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date: 16 August 2022

Blood, Thomasfree

(1617/18–1680)

Blood, Thomasfree

(1617/18–1680)
  • Alan Marshall

Thomas Blood (1617/1818–1680)

by unknown artist

The Pepys Library, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Blood, Thomas (1617/18–1680), adventurer and spy, was born at Sarney, co. Meath. His early life is obscure, but it was later claimed that his father (who was possibly Neptune Blood) was a blacksmith and ironworker, 'serious, honest and of no inferior credit' (R. H., 219).

Landowner and army officer

An Irish letter patent for Thomas Blood, gentleman, described various rented lands that he held in 1640, and in 1654–6 he was listed by the survey of Ireland as having owned some 220 acres of land at Sarney since 1640. In 1663 Blood was said to have possessed a small house and to have £100 a year in Dunboyne, which was of 'ancient inheritance', but all his lands were lost to him for his rebellious actions in that year (CSP Ire., 1663–5, 133).

Between 1641 and 1654 Blood fought in the civil wars of Ireland and England. The details are obscure. In 1671 he was described as a former captain in 'the old King's army under Sir Lewis Dyve' (BL, Add. MS 36916, fol. 233), a claim supported by the appearance of 'Captain Bludd' as captain to Dyves's quartermaster in the indigent officers' list of 1663. Another source reported that Blood had served in Ireland under George Monck (which might have been either in 1642–3 in Ormond's army or in 1647–9 in parliament's). When interviewed by the king in 1671 Blood claimed that he had fought in England as a royalist under Prince Rupert; indeed, the prince was said to remember Blood as a 'very stout bold fellow' (Sixth Report, HMC, 370; CSP dom., 1671–2, 373). There is, however, no firm evidence of this service, and Rupert may have been yet another person seduced by the Irishman's eloquence: John Evelyn later noted that Blood's speech was 'dangerously insinuating' (Evelyn, 3.567). In truth Blood may never have risen any higher than the rank of lieutenant in the course of the wars, though this did not prevent his regular self-promotion to captain, major, and finally colonel as he became ever more notorious.

In 1650 Blood, apparently having abandoned the royalist cause for that of parliament, was in Lancashire, where he married Mary Holcroft, daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel John Holcroft of Holcroft Hall, on 21 June. The couple had six children: Thomas junior (who became an accomplice of his father's but predeceased him), Holcroft Blood (Marlborough's general of artillery), William, Charles (an informer for James, duke of York), Mary, and Elizabeth. By 1651 Blood and his wife had moved back to his lands in Ireland where he remained until at least 1660. According to a published account of his life, in these years Blood acted as both a good protestant and a defender of English rule in Ireland, receiving the favour of the lord deputy, Henry Cromwell. In turn he was alienated in the early 1660s by the Restoration settlement of Ireland: the 'hard usage' that he received at the hands of the court of claims, some of his lands being taken away from him, reinforced the dissatisfaction of an Irish protestant and former parliamentarian with the policies of the new regime. By 1662 Blood had begun his life as a conspirator, heavily involved in the plot that came to light in Dublin in May 1663.

The Dublin plot

Blood acted as go-between and recruiter for the plot in Ireland. Those involved had connections with conspirators across the Irish Sea who were active in the north of England. According to the account that James Tanner later gave to the authorities, it was Blood's scheme that the Irish conspirators had intended to use in their attempt to seize both Dublin Castle, the seat of government, and James Butler, duke of Ormond, the lord lieutenant, in May 1663. Plotters disguised as ‘handicraft’ men waving petitions were initially to enter the castle to seize the duke. A raid on the castle itself was to follow while the guards would be distracted by a cartful of bread overturned at the castle gates; Blood and 100 men would rush the place. The scheme was betrayed by the government's paid informers, among them Philip Alden, one of the main conspirators. Blood allegedly urged that the plan should go ahead regardless. In the event, those not arrested promptly fled, Blood among them. He was said to have tried to rescue some of his captured friends, including his brother-in-law, from the scaffold, an attempt which put a price on his head. Blood was to see his subsequent escape from capture in miraculous terms as a blessing from God, and thereafter he tended to take all his daring escapades in this light: as assurance of God's providence in his life. At some point in the 1660s he wrote down all these 'deliverances' in a pocket book (Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. A. 185) that was taken from him upon his capture in 1671; the copy that came into the hands of Samuel Pepys provides a valuable source into both Blood's exploits and his mentality.

