Heroes of the Escape

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The timeline of the escape identifies 38 people who assisted Charles in the course of his six weeks on the run. Despite the carrot of a huge reward for anyone dobbing Charles in and the stick of likely execution for anyone found to help him escape, no-one informed on him or on the other plotters. It was a remarkable display of solidarity.

Name of personPictureWho they werePart played
Lord Henry Wilmot1st Earl of Rochester, an English Cavalier and close associate of Charles who fought for the Royalist cause as a Lieuitenant General.Wilmot was Charles' main ally through the escape, making plans and accompanying him on most journeys. Bold to the point of reckless, he disdained disguise and declined to travel on foot. He ultimately escaped to France with Charles.
Robert SwanManservant to Lord WilmotSupported Charles throouput the escape, sometimes with Wilmot, sometimes separately. The unsung hero of the adventure.
Lord DerbyAn English nobleman, politician, and supporter of the Royalist cause in the English Civil War. He was with Charles at the Battle of Worcester, after which on 3 September 1651 he accompanied him to Boscobel House. Later executed by Cromwell for treason.
Charles Giffard (pronounced Jiffard)A Royalist Captain who was a member of an important recusant family whose members owned Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory. Giffard made available both Boscobel House and White Ladies Priory for hiding Charles. In so doing, he committed him to the care of the Catholic underground for the early dramatic days of the escape.
Francis Yates IServant to Charles GiffardActed as guide between Worcester and Boscobel. Later became the only person executed for refusing to give information about the escape.
John PenderelWoodsman at White LadiesAccompanied Wilmot as he rode in the district around Boscobel, seeking opportunities to facilitate Charles' escape. Travelled with him to Moseley Old Hall and later to Bentley Hall.
George PenderelServant at White LadiesFirst to greet Charles' party at White Ladies. Assisted in preparing his disguise and supported Charles during his day hiding in Spring Coppice.
Richard PenderelTenant at Hubbal Grange. Known as Trusty Dick.Accompanied Charles on his abortive trip to try to cross the Severn. Provided a meal at his own house, Hubnall Grange.
William PenderelCaretaker at BoscobelHosted Charles for his Boscobel stay.
Jane PenderelWife of William, caretaker at BoscobelHosted Charles for his Boscobel stay.
11Humphrey PenderelMiller at White Ladies.Met with Charles at White Ladies, provided much of the clothing for his disguise; obtained information about movements of Cromwell's troops; provided the mill-horse for most of Charles' trip to Moseley Old Hall.
Francis Yates IIBrother-in-law to the Penderills. Almost certainly, a different person to the servant to Charles Giffard (5 above). Accompanied Charles on his trip to Moseley Old Hall.
Francis WolfeA recusant who had a large house at Madeley, near the River SevernProvided his barn for Charles to hide in when it proved impossible to cross the Severn.
Richard EverelServant to Francis WolfeScouted the River Severn and ascertained that it was guarded.
15William CarelessColonel William Careless (c1610-1689) (surname variants include Carelesse, Carless, Carles and Carlis) was a Royalist officer who fought with Charles. The companion of King Charles when he hid in the Royal Oak. His surname was changed to Carlos, the Spanish for Charles, by order of Charles when he was King.
16Thomas WhitgreaveThe owner of Moseley Old Hall, a member of Parliament for Staffordshire for the First, Second and Third Protectorate Parliaments who was knighted by the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell in 1658. Also a recusant.Hid Charles at Mosley Old Hall for the two nights after he left Boscobel.
17Father John HuddlestonAn English Roman Catholic priest, and a monk of the Order of St. Benedict. For a time Chaplain to the Whitgrave family at Moseley Old Hall.Provided spiritual guidance and bathed Charles' feet. Also received Charles into the Catholic Church on his deathbed.
18John LaneColonel in the Royalist army, Brother of Jane Lane. Member of Parliament for Lichfield, Staffordshire from 1661 to 1667 and owner of Bentley Hall.Hid Charles for one night at Bentley Hall.
19Jane LaneSister of Colonel John Lane.Accompanied Charles to Old Leigh Court, and onwards to Trent Manor, riding pillion for most of the way. Formed close friendship with Charles, later spending time with him during his exile. Their relationship has been the cause of much speculation.
20Henry LascellesCousin of Colonel John Lane.Also part of the party to Old Leigh Court and Trent Manor.
21John PopeButler at Old Leigh Court, who served in the Royalist Army during the Civil War.Recognised Charles and then helped him checking boats from Bristol and finding that a passage would not be possible.
22Sir Francis WyndhamAn English soldier and politician who sat in the House of Commons of England at various times from 1640 until his death in 1676. During the First English Civil War, he served as a colonel in the Royalist army.Gave Charles refuge at Trent Manor for a total of 17 Nights.
23Anne WyndhamWife of Francis and daughter and heir of Thomas Gerard (1593-1634), earlier owner of Trent Manor.Gave Charles refuge at Trent Manor for a total of 17 Nights. Wrote a famous account of Charles' stay at Trent.
24Captain EllisdonFriend of Francis Wyndham.Arranged for Stephen Limbry to take Charles to France.
25Stephen LimbryTennant of Captain Ellidon and ship owner.Agreed to take Charles to France but the plans fell through for uncertain reasons.
26Juliana ConingsbyNiece of Francis Wyndham.Accompanied Charles to Charmouth, the party masquerading as a wedding group. Later accompanied Charles to Heale House.
27Henry PetersWyndham's servantActed as guide and courier on Charles' travels away from Trent Manor.
28Rhys JonesLandlord at George Inn, RoyalistRecongised Charles and provided accomodation for one night when Cromwell's troops were close at hand.
29Robert PhelipsA Royalist Colonel during the Civil War. After the Restoration he was a Member of Parliament, and from 25 May 1687 until 21 March 1689 Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.Helped Wilmot with his attempts to arrange a passage for Charles. His brother Edward was also involved.
30Sir John CoventryRoyalist, son of Lord John Coventry, MP after the restorationHelped arrange passage to Heale House and assist with leaving from Shoreham.
31Mrs Katherine HydeWidow of John Hyde, owner of Heale HouseProvided Refuge for Charles for a week while the escape from Shoreham plan was developed
32Lawrence HydeNephew of Mrs Hyde, owner of Hinton Daubnay HouseGave shelter to Lord Wilmot, helped develop plans.
33Rev Dr Humphrey HenchmanCanon of Salisbury Cathedral, friend of Mrs Katherine HydeActed as go-between and messenger for the plotters.
34Colonel George GunterNephew-in-law to Mrs Katherine Hyde, Royalist ColonelMade contact with Mansell re the passage from Shoreham, accompanied Charles part of the way from Heale House to Brighton. His brother Thomas was also involved.
35Francis MancellA French merchantContacted Tattesall
36Nicholas Tattersell Owner and captain of the coal-brig, The Surprise Agreed to take Charles to France from Shoreham. After re-negotiating the price, fulfilled the bargain.
37Mrs Ursula SymonsSister of Thomas GunterProvided refuge for Charles in Hambledon for the night before he rode to Brighton.
38Richard KempShipmate on The Surprise.Carried Charles ashore at Fécamp