On April 27, 1296, King Edward I of England invaded Scotland and stole the Coronation Stone from Scone Abbey in what is remembered as one of the most infamous events in Scottish history. The stone, also known as the “Stone of Destiny,” symbolized Scottish sovereignty and represented the Scottish royal seat of power.
Edward’s invasion of Scotland was the culmination of years of tension and conflict between the two nations. Scotland had long been a thorn in England’s side, with numerous skirmishes and battles fought over territory and power. However, the coronation of John Balliol as King of Scotland in 1292 sparked a greater conflict between the two nations.
Edward had hoped to use John as a puppet ruler to extend his power over Scotland, but John resisted Edward’s influence and turned to France for support. This led to a series of hostilities and escalating tensions that culminated in Edward’s invasion of Scotland in 1296.
The English king’s army marched into Scotland, burning and looting as they went. Edward’s army quickly overwhelmed the Scottish forces, and John Balliol was forced to abdicate his throne. The Coronation Stone was taken from Scone Abbey as a symbol of English conquest and brought back to Westminster Abbey in London.
The theft of the Coronation Stone was a devastating blow to Scottish morale and marked the beginning of a long period of English domination over Scotland. However, despite the setback, the Scottish people refused to accept defeat and continued to resist English rule.
In 1314, the Scottish army, under the leadership of Robert the Bruce, won a decisive victory over the English at the Battle of Bannockburn. This victory reestablished Scottish independence and again made the Coronation Stone a potent symbol of Scottish sovereignty.