Edward Clarke to

Edward Clarke snr

London 11th May 1671

deare father

I wrote unto you by the last post, and therein tould you of a certaine attempt that was made by five men to steale the Crown out of the Tower; I could not then give you any particular account how those rogues had laid theire Plott to doe this, or how they were discovered it being but that morning done; this dayes Gazette (if you read it) will give you some account of it; in my last letter I tould you there were five of them, (soe I was credibly informed) but the Gazette mentions only four, whereof three are taken, the cheife of them his name is Blood, an aged man and a notorious villein, hee has of late tried severall wayes to get his liveing, and about a month since hee habited himselfe like a divine, and pretending to bee a countrey Parson, tooke uppon him the impudence to preach at White-chapple, where, by a nonsensical discourse of more yn ordinary length, and a fanaticall way of chanting of it forth to the ignorant people, hee was taken for an able divine, a man of the spiritt, and after sermon Mrs Edwards, wife to the man that shows the Crown, being more zealouse than the rest of the fanaticall sisters that were then there came to him, and gave him thankes for his sermon, and hee then got such an acquaintance with her that hee came the next day to visitt her at her husbands house in the Tower, where hee allsoe got an acquaintance with him, and has since been often at his house, and did often bring his sonne to him (who was allsoe in this enterprise), who pretended love to Mr Edwards his daughter, and they bringing friends often to see the Crown, found that Mr Edwards was generally alone when hee did shew it and knowing that they could goe in and out of the Tower without suspition they came on Tuesday morning early to Mr Edwards with a third parson, and desiered him to shew this person the crown, which hee consented to doe, and went with them to the roome where the Crown was kept; and as soon as hee had opened the doore they gagged him and wounded him, and then tooke the Crown, Septer and Globe concealed them under theire clothes and endevoured to make theire escape, but were discoverd and taken, and how they were discovered the Gazette will inform you.

Ed Clarke