Tuesday, February 2, 2010
The Honors is another name for the Crown Jewels of Scotland. They are far older then the ones used in England and are, perhaps the oldest in the world! They consist of a crown, a scepter and a sword as well as other various items like the Lord Treasurer's Rod, the George, a type of medallion that belonged to James V, the collar of the Garter that belonged to James VI and the St. Andrew coronation ring that belonged to Charles I. The crown, scepter and sword are the oldest pieces though. The crown is said to contain the gold from the circlet that Robert the Bruce wore in the 1300s and was remodeled in 1540. It is set with ninety-four pearls, ten diamonds and thirty-three other gems. The sword of state was given to James IV by Pope Julius II and was made in Italy.
The crown, scepter and sword have actually had an interesting history. In 1651, they were taken to Dunnottar Castle as one of the safest places to keep them because Oliver Cromwell was reeking havoc in Scotland at that time. Unfortunately, Cromwell's troops besieged the castle which was under the command of George Ogilvy of Barras. Ogilvy was forced to surrender because of starvation but before that happened, the Crown jewels were smuggled out by a woman named Mrs. Granger. She was the wife of a minister from a nearby town called Kinneff, and one day she asked for permission to visit Ogilvy's wife. While in the castle, she was able to find the Honors, hide the crown in her clothes, and wrap the sword and scepter in lint which she was carrying. As she left, the English general actually helped her mount her horse with her precious cargo and she rode off without a word back to her home. That night, her husband buried the Honors under the flagstones of his church. They stayed there until 1660 when George Ogilvy presented them to Charles II. Unfortunately, Mr. and Mrs. Granger didn't receive a reward for their work, but there is a monument to Mrs. Granger in the church where the Honors were buried.
After the Union of Scotland and England, the Honors were taken to Edinburgh Castle and they still reside there, waiting for another king to use them.
Here is a link to a picture of the Honors :