ENTRY: the TWELFTH
TO KILL A KING & CROWN A CRIMINAL
– or -
MAKEUP & MULLIGRUBS
‘…however confident one may be in the security of a well thought out and well proven system of protecting oneself from harm, fate still deals its occasional dirty hand.’
2nd May 17_ A.M. Weather – abominable, breakfast – tolerable, the previous night’s company – sensational. The evening last spent at the Playhouse with Saucy Susan, the new understudy to Frivolous Fanny. A most talent’d young lady, whose ability to perform on and off stage is a marvel both to behold and experience. NOTE: Particularly memorable for her accomplish’d depth when practicing a private ‘Aria’ on me. NOTE: Also thoroughly enjoy’d the encore.
Was on the point of taking my draught of breakfast ale when, to my great annoyance, was interrupt’d by Penny Puddings grasping a rather grubby looking letter.
Recently heard from Thos. Boghurst, viz. one of my informers, that my nemesis in the underworld, viz. Tyler, has reestablish’d himself around Seven Dials. My last dealing with Tyler, at Bow Street’s request, was my rescue of a young lady he held captive. Quite a daring rescue I most readily admit, which, with the aid of the Chimera and Crow, result’d in the fatal shooting of several of Tyler’s gang members…and burning down his residence. I thence fled to the coast till the matter, and the embers, had cool’d down. Thus, myself having been back in London for some time since my coastal foray, was not surpris’d the letter Penny Puddings hand’d me turn’d out to be from Tyler himself, and which read as follows:
The recent news of your return to London prompts me to request immediate amends for our last meeting. By this I refer to your hand in my fail’d ransom attempt, the killing of some of my most experienced employees, and for the burning down of my home. Not to mention that smaller yet equally aggravating matter of your robbing me earlier in the year last. So I now inform you that I have under close protection a covey of young ladies of your most intimate acquaintance. Namely three molls from your most frequent’d bawdy house. I have you now under close observation with every eye and ear under my control. If you even consider an attempt’d rescue, they will, at the slightest whisper of it, be immediately dispatch’d, their bodies thrown into the Thames, and their place of work burn’d to the ground with all the men and women inside lock’d therein. As you will have deduced from the delivery of this letter, I now know precisely who you really are, and the same shall be made public should you contradict any of my demands.
You will receive a letter deliver’d to you at the Fox’s Brush in the evening two days hence, explaining how these young ladies may be releas’d unharm’d.
Sent out immediate communications to John Crow and the Chimera to meet with me at the Fox’s Brush. Upon their arrival, show’d them Tyler’s letter. An hour later, a second letter arrived, and its contents were simple, if not somewhat extravagant. Tyler, considering himself ‘King’ of Seven Dials, and of its criminal environs, viz. London, demand’d we steal the Royal Crown from the Tower of London. It being, according to Tyler’s arrogance, both fitting for himself, and appropriate payment for my previous actions against him. Upon safe delivery of the crown to Tyler, the three captive ladies would be releas’d unharm’d. Appearing to have little choice but follow Tyler’s instructions, proceed’d to plan the same. NOTE: My true name and title proving far too useful in society, and on occasion at Court to risk its disgrace. Withholding it from my diaries on that account lest they be read by the wrong sort. NOTE: However popular it may prove with some of the more avant-garde ladies at Court.
THE NEW BLOOD: 6th May, 17_ After much debate and prologued analysis of the Jewel House and of the Tower, all agreed on the need for another crew member to help finalise and operate the plan. So, for my grandest of schemes thus far, recruit’d an old friend, viz. Charles Blood. Having been abroad for some years, Blood recently return’d to England after a successful taradiddle. Apparently, Blood convinced a Spanish nobleman into buying from him…a large portion of the Palace of Versailles.
