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Relics-fr-all-art - 9/26/04

"Relics for all" by Lord Xaviar the Eccentric.

NOTE: See also the files: relics-msg, pilgrm-badges-msg, icons-msg, religion-msg, salt-comm-art, spice-use-art, tomato-hist-art, A-Gear-o-Time-art.


This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set
of files, called Stefan’s Florilegium.

These files are available on the Internet at:

Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.

While the author will likely give permission for this work to be
reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first
or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.

                               Thank you,
                                    Mark S. Harris
                                    AKA:  Stefan li Rous
                                         stefan at florilegium.org

                    Relic's for all
       Sean the Clanless
     Lord Xaviar the Eccentric
     The Earliest reference to the Black Rood of Scotland places it with the Anglo-Saxon princess Margaret, the Elder sister of Edgar Atheling of the House of Wessex.  Edgar and his two sisters were taking refuge in Scotland.  It is only after Margaret became the wife of King Malcom III Ceanmore (r.1057-1093) around the year 1070, that she is listed as the bearer of this priceless relic. It is said that with its influence she brought about the end of the Celtic religion.

     It is described to be a casket in the shape of a cross, containing what was believed to be a piece of the true cross, set in an ebony crucifix, richly ornamented with gold. Margaret who was canonized in 1250 bequeathed the Rood to her children. St Margaret is said to have pressed it to her lips and eyes, and expired clasping it with both her hands.

     The contemporary biographer of her son, King David I (b 1084-1153), relates that the "Black Rood of Scotland," had become regarded by all the Scottish people with feelings of love and awe during the twelfth century. In 1128, King David founded the Holyrood Abby.  It was said that on the night of a tussle with a  muckle hart', David had a dream that advised him   to make a house for deacons devoted to the Cross' (Holyrood Ordinale, c.1450). The Monastery of the Holy Rood was completed on a site near the spring of St Margarets (then known as St. Davids) in 1141 for the Augustinian Friars.(Keay,311)

     Its next documented location was the castle of Edinburgh. Where it was kept as an heirloom of the kingdom.  It remained there until the year 1291 when with many other relics of Scotland, it was delivered to King Edward I (Long shanks; 1239-1307). King Edward I used it to give increased solemnity to the oaths of fealty, which he exacted of the magnates of Scotland.(Kill,342)

     When the hapless King David II (son of Robert the Bruce; b.1324-1371) invaded England in 1346, he took the Black Rood with him.  He believed that God through this relic would insure safety to his person, and victory to his armies. David was defeated and taken capture by the Lord of Raby.  The Black Rood of Scotland along with other spoils of the battle, were offered up at the Shrine of St. Cuthbert in the Cathedral of Durham. The coming of the Reformation brought about the cathedrals pillaging and all traces of it vanished.

                          Works Cited

     Brown, Peter Hume;(1849-1918); History of Scotland; Vol 1,(p 55-59) Octagon Books, NY. 1971.

     Donaldson, Gordon; Scottish kings (p 12-5) Wiley. 1967.

     Fenwick, Hubert; Scotland's abbeys and cathedrals; (p 69-170) Hale. London. 1978

     Keay, John and Julia; Collins encyclopedia of Scotland; Harper Collins. Hammersmith, London. 1994.

     Killikelly, Sarah Hutchins (1840-1912) Curious questions in history, literature, art, and social life Vol 1 (p 341-2);  Gale Research Co. Detroit. 1968.

     Mitchison, Rosalind; A history of Scotland NY. 1982.

     Phyfe, William Henry Pinkney; 5000, facts and fancies: a cyclopaedia of important, currant, quaint, and unique information in history, literature, art, and nature; (p 91) Gale Research Co. Detroit. 1966.

     Skene, William Forbes (1809-1892); Celtic Scotland: a history of ancient Alban; Vol I (p 420-32) Vol II (p 365-   418) Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY. 1971.

     Strayer, Joseph R.; Dictionary of the Middle Ages; Vol 8 (p 56)Scribner and son; NY. 1982.

Copyright 1997 by Lord Xaviar the Eccentric, <medieval_man_inc at yahoo.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and is notified by

If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.

<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org