1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Scone (village)

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SCONE (pron. Skoon; Gaelic, skene, “a cutting”), a parish of Perthshire, Scotland, containing Old Scone, the site of an historic abbey and palace, and New Scone, a modern village (pop. 1585), 2 m. N. of Perth, near the left bank of the Tay. Pop. of parish (1901) 2362. It became the capital of Pictavia, the kingdom of northern Picts, in succession to Forteviot. Parliaments occasionally assembled on the Moot Hill, where the first national council of which we possess records was held (906). The Moot Hill was known also as the Hill of Belief from the fact that here the Pictish king promulgated the edict regulating the Christian church. The abbey was founded in 1115 by Alexander I., but long before this date Scone had been a centre of ecclesiastical activity and the seat of a monastery. Kenneth is alleged to have brought the Stone of Destiny, on which the Celtic kings were crowned, from Dunstaffnage Castle on Loch Etive, and to have deposited it in Scone, whence it was conveyed to Westminster Abbey (where it lies beneath the Coronation Chair) by Edward I. in 1296. Most of the Scottish kings were crowned at Scone, the last function being held on the 1st of January 1651, when Charles II. received the crown. Apparently there was never any royal residence in the town, owing to the proximity of Perth. Probably the ancient House of Scone, which stood near the abbey, provided the kings with temporary accommodation. Both the abbey and the house were burned down by the Reformers in 1559, and next year the estates were granted to the Ruthvens. On the attainder of the family after the Gowrie conspiracy in 1600, the land passed to Sir David Murray of the Tullibardine line, who became 1st viscount Stormont (1621) and was the ancestor of the earl of Mansfield, to whom the existing house belongs. Sir David completed in 1606 the palace which the earl of Gowrie had begun. The 5th viscount—father of the 1st earl of Mansfield, the lord chief justice of England (b. at Scone 1705)—entertained the Old Pretender for three weeks in 1716, and his son received Prince Charles Edward in 1746. The present palace, which dates from 1803, stands in a beautiful park. It contains several historic relics, the most interesting being a bed adorned with embroidery worked by Mary Queen of Scots during her imprisonment in Lochleven Castle. The gallery in which Charles II. was crowned, a hall 160 ft. long, has been included in the palace. Two hundred yards east of the mansion is an ancient gateway, supposed to have led to the old House of Scone, and near it stands the cross of Scone, removed hither from its original site in the town.