Upon retiring for the night, King Louis found the Spaniard sitting up in his bed dipping a macaron into a draught of chocolate. The King was further enraged when the Spaniard, upon seeing the King, mistook him for one of his servants (who were part of the contract of purchase) and demand’d more pink macarons as the green ones were not to his taste. NOTE: Personally, am particularly fond of the green ones.
Charles Blood was not just the descendant of an infamous Bawd of the 1670s, but also of Colonel Thomas Blood, viz. who in 1671 became the only man to ever steal the Crown Jewels. Charles, having inherit’d Thomas’s cunning (and illegitimate last name) was perfect for the job. NOTE: Although Colonel Blood only managed to get the Crown Jewels just outside the Tower walls before his capture, he still pull’d off a most difficult taradiddle, although a little brutal in its handling. NOTE: ‘Tis common knowledge that Colonel Blood was mysteriously pardon’d after some private words between himself and King Charles II, though the reason for his Royal pardon has never been known.
MY GREATEST TARADIDDLE: 7th May, 17_ This taraddidle being somewhat more dangerous than average, and that it may be as fully record’d herein in the event of my UNLIKELY DEATH, I am, from this point onwards, inking it every day or two. It also being of significant cunning, and many lives depend on its success, I am initially having to omit certain details until the first phase of my plan is complete. These omissions being made lest this diary fall into the wrong hands.
Thus with Charles Blood part of our crew, hurried forth to recruit one of London’s finest thespianic sensations, viz. Frivolous Fanny. Notable not just for her fine acting, but also for her makeup abilities. These ‘tis said can turn even the ugliest of faces into the finest of characters…or the very very worst. Met in her dressing room and persuaded her into joining my crew by practicing a tongue twisting duet entitled ‘Six of One, and Thee Threes of the Other’. NOTE: Saucy Susan attempt’d to join in with the chorus. NOTE: Which rather ruin’d the title.
From thence, Fanny, together with her understudy Saucy Susan, both arm’d with a large makeup box, and I with another, hurried forth to improve the look of a corpse John Crow had collect’d from the anatomists. NOTE: For the first time in Fanny’s theatrical career, achieving a pale complexion on her fellow ‘actor’ prov’d little problem.
With all the necessary elements in place to steal the Crown from the Tower of London, we began our operation from both sides of the Tower walls. The Chimera, dress’d most respectably, tarried forth to the Jewel House to admire the Crown Jewels. There ‘met’ a another newly draft’d in accomplice, viz. the newly made-over corpse whom I’d placed seat’d on a bench outside the Jewel House. NOTE: Though of what the fellow died is unknown to us, but one hopes it’s not still CONTAGIOUS.
The Chimera, waiting with her ‘husband’, made a great display of concern at his swift decline of health. Being inevitably more practical to leave him outside, continued into the Jewel House alone. Once therein she explain’d with the utmost concern and deep sincerity how her husband had been greatly desirous to view the Crown Jewels having travell’d from West London that very morning. Yet, to her great surprise, he had been unexpectedly forced to wait outside due to his declining health. Still feeling concern’d about her sick husband, half way through her viewing ask’d most earnestly if the Keeper would send a Warder to check on his condition.
To the Keeper’s kindness, he oblig’d. Shortly after, a brandy-faced Warder return’d. Appearing somewhat awkward and unsure what to say to the Chimera, exchanged some brief words with the Keeper of the Tower before making his hasty exit. The latter took the Chimera aside, and sitting her down, uncomfortably explain’d to her that her husband had pass’d away. Being both shock’d and overcome at this unexpect’d news, she was swiftly taken from the Jewel House to a private room for consoling.
THE SECOND GREAT PLAGUE OF LONDON: Having hidden myself within the Tower, I will now, with the aid of news reports and official letters, ink the many events that unfold’d during my time at and around the Tower. As report’d in the news sheets deliver’d there, London was to suffer the greatest threat it had experienced for over one hundred years, which became known as – ‘The Second Great Plague of London’.
