Celebrities and royalties often get their fair share of fans. While it is not unusual that some fans become obsessed, others go to great lengths and act upon their obsessions. A perfect example of this is the case of Edward Jones and his obsession with Queen Victoria.
In 1838, a teenager was featured on the news. He was referred to as “the boy Jones.” He was known for breaking into Buckingham Palace multiple times because he was obsessed with Queen Victoria, even stealing her underwear.
Who is Edward Jones?
Edward Jones was born in 1824 to a tailor in Westminster. When he was in his teens, he earned the nickname the boy Jones from local newspapers. According to Dr. Jan Bondeson, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University and author of Queen Victoria & the Stalker, Jones was quite peculiar.
Bondeson describes Jones as a teenager who was never interested in any other woman except Queen Victoria. He was a very solitary character, but he was not classified as mad or schizophrenic. Jones’ demeanor was just odd. He was also described as someone on the opposite side of attractive. He had a wide mouth and a low brow, and he was noted to have poor hygiene.
Dr. Bondeson noted that it is difficult to determine when and why Jones developed his obsession with the Queen. Still, the fourteen-year-old boy only acted out on his impulses with the Queen was at Buckingham Palace. (Source: BBC)
Jones broke into Buckingham Palace three times, between the years of 1838 and 1841. In 1838, Jones disguised himself as a chimney sweep in his first break-in. He was discovered by a porter in the Marble Hall and was caught by the police in St. James’ street. Upon Jones’ arrest, it was found that he stole one of the Queen’s underwear. He stuffed them down his trousers.
Jones broke into the Palace again on November 30, 1840. This time, he climbed the wall of Buckingham Palace about halfway up Constitution Hill nine days after Queen Victoria gave birth to her first child, Princess Victoria. He then returned to break in again on December 1, 1840, where Baroness Lehzen discovered him after midnight. At the time, he was hiding under a sofa in the Queen’s dressing room.
Jones was arrested and sent to Tothill Fields Prison. He was released on March 2, 1841, but he was again caught breaking into the Palace on March 15, 1841. This was when he was sentenced to three months of hard labor for his crime this time. (Source: People Pill)
What Happened to Jones After?
Jones joined the Navy. After refusing to appear in a music hall, and was constantly in the newspapers until 1844, where it was reported that he was rescued after going overboard. It was also noted that Jones walked from Portsmouth to London to break into the Palace again.
Jones soon became an alcoholic and a burglar and was eventually exiled to Australia for his crimes. He adopted the name Thomas Jones in an attempt to escape his notoriety. He died in 1893 in Bairnsdale, Australia, after falling off the Mitchell River bridge while drunk and landing on his head.
Jones became a subject of many newspapers and satirical articles due to his peculiar personality and obsession with the Queen. His story also inspired a children’s book and a 1950s film titled The Mudlark. (Source: People Pill)