Jeremiah, Ireland, the Stone of Scone, and the English Kings ...


Scone and Edinburgh.

KENNETH MAC ALPIN (836-854) son of Alpin, the fourteenth King of Argyll, by virtue of the marriage into his family of the heiress to the Pictish throne (noted in the last chapter), united in his own person the rights of succession in both of these States: and he thus ascended the throne as the First King of all Scotland. This Monarch removed his Court from Dunstaffnage, - which had been the royal Dan, Don, or Dun of the Kingdom of Argyll since the time of its second King, Dongard (497-513), - to the old Pictish capital, Perth, and built for himself a palace at Scone, to which he brought the Lia Fail from Iona (and, doubtless, the Sceptre of Judah), about the year of his accession (836). This stone appears to have been regarded as the Palladium [safeguard] of the Scots' Land, as the above facts are recorded in all Histories of Scotland as of national importance.

The possession of these revered objects was universally looked upon as ensuring "good fortune" to their custodians and to the nation in whose capital they were deposited; and, indeed, the history of the Kingdom of Argyll, since Feargus Mac Earca landed on the Mull of Kintyre, in 485, up to the accession of Kenneth Mac Alpin is one long story of successive aggrandizements, with corresponding accretions of power, until their owner wielded the Sceptre of Judah over the whole of Scotland. And we shall see as we proceed, that this proverbial "good luck," (or, as the student of Prophecy would say, Providential Blessing), has always attended those having the custody of these venerable relics of Israel's great Patriarch and Israel's greatest and best remembered King.

Thus Edward, 1st King of all England, son of the Great Alfred, entered into treaty with Constantine III [of Scotland]. - who nevertheless entered the coalition of Danish sub-kings against Edward's son Athelstan in 937, and was sorely punished for his perfidy in Brunanbury Fight: - yet, after Athelstan's death, his brother, "Edmund the 'Deed-Doer,' gave back Cumbria to Constantine's successor, Malcolm I. on condition that he would be his fellow-worker by sea and land." Edmund's brother, Eadred, bestowed Edinburgh and the Northern Lothian on the same monarch: - "And Eadgar, Edmund's son, did give up the two remaining Lothians to Kenneth III. when the latter paid him a visit at Chester in 974"; thus making that king the Ruler of all Scotland from Buchan Ness to Ardnamarchan Point, and, as Burn puts it -

"Fra Maiden Kirk tae Johnnie Groats."

The Seventh King of Scotland from Kenneth Mac Alpin, Malcolm II., was murdered at Glamis Castle, leaving his two daughters, Beatrix and Cora, as heiresses. The latter of these gave her name to the famous cataract on the Clyde, Cora Linn, by riding her horse over the precipice to join her lover; the former married the Thane of Albanach, conveying the Sceptre of Judah into that family; this constituting its third transmission since leaving the Holy Land.

Of this illustrious House of Albanach (which gave to Scotland her famous slogan, "Alban!"), fourteen Princes held the right to the Sceptre of Judah; and it is highly significant that, whether these princely holders of the Sceptre are enumerated through King William the Lion, or his brother, Prince David, Earl of Huntingdon - from the former of whom came the hapless Maid of Norway (who perished in 1290), and from the latter the family of Balliol and that of Bruys, Brus, or Bruce - the result is exactly the same (FOURTEEN): proving to my mind that this number SEVEN, and multiples of this number (as in the forty-nine Irish Kings, the fourteen Kings of Argyll, and the seven Kings of Scotland of the House of Alpin), are, in some inscrutable way, connected with the history and migrations of this venerable emblem.

Of the earlier of these fourteen Kings of the Line of Alban we cannot say much here, though the period covered by their reigns (1034-1286) was filled with great events, as such a digression would be foreign to my purpose. I will, therefore, content myself by recording that Alexander I. (1107-1124), grandson of the murdered Duncan (slain by Macbeth), and son of Malcolm III. (Canmore) who had married Margaret of England - erected an Abbey a hundred yards east of Scone Palace, in which, with solemn state and at dead of night, he deposited the famous Lia Fail. That his nephew, William the Lion (1165-1214, the longest reign in Scottish history), was captured, on the 13th of July, 1174, when tilting with some of his knights in a meadow near Alnwick, by Ranulf of Glanville and Odinel of Umfraville, and that he was carried before Henry II. at Northampton, taken by that monarch to Normandy, and was only released by him at Falaise after an enforced, and therefore nugatory homage had been exacted from him for his kingdom of Scotland.

This arbitrary and unjust action on the part of the English monarch towards his own blood-relation (for "William the Lyon" was Henry's second cousin on his mother's side), formed one of the flimsy pretexts put forward by Edward IV [or I]. ("Longshanks"),* when at Berwick, on November 30th, 1296, he claimed to be the Suzerain of Scotland, and appointed John Balliol as his Deputy! (The First King Edward was the son of Alfred; the second Edward was the unfortunate son of Eadgar; the Third Edward was the venerable "Confessor": ergo. Edward, son of Henry IIIrd, must have been Edward IVth).

The First Plantagenet (Henry II) however, recognized the status of William the Lion as King of Scotland; for he directed that "a Chair of State shall be placed over against our own in every sitting of our Consilium Regis for our Brother of Scotland, to be used by him whenever he may choose to attend any meetings of the same Consilium."

