Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Man who Stole and Broke the Stone of Scone, and Lived to Tell About it

. Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The most prominent - indeed legendary - heretic alive today, is a Scottish Nationalist Republican by the name of Ian Hamilton. His is an act of pure, premeditated sacrilege. Leading an expedition of Scottish nationalist students to Westminster Abbey on Christmas Eve, 1950, his act of ballsy thievery involved swiping the Stone of Scone, the coronation stone, from St. Edward's Chair, the coronation chair. That he broke the ancient stone in two pieces while attempting to escape from the Abbey, amplifies his larceny from a mere "touch of treason" (to use his own autobiographical words), to a crime against humanity's great treasures. Thanks to his perfidy, the Stone of Destiny is now a reconstructed Scottish ruin.

Two images of the Stone of Scone under the seat of King Edward's Chair in Westminster Abbey, the traditional coronation chair of English monarchs since Edward I commissioned it in 1296 to house the historic rock. The Stone of Destiny, the ancient coronation stone of Scottish Kings and Queens, was captured as a spoil of war by King Edward from its Scone, Perth resting place, and brought to Westminster where it sat for 700 years, as a symbol of monarchical power and dominion over Great Britain. The Stone was permanently loaned to Scotland in 1996, and now sits in Edinburgh Castle.

Upon learning this gross betrayal against the King in the dead of the night, the British Government became understandably apoplectic, and ordered a major search for the stone, which turned up some three months later on the altar of Arbroath Abbey, in the safekeeping of the Church of Scotland. In "repatriating" the busted jewel, the adult punks (Mr. Hamilton was 25 years old and a law student at the time - hardly the antics of a prankish juvenile!) had managed to navigate around the police roadblocks, and eventually had it passed to a senior Glasgow politician who arranged for it to be professionally repaired. Once the London police were informed of its whereabouts, the Stone was returned to Westminster, and Hamilton and the others were threatened with prosecution by the Crown.

But alas, no prosecutions were ever made as thousands of Scots took to the streets to demonstrate in their favour. Also, official predictions were that any court proceedings would eventually require ownership of the Stone to be lawfully asserted and proved - potentially embarrassing the Crown, some were inclined to believe. What bosh. (Yes, yes, and while we're at it, maybe we should consider returning Napoleon's cannons to their rightful owner). Apart from Queen Mary, every monarch since Edward Longshanks has been acclaimed, enthroned and annointed on that Stone, including a line of Stuarts who had no doubt about it's hitherto firmly acquired location and ownership.

(Imagine the Italian Mafia sneaking into the Louvre to "repatriate" the Mona Lisa, and in so carrying out said repatriation, inadvertently tearing a gaping hole in Leonardo Da Vinci's masterpiece as they make their frantic escape.)

The mind boggles at the dark humour and irony of modern justice, a process that repeatedly rewards the culprit over the aggrieved. In a political calculation of monumental stupidity, Michael Forsyth returned the Stone to Edinburgh castle in 1996 (a clearly irritated Duke of York made it quite clear that the Queen was only lending it to Scotland), hoping that this gesture would revive Tory fortunes in Scotland. Forsyth's gesture was in vain and every single Tory lost their seat in the 1997 general election. To add insult to injury, Ian Hamilton was invited to the repatriation ceremony, but refused!

Of course, Labour is just as susceptible to the same silly old game of trying to buy off the nationalist separatist vote to no avail. During the official opening of the newly devolved Scottish Parliament in October 2004, Ian Hamilton was on hand to tell the assembled crowd that "every fibre of my being has been geared towards today and the declaration of a Scottish republic". "Farewell Britannia and advance Scotland." Eat your heart out Tony Blair.

In another era, Ian Hamilton would have lived to the ripe old age of 25, having been either decapitated, drawn and quartered, left to rot in the Tower of London or strung up by his oversized gonads. But this being the 21st century, the popular and otherwise pleasant man of words is having the time of his life as an interesting blogger, watching happily and confidently as his native Scotland creeps ever so deliberately towards full independence:
".. enduring is the thing. Just going on being Scots, and damning the consequences, and damning those in every generation who sell out to go over to the other side. Without bombs, without violence, without hatred, although it is difficult sometimes not to hate the Quislings, we must plod along. The Scottish race was here, under whatever name, long before the English were woad-painted savages. It reached a low ebb in the early twentieth century, but the tide has turned, and the flood now flows.." - Extract from "A Touch of Treason"

"Damning the consequences". Ian Robertson Hamilton, Q.C., wrote the book on damning the consequences. Whether or not he is ultimately rewarded in the process, depends an awful lot on what happens to Destiny.

