The handwriting of a king at Moseley Old Hall

Portrait of King Charles II, after Kneller

In 1651 King Charles II hid at Moseley Old Hall while on the run for his life after defeat at the Battle of Worcester. He was only 21 years old and was helped by ordinary men and women on his escape to France.

After he had made it to France he wrote letters of thanks to those who had helped him on his escape. After he had left Moseley he went to a place called Bentley Hall where the Lane family lived. Their daughter, Jane, had a pass to travel to Bristol with a manservant. Charles II dressed up as that manservant 'Will Jackson' and so continued his journey. Several weeks later he left England from the south coast to the safety of the continent. In Paris he wrote to Jane to thank her for her help and promising to thank her better when he was able. We are lucky enough to have that very letter on display at Moseley. We also have another letter, handwritten by Charles II in 1662, after he had been restored to the throne of England, instructing Andrew Rutherford to go to Calais. He was a Scottish soldier who had been serving the French government and was recommended to Charles by Louis XIV of France.

Letter to Jane Lane from Charles II at Moseley Old Hall
Letter to Jane Lane from Charles II at Moseley Old Hall