On This Day in History: 1671, Colonel Blood Steals the Crown Jewels

 During the reign of King Charles II, for a fee to the custodian, you could see the Crown Jewels. This one Colonel Blood did, along with a woman pretending to be his wife. The woman in question pretended to have stomach ache and the Custodian and his wife said she must rest in their lodgings nearby. Colonel Blood thanked them and later gave them a present, and thus managed to ingratiate himself with them, so much so that some weeks later, Blood asked to see the Crown Jewels again with some friends, and, with his guard down, the Custodian agreed, and while showing the Jewels, was overpowered and the Jewels were stolen. Blood was apprehended, along with the Jewels, before leaving the Tower and, this is the fascinating bit, he said he would answer to no one but the King. Charles II agreed to this and after interviewing Blood, pardoned him and gave him land in Ireland.

No one knows why Charles did this, perhaps the whole affair was to gain the King's attention, Blood was after all, in spite of being a fugitive, working for the Duke of Buckingham at one point and perhaps Blood worked for English intelligence. In any case, after a brief spell in prison nearly a decade later, he died shortly after his release, in 1680 


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