With an applaudable performance of convincing grief, and her well hidden fear at the onset of fever making her feel quite unwell, the Chimera demand’d a physician inspect the body there at the Tower…and discretely herself. Knowing of the proficient and highly experienced Dr. Haygarth, the Chimera insist’d that he be sent for. This was done, and after Dr. Haygarth closely inspect’d the body, point’d to the buboes under the dead fellow’s armpits, and declared him dead of plague. If this was not terrifying enough for all present, the sudden discovery of several more plague victims found dead within the confines of the Tower sent everyone into immediate panic.
Dr. Haygarth, being well experienced in plague, demand’d, without exception, that all who had contact with the victims be immediately confin’d to their rooms. Furthermore, and against the many protestations of the Keeper of the Tower, Haygarth further demand’d the entire Tower be lock’d down, with nobody going in, nor out, without direct authority of the King himself. NOTE: Such action was certainly the safest and most necessary procedure, for if the plague spread beyond the Tower, it could sweep throughout London quicker than the French Pox in Seven Dials.
Haygarth, explaining how he was unable to contract plague having once survived it, left immediately to inform the King, and took with him a letter from the Keeper of the Tower explaining the current state of affairs, and the severity of the threat to London. By the P.M., Haygarth return’d accompanied by an impeccably dress’d and extremely eloquent gentleman by the name of Sr. Wm. Fitzroy. The latter came bearing letters of introduction written in the King’s hand to both the Keeper of the Tower and of the Jewel House. The King, having appoint’d Sr. Wm. Fitzroy his sole representative in the matter, charged him with relaying all communications between the Tower and the Palace. Haygarth, in the same, was appoint’d sole Physician to the Tower for the duration of the plague, and was the only individual allow’d liberty of the Tower. This, the King’s letter explain’d, was on account of his previous experience with the disease, and excellent procedure follow’d in his insistence on locking down the Tower.
Thus, with the Tower gone into lockdown, the Chimera was now trapp’d within, and unable to reach the outside world until the plague subsided, or she herself fatally fell to its miasmic clutches. As with everyone within the Tower, the Chimera gather’d as many herbs as she could and frantically began making pomanders to hang about her chamber to prevent contagion. The invisible enemy, viz. disease, cannot be as easily fought as a Seven Dials ruffian.
Knowing Tyler would inevitably place a spy within the Tower to keep watchful eyes on us, kept myself hidden cunningly within the Tower in order to identify him. Frivolous Fanny and Saucy Susan, both of whom had arrived earlier that day with the pretence of visiting the Menagerie, also remain’d hidden inside with me. Thus, while everyone within the Tower swiftly learn’d of the plague outbreak, myself, now with the aid of Fanny and Susan as the Chimera was taken ill, began our efforts in identifying Tyler’s spy. NOTE: As well as several other undertakings still requiring their makeup skills.
NO NEWS LIKE BAD NEWS: 8th May, 17_ Awoke in the lower reaches of the Tower betwixt Frivolous Fanny and Saucy Susan. Susan, being of somewhat adventurous disposition, insist’d on trying out some dungeon manacles the night last. NOTE: She proved somewhat displeas’d that I’d forgotten to release her before I fell asleep. NOTE: Fanny mind’d not, however.
The morning post was deliver’d in profusion to the Tower, and all those lock’d herein read in shock of what was spreading though London in the West: In the LONDON POST:
’9th May, 17_ A larger than average outbreak of plague is currently gripping London in the West, and spreading outwards at fearful speed. His Majesty the King, currently in London, has thus far made no public declaration regarding the matter, neither has he declared any imminent decision for himself or the Royal Family to depart London. It has been report’d and observed that many in West London have been struck down, the total number being estimated in the low hundreds. With the numbers growing at increasing speed, it is strongly advised to avoid the effect’d areas. The number of effect’d, although high, is currently below those of the early days of the Great Plague so infamous in the previous century.’
Spent the night creeping around the Jewel House and making notes of the various treasure therein, while also searching for Tyler’s spy, and identified him. Being of paramount importance he knew little of our overall plan, kept a watchful eye on his movements lest he learn of and reveal our taraddidle.
10th May, 17_ A.M. The King’s emissary, viz. Sr. Wm. Fitzroy, brought his daily letter from the King as follows:
‘To the Keeper of the Tower,
10th May, 17 _ I hope this letter finds yourself and all those who have, by God’s Grace, been so far saved from the ravages of plague still strong of spirit, and faithful of heart in the Lord’s will. Sir William Fitzroy, appoint’d emissary between yourself and I, has, together with your own letters, been most efficient in his communications thus far regarding the sad state of affairs that currently hold you in such endangered isolation.
However, this isolation will continue to stand until I conclude the danger to London be safely over. Despite the speed by which the plague is spreading in the West, the importance of containing the plague within the Tower and preventing it spreading to the City is of paramount importance. Any who leave the Tower without my express authority will be convict’d and punish’d appropriately to their offense.
The King having made it clear that none would be given their liberty from the Tower, the Chimera had to occupy herself within as best as she could until, according to the letter from King, the threat of plague was over. Tyler’s spy having already identified the Chimera placed her, Fanny, Susan and myself in potential danger. By good fortune however, his fear of contracting plague kept him safely in his room for most of the day and night. Until new copies of the LONDON POST were deliver’d, when like a beetle emerging from the dirt, he scuttled out to read the latest.
Each day brought more plague bodies to light within the Tower, with each of the unaffected wondering if they would be next. NOTE: Have now had quite enough of foul smelling bodies.
12th May, 17_ A.M. Today’s copies of the LONDON POST deliver’d to the Tower report’d the following:
’12th May, 17_The recent outbreak of plague continues to spread, with daily bills of mortality increasing within every parish in the West. Thus far the number of deaths according to the bills is 4023. Public rumour that His Majesty (still currently residing in London) has taken ill with suspect’d plague remain unconfirm’d, with no formal confirmation of this having been yet releas’d from the Palace…’
With news of the King’s rumoured ill health, those here at Tower have become steadily more fearful of their own lives, most rarely leaving their rooms. Those who do, often gaze into London from the many vantage points around the Tower so they may better observe any signs of plague reaching the outside world. According to the news reports, it was spreading outward from the West, yet from their view into London, had not yet reach’d the world immediately beyond the Tower. It appear’d to all, that the Chimera and her husband, viz. corpse, had brought the infection from West London into the Tower. NOTE: John Crow was assured by the anatomists the corpse was no longer infectious.
P.M. Sr. Wm. Fitzroy once again return’d with the following letter form the Palace.
‘To the Keeper of the Tower,
12th May 17_ …You will no doubt have read the news reports concerning His Majesty’s health, and that this is a result of plague now so prevalent in West London. Although we have yet to make a public statement regarding this matter, We confirm that His Majesty is suffering from the disease, and at present displays no sign of improvement. His physicians are attempting many and varied methods of treatment, and until such time as his health returns, all communication between the Tower shall be the responsibility of His Majesty’s Privy Council. All procedures and responsibilities placed upon you, and those currently within the Tower that were order’d in His Majesty’s former letters to you still stand. You are command’d only to communicate with The Lord President of the Council via Sr. Wm. Fitzroy, and are still, by His Majesty’s command, to remain within the Tower.
The Lords of His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council’
13th May, 17_ Tyler’s spy on the inside, having identified the now sick and feverish Chimera, kept as close an eye on her as he could lest our plan to steal the Royal Crown contradict’d any of Tyler’s demands. Being in mortal fear of plague, he, together with the Keeper of the Jewel House, was not surprised when the Chimera awoke this A.M. and call’d most earnestly for Dr. Haygarth. She appear’d deathly pale, and after Haygarth’s inspection in the company of the Keeper’s of the Tower and the Jewel House, explain’d his diagnosis. Her inevitable close contact with her husband provided her little chance of withstanding contagion, and she was struck down with plague.