After fleeing from Dublin in 1663, Blood had various adventures and many close calls in the Irish countryside before he could escape to England. Of his arrogant courage there is little doubt: returning to Dublin to visit his wife, he dared to leave 'at the gates at noonday & through the streets' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. A. 185, fol. 473). In England a secret meeting with his mother-in-law in Lancashire nearly resulted in his capture; getting away, he wandered the north country, still in a state of disruption following the failure of the equally abortive northern plot.

Conspirator—and double agent?

Blood gradually made his way to London where he met up with other conspirators—some drawn from the nonconformist community, others former Cromwellians, republicans, and rogues—who collectively and somewhat clumsily opposed the government of Charles II. Blood also visited the Netherlands at this time, before returning to London. Thereafter he was reported to be engaged in a number of intrigues against the regime, from organizing meetings in Coleman Street (a notorious den of nonconformity, both religious and political) to outwitting the government's ‘trepanners’, trying to stay one jump ahead of the authorities and, in 1665, the plague.

In 1666 Blood was recruited for a secret mission: he and his friend John Lockyer visited the republican regicide Edmund Ludlow to try to persuade him to leave his exile in Switzerland and join with Algernon Sidney and others in a plan to overthrow the Restoration regime. The new plot was backed by the Dutch government, but in his fearful exile Ludlow chose to remain where he was and write his manuscript history of his times. Blood returned to England and in the following year was almost arrested on several occasions. He was almost certainly in London during the great fire in September 1666; in November he was on the edges of the failed Pentland rising in Scotland. Sojourns in Lancashire and Westmorland followed, but evidently tiring of these rebellious courses Blood and his family finally returned to London. Mary Blood and her family set up in Shoreditch, while the eldest son, Thomas, was apprenticed to an apothecary in Southwark (later taking to highway robbery under the alias Hunt). Blood himself, using the aliases Doctor Ayliffe and Doctor Allen, practised as a physician (despite lacking any qualifications) in semi-retirement from conspiracy.

Blood the conspirator in the 1660s was, however, not all he seemed. There is evidence that he had contacted the government at some point and may even have worked for them as a double agent spying on his friends. The papers of Joseph Williamson, under-secretary and the regime's security chief, appear to place Blood on the side of the regime at the very least in 1666, and possibly indicate his involvement in a scheme to capture Edmund Ludlow. This ambiguous role may explain how Blood managed to survive unscathed in this period and was even rewarded at his capture in 1671 following his attempt to steal the crown jewels.

In July 1667 Blood launched the first of a trio of daring adventures that made his name notorious. He helped rescue his friend, the plotter Captain John Mason, from an escort of soldiers who were taking him to York for his trial and probable execution. The ambush at Darrington, near Doncaster, during which five of Mason's guards were shot, was described by Edmund Ludlow as agreeable 'work for the Lord' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. hist. c.487, 1265). Blood himself was badly wounded and recognized by an informer travelling with the party, but escaped. Three years later another ambush reinforced Blood's notoriety.

The attack on the duke of Ormond

On the evening of 6 December 1670 five men led by 'Dr Allen' ambushed the carriage of the duke of Ormond as he was quietly returning to his residence at Clarence House. The raiders apparently intended either to murder the duke or to hold him for ransom for some 'ten or twenty thousand pounds' (Eighth Report, HMC, 155). The plan went badly wrong. The elderly Ormond fought back and brought down the horse, with its rider, on which the kidnappers were trying to place him. They then fired pistols at the prostrate Ormond as he was lying on the road—and missed. With signs of pursuit in the offing, ‘Dr Allen’ and his men promptly fled. A committee of the House of Lords was appointed to investigate the crime and soon discovered the names of the leading perpetrators: Thomas Blood (alias Dr Allen, Aylett, Aylofe, or Aleck), Thomas Blood junior (alias Hunt), and Richard Halliwell (alias Holloway). All three men and their dependants evaded the officers sent to seize them. A price of £1000 was set upon their heads by the government.