The Great Larkster, unrepentent to the end, has visited us in the comments!



Babbling Brooks said...

A hell of a lark, that. I find myself much more sympathetic to the Scots as Scots and not simply as a minority partner in Great Britain than you folks might be. Personally, I'm glad I got to see the Stone in Edinburgh Castle this past summer instead of at Westminster Abbey. The story of how the Scottish crown jewels were kept out of the hands of the English for so very long also resonated with me.

Besides, if the Scots really and truly want to cut themselves out of the Union, that should be their right. Given the way the money flows right now, from south to north on the big island, I suspect it would be good for the Scots to find out what standing on their own two feet actually entails.

Sir Walter Scott said...

The Scots at their worst are a filthy, vagabondish, backward, child-like people of uppity traitors. They have never liked being ruled, or being ruling partners, but have ever loved to rule others. They are a nannied, useless lot of work-shy morons. In one respect the end of Union would be good: it'd give the Scotch a sense of perspective at last, and they could look about themselves, and realise what a sorry, hopeless lot of losers they are and have been and always will be without England.

I'm kidding. Kind of.

Hamilton uses ethnic separatism as a reason for separating? Does he know that there isn't a man or woman alive today with blood like that of the old Scots/Picts and Anglo-Saxons Inter-marriaging and population movement makes us completely interchangeable racially.

Hamilton should have been hanged, even in this century. What a callous, horror of a man.

ian hamilton said...

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Anonymous said...

This site is a joke, right?

Light hearted humour...I mean, seriously, either this is a joke or I've stumbled across a time warp?!

The Stone of Destiny belongs to the people of Scotland, in the same way as Maori shrunken heads belong to New Zealand and have been returned. Ian's understaking was no crime, it was no illegal act; it was the rightful return of something to its owners...and about time to...

The Monarchist said...

Oh infamous Ian, is that you? Is that really you? I say we are honoured to have your mocking unrepentent soul grace these pages. Let the record show that the Ian Hamilton visited The Monarchist 57 years after breaking The Lord Almighty's Stone of Destiny, without so much as a whiff of apology for his crime against humanity.

Light-hearted, yes, but you appear to be in some sort of time warp if you believe the British Crown is no longer a constitutional part of those who live in the Crown Commonwealth. The Queen is as much the Queen of Canada as she is of Scottish Britain, and there is not a wet republican dream on Earth that will make that any less so.

Andrew Cusack said...

I've always disliked the extremely small but also extremely vocal minority of Scots who, rather than be proud of Scotland, simply develop an racial prejudice against the English. Scotland is one of the greatest countries in the world, with a high culture, a long history, and proud traditions. For anyone who genuinely loves Scotland, the love of Scotland is enough.

Unfortunately, there are Scots, and I am speaking of these anti-English racial superiority types, who actually do not love Scotland. They do not love Scotland nor do they love her culture nor her traditions, because they active seek to destroy them by overthrowing the real Scotland and replacing it with a secularist democratic republic. That way, Scotland can take her place among the nations and be just as boring as they are, rather than being something special and unique and different and... Scottish!

The Monarchist said...

I agree Andrew. The political union aside, true love for the traditions and heritage of Scotland would at the very least require the maintenance of her ancient crown. The small minority who think otherwise, are impoverished to believe that political independence - that politics - specifically republican politics, furthers the goal of national pride.

Anonymous said...

This is OT, but I read in wiki discussion that King Henry V of England is eventually going to be beatified by the Vatican. What do you think? imho, it's wonderful if it's true!

Raparee said...

Filthy Scots. How dare they try to reclaim property that had been stolen from them. What gall!

Unrepentant Jacobite said...

Mr. Hamilton is wrong if he thinks returning the Stone of Destiny - rightfully Scotland's - back home will advance the cause of a secular republic.

Rather the Stuart monarchy be re-established, and not as a figurehead, than a secular republic.

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The Royal Gurkha Rifles: Prince William grieves the death of Major Roberts
Queensland Mounted Rifles: Trooper David Pearce, 41, killed in Afghanistan
The Order of Canada: 100 investitures later, Canada's highest honour turns 40
Prince Edward on Prince Edward Island: Troop's link to monarchy important
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN: Unveils the UK Armed Forces Memorial
Great Britain: "A rotten borough with a banana monarchy" - by Europhile
Peers of the Realm: The decline and fall of the House of Lords - Charles A. Coulombe
Remembering 'Smithy': An obituary tour de force by Andrew Cusack here, here and here.
NOT AMUSED: Her Majesty The Queen in Right of Quebec not invited to Quebec's tercentenary