MALMESBURY residents and visitors stepped into a time warp over the weekend when a King Charles I impersonator visited the town.

His Majesty (aka actor Daniel Williams) and Royalist Captain Ronald Bouchier (Terry Harris) took a tour around Malmesbury on Saturday, April 20 to promote the upcoming May Bank Holiday Devereux Weekend.

The special commemorative weekend, from May 3-5, is being hosted by Malmesbury Town Council to mark the two years, from 1644-1646, when Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment took control of the hilltop town, at the height of the English Civil War.

King Charles I and Cpt Bouchier, escorted by town councillors Kim Power and Stephen James, visited the Athelstan Museum, where His Majesty examined a letter (recently acquired by the Museum) that he had written to his cousin, Prince Rupert, in 1643.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: King Charles I (aka actor Daniel Williams) and Royalist Captain Ronald Bouchier (Terry Harris) King Charles I (aka actor Daniel Williams) and Royalist Captain Ronald Bouchier (Terry Harris) (Image: Richard Harris)

The pair then stopped off at The Kings Arms, the site of Cpt Bouchier’s notorious murder at the hands of Parliamentarians, and which is he said to haunt.

Cllr Campbell Ritchie said: "We are delighted that King Charles I was able to spare the time to visit Malmesbury.

“He seemed very happy to promote our forthcoming Devereux Weekend, although of course he is still very unhappy at the outcome of the battle!”

The commemorative weekend launches on Friday, May 3 with a talk at the Town Hall on Wiltshire and Malmesbury in the English Civil War by Dr Chris Scott.

Meanwhile, over the weekend visitors will be able to take part in a military camp, watch live food demonstrations and learn new skills such as scribing, dyeing and sword handling at Malmesbury Town Hall and in the Cloister Gardens. 

There will also be a beer shop and tavern, as well as lots of music and dancing. 

On Saturday, May 4 an original Bird’s Eye View map of Malmesbury will be on display in Market Lane to show the Devereux Regiment’s occupation of the town.

Furthermore, two lively re-enactments of the last attack on Malmesbury by the Parliamentarians have been planned.

They will take place in Abbey Row, Gloucester Street and Market Cross by history group Colonel Nicholas Devereux’s Regiment of Foot, who will be routing their opposition, staged by Royalist actors from the Marquis of Winchester Regiment. 

For more information about the Devereux Weekend visit the Tourist Information Centre in Malmesbury.