Saturday, February 4, 2012

Crown of Scotland

A Royal Commission had been issued in 1794 authorising certain persons to enter the jewel room in the Castle of Edinburgh, and by breaking the door if necessary, in order to ascertain whether the historical conjecture was true that the Crown of Scotland and its pertinent were there.  But that attempt to discover them had failed; because after breaking the lock of the door, a punctilious commissioner doubted whether their warrant sanctioned their also using force against a chest that they found within.  This obstacle was suggested, I have heard, by Blair the Solicitor-General; and it being formidable, the chest was left untouched, the outer door was relocked, and the commissioners retired.  After another pause of twenty-four years, the experiment was renewed by a better instructed Commission, and on the 4th of February 1818 the Commissioners proceeded with due pomp to their work.  They unlocked the door and opened the chest.  And there, as Thomas Thomson had told them, they found the Regalia sleeping beneath the dust that had been gathering around them ever since the Union.  It was a hazy evening, about four o’clock, when a shot from the Castle and a cheer from a regiment drawn up on the Castle Hill announced to the people, that the Crown of heir old kings was discovered. ..John Kemble asked Scott If the Crown was not splendid?  “The last time that I saw you as Macbeth you had a much grander one.”

The text above, including the quote of Walter Scott, comes from Lord Henry Cockburn’s “Memorials of his Time”.

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