In celebration of Oak Apple Day on 29 May, below is a round up of the top 10 things you probably didn’t know about the great tree.
1. The oak had been the badge of Charles II after he had hidden inside one at Boscobel after defeat by the Roundheads at Worcester in 1651.
2. Although he had been proclaimed King on May 9, Charles II’s rule officially began on May 29, 1660, which was also his 30th birthday.
3. In 1660, parliament passed “An Act for a Perpetual Anniversary Thanksgiving on the Nine and Twentieth Day of May”.
4. The date was celebrated by wearing sprigs from oaks or oak-apples.
5. Anyone not wearing them was liable to be pinched, which led to the name “pinch-bum day”.
6. May 29 remained a public holiday until 1859 when it was abolished in the Anniversary Days observance Act.
7. Oaks take between 20 and 50 years before they start producing acorns.
8. The saying “Great oaks from little acorns grow” dates back at least to around 1385 when it appears in Chaucer’s “Troilus and Criseyde”.
9. An “oak wedding” anniversary is celebrated after 80 years of marriage.
10. “Royal oak” is the third most common pub name in Britain, behind “Red Lion” and “Crown”.