The MadGang Go To Dunnottar Castle

A walk through the woods to Dunnottar Castle and then along the top of the cliffs to Stonehaven harbour.

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The Honours of Scotland ( Wikipedia )

Charles II was crowned at Scone Palace on the first of January, 1651 at which the Honours of Scotland (the regalia of crown, sword and sceptre) were used. However, with Cromwell's troops in Lothian, the honours could not be returned to Edinburgh. The Earl Marischal, as Marischal of Scotland, had formal responsibility for the honours and in June the Privy Council duly decided to place them at Dunnottar. They were brought to the castle by Katherine Drummond, hidden in sacks of wool. Sir George Ogilvie (or Ogilvy) of Barras was appointed lieutenant-governor of the castle and given responsibility for its defence.

In November 1651 Cromwell's troops called on Ogilvie to surrender but he refused. During the subsequent blockade of the castle the removal of the Honours of Scotland was planned by Elizabeth Douglas, wife of Sir George Ogilvie, and Christian Fletcher, wife of James Granger, minister of Kinneff Parish Church. The king's papers were first removed from the castle by Anne Lindsay, a kinswoman of Elizabeth Douglas, who walked through the besieging force with the papers sewn into her clothes. Two stories exist regarding the removal of the honours themselves. Fletcher stated in 1664 that over the course of three visits to the castle in February and March 1652 she carried away the crown, sceptre, sword and sword-case hidden amongst sacks of goods. Another account, given in the eighteenth century by a tutor to the Earl Marischal, records that the honours were lowered from the castle onto the beach where they were collected by Fletcher's servant and carried off in a creel (basket) of seaweed. Having smuggled the honours from the castle, Fletcher and her husband buried them under the floor of the Old Kirk at Kinneff.

Meanwhile, by May 1652 the commander of the blockade, Colonel Thomas Morgan, had taken delivery of the artillery necessary for the reduction of Dunnottar. Ogilvie surrendered on th twenty-fourth of May on condition that the garrison could go free. Finding the honours gone the Cromwellians imprisoned Ogilvie and his wife in the castle until the following year when a false story was put about suggesting that the honours had been taken overseas. Much of the castle property was removed, including twenty-one brass cannons and Marischal was required to sell further lands and possessions to pay fines imposed by Cromwell's government.

At the Restoration of Charles II in 1660, the honours were removed from Kinneff Church and returned to the king. Ogilvie quarrelled with Marischal's mother over who would take credit for saving the honours though he was eventually rewarded with a baronetcy. Fletcher was awarded two thousand merks by Parliament but the sum was never paid.

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