The Irish crown jewels were discovered missing on July 6, 1907 and are now estimated to be worth several million pounds. The regalia included a gold crown, a silver crown and a pair of gold earrings as well as a diamond ring.
The elite aristocratic order was founded by St. Patrick, the last knight of the Order of St. Patrick and the insignia were worn by his son, King Patrick II of Ireland and his wife, Queen Elizabeth II.
The jewels were housed in the Upper Courtyard, where the Arms Office was located, and the office was located on the corner of St George’s Street and Queen Street in Dublin City Hall.
The Irish crown jewels were last seen on June 11 and were discovered missing on July 6.
Scotland Yard offered a reward for information leading to the whereabouts of the jewels and the vicar was accused of negligence in handling the crown jewels. The Metropolitan Police, Scotland Yard, the Police Service of Ireland and other law enforcement agencies even offered to help with the investigation.
At the time of the theft the country was in the midst of a civil war between the Catholic and Protestant churches in Ireland.
The fact that the castles were not enforced led to the belief that it was an inside job, and given that homosexuality was considered a crime, the king and viceroy would have liked to avoid scandal. The theory is that Shackleton was the mastermind of the theft.
Other theories include that the theft was carried out by a republican (or alternatively unionist) group, that Lord Haddo may have been involved, or that it was arranged by the monarchy (the jewels were part of a badge worn by Queen Elizabeth II, set with Indian diamonds). This last theory has been denied by Buckingham Palace, and the other theories have yet to be disproved.
A jeweler named James Weldon received a letter indicating the whereabouts and identifying the person responsible as Shackleton. There have been a number of false alarms over the years, but the jewels are still in the wind today.
By now it’s plausible to think the jewels have been dismantled and sold through the years.
A novel titled The New England Vampire offers a very unique storyline on what happened to the jewels. Join the discussion and let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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