A big day in history: Thomas Blood steals the crown jewels

Dominic Sandbrook explores the events of 9 May 1671

Dressed as a parson, Irish-born adventurer Thomas Blood flees the Tower of London with St Edward's Crown, part of the English Crown Jewels, hidden under his coat. (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the May 2012 issue of BBC History Magazine 

For Talbot Edwards, the morning of 9 May 1671 was one he would never forget. Now aged 77, he had his fair share of war stories, and his current position, as master of the Jewel House at the Tower of London, was nothing to be sniffed at. But this was a special day: his daughter’s wedding day. And at seven o’clock that morning, as he saw the groom’s party arriving at the Martin Tower, where he and his family lived above the crown jewels, he must have been one of the proudest men in London.

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