Blood had forgiven Ormond neither for the seizure of the lands nor for the imprisonment and execution of his friends in 1663. Indeed, according to one version, he intended to pay Ormond back in kind: the attackers were said to have dragged the duke to Tyburn and were attempting to string him up when he broke free. However, Blood may also have been sponsored in the kidnapping by Ormond's rivals at court. It was soon alleged that Blood had been prompted into the attack by none other than George Villiers, second duke of Buckingham. The duke assuredly had the connections with prominent dissidents, former Cromwellians, and republicans to stage such an affair: according to Roger North, he had at one time set himself up as 'one of the heads of that faction' (North, 1.68). His feuds at court were intense, occasionally violent, and he 'hated the Duke of Ormonde mortally' (Carte, 2.424). Blood was certainly later linked with Buckingham; that they were associated before 1671 is not unlikely, given Blood's connections with the nonconformist community. Blood, if no one else among the nonconformists, seems to have believed that Buckingham was their protector. Moreover a letter sent from Blood to his wife in November 1670 indicates that he was near to reaching some form of agreement with an important personage that very month. Ormond's son Thomas Butler, earl of Ossory, certainly believed that Buckingham was behind the attack on his father and openly threatened him should such an event happen again.

The theft of the crown jewels

Six months after the attack on Ormond, on 9 May 1671, Blood engaged in the last daring escapade of this sequence: his attempt to steal the crown jewels from the Tower of London. This finally led to his capture and to a change in his fortunes in the world of conspiracy and espionage.

Security surrounding the jewels was under Talbot Edwards, an elderly former soldier who was assistant keeper of the jewels and lived with his family above the room in which they were kept in Martin Tower. Edwards was permitted to make some profit out of his charge by taking a fee from curious visitors to the Tower. In April 1671 he had two visitors to his home: Doctor Ayliffe and his wife. Ayliffe, dressed in the habit of a parson, was most interested in the jewels, but unfortunately his wife was taken ill. The obliging Edwards allowed the lady to recover in his own apartment where his wife and daughter tended her. Ayliffe was willing to express his gratitude at such Christian charity and became a frequent visitor to the Edwards household as a result. Keen to establish this burgeoning friendship on firmer ground, Ayliffe suggested a match between Edwards's daughter and his own nephew. By such means did Dr Ayliffe, alias Thomas Blood, gain frequent access to the Tower.

Terms for the match being agreed, the marriage day dawned on 9 May 1671. At about seven o'clock in the morning five men rode up to the Tower. One, William Smith, a fifth monarchist, remained outside with the horses. Blood (disguised as Ayliffe), his son Thomas (playing the part of the enamoured nephew), Captain Robert Perot, a former silk-dyer (later hanged for his part in Monmouth's rising), and Captain Richard Halliwell (one of Blood's accomplices in the attack on Ormond) made their way to the Martin Tower. All the men were armed with pocket-pistols, knives, and rapiers disguised as canes. There Edwards met them. Blood suggested that the regalia might be shown to his friends while they waited for his wife to arrive. Halliwell remained on guard while the others proceeded to the room on the lowest level of the tower where the jewels were kept. Once inside, and with the door closed, Edwards was overpowered and silenced by a plug of wood in his mouth. It was later claimed that he was told that if he remained quiet he would come to no harm, but the old man struggled so much that he was given several 'unkind knocks on the head'; he was also stabbed and threatened with knives.

