|TOWER of London. Stealing the Crown. ||94
upon the Person of the Duke of Ormond: Let us secure him. A
Constable being accidentally there, seized him upon that
Affirmation, and carried him before Justice Smith. Who, upon his
confident Denial of himself to be Hunt, was about to let him go; but
the Hue and Cry coming, that the Crown was taken out of the
Tower, he was committed to safe Custody.
Young Edwards proposed to Lieutenant Rainsford, to mount some
of his Soldiers upon the Horses that were left, and send them to
follow the rest that escaped; but he bad him to follow himself, if
he would: It was his Businesx: And led
the Fellows Horses into the Tower, as forfeited to the Lieutenant.
Hunt (as hath been said) was Son in Law to Blood, and trained up
in his Practices.
Parrot was a Silk-Dyer in Southwark; and in the Rebellion had
been Major General Harrison's Lieutenant.
Blood was the Son of a Blacksmith in Ireland; a Fellow that
thought small Villanies below him. One of his virtuous Camerades,
having received Sentence of Death in Yorkshire for some Crime, he
rescued out of the Hands of the Sheriffs Men, as they were leading
him to the Gallows. He, with others, laid a Design in Ireland, to
surprize the Castle of Dublin, and the Magazine therein, and to
usurp the Government. But being discovered by the Duke of
Ormond the Night before the intended Execution, some of them
were apprehended, and suffered as Traitors. Whose Death Blood
and the rest of the surviving Rogues bound themselves by solemn
Oath, to revenge upon the Duke's Person. This occasioned his
Third Enterprize. For he, with five or six more of his Associates
(whereof Hunt was one) well mounted, came one Night up to his
Coach side, before he came to his own Gate, dwelling then at
Albemarl House, took him out of his Coach, forced him up behind
one of the Horsemen, and were riding away with him as far as
Berkely House. Where the Duke threw himself off the Horse with
the Villain, who had tied the Duke fast to him. The rest turned
back, discharging two Pistols at the Duke; but taking their Aim in
the Dark, missed him. By this Time the Neighbourhood was
alarmed, and the Rogues having Work enough to save themselves,
rid for it, and got away.
Duke of Ormond.
It was not small Disrepute to that hellish Contriver amongst his
Camerades, to fail in a Project which he had laid so sure, and
represented to them so easy to be effected. Therefore, to redeem
his Credit with them, he entred immediately upon the Contrivance
of another, that should fully recompence all former Miscarriages,
with an infallible Prospect of Gain, and the Reputation of a daring
Villany: Which was that of sharing the Regalia.
In the robustious Struggle for the Crown, as was shewed before,
the great Pearl and a fair Diamond fell off, and were lost for a
while, with some other smaller Stones. But the Pearl was found
by Katharine Maddox (a poor Sweeping Woman to one of the
Warders) and the Diamond by a Barber's Apprentice; and both
faithfully restored. Other smaller Stones were by several Persons
picked up, and brought in. The fair Ballas Ruby belonging to the
Sceptre, was found in Parrot's Pocket. So that not any
considerable Thing was wanting. The Crown only was bruised and
sent to repair.
Young Mr. Edwards went presently to Sir Gilbert Talbot; and gave
him an Account of all that had passed. Who instantly went to the
King, and acquainted his Majesty with it. His Majesty commanded
him to make haste to the Tower, to enquire, how Matters stood; to
take the Examination of Blood and the rest; and to return and
to him. Sir Gilbert accordingly went and found the Prisoners
(whose Wounds had been already dress'd) with their Keepers in
the White Tower. Blood lay in a Corner dogged and lowring, and
would not give a Word of Answer to any one Question.
His Majesty was in the mean time persuaded by some about him
to hear the Examination himself. And the Prisoners were
forthwith sent for to Whitehall. Nothing but that could possibly
have saved Blood from the Gallows. But that which ought to have
been his surer Condemnation, proved to be his Safety. For all Men
concluding , that none but those who had the Courage to
adventure upon such a daring Villany as that of the Crown, could
be guilty of the Practice upon a Peer of that Magnitude as was the
Duke of Ormond; especially the Parliament than sitting. Amongst
other Questions therefore it was thought fit to interrogate him,
Whether he had not a Hand in that Assault? For the Authors of it
were as yet altogether in the Dark.
Blood (as if he had valued himself upon the Action, and possibly
suspecting that the King might have made some Discovery of it
already, without any manner of Scruple or Hesitation, confessed
he had. It was then asked him, Who his Associates were; He
answered, that he would never betray a Friend's Life; nor never
deny a Guilt, in Defence of his own. It was next asked him, What
Provocation he had to make so bold an Assault upon the Duke of
Ormond? He said, the Duke had taken away his Estate, and
executed some of his Friends; and that he and many other had
engaged themselves by solemn Oath to revenge it.
Blood examined before the King.
And lest any of his audacious Villanies should lessen the Romance
of his Life, by lying concealed in his Examination about the Crown,
he voluntarily confessed to the King, (but whether truly or falsly,
may very well endure a Question, as I shall endeavour to shew
anon) that he had been engaged in a Design to kill his Majesty
with a Carbine from out of the Reeds by the Thames side, above
Battersea; where he often went to swim. That the Cause of this
Resolution in himself, and others, was his Majesty's Severity over
the Consciences of the Godly, in suppressing the Freedom of their
Religious Assemblies. That when he had taken his Stand in the
Reeds for that Purpose, his Heart was checked with an Awe of
Majesty; and he did not only himself relent, but diverted the rest
of his Associates from the Design.
He told his Majesty, that he had by these his Confessions, laid
himself sufficiently open to the Law; and he might reasonably
expect the utter Rigor of it; for which he was (without much
Concern of his own) prepared. But he said withal, that the Matter
would not be of that Indifference to his Majesty; inasmuch as
there were Hundreds of his Friends, yet undiscovered, who were
all bound to each other by the indispensible Oaths of Conspirators,
to revenge the Death of any of the Fraternity upon those who
should bring them to Justice. Which would expose his Majesty and
all his Ministers to the daily Fear and Expectation of a Massacre.
But on the other side, if his Majesty would spare the Lives of a
few, he might oblige the Hearts of many; who (as they had been
seen to do daring Mischiefs) would be as bold, if received into
Pardon and Favour, to perform eminent Services for the Crown.
And he pretended such an Interest and Sway amongst the
Fanaticks, to dispose them to their Fidelity, as though he been
their chosen General, and had them all entered in his Muster Roll.
In short, Blood and his Associates were not only pardoned, and set
free, but the Arch Villain him-