Wednesday, 24 August 2016

history fact august 24th


On This Day In History in 1680, Colonel Thomas Blood died.
Colonel Thomas Blood was most famous for his attempt to steal the British Crown Jewels.
On May 9th, 1671, the day after he visited a brothel, Thomas Blood came up with a cunning plan whilst applying ointment to his crown jewels -- he would steal the crown jewels!
Considering the punishment for attempting to steal the Crown Jewels was death back in the day, it wasn't just cunning, it was very brave. And completely stupid.
The Crown Jewels are kept in the Tower of London. It's basically a fortress and heavily guarded. Thomas Blood's plan was simple: make friends with the Master of the Jewel house, promise to wed his daughter to a fictional nephew, ask for a private showing of the Crown Jewels, then bash him over the head with a mallet.
And just for extra kicks, as it's better to be safe than sorry, they tied him up with rope and gagged him.
Oh, they also stabbed him.
See, if you're going to steal the Crown Jewels, you have to go that extra mile.
The next step was even simpler. Use the mallet to flatten the crown, a file to saw the Royal Sceptre into two pieces, and then shove the Sovereign's Orb down your trousers, before walking out.
Probably not easy walking with an orb shoved between your butt cheeks. And that's where it all went wrong. The alarm was raised and Thomas Blood and his gang were discovered.
They tried to flee, shooting at the Warders, although missing with every shot. The Iron Gate was lowered and they were captured.
Thomas Blood declared upon his capture, "It was a gallant attempt, however unsuccessful. It was for a crown."
Blood was granted an audience with the king after his capture. For unknown reasons, the king decided to pardon him. There are many rumours, with some believing the king had planned the robbery himself. Others say that the king had a soft spot for devious scoundrels who had a cunning plan. We'll never know.
Colonel Thomas Blood did end up in prison after a dispute with the Duke of Buckingham. Not long after his release, he fell into a coma and died on August 24th, 1680.
His epitaph reads:
Here lies the man who boldly hath run through
More villainies than England ever knew,
And ne'er to any friend he had was true.
Here let him then by all unpitied lie,
And let's rejoice his time was come to die.

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