Jane Lane and Charles II

Jane Lane and Charles II

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 22, 1651 - off to Charmouth

On September 22 Charles set out for Charmouth, with Juliana Coningsby riding pillion behind him as Jane Lane had done, so that he seemed to be her manservant.  As Anne Wyndham wrote, Colonel Frank Wyndham “was his majesty’s guide, whilst the Lord Wilmot, with [Wyndham’s servant] Peters, kept at a convenient distance, that they might not seem to be all of one company.

“In this manner travelling, they were timely met by Captain Ellesden, and by him conducted to a private house of his brother’s among the hills, near Charmouth.  There his majesty was pleased to discover himself to the captain, and to give him a piece of foreign gold, in which in his solitary hours he made a hole to put a ribbon in.”
Ellesden's Farm
from the 1908 edition of Allan Fea's The Flight of the King
Captain Ellesden accompanied the royal party to the Queen's Arms, the little inn at Charmouth, to wait in the room that Peters had reserved for the supposed runaway bridal party. 
The Queen's Arms as it appaeared in the early 19th century
from The Flight of the King
The plan, as Charles told Samuel Pepys years later, was that Stephen Limbry’s boat was “to come out of the Cobb at Lyme, and come to a Little Crick that was just by this Village,” and that Limbry would send the “Boate a Shoare to take is in at the said Creck and carry us over to France, the winde being then very good in the North.”
Interior of the Queen's Arms
from The Flight of the King
About an hour after Ellesden took leave of the king, according to Anne Wyndham, “came Limbry to the inn, and assured the colonel all things were prepared, and that about midnight his long-boat should wait at the place appointed.  The set hour drawing nigh, the colonel, with Peters, went to the sea-side (leaving his majesty and the Lord Wilmot in a posture to come away upon call.” 
The Queen's Arms
from The Flight of the King

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