TOWER of London. Stealing the Crown. 94

TOWER of London. Stealing the Crown.

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 report all 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-