Kray twins auction: Bible, painting from Charles Bronson and other items go under the hammer

King James Bible belonging to Ronnie Kray had chapters on judgement and damnation bookmarked

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The Independent Online

Items belonging to the infamous Kray twins, including a Bible owned by Ronnie while he and his brother were serving out life sentences, are going up for auction.

The well-thumbed King James version of the Bible has proved intriguing because of the placement of three original bookmarks which pick out "chapters on judgement and damnation".

Among the other items that will be inviting bids is a painting by Charles Bronson, one of the UK's most violent serving prisoners, which he sent as a gift to Reggie in jail.

Bronson, whose real name is Michael Peterson, is currently serving a life term at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes. Since first entering prison 39 years ago, he has spent just four months out of custody.

A message penned on the back of the canvas from Bronson reads: "To Reg, from your friend, Charlie Bronson."

Jonathon Humbert, of auction house JP Humbert's in Northamptonshire, described the painting as “altogether more sinister”, while expressing his surprise that one of the Kray twins owned a Bible.

"So you have on one hand an infamous criminal who thought nothing of using violence to mete out his own punishments, but who here has a copy of the Bible and has apparently picked out these passages on judgement and damnation.

"It is in some ways the opposite of what you might expect these guys to have in their possession."

According to the paperwork accompanying the lots, which the winning bidders will also receive, the items were all given away by Reggie in 1999 while he was serving time at HM Prison Wayland in Norfolk.

The twins, together with older brother Charlie, became notorious for running organised crime rackets in London's east end and were both jailed for life in 1969 for the murders of fellow gangsters George Cornell and Jack "The Hat" McVitie.

During their prison terms, Ronnie was held at Broadmoor Hospital in Berkshire, while Reggie was held at jails including the high security HMP Parkhurst on the Isle of Wight.

Ronnie died of a heart attack in prison in 1995, while Reggie died of terminal cancer eight weeks after he was granted release on compassionate grounds because of his illness.

Mr Humbert said: "Because we have the prison transfer paperwork from when Reggie gave these items away, the provenance is absolute.

"We're expecting a lot of interest because of the brothers' notoriety."

The lots will go under the hammer at JP Humbert's Towcester-based sale rooms from 5pm on 19 March.

Additional reporting by Press Association