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Calls for 'The 'Black Boy' pubs across England to be renamed - despite many being named after King Charles II


Anti-racism campaigners are calling for pubs called 'The Black Boy' to be renamed amid growing protests by the Black Lives Matter movement.

But the demands have angered others who insist there is nothing offensive about the name – which was a nickname given to King Charles II in the 17th century due to his dark hair.

Debate erupted online over one pub in the Manchester area named 'The Black Boy' after critics launched a petition to have the name changed.

Meanwhile the owner of another in Oxford has said it will not change its ‘outdated’ name following complaints on social media, because it wants to preserve its history.

Everards, which owns the Black Boy in Headington, Oxford, hit back at social media claims that the name makes black people feel 'alienated'.

As reported in the Oxford Mail, one man took to the private Oxford Community group on Facebook this week to speak about the pub's name.

He said: 'In this day and age with a multicultural setting, I wouldn't describe it as appropriate.' 

A spokesperson for Everards told the Oxford Mail: 'It’s a 16th century pub which was rebuilt in the 1930s and therefore is an important part of the local story.

“We understand that the pub has been called The Black Boy since at least 1805 and wherever possible we prefer to keep each pub’s history alive and retain the original name.'

In Manchester, a row has erupted on social media site Twitter over one pub called 'The Black Boy' in Wythenshawe, in the south of the city. 

 The debate was sparked by one account, Manc Pictures, who said: 'So this is my local pub called "The Black Boy" and there's now a petition to get the name changed.

'Honestly not sure what to make of it, to me it's not racist at all.'

Other pubs have also come under pressure from Twitter users, including The Black Boy in Retford, Nottinghamshire.

One Twitter user  argued the pub's name should be changed.

He said: 'I'm not sure how appropriate having a pub call "The Black Boy" is?

'Seems the people of Retford are rather comfortable with what is a highly offensive name of a business.' 

Another called for the Ye Olde Black Boy in Hull to be 'destroyed', while another Twitter user defended the user of the name generally, saying it has 'nothing to do with a young slave' but instead is to do with King Charles II.

Across England and Wales, there are at least 25 different pubs called 'The Black Boy', or similar.

But the name, which is said to have a number of origins, including the soot darkened faces of chimney sweeps, is often thought to be a reference to King Charles II.

The English Monarch, who ruled from 1660 until his death, aged 54, in 1665, was nicknamed 'Black Boy' by his mother, Henrietta Maria of France, due to his dark hair and complexion.

It was a nickname that was taken up those who supported Charles II attempts to restore the monarchy and it is believed a number of pubs changed their name to The Black Boy as a possible show of allegiance.

Other suggestions for the name's origins including the misspelling of a nautical navigation marker, a 'buoy'.