Jane Lane Assisting King Charles II to Escape the Battle of Worcester
This is a cartoon (in the word's older sense meaning a full-size prepatory drawing) for a fresco in the Commons Corridor, in the Houses of Parliament. Ward was commissioned to produce eight frescoes depciting scenes from British history in 1853, which were completed in 1861. This was the first picture to be unveiled at the opening of the Walker Art Gallery on 6th September 1877. The Battle of Worcester took place on 3 September 1651, the last battle of the English Civil War. It saw the defeat of Charles II and the Royalists by Parliamentary forces. Charles II's escape through the Midlands countryside became the stuff of romantic legend. Jane Lane was the sister of a Royalist officer. Disguised as her servant, Charles accompanied Jane from Walsall to Bristol. As they passed Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire, they encountered Parliamentary troops but successfully evaded capture. The spire of Stratford's church can be seen in the background of the drawing.