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Answer 101. Thomas Blood. His Irish estates had been confiscated during the Civil War. He had apparently decided to get even by stealing the Crown Jewels.


Having won the Edwards’ trust, Blood proposed a marriage between their two families:

‘You have a pretty Gentlewoman to your Daughter, and I have a young Nephew who hath two or three Hundred a Year Land, and is at my Disposal. If your Daughter be free, and you approve of it, I will bring him hither to see her, and we will endeavour to make it a Match.’

A meeting was arranged for 7 a.m. on 9 May 1671:

Col Blood actors‘The old Man was got up ready to receive his Guest, and the Daughter had put her self into her best Dress to entertain her gallant; when behold Parson Blood, with three more came to the Jewel House, all Armed with Rapier Blades in their Canes, and every one a Dagger, and  a pair of Pocket Pistols. Two of his Companions entred in with him, and the Third stayed at the Door, it seems for a Watch.

‘As soon as they were entred the Room where the Crown was kept, and the Door (as usually) was shut behind them, they threw a Cloak over the Old Man’s Head, and clapt a Gag into his mouth…

‘Then one of them named Parrot put the Globe into his Breeches. Blood held the Crown under his Cloak. The Third was designed to file the Sceptre in two (because too long to carry) and when filed it was to be put into a Bag brought for that Purpose.’

The villains were busily trying to break the sceptre in half when someone arrived unexpectedly to disturb them.

HISTORIC LONDON: X MARKS THE SPOT. Question 102. Who arrived to disturb the robbers trying to steal the Crown Jewels from the Tower of London?

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Five Days That Shocked the World

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