Charles II was crowned King at Scone on January 1st

CharlesII

Charles II

On 1 January 1651, Charles II was crowned in a ceremony at Scone. His coronation was the last to take place in Scotland. His father, Charles I, having been put to the axe 30 January 1649, Charles II was declared king of Great Britain and Ireland by the Scottish Parliament the following month, but the English Parliament quickly made that proclamation illegal. Meeting and losing to Cromwell in battle at Worcester in September, 1651, Charles spent almost the next decade exiled on the Continent. The monarchy, the House of Lords, and the Privy Council were abolished and Oliver Cromwell, after much roiling of the traditional power structure of England, during which several parliaments rose and fell, became “Lord Protector” of the Commonwealth with all but dictatorial power. It would not be until Cromwell’s death in 1660, and the removal of Richard, Cromwell’s son and successor, that Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda in April of 1660, allowing as how he would return to the throne of England under certain conditions. In Winchester Abbey, 23 April 1661, Charles II was crowned the second time, and all relevant documents thereafter were dated as if he had succeeded his father in 1649.
(Historical commentary from ScotlandRising.com,  Illustration by Jane Starr Weils)
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Read a dramatization of the coronation ceremony at Scone from my novel DARK DESTINY:
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“Coronation”

January 1, 1651

Scone, Perth, Scotland

The village of Scone had a long history of crowning Scottish kings.  Ancient Gaelic poetry referred to it as Scoine sciath-airde or ‘Scone of the high shields.’   The Abbey at Scone had two important functions.  It housed the coronation stone and served as a royal residence.

Prince Charles had been received by the Abbey with all outward respect imaginable.  Chaplains previously hostile to him approached on bended knees, in the humblest of postures.  The Marquis of Argyle was gracious, entertaining him with pleasant discourses.  But all was not as expected.  Upon arrival, the Prince had been separated from his English servants.  Attempts to restore them to his company were futile.  All else, he’d been allowed – fine meals, a good horse to ride, a walk in the night air.  At public appearances, he received the respect due a great king.  Why then, did he feel like a prisoner?

That morning, the Prince dressed in a royal coronation robe.  He was conducted from his bed chamber by the constable and the marshal to the Chamber of Presence.  There, he was placed in a comfortable chair by the Lord of Angus.  After a short repose, the commissioners of barons and boroughs entered the hall and presented themselves before him.

Charles was growing impatient.  “Get on with it.”

The Lord Chancellor’s eyes widened.  “Sir, yer good subjects desire ye may be crowned, as the righteous and lawful heir of the crown of this kingdom.  But there are conditions – That ye maintain religion as it is presently professed and established.  That ye conform to the National Covenant.  That according to yer declaration of August last; that ye receive them under yer highness’ protection, to govern them by the laws of the kingdom, and to defend them in their rights and liberties…”  The man droned on and on.

Charles stifled a yawn.  He cleared his ears and caught the last of it. “…For the maintenance of religion, for the safety of yer Majesty’s sacred person, and maintenance of yer crown, which they entreat yer Majesty to accept, and pray Almighty God that for years ye may happily enjoy the same.”

The Prince gave a rehearsed answer, “I do esteem the affections of my good people more than the crowns of many kingdoms, and shall be ready, by God’s assistance, to bestow my life in their defense, wishing to live no longer than I may see religion and this kingdom flourish in all happiness.”  Charles gazed at the faces in the audience.  They seemed satisfied.  He stood.

The commissioners and noblemen began the walk to the Kirk of Scone, two by two in order according to their rank.  The sword was carried by the Earle of Rothes, the scepter by the Earle of Craufurd, and the crown by the Marquis of Argyle.  Then came the soon to be king, with the constable on his right hand and the great marshal on his left, his long train being carried by chosen lords and their sons.

The procession entered the Kirk, which had been prepared for the solemn ceremony.  There was a table upon which the honors were laid, and a stage.  Upon this stage was a chair where his majesty would hear the sermon, and another chair where he would sit to receive the crown.  Under this chair was the Stone of Scone.  The commissioners and noblemen took seats on benches.  The Prince sat in the chair meant for the hearing of the sermon.

Charles pinched the bridge of his nose.  He was getting a frightful headache.

The Marquis of Argyle inquired, “Are ye ill, yer Majesty?”

“Nay!” Charles snapped.  “You may proceed.”  He stopped pinching his nose and composed himself.

The minister arrived and began the sermon.

Charles suffered through his boring words.  The things one must endure to regain their throne!  At last, the sermon was done.  They escorted him to the chair that sat over the Stone of Scone.

The Marquis of Argyle placed the crown on his head.  With great ceremony, he uttered the words that would make him king.  The man concluded, “And now, yer Majesty, yer subjects shall approach.”  They came on bended knees, bearing exquisite gifts – a pistol, a harp, an ancient gold coin… the list was endless.  Did they expect him to remember?

King Charles cared nothing for these gifts or the men who gave them.  His thoughts were with his murdered father.  I accomplished the first step, Father.  With the Scottish army, I will regain my English throne and punish the men who ordered your death…

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The story continues in the Dark Birthright Trilogy (Dark Birthright, Dark Lord, Dark Destiny)
an illustrated tale of 17th century Scotland, England, & the Colonies
by author Jeanne Treat
illustrated by Jane Starr Weils
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Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice a the stone circle

The Winter Solstice is celebrated in my novel DARK BIRTHRIGHT.

