two printings is that the roman version maintains focus on domestic issues, trusting that treacherous "Rogues," rather than "Frenchees," will flee with the king's return (line 77). The xenophobic note, however, is sharpened in another version of this ballad -- England's Great Prognosticator -- which is given next.

[26] /.FL Wing: P441. Copies: L1 1876.f.3, brs. roman type COPYTEXT. L2 Rox. III. 256, bl brs. no use of roman. I have reported here only variants of whole words or phrases. HH [not found]. Ms variant at EN ADV l9.3.4(29). Reprint: Ebsworth, RB, 7:682-84, based on text of L2.

[27] See also DNB.

The KING enjoys His own again.

To be joyfully Sung with its own proper sweet Tune.28
1: WHat Booker can prognosticate,
2:       or speak of our Kingdom's present state?
3: I think my self to be as wise,
4:       as he that most looks in the Skies:
5: My Skill goes beyond the depth of the Pond,
6:      or Rivers29 in the greatest Rain;30
7: By the31 which I can tell, that all things will be well,
8:      When the King comes Home in Peace again.

9: There is no Astrologer then I say
10:      can search more deep in this than32 I,
11: To give a33 reason from the Stars,
12:       what causeth Peace or civil Wars;
13: The Man in the Moon may wear out his shoon34
14:       in running after Charles his Wain.
15: But all to no end, for the times they will mend,
16:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

17: Though for a time you see White-hall
18:       with Cob-webs hanging over the Wall,35
19: Instead of Silk and Silver brave,
20:       as formerly it us'd to have;
21: In every Room,36 the sweet Perfume,
22:       delightfull for that Princely Train;
23: The which you shall see, when the time it shall be,
24:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

25: Two Thousand Years37the Royal Crown,
26:       hath been his Fathers and his own;
27: And I am sure ther's none but he
28:       hath right to that Soveraignitie.
29: Then who better may the Scepter sway38
30:       than39 he that hath such Right to Reign?
31: The hopes of your Peace, for the Wars will then cease
32:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

33: Till then upon Ararat's-hill,
34:       my Hope40 shall cast her Anchor still,
35: Until I see some Peaceful Dove
36:       bring Home that41 Branch which I do Love,
37: Still will I wait till the Waters abate,
38:       which most disturbs my troubled Brain;
39: For I'll42 never rejoyce, till I hear the43 Voice,
40:       That the King's come Home in Peace again.

41: Oxford and Cambridge shall agree
42:       crown'd with Honour and Dignitie;
43: Learned Men shall then take place,
44:       and bad Men silenc'd with Disgrace,
45: They'll know it was then but44 a shameful Strain
46:       that hath so long disturb'd our[45] Brain,
47: For surely I can46 tell that all things will be47 well
48:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.

49: Church Government shall settled be,
50:       and then I hope we shall agree,
51: Without their help, whose high brain Zeal,
52:       hath48 long distrub'd our Common well
53: Greed out of date, and Coblers that do prate49
54:       of Wars that still disturb their Brain.
55: The which you shall see when the time it shall be
56:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

57: Tho' many Men are much in Debt,
58:      and many Shops are to be set:
59: A Golden time is drawing near,
60:      Men shall take Shops to hold their Ware.
61: And then all our Trade shall flourish alamode,
62:      the which we shall e'er long50 obtain;
63: By the which I can tell that all things will be well
64:      When the King comes Home in Peace again

65: Maidens then shall enjoy their Mates,51
66:      and Honest Men their lost Estates:
67: Women shall have what they do lack,52
68:       their Husbands, who are coming back.
69: When the Wars have an end, then I &53 my Friend
70:      all Subjects freedom shall obtain.
71: By the which I can tell that all things will be well
72:      When the King comes Home in54 Peace again.

73: Though People now walk in great Fear
74:       alongst the Country every where:
75: Thieves shall then tremble at the Law,
76:       and Justice shall keep them in aw,
77: The Rogues55 shall flee with their Treacherie
78:       and all the Kings Foes most shamefulie,56
79: The which you shall see when the time it shall be
80:       That the King comes Home in Peace again.

81: The Parliament must willing be,
82:       that all the World may plainly see,
83: How they do labour still for Peace,
84:       that now these bloody Wars may cease:
85: For they'll57 gladly spend their Lives to defend
86:       the King in all his Right to Reign;
87: So then I can tell all things will be well,
88:       When the King enjoys58 sweet Peace again

89: When all these shall come to pass,59
90:       then farewell Musket, Pipe60 and Drum,
91: The Lamb shall with the Lyon feed,
92:       which were a happy time indeed:
93: O let us all pray, we may see the day,
94:       that Peace may govern in his Name:
95: For then I can tell all things will be well
96:       When the King comes Home in Peace again.61


[28] proper sweet Tune.] proper Tune.

