The following is a brief overview of The Stone of Destiny: In Search of the Truth Buy the eBook and read the complete story

Chapter 6
The Stone of Destiny?

Introduction
Chapter 1 – Events Leading up to the Theft
Chapter 2 – The Legend: From Bethel to Scone
Chapter 3 – A Potted Pre-History of Scotland
Chapter 4 – The Coming of the Patron Saint
Chapter 5 – St Fillan & Bannockburn
Chapter 6 – The Stone of Destiny?
Chapter 7 – Finding the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
Chapter 8 – Destiny in the 21st Century
Conclusions 

There is a popular theory throughout Scotland that the stone which now resides in Edinburgh Castle, which has been used for the coronation of the English and subsequently British monarchs since it was taken by Edward I in 1296, is not the same stone that was used for the coronation of the Scottish Kings prior to its theft, and that Edward took not only the wrong stone, but that the stone he took was nothing more than a stone ‘plug’ to cover up a cess-pit!

A great deal of analysis has been conducted on the physical make-up of the Westminster Stone, and the conclusions are that it is most likely from a sandstone quarry in Perthshire, not too distant from Scone, where the coronation ceremony of the Scots kings was traditionally performed. However, some authors suggest that there is a sandstone quarry in Israel that shares a similar composite makeup, and use this as further evidence of the Jacob’s Pillow legend.

There is even an argument about whether the stone that is now in Edinburgh is the same stone that Edward took in 1296. On Christmas Day in 1950, three men and one woman stole the stone from Westminster Abbey and drove it back across the border into Scotland, which was the first time it had been on Scottish soil since Edward took it 655 years previously. The stone was hidden for several weeks until it was placed at Arbroath Abbey on Easter Monday 1951, which was highly symbolic as this was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, when the Scots made their claim of independence from England to the Pope. During the weeks it was ‘missing’ in Scotland, several replica stones were made which were virtually identical. Another popular theory is that the stone that was placed at Arbroath Abbey and returned to England in 1951 was one of these replica stones. If this is the case, where is the original now?

There are many individuals and groups to claim that they are in possession of ‘the’ Stone of Destiny, and the authors of this work have personally seen three such candidates, and we have been told about the existence of four more (in each instance, the keepers were adamant that what we were being shown was the real stone). Again, who is to say that they are wrong in such claims, especially when there is so much conjecture as to what the real stone was? And yet there is another question that requires us to spare a thought – was the stone really a stone at all? The earliest accounts of what later becomes the Stone of Destiny variously describe it as a ‘royal seat of marble’, a ‘large stone’ or even as the ‘fatal chair’, among many others – none of which remotely resemble the stone now in Edinburgh Castle. So what was it?

In 1300, just four years after the stone was taken by Edward I, the Scots poet Langtoft wrote a poem that seems to gloat in the fact that what Edward took was not only the wrong stone, but that what he was really after had subsequently been taken and hidden away deeper into Scotland. The poem is as follows:

Thair kings Scet of Scone
Es driven ovir doune
To London i led.
In town herd I telle,
The Baghel and the Belle,
Ben filched and fled.

For those not au fait with the old Scots dialect, this roughly translates as saying:

The Kings Seat of Scone was taken down to London, I’m led to believe. In town I heard a tale, that the Baghul and the Belle were taken and hidden.

A Baghul is a crozier and a Belle is, rather unsurprisingly, a bell. This is a rather curious poem to be released just four years after the supposed humiliating theft of the most priceless palladium of the Scots, and why should the poem mention a crozier and a bell at all?

The author Robert MacLagan (1882) was seemingly the first to pick up on this strange fact and takes it further to suggest that the ‘stone’ was never a stone at all, but rather a bell, and that it is purely down to the linguistics of the time that caused such a confusion. Although the Pictish language is relatively unknown to historians, it is assumed that its closest equivalent is in the Welsh cymraeg language, with similarities being found in the place names of the eastern parts of Scotland. The western parts of Scotland, speaking in Irish-Scots Gaelic, are very different from the Welsh, even though some words are the same. MacLagan suggests this is the root of the confusion surrounding the ‘stone’. He says in his book Scottish Myths (1882, p. 95):

In Welsh, cloch is a bell, represented by clog in Irish.
In Welsh, clog is a stone, represented by cloch in Irish.

