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I have just finished reading "The Lost King of England" by Gabriel Ronay.
Niven put me in touch with this author for consultation on St. Margaret and
we have corresponded on this subject. This book concerns the saga of the
last of the Cerdic Kings of England from the time that King Aethelred II
married Emma, sister of our ancestor, Count Mauger of Mortain, to Edgar the
Atheling, brother of St. Margaret (second wife of King Malcolm Canmore).
For those new to the St. Margaret discussion, you can find the earlier
comments at http://www.mids.org/sinclair/archive/2000/11/maillist.html
beginng at October 20th. What follows is pretty much what Sinclair de la
Behottiere told us then.
On page 180 Gabriel Ronay begins telling about the movement of Margaret's
body from Dunfermline Abbey at the time of the Reformation almost 4
centuries after her death. From Papebroch's appendix to his life of St.
Margaret we learn that, "her head, still covered by a quantity of fine hair,
was brought to Edinburgh Castle at the request of Queen Mary in 1560's"
When Mary fled to England in 1567, Margaret's head were taken to the castle
of the Laird of Drury and guarded by a Benedictine monk. In 1597 her relics
were smuggled by Father John Robie, of the Society of Jesus to Antwerp,
where Bishop John Malderus authenticated it. His letter of 15 Sept. 1620
also testified to this and at this time he was granted permission to display
her head for public veneration.
Seven years later her head was transferred to the Scots College at Douay,
France and put on public display and "on 4 March 1645, Pope Innocent X
granted a plenary indulgence to all those who visited the college on the
festival of St. Margaret."
In 1785 the historian Carruthers viewed it there also but it disappeared
during the French Revolution.
The rest of Margaret and Malcolm were also taken friom Dunfermline says
Papebroch. King Philip II of Spain (1556-1598) had their urns placed in the
Church of St. Lawrence in the Escorial. Alban Butler reports that the urns
were still there at the end of the 18th century but later when "Bishop
Gillies tried to recover the relics in order to restore them to a Scottish
shiren, they could no longer be identified." Ronay interprets this to mean
that Margaret and Malcolm had turned to dust.
His comment on his reference for this is "The investigation carried out in
1740s is based on a statement of one George Conlon which is recounted in
considerable detail in "De Duplici Statu Religionis apud Scotos."
Considering the vast distruction and hatred of Catholics by the
Reformationists, it would be surprising if Margaret and Malcolm's remains
were still at Dunfermline.
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