The boy Jones
Edward Jones or the boy Jones, as he was called by the British newspapers of the early Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

, was a notorious intruder into Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, in London, is the principal residence and office of the British monarch. Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is a setting for state occasions and royal hospitality...

 between 1838 and 1841. He later became the subject of a children's book and the film The Mudlark
The Mudlark
The Mudlark is a 1950 film made in Britain by 20th Century Fox, is a fictionalized account of how Queen Victoria was eventually brought out of her mourning for her dead husband, Prince Albert...

. The full story of his activities was told in Jan Bondeson's 2010 book Queen Victoria's Stalker.


He became the subject of numerous accounts in newspapers and satirical magazines and inspired a children's book and a film called The Mudlark
The Mudlark
The Mudlark is a 1950 film made in Britain by 20th Century Fox, is a fictionalized account of how Queen Victoria was eventually brought out of her mourning for her dead husband, Prince Albert...

. In an allusion to the famous Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 architect Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones
Inigo Jones is the first significant British architect of the modern period, and the first to bring Italianate Renaissance architecture to England...

, it was suggested that because of his "extraordinary powers of finding an entrance into the palace" he must be "a descendant of In-I-Go Jones".


Edward Jones was the son of a tailor in Westminster
Westminster is an area of central London, within the City of Westminster, England. It lies on the north bank of the River Thames, southwest of the City of London and southwest of Charing Cross...



In 1838, aged approximately 14, he entered Buckingham Palace, disguised as a sweep
Chimney sweep
A chimney sweep is a worker who clears ash and soot from chimneys. The chimney uses the pressure difference caused by a hot column of gas to create a draught and draw air over the hot coals or wood enabling continued combustion. Chimneys may be straight or contain many changes of direction. During...

. He was caught by a porter in the Marble Hall and, after a chase, captured by the police in St James's Street, with Queen Victoria's underwear stuffed down his trousers. He was brought before Queen Square Police Court on 14 December. It turned out that he had frequently mentioned his intention to enter the palace to his employer, a builder. Although he had apparently stolen linen and a regimental sword from the palace, he was acquitted by the jury.

On 30 November 1840, nine days after the birth of Queen Victoria's first child, Princess Victoria
Victoria, Princess Royal
The Princess Victoria, Princess Royal was the eldest child of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and Prince Albert. She was created Princess Royal of the United Kingdom in 1841. She became German Empress and Queen of Prussia by marriage to German Emperor Frederick III...

, he "scaled the wall of Buckingham Palace about half-way up Constitution Hill
Constitution Hill, London
Constitution Hill is a road in the City of Westminster in London. It connects the western end of The Mall with Hyde Park Corner, and is bordered by Buckingham Palace Gardens and Green Park. The term "Hill" is something of a misnomer; there is barely detectable slope but most observers would...

", entered the palace, and left it undetected. On 1 December 1840 he broke in again. Shortly after midnight a nurse discovered him under a sofa in the queen's dressing room and he was arrested. His father's plea of insanity being without success, he was convicted to three months House of Correction
House of Correction
The house of correction was a type of establishment built after the passing of the Elizabethan Poor Law , places where those who were "unwilling to work", including vagrants and beggars, were set to work. The building of houses of correction came after the passing of an amendment to the Elizabethan...

. The 1840 incident caused a stir because initially it was feared that it might affect the Queen, happening so shortly after childbed.

Before his release from Tothill Fields Prison
Tothill Fields Bridewell
Tothill Fields Bridewell was a prison located in the Westminster area of central London between 1618 and 1884. It was named 'Bridewell' after the Bridewell Palace, which during the 16th century had become one of the City of London's most important prisons...

 on 2 March 1841, attempts were made to persuade Edward Jones to join the navy. On 15 March 1841, after a snack in one of the royal apartments, "the boy Jones" was caught by the reinforced police force guarding the palace. This time he was sentenced to three months correction house with hard labour. This third incident caused a furore, and three additional palace sentries were appointed.

Later life

After his second release he refused an offer of £4 a week (£ today) for appearances in a music hall
Music hall
Music Hall is a type of British theatrical entertainment which was popular between 1850 and 1960. The term can refer to:# A particular form of variety entertainment involving a mixture of popular song, comedy and speciality acts...

, and a short time later he was caught loitering in the vicinity of Buckingham Palace. He was sent to do duty on a warship, but after a year he found an opportunity to walk from Portsmouth
Portsmouth is the second largest city in the ceremonial county of Hampshire on the south coast of England. Portsmouth is notable for being the United Kingdom's only island city; it is located mainly on Portsea Island...

 to London. Having been caught before he reached the palace, he was sent back to his ship. He was last mentioned in the newspapers in 1844, when he was rescued after going overboard between Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

 and Algiers
' is the capital and largest city of Algeria. According to the 1998 census, the population of the city proper was 1,519,570 and that of the urban agglomeration was 2,135,630. In 2009, the population was about 3,500,000...

He became an alcoholic and a burglar and later went to Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, where he became the town crier of Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

He died in Australia from a drunken fall in 1893.
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