Tower of London, 9 May 1671
Colonel Thomas Blood arrangedto see the Crown Jewels which were kept at the time in the Martin Tower on the inner wall of the Tower.
He and his gang overpowered the elderly Jewel House keeper, tied him up and when he struggled, hit him on the head and stabbed him.
Excuse me sir, but is that an orb down your breeches?
Blood crushed the Imperial State Crown and hid it under his cloak. His son started to saw the Sceptre in half.
Their friend Robert Perot stuck the Orb down his breeches.
A foiled attempt
Just as they were about to escape, the keeper’s son returned unexpectedly and raised the alarm.
Blood was arrested, but once again, the enigmatic adventurer got away with it – and more.
No-one’s sure quite why, but ‘the merry monarch’, Charles II, pardoned Blood and gave him a pension!
A review of security
After Blood’s escapade, security was tightened, iron bars replaced the wooden ones around the Regalia, and, from then on, visitors were not allowed to touch the Crown Jewels.