King John ‘the Bad’ was particularly fond of collecting (stealing) jewellery and gold plate for himself and coinage for his guards, soldiers and court followers.
In 1216 King John travelled to Bishops Lynn in Norfolk where he arrived on the 9th October. The area is aptly named The Wash as it was once a huge expanses of marshes and dangerous mud flats. At Bishop’s Lynn King John fell ill with dysentery and decided to return to Newark Castle via Wisbech. He took the slower and safer route around The Wash. However, his soldiers and carts full of his personal possessions, including the crown jewels he had inherited from his grandmother the Empress of Germany, took the shorter route through the marshes. Trapped by the tide they were drowned – possibly close to Sutton Bridge. The treasure carts were lost and never recovered. King John died a few days later on the 18th October 1216.
Treasure: King John’s Jewels and Gold
Current Estimated Value: $70,000,000
Contents: Crown jewels, gold goblets, silver plate, golden wand with a dove, the sword of Tristram, gold coins.