14th May, 17_ The Chimera’s health having drastically worsen’d today. It being a great shock to see. Spent as much time with her as I could without being discover’d. Losing her composure for a brief moment, the Chimera began a somewhat prolong’d and feverish ranting monologue about how the mastership of her art and the many accomplishments she had achieved were too great for her to meet such an end. Demanding to be releas’d from the Tower, she was declined. By the P.M., in the company of the Keeper’s of the Tower and Jewel House, Dr. Haygarth watchwatch’d as the Chimera’s one blue and one green eye slowly closed. With greater emotion than he’d shown with any other plague victim, pronounced her dead with the following: “As the butterfly improves the Summer with its fleeting yet colourful vibrance, the time we here knew this lady was our brief Summer.” It seems that however confident one may be in the security of a well thought out and well proven system of protecting oneself from harm, fate still deals its occasional dirty hand. NOTE: For such a courageous and talent’d lady such as her to die of plague is almost impossible to believe.
15th May, 17_ A.M. While the Chimera’s body was laid among the other corpses, Sr. Wm. Fitzroy’s Letter communicated the following shocking news:
‘To the Keeper of the Tower,
15th May 17_ … It is the duty of the Lords of His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council to inform you of the death of His Late Majesty King George. His physicians, despite continued and persevering efforts to save him, were unable to prevent the plague from proving fatal.
In order to maintain stability of Government during this terrible time, all haste has and will continue in the planning of a swift Coronation Ceremony for His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
As with His Late Majesty’s Coronation, the Crown, State Regalia et. al. will be collect’d and transport’d from the Tower to the Royal Robing Room at Westminster on the morning of the Coronation.
The Lords of His Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council’
16th May, 17_ With terror constantly report’d in the news sheets deliver’d to the Tower concerning ‘The Second Great Plague of London’, and the daily discovery of more victims within the Tower all those trapp’d herein have began to look upon what they valued most dearly before they too fell victims to plague. For a young steward and a maid, this was each other. So in the A.M., the melancholy was for everyone briefly lift’d, when, with the permission of the Keeper of the Tower, the two were married in the Tower’s Chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula. A happy affair, the celebrations filled with as much jollity as possible under such circumstances. NOTE: Sadly neither had the monies nor opportunity to acquire the other a wedding ring.
17th May, 17_ Thus far, the many bodies of plague victims found within the Tower have been temporarily stored, until safety permitted them buried outside the Tower. Due to their increasing number, and the pending Coronation, Dr. Haygarth suggest’d he remove them from the Tower to make the air safer for the morrow’s collection of the Crown and State Regalia. The Keeper of the Tower agreed, and in the P.M. Dr. Haygarth load’d a large cart with bodies, including that of the late Chimera, and trundled slowly out of the Tower. The gates were lock’d securely behind, keeping everyone still inside, unable to leave until grant’d permission from the Privy Council.
Shortly after, Dr. Haygarth paused his journey and made a brief examination of the bodies. Removing the lid of one coffin with a crowbar, was welcomed by the following statement from therein. “For what need could you have possibly conceived the necessity to nail down the lid! I can assure you it does nothing to prevent the smell of corpses you and your intimate friends from the Playhouse so convincingly made-up to look like plague victims!” To wit I replied. “Forgive me, but I thought the Chimera would prefer a secure and undisturb’d rest for her journey”. The response – “Well I did not!”
The contraction of a now past fever from the corpse we’d made up as her husband added that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’ to the Chimera’s death scene. This she had perform’d in front of the two Keepers and Tyler’s onlooking spy, and would have made Frivolous Fanny proud after her brief acting lessons. NOTE: Am most pleas’d my task of releasing the many other corpses around the Tower, which we have on loan from the anatomists, is now fully over. NOTE: One hopes the Tower will not reuse the many ale barrels we used to smuggle in and hide the many deceas’d.
