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The Great Crown Jewels Robbery of 1303

On sale

11th June 2013

Price: £4.99

Selected:  ebook / ISBN-13: 9780755395828

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An insight into one of history’s most cunning, yet overlooked, events…

Medieval London comes to life in Paul Doherty’s gripping retelling of this early attempt to steal the Crown Jewels, the first great bank raid in history.

‘Doherty tells the tale with verve incorporating much fascinating historical detail’ – Historical Novels Review
In the reign of King Charles II (1660 – 1685), 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 treasures safely behind iron-bound 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 King’s fury knew no bounds, but Puddlicott ran the King’s men a merry dance before eventually being captured and sent – along with forty monks – to his death in Westminster.

This exhilarating tale of cunning, deceit, lechery, monks, pimps and prostitutes is also 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.

What readers are saying about Paul Doherty:
‘I was totally gripped. I have read a lot of history books and this is amongst the best I have read
‘An interesting book, historically accurate and very well researched
Doherty proves that he is a scholar as well as a writer of novels’


Historical Novels Review
Praise for Paul Doherty: Doherty tells the tale with verve incorporating much fascinating historical detail
Ancestors Magazine
A fascinating glimpse into medieval London life
New Statesman
Praise for Paul Doherty: Paul Doherty has a lively sense of history
Publishers Weekly
An engrossing and informative read
Contemporary Review
[A] history book that may be read with all the excitement of a detective novel