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Re: William the Seemly

Margaret  established several churches, including the Abbey of Dunfermline.
The Abbey was
built to hold her greatest treasure, a purported  fragment of the ‘True
Cross’. If all the
supposed pieces of the ‘True Cross’ were gathered together we could build a
few dozen
wooden houses.  Her book of the Gospels, richly adorned, by her husband
Malcolm III
Caenmore (Gaelic “Big Head, ) who could not read, with jewels one day
dropped into a river
and was according to legend miraculously recovered, is now in the Bodleian
library at Oxford.
She foretold the day and place of her death, Edinburgh 16 November 1093, her
body was
buried before the high altar at Dunfermline.

In 1249 (Old Style) 1250 Georgian  Margaret was canonized by Innocent IV
(Pope 1243-
1254), and her mortal remains were moved  19 June, 1259, to a new shrine,
the base of which
is still visible beyond the modern east wall of the Dunfermline church.
During the
Reformation her head passed into the possession of Mary Queen of Scots, and
later was
secured by the Jesuits at Douai, where it is believed to have perished
during the French
Revolution. According to George Conn, "De duplici statu religionis apud
Scots" (Rome,
1628), the rest of her body, together with those of Malcolm, were acquired
by Philip II of
Spain, and placed in two urns in the Escorial.  Bishop Gillies of Edinburgh
applied through
Pius IX (Pope 1846-78)  for the restoration to Scotland, of Margaret and
Malcolm  remains
they could not be found. A few years later their urns were miraculously
discovered.  They
remain in Spain.

The chief authority for Margaret's life is the contemporary biography
printed in "Acta SS.", II,
June.  Turgot, Margaret’ confessor, a monk of Durham and later Archbishop of
St. Andrews
mentions William the Seemly, he is alleged to have  authored the biography
but then the
authorship has also been credited to  Theodoric, a somewhat obscure monk.
There has been
much scholarly debate the point remains  unsettled.

Ref CHALLONER, Britannia Sancta, I (London, 1745),
BELLESHEIM, History of the Catholic Church in Scotland, tr. Blair, III
(Edinburgh, 1890),
STEEDMAN Our Island Saints,(London, 1912)


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