Carlos, William (DNB00)

CARLOS, CARLES, or CARELESS, WILLIAM (d. 1689), royalist, was a colonel or major in the royalist army during the civil wars. A family of the name of Carlosia described as of Stratford-on-Avon in the 'Visitation of Warwickshire' in 1619 (Harleian Soc. xii. 28), A correspondent of 'Notes and Queries,' 1st ser. x. 344, suggests that the royalist was the son of Anthony Careless, of the Clothiers' Company in Worcester in 1665, who died there 6 Jan. 1670. Clarendon states that he resided in Statfordshire. Carlos took part in the battle of Worcester (3 Sept. 1651), and saw, it was stated the last man killedthere before leaving the battle-field. As soon as the defeat of the royalists proved decisive he fled to the woods surrounding Boscobel House, and hid himself in the branches of an oak tree. About five o'clock on the morning of Saturday, 8 Sept., King Charles himself arrived at Boscobel while escaping from the Commonwealth soldiers, who were in hot pursuit, and Carlos, who does not appear to have been personally acquainted with the king previously, urged him to share his retreat in the oak tree. This the king agreed to do, and the two men remained concealed there for more than twenty-four hours, while their pursuers searched the wood below them. Carlos descended from time to lime to procure food. On Sunday afternoon, however, Charles left for Moseley. Carlos separated from him because he was well known in the neighbourhood, and stood in even greater danger of capture than the king, who had managed to effectually disguise himself. The oak tree, called the royal oak, is still extant in Boscobel wood. On Monday, 8 Sept., Carlos succeeded, with the help of a friend at Wolverhampton, in disguising himself, and under an assumed name he arrived in France. He communicated to the Princess of Orange at Paris the welcome news of her brother's safety, and continued in Charles's service till the Restoration. By a royal patent he was granted an elaborate coat of arms, in which an oak tree prominently figures (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. lii. 262). Carlos returned to England with the king, and in January 1660-1 he, with two others, was granted the proceeds of a tax on all straw and hay brought into London and Westminster, together with the office of inspector of livery horsekeepers (Cal. State Papers, Dom., 1660-l, p. 498). In the account of James II's secret service fund for 1687 appears the entry: 'To Coll' William Carlos, bounty 300l.' (Secret Services of Charles II and James II, Camd. Soc. 177). Carlos died early in 1689. His will, dated in 1688, was proved in the following year. His property, of very trifling value was bequeathed to an 'adopted son, Edward Carlos,' from whom was descended Edward John Carlos [q. v.] Carlos was married, and had a son William, born in 1643, who died unmarried in 1668, and was buried in Fulham churchyard. His epitaph is printed in 'Notes and Queries,' 1st ser. ix. 305. An engraving by Stent of Charles and Carlos in the oak tree is extent.

[Frequent references are made to Carlos in Blount's tract Boscobel; in Clarendon's History, bk. xiii.; in Pepys's Narrative printed by Lord Hailes. These tracts, together with several briefer accounts of Charles II's adventures after the battle of Worcester, have been carefully reprinted by J. Hughes in the Boscobel Tracts (1830, 2nd edit. 1857).]

S. L. L.