Cheshire Heraldry Web Journal (Blog)

A journal of the activities of an Amateur Armorist.

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Happy Oak Apple Day

May 29th, 2010 · 1 Comment

I don’t live too far away from Boscobel House so today will see a few local celebrations though I wouldn’t mind betting that the (English) man in the street if asked what was special about today would most likely think that the question related to the fact that, by coincidence, this is a “bank holiday” weekend and would have no idea that today is Oak Apple Day. My own little heraldic hint to this day is reflected in my choice of an oak tree in the “Goostrey” punning crest. 

The Goldstraw (Goostrey) crest.

 Oak Apple Day or, as it is also known, Royal Oak Day used to be officially celebrated as a holiday in England on 29 May to commemorate the restoration of the English monarchy, in May 1660. I believe that in some parts of the country, the day was also known as Shick-Shack Day or Arbour Day.

It was first declared as a public holiday by Parliament in 1660:

“Parliament had ordered the 29 of May, the King’s birthday, to be for ever kept as a day of thanksgiving for our redemption from tyranny and the King’s return to his Government, he entering London that day.”

Sadly it was abolished (as a holiday, not as a celebration) in 1859 but the occurrences after the Battle of Worcester in September 1651, when the future Charles II of England escaped the Roundhead army by hiding in an oak tree near Boscobel House, are still widely celebrated in Shropshire and elsewhere to commemorate the return of our beloved Monarchy.

Have a Happy Oak Apple Day (and a restful Bank Holiday weekend).

Tags: General · Royalty

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