The Victoria & Albert Museum
So, why are they hiding in a tree? After the Royalist defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651, the young Charles II and Colonel Careless took refuge in Shropshire where it is believed that they hid from the searching Cromwellian soldiers by climbing up into “a great oak.” With them, they took, “some victuals for the whole day viz. bread, cheese, small beer, and nothing else.” In the words of Nelson Muntz, “Haw, haw!”
The inscription reads:Renowned Carlos! thow has won the day
(Loyalty Lost) by helping Charles away,
From Kings-Blood-Thirsty-Rebels in a Night,
made black with Rage, of theives, & Hells dispight
Live! King-Loved Sowle thy fame be Euer Spoke
By all whilst England Beares a Royall Oake'