Letter to the Editor

The Stone of Scone

Friday, March 2, 2012

Dear Editor,

Scones are a traditional Scottish treat. They resemble pancakes or soft cookies. Often, they are filled with berries, pieces of fruit or butterscotch pieces.

They are tied in with the history of Scotland and England. A Celtic tribe, known as Scots, came from northern Ireland and established Scotland. Near Perth in Perthshire west of Dundee is the town of Scone. This is holy ground to the Scots.

From 1249 to 1286, King Alexander ruled Scotland. Scottish barons fought to become the ruler of Scotland after his death. Finally, in 1292, Baron John deBahol was crowned King of Scotland.

His royal lineage entitled him to become king. William the Conqueror, who took over England in 1066, and Henry III were ancestors of his.

However, Edward II (1254-1327), the king of England, saw things differently. He was convinced that England had free access to Scotland. (After all, John de Baliol was originally just a baron.)

England's soldiers invaded Scotland. The clans of the Highlands fought valiantly. Their weapons were long spears and axes.

Baliol was taken prisoner. He was kept in the Tower of London. English soldiers threatened to destroy the "Stone of Scone," so he took it with him.

The British claimed ownership of it after that. Edward II seized it as a symbol of his royal authority.

Lillian Phelps of Trenton visited England in the 1980s. The "Stone of Scone" had been returned from Scotland to Great Britain.

Its history goes back to Hebrews in biblical times. Ebenezer, or the "stone of help," was set up by Samuel in First Samuel 7:10-12. Kings sat on it when they were crowned. After Jerusalem was destroyed, it ended up in Ireland.

The Scots took it to Scotland. Possession of it is important. Whatever nation that crowns its royalty on it will survive.

Queen Elizabeth II was crowned upon it.

A peaceful step was taken when the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland in 1951 -- the 20th century.

In Scotland and Britain, scones are served at tea time. England, Scotland and Wales became united in 1707. The legend of the "Stone of Scone" lives on in 2012.

-- References: World Book Encyclopedia, 1972 and 1979; "The Three Edwards," by Thomas B. Costain (also author of the Silver Chalice); Mabel Phelps Dewey and Lillian Phelps of Trenton.

Helen Ruth Arnold,

Trenton, Nebraska

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