With Edwards out of the way, the jewels were distributed among the three men. Blood held the crown and after crushing it put it inside his parson's cloak, and Perot put the orb in his loose breeches, while Blood's son prepared to file the sceptre in two and put it in a bag. It was at this point that providence took a hand: Edwards's son, who had been overseas for several years, chose this moment to return home. He went to see his mother and sister, having first been stopped by the waiting Halliwell, then to see his father. Forewarned by this time, Blood and the others had left the jewel house and were on their way to the horses. However, the elder Edwards regained consciousness, managed to escape, and gave warning; his son soon found him, also raised the alarm, and with Captain Martin Beckman led the chase. Halliwell and the younger Blood reached their horses and rode off, though the latter in his haste crashed into the pole of a cart that had turned in front of him and was subsequently arrested, dazed but unhurt. After a brief struggle, in which shots were exchanged, Blood and Perot were also taken. Blood seems to have been undaunted by the failure of his scheme and is alleged to have merrily told Beckman that 'It was a gallant attempt … [but] … it was for a crown' (BL, Harley MS 6859, fols. 1–17).

Pardon

The capture of such a formidable set of outlaws did not provoke the consequences that everyone expected. Thomas Blood seems to have gloried in the deed, and when faced with examination in the Tower that he had so lately breached he demanded to see the king in person. To everyone's surprise, King Charles agreed. It is unlikely to have been simply idle curiosity on the king's part. Blood had great persons at court working on his behalf. One was undoubtedly Henry Bennet, earl of Arlington, the secretary of state, perhaps prompted by his right-hand man Joseph Williamson; Buckingham may have been another.

The king interviewed Blood on 12 May 1671. Details of what passed between the two men are sparse. It was later alleged that Blood admitted his involvement in the rescue of Mason and attack on Ormond, refused to name his fellow conspirators, lied about his age, and cheekily claimed that he had been engaged in a plot to kill Charles while the latter was bathing in the Thames but that 'his heart misgave him out of awe of His Majesty' (Carte, 2.422–3; CSP Venice, 1671–2, 49; Fourth Report, HMC, 370). Asked what he would do if his life were spared, Blood was alleged to have replied that he would endeavour to deserve it. After the interview Blood was returned to the Tower.

Blood's good fortune thereafter must not be found just in his native eloquence and persuasive manner, but in the regime's own plans for the declaration of indulgence that was issued on 15 March 1672. The offer of a form of religious toleration was intended to placate nonconformists on the eve of a new war with the Dutch, indeed to prevent elements of them from allying with the Dutch as many had done in the previous war. With these considerations in mind, the need for intelligence on the activities of the most militant members of the nonconformist community seems to have caused the regime to spare a man whom Edmund Ludlow described as 'having been acquainted with most of the secret passages that have been of late transacted in order to the reviving of the Lords witnesses' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. hist. c.487, 1265).

The way was soon cleared for Blood's public rehabilitation. Arlington worked hard in making Blood's peace with the cynically amused Ormond; Blood even wrote an apologetic and ingratiating letter to the duke asking his forgiveness. On 18 July 1671 Arlington dined at the Tower, bringing with him the warrant for Blood's release. By 5 August a courtier noted Blood lounging in the precincts of Whitehall, free and dressed in a

new suit and periwig … extraordinary pleasant and jocose: he has been at liberty this fortnight; he is nothing like the idea I have made to myself of him, for he is a tall rough-boned man, with small legs, a pock frecken[ed] face, with little hollow blue eyes.

Sixth Report, HMC, 370

On 26 August Blood received a full pardon for all his previous crimes and a grant of Irish lands worth £500 per annum. While Joseph Williamson thought that such an open action rather devalued Blood as a secret agent for the regime, he was privately to claim that Blood was still worth 'ten times the value [of the] Crowne' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. lett. d. 37, fol. 84).

