Seat of power

There are usually at least two versions of historic events, and Stephen McGinty faithfully recounts the official English one in his article on the "coronation chair" (20 April).

In his 1848 Border History of England and Scotland, Rev George Ridpath of Stitchill tells of how Edward I attacked Scotland in Easter 1296 and by late summer he had fairly well conquered and subdued the whole country.

When he was returning to Berwick, where he had summoned a parliament to receive the allegiance of the Scottish nobles, Edward ordered that the wooden chair on which Scottish kings were "inaugurated", and which contained the Stone of Destiny, be removed from Scone Abbey and shipped to London, along with all other vestiges of Scottish monarchy and nationhood.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As late as the spring of 1324 there was a meeting of commissioners from King Edward II and King Robert Bruce at York, "for treating of a final peace".

Amongst the many Scottish demands at that time was one that "required the chair of Scone, in which was the fatal stone, to be restored, and proposed an alliance between Robert's daughter and Prince Edward of England".

When Edward I died, his son Edward II sat on the Chair of Scone to be crowned and it has been used at coronations in England more or less ever since.

Although there are plenty of bare-faced claims that it is "Edward the Confessor's Chair" or "the Coronation Chair", there should be ample documentary and scientific evidence to prove that it is the chair which was removed from Scone in August 1296.

Of course, other than the fact it fits into the recess in the Chair of Scone, authenticity of the Stone of Destiny is less easily proved.




You report the 200,000 refurbishment of the Coronation chair built for Edward I, "Hammer of the Scots" (20 April), referring to "the coronation chair, on which almost every monarch has been crowned since it was constructed 700 years ago".

Such copy may be historically accurate for syndicating in English-based newspapers – but a newspaper that carries the title "Scotsman" should have at least edited the article from a Scottish perspective.



By Linlithgow