Friday, February 4, 2011

Honours of Scotland

On February 4, 1818 Sir Walter Scott wrote to John Wilson Croker about the experience he'd had that day of opening the chest that stored Scotland's crown jewels.  The jewels had been placed in the chest, and stored at Edinburgh Castle after the Act of Union, on March 7, 1707.


EDINBURGH, 4th Feb. l8l8

MY DEAR CROKER,-I have the pleasure to assure you the Regalia of Scotland were this day found in perfect preservation.1 The Sword of State and Sceptre showed marks of hard usage at some former period ; but in all respects agree with the description in Thomson's work.  I will send you a complete account of the opening tomorrow, as the official account will take some time to draw up. In the meantime, I hope you will remain as obstinate in your belief as St. Thomas, because then you
will come down to satisfy yourself. I know nobody entitled to earlier information, save ONE, to whom you can perhaps find the means of communicating the result of our researches. The post is just going off.
Ever yours truly,                                                                          WALTER SCOTT

The letter is taken from Herbert Grierson's "The Letters of Sir Walter Scott", available at Edinburgh University's Walter Scott Digital Archive.  Scott wrote to Croker again on February 7, with additinal details.

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