King Charles 1 Visits Ryde 1627 & 1628
If you ask people about Royal visitors to Ryde in the past the first person they are likely to think of is Queen Victoria. As a child Princess Victoria stayed with her mother at the Kent Hotel in Union St. afterwards renamed the Royal Kent and it is believed the Queen and Prince Albert stayed there too when house-hunting for Osborne. Later, as an Island resident, Queen Victoria was a frequent visitor to Ryde, arriving at the Pier, driving through in her carriage, calling on aristocratic neighbours, attending events, even doing a spot of shopping!
Thinking back to earlier times, we might remember that in the Georgian period the Prince Regent attended the Island Regattas and enjoyed stop offs in Ryde.
However, it will soon be 400 years ago that another Royal visitor arrived in Ryde or Ride as it was then called. King Charles 1 (in the days before the Civil War) came to view his Island regiments camped on Arreton Down.
Sir John Oglander wrote of it in his memoirs:
1627. King Charles came to our Island the 20th of June 1627, being Wednesday, he came ashore at Ride, where only myself was to attend him. He was landed by 9 in the morning, sooner than the gentlemen expected; we had not notice of it but the night before, it I took such order that my coach was there, and some 40 horses I waited on him from Ride to Arreton Down, and was his guide on the Down. He saw Sir Alex BRETTE’s Regiment train, which was the motive that brought him over. I had the honour to kiss his Majesty’s hand, being presented onto him by the Lord Chamberlain, and at his going away again which was about 3. All the gentlemen with myself had the like honour.
1628.Upon the first of September, 1628, his Majesty came into our Island, purposely to see the Scotch regiment, as he had done the summer before for Sir Alex BRETTEs. I had no notice of his comings till 11 of the clock the night before he came, at what time my Lord CONWAY sent me 2 letters, and the gentleman of his horse one other, together with the surveyors of the King’s stables; thereupon I did the best I could, and I took order for horses, and got some 100 horses both for his servants, Lords and followers. He landed at Ride, whither my wife went to see him, where he saluted her and her daughters, and from thence to Arreton Down, where in truth the Scotchmen did very well…All being done, I waited on him back again to Ride; when by reason the tide was out, some of his Lords could not go with him;…I waited on them till the tide came, and in the meantime before WILKINSON’s door I procured them a table, stools and cards.
Source: The Oglander Memoirs: Extracts from the mms of Sir J. Oglander, K.T. of Nunwell, Isle of Wight. Deputy Governor of Portsmouth and Deputy Lieutenant of the Isle of Wight 1595-1648. Edited by W.H. Long. 1888.
Picture Sources: Charles I Portrait by Gerrit van Honthorst, 1628; Sir John Oglander, after an unknown artist – Wikipedia