[29] Rivers] River

[30] lines 5-6: Ebsworth suggests that "Booker's skill in measuring `the depth of a Pond, or Rivers, in the greatest rain'. . . was gained as an experienced Angler, and maker of fishing-tackle, resident in Tower-Street, temp. Caroli" (RB, 7:634).

[31] the] thee

[32] than] then

[33] give a] give you a

[34] shoon] shoone

[35] Wall,] wal

[36] Room] Roome

[37] Two Thousand Years] Full fourty years following Upon Defacing of Whitehall

[38] Scepter sway] Scepter to sway,

[39] than] then

[40] Hope] hopes

[41] that] the

[42] I'll] I'le

[43] the] that

[44] it was then but] it then to be

[45] our] their

[46] For surely I can] For I can surely

[47] will be] shal go

[48] hath] have

[49] line 53: Coblers, i.e. Col. John Hewson, a common butt of royalist satires because of his artisanal origins.

[50] we shall e'er long] ere long we shal

[51] Mates] Maiks L2. Ebsworth sees here evidence of a Northern printer, suggesting John White of Newcastle (RB, 7:684).

[52] lack] lake

[53] &] and

[54] the King comes Home in] we enjoy sweet

[55] Rogues] Frenches

[56] all the Kings Foes most shamefulie] the Kings foes a shamed remain

[57] they'll] they will

[58] the King enjoys] we enjoy

[59] shall come to pass,] things to pass shall come,

[60] Pipe] Pick

[61] When the King comes Home in Peace again.] GOD SAVE THE KING, AMEN.

England's Great Prognosticator62


This version of Parker's The King enjoys his own again more closely follows the text of the blackletter copy in the British Library (L2; see line 31) than the copy in roman type (L1), but displays sufficient independent and substantial variants from either to establish itself as a distinct variant. In several places, the versification has been improved. More generally, alterations here add edge to the satire against those who supported and benefitted from parliamentary government (eg. line 11), while shifts in verb tenses intensify the historical immediacy of the verses by signalling certainty that the king is about to arrive (eg. lines 21, 28-30). With the return of monarchy, the danger from treacherous "rogues" is replaced by that from "Papists" (line 95), adding international relations to the agenda: "a fig for Rome and Spain."

   One of several ballads published for Francis Grove to celebrate the events of 1660, this one bears an original cut representing an astrologer looking through a three-barrelled telescope alongside a stock cut of two noble knights riding.


[62] Wing: E2974A. Copies: GU Euing 96. E [not found]. Commentaries: Hazlitt, Handbook, p. 93.

Englands Great Prognosticator,
Foretelling when England shall enjoy a settled peace and happinesse again,
Not by Planets, Signes, nor by Stars, But truly tells when ends these bloody wars.
To the Tune of, When the King injoyes his own again.


1: WHat Booker can Prognosticate
2: Concerning of our Kingdomes fate?
3: I think my self to be as wise
4: As most that gazes in the Skyes
5:      my skill goes beyond
6:      the Depth of Pond,
7: Or Rivers in the Greatest rain,
8:      by which I can tell
9:      all things will be well,
10: Now the King injoyes his own again.
11: There's neither Swallow, Dove, nor Dade,63
12: Can soare more high, nor deeper wade,
13: To give you a reason from the Stars,
14: What causeth Peace, or Civill wars,
15:       the man in the Moon,
16:       may wear out his shoon,
17: In running after Charls his wane,
18:       and all to no end,
19:       for the times they will mend,
20: Now the King enjoyes his own again.

21: Though for a time you saw White-hall
22: With cobwebs hanging on the wall,
23: Instead of Silk and silver brave,
24: As formerly it us'd to have,
25:       in every room,
26:       the sweet perfume
27: Delightfull for a Princely train,
28:       the which you may see,
29:       now the time it shall be,
30: That the King is come home in peace again.

31: Full forty years the Royall Crown,64
32: Hath been his Fathers, and his own,
33: And is there any more than he,
34: Hath right unto that Soveraignty?
35:       then who better may
36:       the Scepter sway,
37: Than he that hath such right to reign
38:       the hopes of our peace
39:       for the wars will cease,
40: Now the King is come home in peace again.