Here is an excerpt from a chapter named YULE:

LOUDEN WOOD, DECEMBER 21, 1636

It was the evening of the winter solstice.  A heavy snow had fallen, blanketing the landscape.  Keira fastened her white cloak and went outside to gather pine branches for the feast.  As she walked in the sparkling forest, she pondered the events of the last few months.

Cawley and Florag died after the first snowfall, wrapped in each other’s arms.  It was sad to see the old ones go, but she knew in her heart that they wanted it this way.  Michael chose young Torry as his apprentice, to follow in his footsteps as priest.  She was so proud of him!  Best of all, her friends Janet and Alistair expected a child in March.

Her own future was unclear, frightening in some ways.  She closed her eyes and offered a prayer. “Goddess, hear me. I promised my love that we shall marry within the year.  He is kind and compassionate, with the soul of a poet and a song in his heart.  He knows you not, yet his heart is a reflection of your wisdom.  Mother whispers that our union is important.  Is it the end of the burning times?  Will I see the face of my newborn child or shall I suffer her fate?”

A gentle voice whispered through the trees. “Trust me, child.”

Keira was overcome with emotion as she held her hands to the sky. “Great Mother. I surrender my fear, my hopes, and my dreams to you. My life is in your hands.” At once, she was filled with a peace so profound that it defied description.  Warmth spread throughout her body, as the Goddess’ arms encircled her.  Her path was clear.  The future of her people rested with the handsome fisherman.  Wind whipped snowflakes into the air, stealing her breath, and bringing her back to the moment. “Thank you Mother,” she whispered. “For granting me a piece of the Summerland.”

Snow buntings twittered in pine trees, ruffling their mottled plumage. “Tirrirriripp….. piu… piu…”  Keira reached into her pocket and took out some cranberries, leaving them for the birds.  She gathered an armful of pine branches and walked to the barn.  Outside, a large cooking pot hung over the fire, filled with lamb stew.  Marcia and David West tended the fire and ladled stew into wooden bowls.

Marcia smiled. “Oh, good. You brought more pine branches. They’re almost done decorating.”

The smell of boiled lamb filled the air.  Keira’s stomach growled. “I’m starved.”

David nodded.  “We all are. It won’t be long now.”

Keira entered the barn and saw that it was decorated with holly and pine boughs.  Soft candlelight played on the walls.  Fragrant mistletoe, sacred to the Goddess, hung from rafters.  She placed her bundle on the table and arranged the branches.

Janet squeezed her shoulder. “Thank ye, lass.  Here’s a red ribbon to tie it together and cranberries to dress it up.”

Keira reached out and touched her swollen belly. “It won’t be much longer, friend.  Three more moon cycles.”

“Aye.  What more could I ask for?  I have a loving husband, a child on the way, and the best friend in the world. You mean so much to me, lass.”

Keira’s heart ached.  How could she tell Janet that she was leaving?  She lowered her head and tied ribbon around the branches. Torry pulled her close, kissing her on the cheek.  “Torry!”

“I can kiss ye. You’re under the mistletoe.”

“That I am.”

Janet laughed. “If you stand there, chances are you’ll be kissed more than once.”

It looked like everyone had arrived. David and Marcia brought in bowls of stew and set them on the table. The villagers gathered and bowed their heads in respect.

Michael spoke. “Friends.  We gather this solstice night to celebrate Yule. Let us reflect upon the abundance of the harvest and the gift of this wonderful feast. We thank the Goddess for plentiful crops and her profound love and protection.”

Keira smiled. “Blessed be.”

Michael held out his hands. “Peace be with ye.  Let the feast begin.”

The villagers gorged themselves on lamb stew and sweetened cakes, filled with nuts and dried fruits from sunnier days.  Aileana strummed the harp and George played the Bohdran.  They drank mulled wine and apple cider and retired to their homes to get ready for the walk to the stones…

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Read more in Dark Birthright…

DARK BIRTHRIGHT is book one of an illustrated trilogy that takes place in 17th century Scotland, England, and the Colonies.  It is followed by DARK LORD and DARK DESTINY.

You can read about it and view video book trailers at:

http://www.DarkBirthrightSaga.com

keira

Keira

The Lost Spirit – a Christmas poem by Clara Treat

Meaning of Christmas

The Lost Spirit

I searched for the spirit of Christmas

In a silent, white starlit night,

And then on the city sidewalks

With store windows gay and bright.

I visited Toyland and found there

Happiness and real joy,

In the picture of children with Santa

As he promised each one a toy.

Then I took my babes to the manger

To wish the Christ Child well,

And there by the candle-lit crib

I captured the magic spell.

In the eyes of my own little children

The spirit of Christmas shone,

With love for the child who lay there

He was truly one of their own.

Author’s note:

Our home was the gathering place for our friends and relatives on Christmas Eve.  We exchanged gifts and enjoyed a great buffet luncheon.  With all the work of decorating and cooking and the kids getting restless, I’d lost my Christmas spirit.  I gathered my brood together and headed for the manger in our church.  It was there that I captured the lost spirit that inspired me to write this poem.

~ Clara Treat

Download Clara’s book “Heartland Verses” free at:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/54111

Use coupon code  RW69S at checkout to get it free – until 01/07/14