WHY is the building named the Black Boy?
There are four potential origins of the name – and no-one’s really sure which is the real explanation! In its original origin it was a pub that could be named after:
a character with skin darkened by their work, like chimney sweeps or miners covered in soot or coal-dust.
King Charles II, who was nicknamed ‘Black Boy’ by his mother, Henrietta Maria of France because of his dark hair and complexion. The name was adopted by Charles’ supporters fighting for the restoration of the Monarchy in the 1650s. Inns using the Black Boy name were possibly declaring their royalist allegiance against Oliver Cromwell’s parliamentarians and the Royalists met at the Inn secretly at that time
The least watertight etymology is that they’re named after local dark-coloured shipping signals, the name being a misspelling of Black Buoy.
The Stables on site, now converted into accommodations were thought to keep the horses of travellers passing by. There has been further speculation the Inn might have been a Cider Press prior.
KING CHARLES STUART II – THE BLACK BOY KING OF ENGLAND 1630 – 1685
The word Stuart comes from the old nordish root Svart which means black. Stuart is the same word as Swarthy, which means black in old English.
There was once a Stuart line of Kings in England. The name of the founding ancestor was Stuart which means Black man. Stuart Kings of England and Scotland, King Charles II, also lovingly known as the “black boy” of England by his subjects. He is commemorated in the celebrated name of the Black Boy Inn, found all over the British Isle. King Charles II was a black man. Many of his surviving paintings falsely depict him as a so-called white man in clear contradiction to the famous description of the “Jolly King”. The eldest surviving son of Charles I and Henrietta Maria of France, daughter of Henry IV of France, the future Charles II was born on 29th May, 1630, at St. James Palace, London, the second child of the marriage, he replaced an elder brother, Charles James, who had died shortly after birth. It was said that when Charles was born in 1630 he was nicknamed the Black Boy by his mother, Queen Henrietta Maria, because of his dark and swarthy appearance
In 1646, following political crisis, his father Charles I was overthrown by Oliver Cromwell and beheaded. Charles II had to flee for his life through Scotland and on to France after making a weak and symbolic attempt at regaining the Stuart title. Fate and reality had soon dawned on him. He settled into a life of penury in France. Upon the death of Oliver Cromwell, Charles was recalled back to England by Cromwell’s legatee and son who had no interest in ruling England. Charles was restored back to the throne and his coronation took place at the traditional venue of Westminster Abbey on 23rd April, 1661.
The Merry Monarch as he was later to become known, is famous for his many mistresses. Although he had numerous children by his mistresses, the Queen, to her great sadness, remained barren. Charles popularity with the people was solid. Despite the ravages of last great outbreak of the Bubonic Plague struck London in 1665, which claimed thousands of lives; and the great fire of London 1666 which completely destroyed the city, he was highly favoured by the people. He died without an official heir on 6 February, 1685 after a brief illness and was succeeded by his brother, King James II. He was the most beloved of all the Kings in the line of the Stuarts.