The Jubilee Plot (Part 1 of 6)
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Uploaded on Feb 4, 2010
The Jubilee Plot was a failed assignation attempt on Queen Victoria during her Golden Jubilee which was held on June 20th 1887. It was intended to blow up Westminster Abbey, Queen Victoria and half the British Cabinet. The organizer of the assassination attempt was later said to be Francis Millen of Clan na Gael. However, he had been a spy in the service of the British authorities for several years (from 1885 under Edward Jenkinson of the of the Home Office with the approval of the Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury), and was encouraged by them to draw in more Fenians, who could be captured. A bombing attempt of this order could also be used to discredit the increasingly troublesome (from the British governments point of view) Irish Parliamentary Party and other Irish Nationalists.
In June various newspapers reported that a plot to assassinate the Queen with bombs planted in Westminster Abbey had been discovered. In the following October a recently-deceased American was declared by the Assistant Commissioner of the police, James Monro, to have been the financier of the plot. Two Irishmen who visited Cohen, Callan and Harkins were arrested and charged with bringing dynamite into the country. In fact, both of them had been followed by police ever since their arrival in Britain in June. After their trial, Monro exposed Millen as the organizer of the plot but Millen was allowed to escape to the United States where he died in mysterious circumstances. Callan and Harkins were sentenced to fifteen years each in prison.
Earlier in the year The Times had begun publishing a series of features called Parnellism and Crime. All the letters had been supplied by Dublin journalist Richard Pigott and purported to show that Charles Stewart Parnell approved of violence by Nationalists. The letters were shown to be forgeries, written by Pigott and sold to The Times. The case against Parnell collapsed. Pigott committed suicide and in a subsequent libel action The Times had to pay Parnell £5,000 damages.
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