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New-York tribune. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, December 23, 1906, Image 27

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Some Buried Treasures
Tales of Fabulous Sums Lost in Ocean Wrecks and the
Innumerable Efforts That Have Been Made to Recover Them
THE knowledge that
great wealth lay
somewhere close
under their feet
seems to have kept whole com
munities in turmoil for centuries, and the
certainty that a huge treasure reposed in a
marked location where a few hours of dig
■■•-■ should disclose it seems to have driven
many searchers to the very verge of insanity.
Pot instance. Ducasse, the greatest of all
treasure hunters, who died in iS<,»7 after
making. finding, losing, and recovering sev
eral fortunes, certainly shortened his life in
his mad hunt for gold.
Xo more alluring or more baffling quest
can be imagined than the great King John
Treasure buried near Lynn in Xorfoik^hire.
When the profligate monarch was finally
driven to exile and death in Scotland, he
took with him the entire royal treasure col
lected after his last burial of treasure, and
all the royal regalia of the Xonnan Kings,
including the crown of King Alfred. A
British Museum exjiert has estimated the
total value at twenty-two million dollars.
1: cumbered his flight. and he was compelled
to bury it, according to his own account,
before his death, "where the road from
Lynn to Swinehead crosses Wellestreme."
To a certainty it lias never been recovered,
though ii • .■■ reign of Queen Victoria men
sinking a well struck .■ peculiar implement
sh<>d with a hook. and. pulling it out. brought
with it 1 coronet. Stupidly, they did not
pursue their search further, and now no one
knows where the well was sunk.
<Juite as tantalizing i- the history of the
Treasure of Guerdon, as it is called. It
takes its name from the famous old convent
of this town, and here in the sixth century
great stores of wealth were collected from
smaller ecclesiastical establishments to pre
vent their Calling into the hands of Xonnan
pirates. This was just before the death of
Clovis. When the invaders sacked the place,
they tailed to find anything but minor
works of art and the commoner things of
value. Following their custom, their cap
tives were put to death, and fire and
weather effaced the marks which had been
put 01 stones to guide the owners of the
treasure to its recovery.
Hunted fur a Thousand Years
WITH the return of some who had has
caped, the search was l>egun, and has
been nearly continuous for more thai a thou
sand years, as it was known beyond all ques
tion that the treaure was in the ruins. The
estimates of it made on the inventories col
lected by ■'.' monks averaged the great sum
of forty-six million dollars. In the reign
of Louis XIV. the Government contracted
with adventurers who spent seven mil
lion dollars, eventually losing all the fruits of their
work in the Revolution. Finally, great sums having
been spent, many noblemen ruined, and many
lives lost, the Government sent a scientific party
to investigate. They reported that every possible
spot had been explored to great depths, and that it
was a physical im]>ossibility that there could be
any treasure in the ruins. Thereupon a law was
published forbidding anyone to make further search.
As if in mockery, evidence of the treasure's ex
istence suddenly appeared. One night a girl, hav
ing lied from home to avoid parental punishment,
took refuge in a hollow of the sand by the wayside.
The earth gave way slightly as she crouched against
it. and revealed a small opening, stone lined, in
which was a solid gold salver, a paten, and a flagon
studded with emeralds and rubies. These were
worth many thousand dollars and now repose in the
Louvre. ' • ler the Republic the search was re
sumed, but since Brugere died no really intelligent
hunt has been made.
In the outworks of Stirling Castle or the purlieus
thereof lies buried a treasure that for its historical
associations alone would be worth a great sum in
the open market. In 1561, when Mary Queen of
Scots returned to Scotland she brought many objects
<.: virtu, and a large fund said to have been gathered
by French Cardinals, which was a trust fund to be
used only in extreme need and for the cause of the
church. When after seven stormy years she fled
across the border to plead with Elizabeth, trusty
friends concealed her personal treasure somewhere
near Stirling Castle. There is no proof that it was ex
humed during her eighteen years' imprisonment.
Both '■■ M •.■'. Castle and Kirkstall Abbey have
their romantic stories of treasure, but the dues to
its whereabouts are faint. The history of the treasure
is that a party of Cavaliers, fleeing from Marston
Moor, hid at the abbey and temporarily interred
a military treasure which they guarded for Charles I.
They were pursued l>y three troops of horse,
many were killed, many captured, and none was
ever able to return for the recovery of the money.
Quite as compelling is the story of the great
Treasure of OrvaL It was collected during a long
peri' >d in many abbeys and finally removed to Orval,
as the monks were driven out elsewhere. When
they were forced from their greatest stronghold,
they left the wonderful collection of gold and silver
images, plate, coin, jewels, etc., most cunningly
concealed, the single clue to its whereabouts being
the one word "Nemo." This was hastily carved
on the tomb of the last abbot, and is without doubt
the key to certain cabalistic letters cut with evident
intention on all the other tombs.
