Thieves stole $ 1.4 million worth of gold and silver items, including the golden rosary of Mary Queen of Scots, from Arundel Castle, a centuries-old building in England that houses various artifacts associated with the British monarchy. The theft came just days after the site reopened to the public after months of closure as a result of Covid-related national isolation in England.
In a robbery statement, Sussex Police said the stolen items were “of great historical significance.” Also during the theft, the coronation cups, presented by Mary to the Earl of Marshal, were stolen.
Maria held the rosary on the day of her execution in 1587. Sussex Police said that while they have little intrinsic value as metal, they are irreplaceable due to their importance to British history. They have long been displayed in the lock in the closet, along with other items.
The robbery took place at 22:30 on May 21, according to Sussex Police. After the thieves broke in, an alarm went off and the police announced that they had arrived in a matter of minutes.
Police are investigating whether the incident involving the burning of a saloon in the nearby town of Barlavington is related to a robbery. In a statement, a spokesman for the Trustees of Arundel Castle said: “The stolen items are of significant monetary value, but as unique artifacts, the Duke of Norfolk’s collections are of immeasurably greater and invaluable historical significance.
Peter Squire noted that there had been a surprising number of antiquities and heritage thefts in recent years. He said that things are often stolen to order, and then they end up in private collections.
In an interview with the BBC, the professor said that in the war zones in the Middle East, there was a lot of evidence of the looting of museums and that stolen items were quickly leaking onto the Internet, where dealers were betting on them. Of course, gold can simply be smelted, but this greatly reduces its value, so finding someone who needs items and not just bars is the goal of thieves.
Professor Keith Williams of the University of Reading explains: “When [Mary] fled from Scotland to England, most of her property was looted. After the execution, almost everything that remained with her was burned, because there were fears that she would be perceived as a Catholic martyr. ”
Molly O’Malley of Chichester’s Criminal Investigation Office urged people who were in Arundel on Friday night and saw any suspicious activity in the castle area to contact the police, and immediately report offers to buy stolen items if any followed.
Who was Mary Stuart?
Mary Queen of Scott was born at Linlithgow Palace in 1542 and became queen when her father died shortly after her birth. In 1548, Mary had to move to France, while Scotland was ruled by regents.
Mary Queen of Scott returned to Scotland in 1561 and ascended the Scottish throne, after six years of reign at the age of 24, she had to abdicate.
After an unsuccessful attempt to regain the throne, Mary fled to England in search of the protection of her cousin Elizabeth I.
Previously, Mary Queen of Scott claimed the English crown, and many English Catholics considered her the rightful ruler. Mary Stuart was accused of conspiracy to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I and beheaded in February 1587.
Before being executed at Fotheringay Castle in 1587, she spent 18 years in custody at Sheffield Castle. She was 44 years old. Her son James became King of Scotland and England.
They built Arundel Castle during the time of William the Conqueror. The owner of the castle traditionally carries the title of Earl of Arundel (the oldest earldom in Britain).
Since the 15th century, the Arundel castle has served as the main residence of the Howard Dukes of Norfolk, who inherited it from previous owners. The owners of the castle appear on the pages of Shakespeare’s historical chronicles.
Arundel Castle was also visited by English monarchs: in 1380, Heinrich Bolingbrook played here a wedding with Maria de Bohun, and in 1846 Queen Victoria and her husband visited it. The castle itself and the surrounding land are mostly open to the public.
The Duke of Norfolk is also the Earl Marshal of England – a title that the Howard family has owned for half a thousand years. The Earl Marshal organizes major state ceremonies such as the opening of parliament, coronations, and state funerals.
To describe the history of this castle, proudly and independently towering over the town of Arun, is to tell the history of England itself.
The Arundel castle often found itself in the center of political events and suffered a lot due to military actions during its almost thousand-year history.
In a long corridor, from the huge family portraits from the darkness of centuries, all the former owners will watch you. It is thanks to them that we admire today the exquisite interiors, the richest collection of paintings by famous artists, the collection of antique furniture, tapestries, heraldry, and rare art objects that were just household items for them.
There are many rare and unusual things here. In each of the many rooms of the castle with authentic furnishings and things of bygone times, you can spend hours listening to the inspired stories of the caretakers, mentally trying on ceremonial robes, knightly armor, imagining people who were sitting at this richly laid table. Their spirit is everywhere.
Duke Edward who lives in Arundel castle, unlike his ancestors, looks modest and somehow shy. His heir Henry, Earl of Arundel, and Earl of Surrey are typical playboys, active participants in auto racing.