Ian Hamilton, ‘Stone of Destiny’ thief and hero of Scottish nationalism, is dead

On Christmas Eve 1950, Ian Hamilton steals the “Stone of Destiny” to bring it back to Scotland. The 152 kilo block of sandstone was built into the coronation chair of English monarchs.

Lawyer Ian Hamilton, made a hero of Scottish nationalism after he stole and brought back to Scotland the “fate stoneused for centuries for coronations in London, died Tuesday, October 4 at the age of 97.

There “fate stone“, Where “scone stonewas used for centuries to crown the kings of Scotland before King Edward I of England seized it in 1296 and brought it back as spoils of war to Westminster Abbey in London, where it will remain for a long time. 650 years old.

Scottish burglary

This block of sandstone weighing 152 kilos is then integrated into the “coronation chairon which British monarchs sit during their coronation. But on Christmas Eve 1950, Ian Hamilton took the lead of a small group of Scottish students and stole the stone to bring it back to Scotland, thereby becoming a hero of Scottish nationalism. “I am extremely sad to learn of the death of Ian Hamilton.Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon reacted on Twitter. He was an exceptional lawyer and a legend of the independence movement.» «He will be remembered for his role in finding the Stone of Destiny and as an inspiration to the independence movement“, underlined the Scottish independence party SNP.

After the “releaseof the stone, it would eventually return to London and be used for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. But in 1996, in the midst of rising independence sentiment, it was finally returned to Scotland. It is now kept at Edinburgh Castle.

However, it is agreed that she will return to Westminster for the coronations and should thus return to the British capital for the coronation of Charles III expected next year. The journey of Ian Hamilton and his friends had not been without incident. The stone had broken in two as they carried it to put it in their car. The small group had also had to avoid the checkpoints on the Scottish border, set up after the discovery of the theft in London.

The four students, hailed as national heroes, will never be prosecuted. Their adventure will even be the subject of a film. “The wonderful thing about stone is that it transcends politicshad estimated in 2008 Ian Hamilton, who wrote a book on his epic. Whatever our political leanings, Scots know there is something that binds us together“.

SEE ALSO – Death of Elizabeth II: the crown of Scotland, in solid gold, is placed on the queen’s coffin in Saint-Gilles cathedral

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