TOWER of London. The Crown stollen. 93

TOWER of London. The Crown stollen.

At his Departure (which was with a Canonical Benediction of the good Company) he appointed a Day and Hour to bring his young Nephew to his Mistress; and it was that very Day that he made his Attempt; viz. the 9th of May, about Seven in the Morning, An. Dom. 1673.

The old Man was got up ready to receive his Guest, and the Daughter had put her self into her best Dress to entertain her Gallant; when behold Parson Blood, with three more came to the Jewel House, all Armed with Rapier Blades in their Canes, and every one a Dagger, and a pair of Pocket Pistols. Two of his Companions entred in with him, and the Third stayed at the Door, it seems, for a Watch. The Daughter thought it not modest for her to come down till she was called, but she sent the Maid to take a View of the Company, and to bring her a Description of the Person of her Gallant. The Maid conceived that he was the intended Bridegroom who stayed at the Door, because he was the youngest of the Company; and returned to her young Mistress with the Character that she had formed of his Person.

Blood told Mr. Edwards, that they would not go up Stairs till his Wife came, and desired him to shew his Friends the Crown to pass the Time till then. Assoon as they were entred the Room where the Crown was kept, and the Door (as usually) was shut behind them, they threw a Cloak over the Old Man's Head, and clapt a Gag into his Mouth, which was a great Plug of Wood, with a small Hole in the Middle to take Breath at. This was tyed on with a waxed Leather, which went round his Neck. At the same time they fastened an Iron Hook to his Nose, that no Sound might pass from him that Way neither.

When they had thus secured him from crying out they told him, that their Resolution was to have the Crown, Globe and Sceptre. And that if he would quietly submit to it they would spare his Life, otherwise he was to expect no Mercy. He thereupon forced himself to make all the Noise that possibly he could to be heard above: Then they knocked him down with a Wooden Mallet, and told him, that if yet he would lie quietly, they would spare his Life, but if not, upon the next Attempt to discover them, they would kill him, and pointed three Daggers at his Breast. But he strained himsef to make the greater Noise: Whereupon they gave him Nine or Ten Stroaks more upon the Head with the Mallet, (for so many Bruises were found upon the Skull) and stabbed him into the Belly.

Whereat the poor Man, almost Eighty Years of Age fell, and lay some time entranced. One of them kneeled on the Ground to try if he breathed; and not perceiving any Breath come from him said, He is dead, I'll warrant him. Mr. Edwards came a little to himself, heard his Words; and conceived it best for him to be so thought, and lay quietly.

Then one of them named Parrot put the Globe into his Breeches. Blood held the Crown under his Cloak. The Third was designed to file the Sceptre in two, (because too long to carry) and when filed it was to be put into a Bag brought for that Purpose.

But before this could be done, young Mr. Edwards, (Son of the Old Gentleman) who had attended upon Sir John Talbot into Flanders, and upon his first landing in England, was with Sir John's Leave come away Post to see his Old Father, chanced to arrive at the very Instant that this was acting; and coming to the Door, the Person that stood Centinel for the rest, asked him with whom he would speak? He made Answer,

He belonged to the House. But young Edwards, perceiving by his Question, that he himself was a Stranger, told him, that if he had any Business with his Father he would go and acquaint him with it; and so went up, where he was welcomed by his Mother, Wife and Sister.

In the mean time the Centinel gave notice of the Son's Arrival, and they forthwith hasted away with the Crown and Globe, but left the Sceptre, not having time to file it. The Old Man returning to himself got upon his Legs, pulled off the Gag (for they concluded him dead, and surprized with the Son's unexpected Arrival, had omitted to tye his Hands behind him) and cryed out, Treason! Murther!

The Daughter hearing him, hasted down, and seeing her Father thus wounded ran out upon the Tower Hill, and cryed Treason, The Crown is stolen. This gave the first Alarm: And Blood and Parrot making more than ordinary Haste, were observed to jog each other with their Elbows as they went, which caused them to be suspected and pursued.

By this time, young Mr. Edwards, and Captain Beckman, upon the Cry of their Sister were come down, and left the Father likewise to run after the Villains; but they were advanced beyond the main Guard; and the Alarm being given loudly to the Warder at the Drawbridge, he put himself in posture to stop them. Blood came up first, and discharged a Pistol at him. The Bullet (if any there were) missed him, but the Powder or Fear made him fall to the Ground; whereby they got safe to the little Wardhouse Gate; where one Sill, who had been a Soldier under Cromwell stood Centinel; who altho' he saw the other Warder shot made no Resistance. By whose Cowardice, or Treachery, the Villains got over that Drawbridge, and through the outward Gate upon the Wharf, and made all possible haste toward their Horses, which attended at St. Katharine's Gate, called the Iron Gate; crying themselves, as they ran, Stop the Rogues. And they were by all thought innocent, he being in that grave Canonical Habit, till Captain Beckman got up to them. Blood discharged his Second Pistol at Captain Beckman's Head, but he stooping down avoided the Shot, and seized upon the Rogue, who had the Crown under his Cloak; yet had Blood the Impudence, altho' he saw himself a Prisoner to struggle a long while for the Crown; and when it was wrested from him said; It was a gallant Attempt (how unsuccessful soever) for it was for a Crown.

A Servant belonging to Captain Sherburn seized upon Parrot, before Blood was taken.

There was such a Consternation in all Men, and so much Confusion in the Pursuit, that it was a wonder some innocent Persons had not suffered for the Guilty. For young Edwards overtaking one that was bloody in the Skuffle, and supposing him to be one of those who had murthered his Father, was going to run him through, had not Captain Beckman cryed, Hold, he is none of them.

And as Captain Beckman made more than ordinary haste in the Pursuit, the Guards were going to fire at him, supposing him to be one of the Rogues; but one of them who by good Fortune knew him, cryed out, Forbear: He is a Friend.

Blood and Parrot being both seized (as hath been said) Hunt, Blood's Son in Law, leaped to Horse, with two more of the Conspirators, and rid far away. But a Cart standing empty in the Street, chanced to turn short, and Hunt run his Head against a Pole that stuck far out; but he recovering his Legs, and putting his Foot in the Stirrop, a Cobler running to enquire after the Distaster, said, This is Tom Hunt, who was in that bloody Attempt