41: Till when, Ararat upon thy Hill,
42: My hopes did cast her Anchour still,
43: Untill I saw some peacefull Dove,
44: Bring home that branch which dear I love,
45:       till then I did wait,
46:       the waters abate,
47: Which most disturb'd my troubled brain,
48:       and never did rejoyce,
49:       till I did hear the voyce,
50: That the King enjoyes his own again.

51: Oxford and Cambridge still agree,
52: Crown'd with honour and dignity.
53: Learned men shall now take place,
54: Tub-men be silenc'd with disgrace,
55:       for they shall know
56:       'twas but an outward show
57: That they so long disturb'd their brain,
58:       so I can tell
59:       that all things will be well
60: Now the King is come home in peace again.


61: CHurch, Government shall settled be,
62: And then I hope we shall agree,
63: Without their helps whose hair-brain'd zeal,
64: Hath long disturb'd the Common-weal,
65:       Green's65 out of date,
66:       and the Cobler66 doth prate,
67: Of whimsies that disturbs his brain,
68:       the which you shall see,
69:       when the time it shall be,
70: Now the King enjoyes his own again.

71: Though many men are much in debt,
72: And divers shops are to be let,
73: A golden time is drawing neer,
74: Men shall want shops for their ware,
75:       all Trades shall increase
76:       by the means of a Peace67
77: The which ere long we shall obtain,
78:       for which I can tell
79:       all things will be well,
80: Now the King enjoys his own again.

81: Maydens shall injoy their Mates,
82: And honest men their lost estates,
83: Women shall have what they do lack,
84: Their husbands are a comming back
85:       when the wars have an end,
86:       then I and my friend,
87: A Subjects freedome shall obtain,
88:       for this I can tell,
89:       all things will be well
90: Now the King enjoys his own again.

91: People shall walk without any fear,
92: About the Country every where.
93: Theeves shall tremble at the Law,
94: And Justice keep them all in awe,
95:       Papists shall flye,
96:       with their trumpery
97: And then a fig for Rome and Spain,
98:       the which you shall see,
99:       when the time it shall be,
100: Now the King is come home in peace again.

101: The Parliament most willing be,
102: That all the world may plainly see,
103: Now they do labour still for Peace,
104: That all these bloody wars may cease,
105:       for they will spend
106:       their lives to defend
107: The King in all his rights to reign,
108:       so I can tell,
109:       all things will be well,
110: Now the King enjoys his own again.

111: When all these things to passe shall come,
112: Then farewell Musket, Pike, and Drum,
113: The Lamb shall with the Lion feed,
114: That were a happy time indeed,
115:       O let all pray,
116:       that we may see the day
117: That Peace may govern Charles his Wane,
118:       for then I can tell,
119:       all things will be well
120: Now the King enjoyes his own again.


   London, Printed for Francis Grove on Snowhill, without Newgate. Entred according to Order.


[63] Thomas Swallow, Jonathan Dove and William Dade all gave their names to well-known almanacs published throughout the century; see Bernard Capp, Astrology and the Popular Press, pp. 357, 358, 380-81. According to Ebsworth, each of them prospered during the commonwealth: "Swallow had been a corn-cutter, cheiropodist, in Gutter-Lane, helped into favour by Pennington's wife whom he literally set on her feet again. Dove, a cobbler at Whitecross-street, had told Sir William Waller that `The Lord would fight his battles for him!' and after Waller's success in Cambridgeshire Dove was rewarded, being subsidized as an almanack-maker. Dade, seller of fiddle-strings and pensioner of parliament, had fooled them with flattery" (RB, 7:634).

[64] "forty years" follows Upon Defacing of Whitehall and the blackletter version of Parker at@@####

[65] Probably a compositor's error for "Greed's" as in Parker, line 53.

[66] Presumably Col. John Hewson, commonly thus termed in satires of the time.

[67] An improvement on Parker line 61.

A Worthy Kings Description68

   [undated: before May?]

This anonymous and undated blackletter broadside loosely follows Parker's stanza, retaining the metrics of the refrain. It bears woodcuts that were also used by Charles Tyus for The Covenant.

   Evidently composed before Charles arrived, the ballad sets general conditions for, and details specific results of, his return, including the rare and potentially startling claim that, once Charles is back, "Then will his power be absolute" (line 32).

A Worthy Kings Description

1: Both Country and City give ear to this ditty,
2: Whilst that I the praises sing,
3: And fame his honour out doth Ring,
4: That best deserveth to wear the Crown;
5: For Worth there's none can put him down
6:      And this is no flattering, to describe a worthy King;
7:      His Subjects here their desires explain,
8: Desiring that he may enjoy his own again.