Blood's fate was used as a spectacular display of royal mercy to reassure his still outlawed friends of the benefits that they could expect to receive should they make their peace. Arlington at least had no qualms about this, plainly telling the committee of foreign affairs on 22 October 1671 that 'upon the pardoning of Blood he went away among his brethren to bring in some of his friends on assurance of pardon' (TNA: PRO, SP 104/176, fol. 315). Soon afterwards a number of arrests were made of militants and former army officers, as Blood also named names. Others were indeed persuaded to come in to receive pardon. Blood was also soon being employed as a domestic intelligencer and mediator to several other parties, enabling him to spy on their activities. He provided Williamson with details of the movements, habits, and demands of the dissenters, information that was used to frame the declaration of indulgence. He intervened on behalf of the sectaries and acted as a channel between the court and certain presbyterian leaders. He was regarded, upon the publication of the declaration, as a man who could obtain—for a price—the necessary licences to worship. With the outbreak of war in 1672 Blood was occasionally sent abroad to spy on the Dutch and on those extremists who had not come in. Lastly Blood was used by many a court politician for their own purposes and rivalries, keeping in not only with Arlington and Williamson, but also with the duke of Lauderdale, the earl of Danby, and even the king's brother, the duke of York. From his daily resort at White's coffee house near the Royal Exchange Blood loudly proclaimed, 'It's no matter if one let[s] me fall, another takes me up. I'm the best tool they have' (CSP dom., 1671–2, 46).

The Popish Plot

When the allegations made by Titus Oates and others of a Popish Plot burst out in the autumn of 1678 Blood was swept ever further into a world of imaginary and sham plots. His actions are inevitably obscure, though the evidence suggests that his main role was as a spy and agent provocateur for the government. Little is known of Blood's dealings with Oates, though their names were occasionally linked by rumour at the height of the latter's fame. They may have met at the club of the whig magistrate Sir William Waller in Westminster Market Place, a club that both men patronized, though neither Blood nor Waller could have been considered allies of Oates and each regarded the other with contempt. According to one report Blood at one stage intended to damage Oates's credibility by planting treasonable letters in his papers to prove that he was the hireling of the presbyterian faction. This scheme, if it ever existed, failed to come off, though Blood was apparently never that sympathetic to either Oates or his confederate Israel Tonge, especially as the latter in his crazed ramblings was fond of blaming Blood for beginning the great fire of London.

When in January 1679 an Irish Catholic in the Marshalsea prison, James Netterville, revealed to a friend of Blood's, Arthur Bury, a scheme to turn the Popish Plot against the opposition and offered him a bribe of £500, Blood was in the background advising Bury to find out more about the plot. The information was passed on to Sir Joseph Williamson, though in the event Oates, William Bedloe, and Waller successfully intimidated Netterville, leaving Bury in the lurch. (This is Bury's version. Netterville's own account actually claimed that it was Blood himself rather than Bury whom he had spoken with and tried to bribe, only for Blood to tell all to Williamson.) Other schemes followed. Blood in these years was a useful agent of the secretariat, but his activities also put him in the public eye and made him a target for accusation. Blood certainly figured in the calculations of another informer, Thomas Dangerfield, author of the so-called Meal-Tub Plot (a Catholic attempt to undermine the advocates of the Popish Plot) who mentioned Blood as one of the major-generals in a possible rebel army. Blood subsequently investigated an alleged scheme for rebel commissions apparently engineered by Dangerfield to give his story credibility. In fact, during the course of the crisis of 1678–80, Blood seems to have cautiously placed himself on the side of the regime rather than with any of its whig opponents.

Downfall

Blood had broken with Buckingham at some point in the late 1670s. The duke's reputation, both political and sexual, was already lavish in its indiscretions and in 1680 Blood became involved in a ‘dirty tricks’ plot, evidently at the behest of the king's fallen minister, Thomas Osborne, earl of Danby, to bring down the whig leader with a charge of sodomy. Blood and the earl's servant Edward Christian appear to have provided money to suborn witnesses to make the accusation. Two Irishmen, Philomen Coddan and Samuel Ryther, were to swear that the duke had committed sodomy on one Sarah Harwood and then sent her into France; further witnesses were found in Philip Le Mar and his mother, Frances Loveland. In the event the plot fell apart as the mud flew in all directions and the various parties attempted to make political capital out of the affair.

