Irish republicans plotted to kidnap Queen Victoria: records

Irish republicans plotted to kidnap Queen Victoria: records

Gun-toting Irish Republicans planned to kidnap Queen Victoria in 1867 from her estate at Balmoral, according to newly-released historical records of the sensational plot.

An ex-police officer, who had got wind of the plot, said the gang planned to hold the Queen hostage in a shabby cottage.

The rifle-carrying 'terrorists' intended to keep her locked up until the government gave in to their demands to release Republicans from jails in Britain and Ireland, the Mirror reported.

The warning about the plot was taken so seriously that dozens of undercover detectives armed with revolvers and cutlasses were sent to Balmoral to protect Queen Victoria, the report said citing the documents.

Files show the ex-officer raised the alarm about the gang in Salford.

Manchester's chief constable then wrote to Scotland Yard: "They (the Republicans) believe Her Majesty goes about the country with very few attendants, no guard and that there will be no difficulty in accomplishing their design."

"I can scarcely credit the possibility of an attempt of such an audacious character being carried into execution," he wrote.

"This informant, however, who is an Englishman, intelligent and was perfectly sober when he made the statement, expressed his firm belief from his knowledge of the desperate and daring character of the leader and his party that unless their plans are frustrated they will assuredly carry them out," the constable was quoted as saying.

The warning was sent to Scotland Yard on October 14, 1867 – when John Brown was Victoria's personal servant – and said the gang expected "to put the plan into execution on Tuesday".

The files are now in the National Archives at Kew, West London, after being kept secret for 147 years.

But it seemed the plotters realised the police had rumbled their plan, and the security operation at the Queen's estate in Aberdeenshire was scaled down a few days later.

Queen Victoria survived several attempts on her life by stalkers and political extremists but survived to become ­Britain's longest-reigning monarch, a record she still holds.

Queen Victoria was 48-years-old at the time of the plot and 30 years into her reign which ended in 1901 when she died at the age of 81.

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