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Viewed from the queue to see the Crown Jewels.

Viewed from the queue to see the Crown Jewels.

According to my trusty Ladybird book, “Discovering The Tower of London“, the Martin Tower housed the Crown Jewels during the reign of King Charles II and that this was the place where “adventurer” and self-styled “Colonel“, Thomas Blood attempted to steal the royal regalia. In those days you could pay for a private viewing of the Crown Jewels and after winning the trust of Jewel Keeper Talbot Edwards, Blood knocked him unconscious and a run for it. Colonel Blood was captured, after an affray in which one of the sentries on duty was shot, but bizarrely, after an audience with King Charles II, Blood was let off! There are many stories wrapped up in the history of the Tower of London, but the tale of Colonel Blood and his mysterious pardon has to be one of my favourites.

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