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Stone of Scone
Poster: "Hinson, Jerome" <email@example.com>
Reprinted from Renaissance Magazine, Vol. 1, #4, Issue #4, Fall 1996
England's Coronation "Stone of Destiny" Returned to Scotland
by Kim Guarnaccia & Ian Kerr
On July 3, 1996, England's Prime Minister John Major announced that
the Stone of Destiny - currently located in Westminster Abbey - was to be
returned to Scotland and that the British monarchy's "ownership" would
not be affected.
The Stone of Destiny (or the Stone of Scone) is the ancient Scots'
coronation stone. Legend had it that it was Jacob's Pillow which the
crusaders brought from Palestine to Ireland where it was presented to St.
Columba on Iona. Later, it came to rest at Scone Abbey in
Perthshire,Scotland. During King Edward I of England's unsuccessful
campaign against Scotland in 1296, the Stone was seized and brought to
Westminster Abbey. There it was built into the chair that the British
monarchy uses for coronations to this day.
In 1950 the Stone was stolen from the Abbey by a group of Scotish
Nationalist students. They were persuaded to surrender the Stone in
early 1951 - however, they accidently broke the Stone in transit and had
it repaired by stone mason Billie Gray. Tests conducted by the British
Government verified its authenticity, rebutting Gray's claims that he
made a copy when repairing the original.
However, research by amateur historian Archie McKerracher suggest
that the Westminster stone is an ordinary piece of Perthshire sandstone
rather than the shaped, possibly engraved, and polished rock said to have
been brought to Scotland from the Holy Land via ireland. Additionally,
the seals of Kings Alexander I and William the Lyon in the 12th century
show them seated on an altar-like block with a hollowed out seat with
their feet resting on the ground, far larger than the Westminster stone.
Regardless of all the controversy, Parliment has suggested that the
stone be returned to Scone Abbey (now ruins and part of a private home),
St. Margaret's Chapel in Edinburgh Castle, or Abroath Abbey. But other
sites are also being considered.
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