After also letting both Frivolous Fanny and Saucy Susan out of their coffins, cast off my disguise as Dr. Haygarth. Crow arrived, present’d my sword to me, my pistols, green frockcoat, and gold trimmed tricorn. Thank’d Crow with the following. “First rate job on all those forged letters and newspapers Blood and yourself so promptly deliver’d each day.” His reply. “Some of my finest work I’d say. But printers ink is almost impossible to remove from ones fingers, just look at em – I should be called ‘Black Crow’!” Thence, after storing the cart and its decomposing contents, Crow, the Chimera and myself rode pell-mell to prepare for the next great phase of our plan.
18th May, 17_ A.M. Awoke and breakfasted like a King, then departed to crown one. Met with Blood, still cast in his role as the King’s emissary Sir William Fitzroy, and together with Crow, departed for the Tower. The Chimera removing herself to the Palace.
Arrived at the Tower, and trundled our way through the gates in our secure and heavily armed carriage. Sr. Wm. Fitzroy, viz. Blood, after presenting his daily letters to the Keepers of the Tower and the Jewel House, was accompanied by a gaggle of warders into the Jewel House. Therein presented another letter from the King to the Keeper. The contents ordered five gold gemstone rings and a necklace composed of pink and blue diamonds be taken from the Jewel House and transported together with the State Regalia. These, the King explain’d, were intended as coronation gifts for various deserving individuals including both Sr. Wm. Fitzroy, and Dr. Haygarth. In their case, due to the King’s grateful thanks and acknowledgment of their stalwart work during the continuing plague epidemic. The whole were then placed in two large trunks, and loaded into the carriage by four stout looking Warders.
We then all departed in our respective roles, with the Tower still firmly lock’d down, nobody else going in nor out till the King command’d. Stopp’d the coach and divided our forces. Blood with all but the Royal Crown and a small bag still lock’d safely within the coach, shook the reigns and drove onwards to the Palace, there to meet the Chimera and the King.
En-route in a second coach to deliver the crown to Tyler, Crow and I made a couple of brief stops. The first being for me to deliver, with the utmost anonymity, the gift of the pink and blue diamond necklace to the Lady of the Fans. The second to arrange delivery of two gemstone rings to the two young newlyweds whose wedding I had attend’d as Dr. Haygarth while at the Tower. The remaining rings having been divided among myself, Blood, Crow and the Chimera. NOTE: During my time at the Tower, had made successful drawings of the aforemention’d treasures, and convincing copies made. These were exchang’d with the originals and placed with the remaining State Regalia once we had it aboard our carriage.
Whilst Crow drove the carriage to Seven Dials, I sat within updating this diary, not knowing if it will be my last opportunity, as Tyler’s ability to keep his word is yet unproven.
The Chimera, already at the Palace, was informing the King of the theft of the Crown Jewels. Our reinvent’d tale being that Tyler, the self-styled King of the London underworld, was himself responsible for the theft by means of a fake outbreak of plague. With the arrival of Blood delivering the Crown Jewels to the King as proof, the Chimera will already have shown him the many letters from both the Keeper of the Tower and the Jewel House. Tyler being additionally incriminated by his own hand, with the letter sent to myself ordering me to steal the Crown. NOTE: By some ‘accident’, the top of the letter, on which my name was address’d, seem’d to have been torn off.
Tyler’s spy within the Tower, and who, as with the remainder of its occupance, is still safely lock’d therein, will also be incriminated. His false charge? Distributing the many corpses made up to look like plague victims. The makeup boxes hidden beneath his bed being proof enough. NOTE: The King being also inform’d how we, myself, viz. under my non-alias, were unable to rescue the crown, which can be found at Tyler’s safe house in Seven Dials. NOTE: One can only imagine how, once all arrest’d, they will be treat’d by the gaolers et.al. for having instill’d so much fear of plague upon them.
