The story of King John’s lost treasures is well known, they were allegedly lost when a baggage train led by an idiot misjudged the tides on a causeway. They’re relevant to Wisbech as this is where the King was staying whilst travelling from Spalding to King’s Lynn (albeit then Bishop’s Lynn) and I can imagine his irritation when it was discovered that his head of transportation had lost the Crown Jewels in The Wash.
The reality is perhaps less exciting as the thought that these treasures may one day be found. It seems that numerous experts have claimed that most of King John’s treasures still existed after the date that they were meant to be lost, with the only true element about being the story being that some idiot sank most of the King’s baggage train. But, from experience of walk leading, it’s never easy to judge tides and I suppose that they couldn’t quickly Google them.
There is more evidence that King John did lose a crown during this little debacle, although the chances of finding this seem remote now. But, that hasn’t stopped numerous people continuing to hunt for the treasures and the media has been littered with stories over the last few decades about some new project to find them. In 1906, a local and important antiquarian, William St John Hope, had spent hours establishing the tides which would have existed at Sutton Bridge at the time of King John and he was confident of finding the treasures and suggested digging shafts to begin that work. He, obviously, never found anything of note.
Perhaps the finding of the lost Crown, and whatever associated treasures there are, might be a sign of something quite substantial. Like the advent of a new Monarch, a change in the future of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, or perhaps just the opening of a new Greggs in Sutton Bridge.