On this day 1652: Scots crown jewels saved

Scotland's crown jewels. Picture: TSPL
Scotland's crown jewels. Picture: TSPL
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ON March 31st in 1652, the Scottish Regalia, or Scottish Crown Jewels, were saved from Oliver Cromwell.

Occasionally dubbed the ‘Honours of Scotland’, they comprise a crown, sword and sceptre.

The crown was made from gold melted down from the previous crown mixed with gold mined from the Upper Clydesdale area.

Precious stones were added and the crown was first worn by King James V at the coronation of Mary of Guise - the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots.

The sword was presented to King James IV in 1507 by Pope Julius II. An Italian-made item, it was made by Domenico da Suttri.

The oldest of the three items, the sceptre, was made in 1494 and presented to King James V by Pope Alexander VI.

The three were first used together at Mary Queen of Scots’ coronation as an infant at Stirling Castle in 1543.

Last used at the crowning of Charles II at Scone on January 1 1651, the crown jewels were hidden away in Dunottar Castle during Oliver Cromwell’s occupation of Scotland between 1650 and 1651.

When the castle was besieged, the wife of a local minister smuggled the Honours out of Dunottar and buried them beneath the floor at Kinneff Church.

Following the 1707 Treaty of Union, the crown jewels were kept in Edinburgh Castle.

Essentially forgotten about for more than a century, Sir Walter Scott put them on display in the castle in 1818, where they are still on display today.