Enduring mystery of 'crown jewel' theft

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It happened a century ago, but has all the ingredients of a modern detective thriller, theft, dishonour and rumours of sexual indiscretion.

On 6 July 1907, the Irish 'crown jewels' were discovered to have been stolen from Dublin Castle.

The jewels were the insignia of the Illustrious Order of St Patrick, instituted in 1783 as the Irish equivalent of the Order of the Garter.

Normally kept in a bank vault, they had been moved in 1903 to Dublin Castle, the centre of British rule in pre-independence Ireland.

Four days before a visit by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra they were found to be missing, stolen from the safe - along with jewellery owned by Vicars' mother - by persons unknown.

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