AN intruder who broke into Buckingham Palace in 1838 and was caught sitting on the royal throne with pieces of Queen Victoria's underwear stuffed into his trousers, told police that he had got in through an unlocked window.
He had pinched the royal knickers and whatever else when rummaging through Victoria's dressing room.
He further shocked police by revealing that he was just 14 years of age. It appeared he had dodged apprehension on several prior occasions when confronted by staff, telling them that he was a palace chimney sweep. This was apparently believable due to his unkempt condition in body and clothing.
The bizarre story of Edward Jones and his obsession with Queen Victoria – herself just 19 at the time – quickly became the talk of the UK.
He was nicknamed ‘the Boy Jones’ by newspapers of the time.
He broke into the palace on at least four occasions, and twice was found sitting filthy – as he seldom if ever washed – on the royal throne and was arrested.
On a further occasion he was discovered hiding under a sofa in the Queen's sitting room at midnight, and on yet another snacking in a royal apartment on food he'd stolen from the palace kitchen.
He was briefly imprisoned on each occasion, despite pleas by his father to the courts that he was insane.
On discharge from his final imprisonment, Jones turned to burglary and was deported to Australia where he changed his name from Edward to Thomas Jones, and actually got a job as the Perth Town Crier.
However he slipped into alcoholism, moved to Victoria, and on Boxing Day 1893 – while drinking on a bridge in Bairnsdale – fell off drunk and died when he landed head-first four metres below.
He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Bairnsdale Cemetery.
A memorial plaque, in his adopted name of Thomas Jones, incorrectly states that he had been deported for "breaching security at Windsor Castle" rather than Buckingham Palace.
He later became the subject of a children's book and the film The Mudlark. The full story of his activities has been told in the 2010 book Queen Victoria's Stalker: The Strange Case of the Boy Jones, written by Jan Bondeson.