According to Coddan's version of events, he and another Irishman, Maurice Hickey (alias Higgins or Higges), had drawn Ryther into the conspiracy in exchange for copious amounts of drink and money, intending him to act as first witness to the charge with Coddan himself as second witness. When Ryther began to get frightened and uncooperative Thomas Curtis, who was working for Blood, entered the scheme, trying to stiffen Ryther's resolve with promises of money and the protection of great persons. At one of the many meetings that took place in the disreputable taverns and alehouses of London they were joined by Blood himself. Blood's association with many at court in the 1670s had given him links with the factions there as a special agent and 'gun for hire'. Despite his vociferous denials he was undoubtedly involved in the plot against Buckingham, apparently acting as a go-between for Edward Christian and the Irish witnesses. Taking Coddan to one side, Blood asked him what he would swear against the duke; anything they asked him to, came the reply. Blood used all the talents at persuasion which were so central to his modus operandi. He was cautious but affable to all, a trait he appears to have deliberately cultivated. In his intelligence work his preferred methods—the ones he thought would achieve the best results—seem to have been the quiet word, the delicate bribe, the drink, or the persuasive conversation rather than violence or the threat of violence.

Unfortunately for Blood the whole plot soon began to unravel. In the game of double bluff that followed Coddan and Ryther soon changed sides, revealing the plot to Buckingham's solicitor Mr Whitaker; Coddan reportedly said that 'we will do this rogue Blood's business for him and get enough to swear against him by [the] time Sir William Waller comes to town' (The Narrative of the Design, 14). On 20 January 1680 Waller sent for Blood. Neither man liked the other and Waller's over-zealous pursuit of the plot—including bribery and tampering with witnesses—was eventually to cost him his place on the bench. At the meeting Blood was faced by Waller, Coddan, and Ryther, Whitaker, and Francis Jenks, a Buckingham client and old enemy. Blood attempted to brazen the affair out; he also resisted arrest for a few days, but was eventually arrested and placed in the Gatehouse prison. The plotters were soon mopped up, and after a series of engineered delays on both sides Blood, Christian, Le Mar, Curtis, Hickey, and three others were tried at the king's bench on charges of blasphemy, confederacy, and subornation: all were found guilty, severely fined, and gaoled.

In prison Blood caught a fever and, eventually released in July 1680, left it a sick man. By 22 August, after making his will, Blood lapsed into a coma, and on 24 August 1680 he died at his home in Bowling Alley, Westminster, aged sixty-two. He was buried in Tothill Fields, Westminster. Even his death was regarded as some trickery; to quash the rumours the authorities were forced to exhume his body.

Assessment

Thomas Blood was a strange mixture: deeply religious, a daring adventurer, a defender of nonconformity, and occasionally just plain greedy and untrustworthy. His career has few parallels in the period. Although his activities as plotter against, and then spy for, the regime of Charles II were not entirely untypical, his actions in the middle part of his life were quite unique. It was the trio of daring adventures between 1667 and 1671 that made Blood's name, yet his motivation remains obscure. He left no memoirs as such. His earliest biographer of 1680 appears to have had information either from Blood himself or from someone close to him; the work was signed by 'R. H.', possibly Richard Halliwell, Blood's accomplice in 1671. Blood's own correspondence is scarce, but the entries in the diary of deliverances seized in 1671 are very revealing. They are the products of nonconformist reflection and a belief in divine providence as it affected Blood's own life. Blood, a nonconformist who sought a Calvinist way to God, was more than just a one-dimensional adventurer: he was a man with a motive, a strong faith in God and in himself. This sustained him in his exploits, though even Thomas Blood was subject to self-doubt. He also possessed a strong streak of morality, claiming to avoid strong wine and drink, 'recreations, or pomps or execesse in apparele … quibling or jokeing … all obsene & scurulouse talke' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. A. 185, fol. 474). His double-sided morality is strikingly seen in his condemnation of the younger Thomas's activities as a highwayman for actions that the father had also used, but in another context. Common highway robbery was not, to Blood, at all like the conspiracy, treachery, kidnapping, possible murder, and violence in which he had engaged. Blood saw his own actions as a means to an end.

