DETAILS of an extraordinary plot by terrorists to kidnap Queen Victoria at gun-point have been revealed in newly released historical records.
The National Archives records - kept secret for 147 years - detail a report from an ex-police officer who became aware of the plan.
He said that “desperate and daring” Irish Republicans planned to hold the Queen hostage after kidnapping her from her Balmoral estate.
The gun-wielding terrorists intended to use the Queen as ransom against the government, whom they wanted to see release Republicans from jails in Britain and Ireland.
The ex-officer exposed the threat regarding a gang in Salford, according to files on the matter.
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 added.
“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 warning was sent to Scotland Yard on October 14 1867 and said that the gang expected “to put the plan into execution on Tuesday”.
At the time, the warning about the plan was considered to be serious and armed-undercover detectives were sent to Balmoral to protect the Queen.
The threat reduced several days later, once the plotters became aware that the police knew of their plan, and the security operation at the Queen’s Aberdeenshire estate was scaled down.
The files are now in the National Archives at Kew, West London, after being kept secret for 147 years.