A French Girl the Medium
THERK is a growing belief that one portion of the
treasure has been found. Some seventy years
ago a young French girl, called " La Blonde Camille"
among the Parisian scientists, developed remark
able powers of dairvoyancy in the hands of a
"magnetic physician.** This man isolated the girl
after a study of her phenomenon by many learned
men and sought to gain through her unusual gifts
a knowledge of the Orval Treasure. This was un
successful for sometime, and the girl wasted away
under the .strain. At last she appeared to get some
clue, and the physician hurried her t<> the ruins of
the abbey. A few days later the girl's mother re
ceived a letter from the physician, in which he de
clared that the child was dead and her body would
be found on one of the tombs of the abbots. The
letter went on to state that the mother would re
Returaing With His Pistols Empty.
ceiye a certain sum annually
during her lifetime, but
that the physician would
never be seen again. The
auth riti - were notified and a detachment
of so] i: r '.-..!- sent t>> the ruin, where they
found the girl's body without mark of vi'
len ■ stretched on a sarcophagus. The
promised money came regularly t' the
woman through a Parisian solicitor, and
..-., ... ; .,. v .. lv years ag<> a son oi the phy
siciai . v.'. ■ had been in moderate circum
st ■• ■ . appeared in Paris and is now living
there, the p >ssessor of a splendid :•.. ime
V. - ■ fascinating than a romance are the
bar facts of the vast treasure now > iHed
uviere Quest, getting its name from
the .'•'.'•)•:;- >f Rouviere. Behold a ::-..::
>"'. re eived most strangely the exact loca
tion •:' a long forgotten treasure attested
by a King and a dozen of his nobles, and
> ■•■* ■ ■ " i. ■■ 'i spot rewarded himn >thing
fora lifetime of digging. The young mar
quis was in the last century an attai '•• it
the court of St. James, representing Fran c
One day there came t<> him a stranger, wh >
introduced himself as a French savant mak
ing research by royal permission in the
Tower "f London. The antiquarian said
he '..il found in the bottom 01 a chest ;
troi lies in the Tower a small locked and
sealed copper l>ox. To this a key was at
tached, but the key was bound by a pa] '..
meat which was covered with heraldic seals,
and witr. each seal, of which there were
fourteen, was the signature of an uTustri i is
Frenchman. Among the others the sa\ mt
showed the seal ami signature of the :r. ir
quis's grandfather, who had been guillotined
in 170.V When the contents of the '.•. • ■*
v.ere disclosed, there was great excitement
among those present.
The papers within set fort!: that when
Saint Louis founded Sainte ChapeQe he was
the possessor of the whole treasury of
France. In his pious enthusiasm, he had
made to be placed in the nave heroic figures
of the twelve Apostles formed from virgin
gold and solid silver and set with pre : >::i
Stones. Dark days drew down on Franca.
Hiding the Treasure
who knew the worth of the statues
A bet ame alarmed ; and on the night of the
> . '. • g of St. I>rnis the statues wore re
in ■ i >:: i hidden in a secure place. When
:' ■ • ■'• broke into the Sainte Chapelle the
images of the twelve Apostles had van
ished Those now in place are replicas in
less c >stlv ::: 1 Trial.
The probable value of the treasure was
set by the finders of the box at the a::., ring
s-.::r. of fifty-one million dollars. The in
cl< '-"res contained a map showing the b.jund
arie- of France at the time of the interment,
and said that the statues would be found at a point
where the lines of latitude and longitude cr issed.
The marquis and the descendants of other nobles
whose names were on the outer parchment deter
mined t recover the treasure, and decided that
the exact spot was near the village of Viviers, in
Normandy, which spot as it happened was a part
of the pr •: yof the Orleans family.
When the eager young men sought the place they
found -i newly pi wed held, but in the center was a
clump 1 { poplars with rank undergrowth and bram
bles at their r ts. A peasant who w.is plowing
was questioned as to why that sj«ot was allowed t*
exi>t, and answered that it was by command of his
f.i'h'r. who had received a like command fr.'in his
father. They i:.ii reverenced the sj*'t and often
prayed there! He recalled that his grandfather had
spoken of the place as the sainte coigne, at which
statement the young nobles were greatly excited,
for that was the phrase used x<> designate the hiding
pla< em the parchment. The field w.t- quietly pur
chased and operations were begun. They have
been nearly continuous down until the present day
under many different companies and societies.
Many millions of francs have been expended, and
where the poplars stood a hole over two hundred
feet in depth was sunk. Also reckoning from the
old meridian, there are three other points in Prance
where the lines of latitude and longitude cross,
and n ■ 1 ne has th >ught of looking there.
A little over eighty years ago five mill: >n dollars*
w rth of treasure, now worth much. more, was hid
den by Chilean pirates in a ravine of the lrtl<*
i-! ;:. '. of Trinidad, and it is there yet, waiting :i
finder. The :r-- ;-•;:••■ i- part of the' wealth of the
Spanish c 1 nies. Early in iSji Peru rev Ited
:^.:i:>: Spain and the Bishop secretly <. nvej -1

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