The raid on the crown jewels was thus not mere robbery, but possibly a slight against the monarchy by a republican rebel. Yet it was also rumoured that the act was merely mercenary, that Blood intended breaking up and selling the jewels. Edmund Ludlow was certainly puzzled by the affair and its result. The action did, however, raise Blood's reputation among his fellow nonconformists. They had, it was rumoured, disliked Blood's attack on Ormond: 'those congregations of nonconformists which … [Blood and his men] have formerly frequented abhor this fact, and would be glad to bring them to punishment if it were in their power' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. hist. c.487, 1265). Blood may well have gambled that the spectacular seizure of the crown jewels would make him more acceptable to those he called 'God's people' (Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. A. 185, fol. 475). He may also have thought that the robbery would give him access to the king where he could plead both his and their cause. Blood was a man who thought on a grand scale.

Even so there was in Blood the element of the eccentric gambler. He was a man who delighted to perform deeds for their own sake: thus his frequent resort to tricks and elaborate disguises, the baroque planning of the schemes he became involved with. Ultimately Blood's motivation in such matters could well have been the delight of making 'a noise in the world' and to escape at the last minute with all the skill of an adventurer. This mix of elements therefore should be seen together to make up the motivation of this greatest of all seventeenth-century adventurers.

Sources

  • CSP Ire., 1663–5
  • T. Blood, ‘Deliverances since I was for the Lord's cause’, Bodl. Oxf., MS Rawl. A. 185
  • E. Ludlow, ‘A voyce from the watch tower’, Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. hist. c. 487
  • memoirs and narratives by Sir Gilbert Talbot, BL, Harley MS 6859, fols. 1–17
  • Bodl. Oxf., MS Eng. lett. d. 37, fol. 84
  • foreign entry book, TNA: PRO, SP 104/176, fol. 315
  • CSP dom., 1660–85
  • A true narrative of the late design of the papists to charge their horrid plot upon the protestants, by endeavouring to corrupt Captain Bury and Alderman Brooks of Dublin (1679)
  • The narrative of the design lately laid by Philip Le Mar and several others against his grace George, duke of Buckingham (1680)
  • True domestic intelligence (1680)
  • W. C. Abbott, Colonel Thomas Blood, crown stealer, 1618–1680 (1911)
  • M. Petherick, Restoration rogues (1951)
  • A. Marshall, Intelligence and espionage in the reign of Charles II, 1660–1685 (1994)
  • Reports on private collection no. 122, NL Ire. [Blood Papers]
  • Fourth report, HMC, 3 (1874)
  • Sixth report, HMC, 5 (1877–8)
  • Seventh report, HMC, 6 (1879)
  • Eighth report, 3 vols. in 5, HMC, 7 (1881–1910)
  • Ninth report, 3 vols., HMC, 8 (1883–4)
  • A list of officers claiming to the sixty thousand pounds granted by his sacred majesty, for the relief of the truly loyal and indigent party (1663)
  • The horrid conspiracie of such impenitent traytors as intended a new rebellion in the kingdom of Ireland: with a list of prisoners, and the particular manner of seizing Dublin-Castle by Ludlow, and his accomplices (1663)
  • R. North, The lives of … Francis North … Dudley North … and … John North, ed. A. Jessopp, 3 vols. (1890)
  • T. Carte, An history of the life of James, duke of Ormonde, 3 vols. (1735–6)
  • CSP Venice, 1666–80
  • will, TNA: PRO, PROB 11/364, fols. 123–4

Archives

Likenesses

Wealth at Death

‘small temporal estate’; he had been bailed from gaol at a considerable sum and seemed to lack funds; the references in will to goods and chattels are not specified further; presumed he was living in poverty towards end of his life: will, TNA: PRO, PROB 11/364, fols. 123–4

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Bodleian Library, Oxford
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H. C. Hamilton & others, eds., , 24 vols., PRO (1860–1910)
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Magdalene College, Pepys Library, Cambridge
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J. Evelyn, ed. E. S. De Beer, 6 vols. (1955); repr. (2000)
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British Museum, London
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Historical Manuscripts Commission
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British Library, London
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National Archives of the United Kingdom, Public Record Office, London
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National Portrait Gallery, London
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R. Brown, H. F. Brown, & A. B. Hinds, eds., (1864–1947)