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Time and History 7:00 A.M. British Crown Jewels Stolen

About major and minor historical events around the clock such as Col. Thomas Blood stealing the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London at seven o'clock in the morning.

HISTORY AROUND THE CLOCK

7:00 in the Morning

May 9, 1671. Col. Thomas Blood stole the British Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

Blood had spent several weeks disguised as a parson in order to win the confidence of Talbot Edwards, the 77-year-old keeper of the Crown Jewels. On the morning of the robbery Blood arrived with three companions and introduced one of them, his "nephew," to the keeper's daughter. While the nephew was getting acquainted with the young lady, Blood suggested that Edwards might like to show them all the Crown Jewels. Edwards happily agreed and took everyone into the chamber inside Martin Tower, locking the door behind them. Immediately, a cloak was thrown over his head and a wooden plug was thrust into his mouth. To further gag Edwards, the thieves also "fastened an iron hook to his nose that no sound might pass from him that way." Still the keeper struggled until he was flattened with a wooden mallet and then stabbed in the stomach.

Blood used the same mallet to flatten out St. Edward's Crown so that he could hide it beneath his clerical coat. Another conspirator stuffed the orb down his trousers while the third man filed the scepter in two. Just then, by an extraordinary coincidence, Edwards's son, who had been serving in the military in Flanders for several years, returned to visit his parents. The lookout delayed him, then rushed to warn the other conspirators. The gang left hurriedly with the jewels in their pockets, but in the rush they dropped the scepter. At that moment the elder Edwards managed to remove the gag from his mouth and cried out, "Treason! Murder! The crown is stolen!"

The chase was on. Blood shot one yeoman warder who tried to stop them, and the drawbridge guard was so frightened that he dropped his musket and let the gang pass. Blood was finally caught by a Captain Beckman after a "robustious struggle." The crown fell from beneath Blood's cloak during the fight and for some time lay unnoticed in the gutter. The other thieves were quickly caught, and all of them were held in the Tower. Blood refused to talk, saying that he would speak only to the king himself. Finally the king granted him an audience, in which the Irish-born Blood produced such a torrent of blarney that he received not only a royal pardon but also a pension of pound 500!

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