There is no mention of King Edward I, or any of the English entourage, being present at any coronation ceremony of Scots Kings before that of John Balliol in 1292, when the question of Edward’s overlordship had already started to surface. Therefore, few, if any, English had actually seen ‘the stone’ in use at a coronation ceremony at Scone. Could it be then, that there was a simple mistranslation by Edward about what he was after, with his translators mistaking clog/cloch (bell) for clog/cloch (stone)? If so, a complete revision of the past 700 or so years of Scottish history must be made. If MacLagan is correct in his assertions that the ‘stone’ was in actual fact a bell, and if the Langtoft poem is correct that it was not only a bell that was hidden when Edward supposedly took the ‘kings Scet of Scone’, but also a crozier, then to what crozier and bell must we direct our attention? At this point, it is important to remind ourselves that James IV specifically requested the bell of a certain saint to be present at his coronation ceremony at Scone in 1477 – St Fillan’s.

That the relics of St Fillan, over every other Celtic saint in Scotland, should have been given their own guardians, or Dewars, each with a specific landholding along the burial route of the kings from Scone to Iona, suggests that these relics are of utmost importance to the Scottish monarchy. What is more, these relics are still displayed in full public view at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and another bell of St Fillan, known as the Clach Budheann, or Yellow Bell, is also on display at Perth Museum, this one being much older than that on display in Edinburgh, with a history that fits the ‘Stone of Destiny’ travels from the Dunstaffnage area to Scone.

MacLagan suggests that St Fillan’s bell, which is in the Edinburgh Museum, is the ‘Stone of Destiny’ but we would like to suggest that the history of the St Fillan bell at the Perth Museum fits the traditional Stone of Destiny story much better, and it is also a much older bell made of iron.

If Edward knew that he had been duped, then we could expect there to be an English cover-up campaign to either ‘prove’ the legitimacy of the stone that was now in their possession, or create a new history for the stone that could work in their favour in the eyes of Rome.

It is therefore interesting to note that Edward I never used the stone during any ceremony, and in fact, he even cancelled the manufacture of the bronze throne he initially ordered to be made to house it. The wooden chair that is still used in coronations today was the guide chair that Edward had requested and so never made it through to being the completed bronze coated chair. There is also no evidence that Edward II had his coronation in the chair upon the stone. It is not until the coronation of Edward III in 1327 that the stone is first known to have been used as a seat in the coronation ceremony, and this is the very same year that Edward II was killed, leaving no survivors from the time of the theft, and the year in which the English chronicler William of Rishanger in his Chronica et Annales identifies the stone as Jacob’s Pillow – 31 years after Edward took ‘the stone’. That the creation of the legend was a political move on behalf of the English is beyond doubt.

The Scots had recently stated to the Pope, in the Declaration of Arbroath, that their patron saint was St Andrew, who was closer to Jesus, and therefore to God, than the English patron of the time, St Edmund, or even their home-grown English saint, St Edward the Confessor. By 1327, the Scots had secured their independence from England in the eyes of the Church of Rome but everything had not settled between the warring countries. Isabella, the mother of King Edward III and daughter of the King of France, was trying to secure her 14-year-old son as the heir to the French throne as well as to the English. It is more than likely that it was she who had her husband, King Edward II, killed in 1327 with the insertion of a red-hot poker into his rectum. With no more saints available to supersede St Andrew, the creation of the Jacob’s Pillow legend meant that any English monarch to be crowned (i.e. her son) would be more in favour with God than any other king throughout Europe, as they would be anointed upon the stone, upon which God had made his covenant with Jacob. This would naturally place them in a much better position with the Church of Rome. It is possible that Isabella was trying to create for her son what Edward I had tried to create for himself; namely being the King of England, Scotland, Wales & France – thus making him the most powerful person throughout Europe, and this position could be aided and enhanced by the creation of the Jacob’s Pillow legend for the stone.

If Isabella had known what the creation of the legend would result in over the coming centuries, she would have been very pleased indeed, for not only would it solidify the divinity of the English and British monarchs in the eyes of every other monarch throughout Europe, but it would even provide evidence centuries later for a large following of people who believe that the British are descended from the lost ten tribes of Israel. So what is this claim, and could there be a kernel of truth to it?

 


 

Buy The Stone of Destiny as an eBook

Introduction
Chapter 1 – Events Leading up to the Theft
Chapter 2 – The Legend: From Bethel to Scone
Chapter 3 – A Potted Pre-History of Scotland
Chapter 4 – The Coming of the Patron Saint
Chapter 5 – St Fillan & Bannockburn
Chapter 6 – The Stone of Destiny?
Chapter 7 – Finding the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel
Chapter 8 – Destiny in the 21st Century
Conclusions  

     Copyright © 2007-2011 Mark Naples & David Bews

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