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CORONATION ANECDOTES,

&c. &c.

$ 1. ANECDOTES OF THE REGALIA AND

ROYAL VESTMENTS.

History - the picture of man — has shared the fate of its original. It has had its infancy of Fable ; its youth of Poetry its manhood of Thought, Intelligence, and Reflection." - Anon,

:

No. 1. The Regal Chair. The Regalia of England are the symbols of a monarchical authority that has been transmitted by coronation ceremonies for upwards of ten centuries. But the incorporation of England, Scotland, and Ireland, into one united kingdom,- an event peculiar to the coronation of George IV.to have recognised, has connected the history of the Imperial Regalia with some tales of legendary lore, the truth of which, if this circumstance does not demonstrate, be assured, gentle reader, nothing

B

our own

will. Irish records are said to add at least another thousand years of substantial history to the honours of that solid regal seat, or coronation chair, in which our monarchs are both anointed and crowned*: while some of

“ honest chroniclers” assign to it a still more marvellous antiquity.

Holinshed gives us the history of one Gathelus, a Greek, who brought from Egypt into Spain the identical stone on which the patriarch Jacob slept and “ poured oil" at Luz. He was “, the sonne of Cecrops, who builded the citie of Athens ;" but having married Scota, the daughter of Pharaoh, he resided for some time in Egypt, from whence he was induced to remove into the West by the judgments pronounced on that country by Moses. In Spain,

In Spain, “ having peace with his neighbors, he builded a citie called Brigantia (Compostella), where he “sat vpon his marble stone, gave lawes, and ministred justice vnto his people, thereby to maintaine them in wealth and quietnesse.” And “ Hereof it came to passe, that first in Spaine, after in Ireland, and then in Scotland, the kings which ruled over the Scotishmen received the crowne sittinge vpon that stone, vntill the time of Robert the First, king of Scotland.” In another part of his “ Historie of Scotland," Holinshed mentions king Simon Brech as having transmitted this stone to Ireland, about 700 years before the birth of Christ, and that " the first Fergus” brought it " out of Ireland into Albion," B.C. 330. One important property of this stone should not be unnoticed. It is said, by the writers from whom the foregoing particulars are derived, to furnish a test of legitimate royal descent; yielding an oracular sound when a prince of the true blood is placed upon it, and remaining silent under a mere pretender to the throne. We heard various joyful acclamations on the recent “ royal day;" but (perhaps from that very circumstance) could not distinguish the sound in question.

* See Toland; Sir J. Ware's Antiq. of Ireland, vol. ii. pp. 10, 124, &c.

Apart from these legends, the real history of the hag-fail, or Fatal Stone*, is curious;

* Called also by the Irish Lloch na cinearna, or, the Stone of Fortune.

for 450 years

and has induced the learned Toland to call it “ the antientest respected monument in the world*.” It is to be traced, on the best authorities, into Ireland; whence it had been brought into Scotland, and had become of great notoriety in Argyleshire, some time before the reign of Kennith, or A. D. 834. This monarch found it at Dunstaffnage, a royal castle, enclosed it in a wooden chair, and removed it to the abbey of Scone, where

“ all kingis of Scotland war crownit” upon it; or “ quhil ye tyme of Robert Bruse. In quhais tyme, besyde mony othir crueltis done be kyng EDWARD Lang Schankis, the said chiar of merbyll wes taikin be Inglismen, and brocht out of Scone to London, and put into Westmonistar, quhaer it remains to our dayis t."

An ancient Irish prophecy, quoted by Mr. Taylor in his learned “ Glory of Regalityt," assures us, that the possession of this stone is essential to the preservation of regal power. It runs literally, “. The race of Scots of the true blood, if this prophecy be not false, unless they possess the Stone of Fate, shall fail to obtain regal power.” King Kennith caused the leonine verses following to be engraved on the chair:

* History of the Druids, p. 104.
+ Chron. of Scotland, lib. i. cap. 2.

# P. 54.

Ni fallat fatum
Scoti quocunque locatum
Invenient lapidem

Regnare tenentur ibidem.
Thus given by Camden,

Or Fate is blind,
Or Scots shall find,
Where'er this stone

A royal throne. A prophecy which is said to have reconciled many a true Scot to the Union in Queen Anne's time; and which, since the extinction of the Stuart family, is remarkably fulfilled in the claims of the House of Brunswick, - George IV. being now the legitimate heir of both lines.

At or near a consecrated stone, it was an ancient Eastern custom to appoint kings or chieftains to their office. Thus we read in Scripture of Abimelech being “ made king by the plain of the pillar that was in

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