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Mary Queen of Scots’ rosary beads stolen in Arundel Castle heist | Planet Attractions
     

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Mary Queen of Scots’ rosary beads stolen in Arundel Castle heist

The gold rosary beads were snatched alongside several coronation cups that Mary gifted to the Earl Marshal




The gold rosary beads were believed to have been carried by Mary to her execution in 1587   Credit: Arundel Castle

A set of “irreplaceable” gold rosary beads owned by Mary Queen of Scots have been stolen from Arundel Castle in West Sussex, UK.

The rosary beads, believed to have been carried by Mary to her execution in 1587, were snatched along with other artefacts worth more than £1m (US$1.4m, €1.16m), in a raid of the castle last week.

Several coronation cups given to the Earl Marshal by Mary were also taken.

“The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance,” said a spokesperson for the Arundel Castle Trustees.

The items were taken from a display cabinet located along the public route of the castle on Friday, May 21, just three days after it reopened to the public.

Staff were alerted to the break-in at 10:30 pm by a burglar alarm, with police arriving at the scene soon after.

An abandoned burned out 4x4 saloon car found nearby is believed to be connected to the robbery.

“Police are seeking thieves who broke into Arundel Castle and stole gold and silver items worth in excess of £1m,” said a spokesperson from Sussex Police.

“Various items have been stolen of great historical significance. These include the gold rosary beads, carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587, several coronation cups given by the sovereign to the Earl Marshal of the other day, and other gold and silver treasures.

“The rosary is of little intrinsic value as metal, but as a piece of the Howard family history and the nation’s heritage it is irreplaceable,” the spokesperson added.

Stolen to order

Peter Squires, professor of criminology at the University of Brighton, said that thefts of “antiquities or cultural artefacts” were surprisingly common, with items often being stolen to order for the private collections of the very wealthy.

“In war zones in the Middle East, there is a lot of evidence of museums being looted and the stolen items quickly finding themselves on the dark web where they are bid on by dealers,” he told BBC Radio Sussex.

“Gold may just be melted down, which massively reduces its value, so to find someone who wants the items rather than just the bullion value is the thieves’ objective here.”

Professor Kate Williams of Reading University said: “When Mary fled Scotland into England most of her belongings were despoiled and shared out.”

“After she was executed, nearly everything she had taken and burned because people were concerned she would turn into a Catholic martyr. We had one tiny memorial of Mary Queen of Scots - and now it’s gone.”


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Mary Queen of Scots’ rosary beads stolen in Arundel Castle heist | Planet Attractions

news

Mary Queen of Scots’ rosary beads stolen in Arundel Castle heist

The gold rosary beads were snatched alongside several coronation cups that Mary gifted to the Earl Marshal




The gold rosary beads were believed to have been carried by Mary to her execution in 1587   Credit: Arundel Castle

A set of “irreplaceable” gold rosary beads owned by Mary Queen of Scots have been stolen from Arundel Castle in West Sussex, UK.

The rosary beads, believed to have been carried by Mary to her execution in 1587, were snatched along with other artefacts worth more than £1m (US$1.4m, €1.16m), in a raid of the castle last week.

Several coronation cups given to the Earl Marshal by Mary were also taken.

“The stolen items have significant monetary value, but as unique artefacts of the Duke of Norfolk’s collection have immeasurably greater and priceless historical importance,” said a spokesperson for the Arundel Castle Trustees.

The items were taken from a display cabinet located along the public route of the castle on Friday, May 21, just three days after it reopened to the public.

Staff were alerted to the break-in at 10:30 pm by a burglar alarm, with police arriving at the scene soon after.

An abandoned burned out 4x4 saloon car found nearby is believed to be connected to the robbery.

“Police are seeking thieves who broke into Arundel Castle and stole gold and silver items worth in excess of £1m,” said a spokesperson from Sussex Police.

“Various items have been stolen of great historical significance. These include the gold rosary beads, carried by Mary Queen of Scots at her execution in 1587, several coronation cups given by the sovereign to the Earl Marshal of the other day, and other gold and silver treasures.

“The rosary is of little intrinsic value as metal, but as a piece of the Howard family history and the nation’s heritage it is irreplaceable,” the spokesperson added.

Stolen to order

Peter Squires, professor of criminology at the University of Brighton, said that thefts of “antiquities or cultural artefacts” were surprisingly common, with items often being stolen to order for the private collections of the very wealthy.

“In war zones in the Middle East, there is a lot of evidence of museums being looted and the stolen items quickly finding themselves on the dark web where they are bid on by dealers,” he told BBC Radio Sussex.

“Gold may just be melted down, which massively reduces its value, so to find someone who wants the items rather than just the bullion value is the thieves’ objective here.”

Professor Kate Williams of Reading University said: “When Mary fled Scotland into England most of her belongings were despoiled and shared out.”

“After she was executed, nearly everything she had taken and burned because people were concerned she would turn into a Catholic martyr. We had one tiny memorial of Mary Queen of Scots - and now it’s gone.”


 



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