The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303: The Extraordinary Story of the First Big Bank Raid in History

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Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005 - History - 242 pages
In the reign of King Charles II (1660-85), there was a famous attempt to steal the crown jewels by the memorably named Colonel Blood. However, Blood's conspiracy was not the first such plot, and it was certainly not the most successful. Three centuries earlier, in 1303, Edward I of England (of Braveheart fame) was north of the Scottish border attempting to crush William Wallace, secure in the knowledge that he had stashed his royal treasure safely behind ironbound doors in Westminster Abbey-- a place of sanctity reputed to house Christ's body, and inhabited by pious Benedictine monks. Enter Richard Puddlicott: a former merchant and a charming, dissolute rogue with a grudge against the King. He infiltrated the Abbey's inner circle (entertaining them on the proceeds of their own silver) and, before long, had managed to help himself to a good part of the treasure. The Kings fury knew no bounds, but Puddlicott ran the King's men a merry dance before eventually being captured and sent -- along with 40 monks -- to his death at Westminster. This exhilarating tale of cunning, deceit, lechery, monks, pimps and prostitutes tells the story of the first great bank raid in history. Until now -- with most of the evidence still in manuscripts, in Latin or Norman French -- very little has been written about it. With his usual verve, blending vivid narrative and historical analysis, Paul Doherty takes the lid off both the medieval underworld and the "holy" monastic community. The result is historically enlightening and a gripping read. - Jacket flap.

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User Review  - john257hopper - LibraryThing

The author has obviously done his research into this surprisingly relatively obscure incident. However, I thought there was rather too much repetition and am not sure there was really a full length ... Read full review


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The Kings Tale
The Monks Tale

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About the author (2005)

Paul Doherty is the internationally renowned author of many histories and historical novels. He studied at Liverpool and Oxford University, and gained a Doctorate at Oxford. He Lives in London.

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