The King will inevitably dispatch an immediate heavily arm’d force to retrieve the crown, and arrest Tyler and his gang members at Seven Dials. Thus, my final task being to personally deliver the crown to Tyler, and see the safe release of the three young ladies he holds there captive. Have sharpen’d my sword, and primed my pistols in grave anticipation of a melee. NOTE: Also prepared a special bundle to deliver with the crown as discretely as possible. Its dead weight being somewhat cumbersome.
Friend & member of the Highwayman’s Crew
19th May, 17_ I am completing this diary for the gentleman whom I consider my greatest friend.
Upon arriving at Seven Dials, waited while R_ Highwayman enter’d Tyler’s safe house with an unusually large bundle slung over his shoulder. Not long after, the three ladies Tyler held captive were push’d outside, and after some hasty explanation, I usher’d them safely into the carriage. Waited for R_ Highwayman, but nothing. Noticed him and Tyler at an upstairs window begin an exchange of blades. At the same time, the King’s men arrived with Blood and the Chimera. Like a swarm of bees descending into a jar of honey, the King’s men swept into Tyler’s safe house. Could hear many shots being fired, and smoke begin to appear from the windows and front door.
Tyler was dragg’d out, badly wounded but alive, it being impossible for him to plead innocence while clutching the Royal Crown in one hand. Tyler’s gang members were also dragg’d from the building, and placed into secure prison carriages. The house continued to burn, and unable then to enter the flames, watch’d as it became engulf’d by them.
I write with a heavy heart, as the charred remains of the only body later found therein must only be that of my friend. He was the finest highwayman, tarradiddler and libertine London has seen for over a century. I could here write a eulogy of his skill, charm and wit, but his own words in these diary entries are his greatest testament.
I now go to tie up loose ends by departing now for the anatomists, one hopes they will forgive the discrepant number of corpses they supplied us, and the number return’d, we seem to have lost one somewhere. There to settle up for the use of them as we’d paid on account. One hopes they still offer a bulk discount.
Friend & member of the Highwayman’s Crew
22nd May, 17_ After the arrest of Tyler and his gang members, all were immediately sent to the Tower under charges of Treason. Tyler’s spy, whom I’d spent some time avoiding while there, has also been arrest’d and imprison’d. A most fitting if not poetic end to all.
Unlike Colonel Thomas Blood in 1671, Tyler receiv’d no Royal Pardon. We, on the other hand, are most grateful to the King for bestowing such a handsome reward upon us all for stealing the Crown Jewels.
One imagines our adventure will never make the news sheets. Nor future pages of an antiquaries’ annals for this century. Yet the current cover-up of this affair is most understandable.
R_ Highwayman’s share of the reward was given to a young couple who formerly work’d at, and were married in the Tower. They having receiv’d a letter from an anonymous gentleman stating that an unclaim’d reward is currently being held by me. The letter, apparently included two rings, as they had not been in a position to acquire any for their wedding.
The letter suggest’d they purchase and rebuild a burnt out building in Seven Dials (Tyler’s safe house) with the reward money. This I gave them, and they are currently undertaking its refurbishment with the intent of opening a new drinking establishment named – THE CROWN. They have since been inform’d by the anonymous gentleman, that he hopes to attend its merry opening, and is looking forward to sampling some Crown Ale.
VOLUME: the FIRST
POST SCRIPT: the RAKISH HIGHWAYMAN may return…
According to a wanted poster outside a charming little bawdy house…I’m dangerous, unapproachable and worth 200 Guineas to swing. According to others I’m a rogue, a rake and libertine. The truth is I am a gentleman, and I extract guineas, jewels and valuables from those who don’t deserve them. Gin Lane and Beer Streets are my locals, the road is my office, the 18th century is my home.