✹ About Tuesday 13 January 1662/63 Gillian Bagwell on 14 Jan 2016 • Link The jack and Charles as servant: Actually, Charles II was playing the role of manservant to Jane Lane, who had a pass for her and a servant to travel about a hundred miles from her home in Staffordshire to her friend's house near Bristol, where Charles hoped to be able to get a ship to France or Spain. They spent the first night on the road at her cousin's house in Long Marston, and the king was sent to the kitchen. He later recounted that when the cook told him to wind up the jack, he had no idea what she meant. She pointed to it and he took hold of the handle but the wrong way. "What simpleton are you," she asked, "that cannot work a jack?" He thought quick and told her he was but a poor tenant farmer’s son, and that they rarely had meat, and when they did, they didn’t use a jack to roast it. My novel "The September Queen" (UK title "The King's Mistress" [not my choice!]) tells the story of Jane and her adventures with Charles. It's quite a story! And we have Sam Pepys to thank for preserving it. He was on the Royal Charles bringing the king back to England in 1660, and Charles told him the story. In Newmarket in 1680, Sam spent two three-hour sessions with the king, getting him to tell the story in detail, and taking it down in his famous shorthand. He edited it and bound it with many other accounts of Charles's odyssey, because after the Restoration, many people who had helped get him out of England wrote their stories. The combined accounts create an almost hour-by-hour record of what Charles did, said, wore, and ate for much of the time during the six weeks he was on the run with a price on his head. It came to be called "The Royal Miracle" because he narrowly escaped capture so many times. If you want to read the whole thing, find "Charles II's Escape from Worcester," edited by William Matthews, which has Pepys's transcription of Charles's account and his edited version side by side, as well as other contemporary accounts.