Blood's attempt to
steale the Crown1

by Andrew Marvell

When daring Blood, his rents to have regain'd,
Upon the English Diadem distrain'd,
He chose the Cassock, surcingle, and Gown
(No mask so fit for one that robbs a Crown);
But his lay-pity underneath prevayl'd
And while he spar'd the Keeper's life, he fail'd.
With the Priests Vestments had he but put on
A Bishops cruelty, the Crown was gone.

1.Colonel Thomas Blood (1618?-1680?), a daring adventurer,
was rewarded for his activities on the Parliamentary side
in the Civil Wars with lands in Ireland which were confis-
cated after the Restoration. He twice attempted to kidnap
the Duke of Ormonde, whom, as Lord-Lieutenant, Blood
held responsible for the confiscation. In May 1671 Blood,
disguised as a parson, nearly succeeded in an attempt to
make off with the crown jewels. He was captured, but ref-
using to talk to an examining magistrate, was brought be-
fore the King, who pardoned him, restored his lands, and
employed him as an intelligence agent.

Marvell, Andrew. Complete Poetry. George deF. Lord, Ed.
London: J. M. Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1984. 193.

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Created by Anniina Jokinen on May 19, 1997. Last updated on September 10, 2006.