1: BRave news there is I understand,
2: Brought by one that late did land,
3: Many that heretofore were sad,
4: Their hearts full merry are, and glad,
5: And rejoice for his sake,
6: That amends will us make,
7: And will please us all as then,
8:      for he that we did lack
9:      is now returning back
10: For to enjoy his own again.

11: Fair England will be well content
12: With the chief of men in government,
13: When the Churches Champion smiles upon her,
14: Earths Majesty and Natures honour;
15: His foes unto him he will draw,
16: Hee's the director of the Law.
17: And the Nations Rights he will maintain:
18:      these things will appear
19:      before the next new year.
20: When the King enjoys his own again.

21: When the Scepter of mercy he doth hold,
22: And true Justice doth unfold,
23: And when he doth his own imbrace,
24: There you may see the glass of grace,
25: And the terrour of Treason
26: Which is but Reason.
27: The poor mans Cause he will maintain;
28:      no man can this deny,
29:      hee's the life of Loyalty,69
30: When that he enjoys, &c.

31: His command if Right is without dispute,
32: Then will his power be absolute:
33: In him Wisdome is very rife,
34: And his favour will lengthen life;
35: His Subjects his charge will be,
36: And his care for their safety.
37: This pleasure will true peace maintain,
38:      which we shall prove
39:      his joy to be our love,
40: When the King, &c.

41: His wisedome is not to be paralel'd
42: By all that e're the Scepter held,
43: 'cause it is without all equallity,
44: We hope no man can this deny:
45: He is of great renown,
46: And best describes the Crown;
47: For why he hath most right to raign,
48:      thus saith the Trump of fame
49:      that he describes the same,
50: For to enjoy, &c.

51: If for the same he be appointed,
52: And he be call'd the Lords anointed;
53: Like a King he must be served,
54: And70 be tenderly preserved:
55: Then he the head must be
56: Of the publick body:
57: If that his right he doth regain,
58:      he will tender of us be
59:      if that we live to see
60: Him to enjoy, &c.

The Second Part,
To the same Tune.


61: HE's a blessing over his people by place,
62: And Gods Vicegerent full of grace:
63: He is no forreign Conqueror,
64: But our Supream Governour,
65: His safety his Counceils cares,
66: And his health his Subjects prayers:
67: Whilst that on Earth he doth remain,
68:      his pleasure is his Peeres,
69:      that great Jehovah fears,
70: And to enjoy his own again.

71: And for to chear his Subjects sadnesse,
72: His content will be their gladnesse,
73: His presence must Reverenced be,
74: According to his high degree;
75: His person must not be scorned,
76: But his civill Court adorned,
77: When in fair England he doth raign,
78:      all men shall be free,
79:      and set at liberty,
80: When the King, &c.

81: What rightfull71 thing by him is said,
82: Ought not for to be disobey'd;
83: One thing cannot be denied.
84: That his wants must be supplyed,
85: Nor his place unregarded,
86: But Royally Rewarded,
87: And richly his state maintain:
88:      then let our prayers be
89:      these happy days to see.
90: That the King may enjoy, & c.

91: Although a God he cannot be,
92: Hee's more then an ordinary man we see,
93: Wee do hope hee's so divine,
94: That from the right hee'l not decline.
95: Nor yet will he delay
96: Gods laws to obey,
97: And all mens Rights for to maintain,
98:      which suddenly will be,
99:      when that men do see
100: That the King, &c.

101: I now crave pardon for this bold thing,
102: For describing of a worthy King,
103: And heartily for him will pray
104: Unto the Lord both night and day,
105: And under Heaven him commend,
106: That the Lord will him defend,
107: That he in this Land long time may Raign,
108:      these blessings then will be
109:      who ever lives to see
110: The King, &c.

111: Then shall London Conduits run with Wine,
112: With melodious noise of Musick fine;
113: Then Bells shall Ring, and Bonefires burn,
114: For joy of his gracious return,
115: From sorrow we
116: Hope to be free,
117: From Tyranny and slavish pain,
118:      then let us all rejoyce
119:      both with heart and voice,
120: When the King enjoys his own again.


[68] Wing: [Not listed.] bl brs. Copies: GU Euing 404.

[69] Loyalty] Lyalty copy text, perhaps intended to draw attention to the bad rhyme?

[70] And] Add

[71] rightfull] righfull