OTD 110 years ago: Irish Crown Jewels Stolen

gleeful

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On 06/07/1907 the Irish Crown Jewels were stolen. They were never found and no one was ever caught for the crime.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Crown_Jewels



"A police investigation was conducted by the Dublin Metropolitan Police (DMP). Posters issued by the DMP depicted and described the missing jewels. Detective Chief Inspector John Kane of Scotland Yard arrived on 12 July to assist. His report, never released, is said to have named the culprit and to have been suppressed by the RIC. Vicars refused to resign his position, and similarly refused to appear at a Viceregal Commission into the theft held from 10 January 1908.

Vicars argued for a public Royal Commission instead, which would have had power to subpoena witnesses. He publicly accused his second in command, Francis Shackleton, of the theft. Kane explicitly denied to the Commission that Shackleton, brother of the explorer Ernest Shackleton, was involved. Shackleton was exonerated in the Commission's report, and Vicars was found to have "not exercise[d] due vigilance or proper care as the custodian of the regalia." Vicars was compelled to resign, as were all the staff in his personal employ."

A 1967 book suggests that the 1908 Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans" was inspired by the theft; author Arthur Conan Doyle was a friend of Vicars, and the fictional Valentine Walters, who steals the Plans but is caught by Holmes, has similarities with Francis Shackleton.

A 2002 book suggests the jewels were stolen as a Unionist plot to embarrass the Liberal government, and later secretly returned to the Royal Family.
 


Deadlock

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A 2002 book suggests the jewels were stolen as a Unionist plot to embarrass the Liberal government, and later secretly returned to the Royal Family.
Interesting OP - thanks. Are all the Royal Jewels not kept on secure public display, meaning this could be checked out? If not another State Visit by MDH to Buck Palace and a rummage in the Royal chests of drawers seem to be in order ...
 

gleeful

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Interesting OP - thanks. Are all the Royal Jewels not kept on secure public display, meaning this could be checked out? If not another State Visit by MDH to Buck Palace and a rummage in the Royal chests of drawers seem to be in order ...
Even if true - wouldn't the UK Royal Family not own these jewels anyway?
 

ruserious

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Another point of interest: Part of the Russian Crown Jewels were once kept in the home of Harry Boland's mother, Kathleen. Collins had given the Russian Soviet a twenty grand loan and got part of the jewels as collateral. Kathleen only surrendered them in '32 once Dev came to power. They were eventually handed back to Russia in 1949 and we got our money back.
 

Deadlock

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Even if true - wouldn't the UK Royal Family not own these jewels anyway?
It's a good question - from the same reference you cite "The Order of St. Patrick was an order of knights established in 1783 by George III as King of Ireland to be an Irish equivalent of the English Order of the Garter and the Scottish Order of the Thistle. The British monarch, as monarch first of Ireland and later of the United Kingdom, was the Sovereign of the Order; and the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland was the Grand Master in the absence of the Sovereign. The insignia were worn by the Sovereign at the investiture of new Knights as members of the Order, and by the Grand Master on other formal ceremonial occasions."

That suggest to me that they were/are/should be the property of the Kingdom of Ireland - with the RoI and NI as successor states. I suppose the comparable history would be the French Crown Jewels - sold in the course of the 3rd Republic - as the property of France.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Crown_Jewels

ETA - To clarify - George was monarch of Ireland at the time - it occurred before the creation of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and hence AFAIK, not the property of the royal family per se.
 
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