"When Alexander, the Third of that name, was killed by a fall from his horse on the rocks of Kinghorn, on the coast of Fife, in 1286, his granddaughter, Margaret, the Maid of Norway (the last of the old line of Alban), was acknowledged as Queen. She was related to King Edward, and a wedding was arranged for her at Brigham, whereby she was to be taken to wife by her cousin, Edward the Prince of Caernarvon, but the ship in which she was coming to Scotland was cast away on the Orkneys, where she died in the year 1290."

Thirteen claimants to the crown now put in pleas as to their rights; and, in an evil hour, nine of these, after much wrangling, finally referred the whole matter of the succession to King Edward I. (iv.) After thorough search into the matter, two of these claimants, John Balliol and Robert Bruys, Brus, or Bruce, were held to have sound titles; and the case between them was tried at Naworth Castle in Cumberland and at Norham Castle, Northumberland, near Berwick-on-Tweed.

In order that my readers may clearly perceive the value of these relative claims for the possession of the Sceptre of Judah, I will here insert a Table, which should clear up this knotty point.

Family Tree of Robert the Bruce

By this marriage of Margaret Brus to "Walter the Stewart," the Sceptre of Judah was carried into the Stuart Family, making its fourth transference since 580 B.C. (The Brus Family was Norman: and the name of the first to settle in these Islands appears as the 8th on the Roll of Battle Abbey, Sussex).

Edward I. (IV.), as "Lord Paramount of Scotland," adjudged the throne of that kingdom to John Balliol as standing nearer in the succession than Robert Brus, whereupon Balliol did homage to Edward at once, and accepted the status of a vassal king. This occurred at Berwick, November 30, 1292. Four years later Balliol, being annoyed at the frequent summonses to attend Edward's Courts, formed an alliance with Philip, the "Fair," of France and revolted against the English yoke. Edward invaded Scotland at the head of an overwhelming force, and Balliol, "seeing he had no power to resist," begged peace of him, and, being kindly received at Brechin, gave back to Edward the Kingdom of Scotland, owning that he had forfeited it, July 10, 1296.

Edward, seeing that all was now quiet, turned back from Elgin, and, passing by Perth on his way South, he took from the Abbey of Scone the Lia Fail, or "Stone of Destiny," and, from the Royal Palace adjoining, the entire Regalia of the Scottish Kingdom, including the Sceptre of Judah and Cross of St. Margaret. "These he sent to Westminster; the `Stone of Destiny' was set into a chair for the mass-priest at the high altar of St. Peter's in the Abbey there"; the Sceptre and other ornaments being deposited in the Tower [of London].

When Edward III. (VIth) was warring in France, David II. of Scotland invaded England to recover the lost treasures of his Kingdom, but he was met and defeated by the heroic English Queen, Philippa at Neville's Cross, October 17th, 1346; and to his chagrin was made a prisoner by "Squire John of Copeland," (Cumberland), and lodged in the Tower of London pending Edward's return.

On Edward's coming back from France, he had a conference with David of Scotland at the Tower, at which it was agreed that the Regalia of the Northern Kingdom was to be restored (including also the Lia Fail); but the resistance shown by the citizens of London to the surrender of this relic caused this item of the treaty to be abandoned, and it was retained at Westminster, where it remains to this day [except in 1996 it returned to Edinburgh!].

House of Stuart.

From Margaret Brus and Walter the Stewart, fourteen Monarchs of the Stewart line have sat upon the thrones of Scotland and the United Kingdoms [of England and Scotland], the seventh of these, James V., dying at Falkland Palace, in 1542, after the disastrous defeat of Solway Moss, bequeathed his throne and sceptre to his only child Mary, Queen of Scots, with the remark, "It came in with a lass and now it's going out with a lass!"

Sovereigns of the United Kingdom.

When James VI. of Scotland ascended the throne of England on the demise of Elizabeth, in 1603, he did not bring with him any part of the Scottish Regalia, so that the Sceptre of Judah remained in the Castle of Edinburgh, to which fortress it had been taken by David II. on its delivery by Edward III.

But in the troublous times of the Revolution [the English Civil War], the Regalia was sent for greater security to the then deemed impregnable Dunnottar Castle, on the wild coast of Kincardine. This stronghold was besieged by Montrose in 1645, and again by Cromwell's general, Lambert, in 1651. On this later occasion, the Regalia of Scotland ran a chance of going into the melting-pot along with that of England, but it was saved by a wonderful intervention of Providence. A Mrs. Granger, the "wife of the Minister of Kinneff," a few miles down the coast, asked permission to visit the Governor's wife, and managed to smuggle out of the beleaguered castle the Sceptre of Judah, Crown, and Sword of State, among some clothes and flax she was allowed to take away with her." This is the last important event recorded of this marvelously preserved relic of the old Kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and of the Monarchs of David's Line.

We have now traced the Ark of the Covenant to its resting-place in the Hill of Torah or Tara, in Ireland, the "Lia Fail," or "Stone of Destiny," to the Coronation Chair in the venerable Abbey Church of Westminster, and the Sceptre of Judah to the noble Castle of Edinburgh. Thus these three treasured emblems of Israel's and Judah's past greatness and glories are deposited in these three Sister Kingdoms of the" Isles afar off" - the "Isles which are beyond the Sea"; and the deep import of these facts will be apparent to all students of the Prophecies contained in Holy Writ.

But these Prophecies of "holy men of God who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost" (2 Peter 1:21) also tell of a complete Restoration and a glorious future for the ancient people of God in the land promised unto their fathers as an everlasting possession. At this Restoration of Israel and Judah to Palestine these memorable relics will also be returned to their original resting places in "The City of the Great King!"

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