Historic Castle Reopens, Suffers $1.4M Theft

Mary Queen of Scots' priceless rosary among stolen items
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2021 10:55 AM CDT
Historic Castle Reopens, Suffers $1.4M Theft
Arundel Castle is pictured on Sept. 22, 2016.   (Wikimedia/MrsEllacott)

Thieves have stolen historic treasures from England's Arundel Castle, including the rosary beads that Mary Queen of Scots carried to her execution in 1587. The thieves gained entry to the castle, occupied for centuries by the dukes of Norfolk, around 10:30pm local time on Friday by smashing a window near a display cabinet, from which 22 gold and silver items were taken. Among those items: an "irreplaceable" rosary and five gold coronation cups gifted by Mary to the family of Thomas Howard, the fourth Duke of Norfolk, who'd hoped to marry her as part of a plot to overthrow Queen Elizabeth I before his own execution, per the Telegraph and National. Activating a burglar alarm, the intruders stayed only minutes and are thought to have escaped in a vehicle found burned out less than 10 miles from the West Sussex scene.

Police are seeking information on anyone suspicious seen near the castle on Friday or in the preceding days. The castle had only reopened to the public on May 18. As visitors had to register and pay online, police are searching booking records in the hope that the intruders may have made a last-minute reconnaissance trip, per the Telegraph. There are some fears that the stolen items could be melted down. They "have significant monetary value, but as unique artifacts of the Duke of Norfolk's collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance," a rep for Arundel Castle Trustees says, per the Guardian. "We therefore urge anyone with information to come forward to the police to assist them in returning these treasures back where they belong." (More theft stories.)

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