Private Krays collection sells at auction for £21,000

PUBLISHED: 15:17 20 October 2010

Photos of Ronnie and Reggie Kray which sold at auction

Photos of Ronnie and Reggie Kray which sold at auction


Letters sent by the Krays from prison and an unpublished chapter from their biography form part of rare collection

Three photos of Ronnie Kray and Lord Boothby

UNSEEN photos of the notorious Kray twins and unpublished letters which they sent from prison, went under the hammer yesterday (October 20) for a total of just over £21,000.

Kray biographer, John Pearson, 80, who wrote The Profession of Violence with the East End gangsters in 1967, auctioned off over 160 items from his own private collection at Gorringes auction house in Lewes.

They included a photo showing Ronnie Kray with Conservative politician Lord Boothby which sold for £550.

The Sunday Mirror had to pay Boothby £40,000 in damages in 1964 after alleging the pair had a homosexual relationship.

Pearson, who wrote two further books about the gangsters, regularly received letters from the brothers while they were in prison serving life imprisonment for murder.

Other sought-after lots included a letter from Ronnie to John explaining that singer Cliff Richard had contacted him in prison which sold, along with another photo, for £220 and a previously unpublished chapter dealing with the Boothby scandal from Pearson’s 1967 book which sold for £500.

Auctioneer Aaron Dean said: “It was standing room only which is rare and there was a real buzz.

“We had one lad under 25 to older chaps in retirement age who were bidding.”

A pair of the twins’ passports were originally listed but were removed before the auction after Mr Pearson was informed they were the property of the UK Identity and Passport Service.

Mr Pearson said: “I have been obsessed with the Kray twins for over 40 years and feel it’s time to let them go.”

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser