The Capon Oak Tree -reputed to be nearly 2,000 years old - is one
of the last surviving trees of the ancient Jed
Forest, It stands 2 miles south of Jedburgh, to the west of the A68 road.
Nowadays, because of a massive split down the middle of the trunk,
the Capon Tree is held together with concrete, bricks and timber beams supporting its trunk and branches . However,
in spite of this necessary aid to nature, it still continues to grow.
The Scottish Crown
(the Honours of
The Scottish Crown Jewels are the oldest set of crown jewels in
the British Isles. They date from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
The existing set was used for the coronation of Scottish monarchs from 1543
(Mary I) to 1651 (Charles II). Since then, they have been used to represent Royal Assent to legislation in both the
Parliament of Scotland and Scottish Parliament. They have been used also at State occasions, including the first
visits to Scotland as sovereigns by King George IV in 1822 and by Queen Elizabeth
I in 1953.
The Crown Jewels comprise three primary elements: the Crown,
the Sceptre, and the Sword of State. These appear also upon the crest of the
Royal coat of arms of Scotland, where the red lion of the King of Scots is depicted wearing the Crown and holding
both the Sword and the Sceptre.
The Crown of Scotland in its present form dates from 1540 when
James V ordered the Edinburgh goldsmith John Mosman to refashion the original crown. James
wore it to his consort's coronation in the same year at the abbey church of Holyrood. The
circlet at the base is made from Scottish gold and is encrusted with 22 gemstones and 20 precious stones taken from
the previous crown. Freshwater pearls from Scotland's rivers were also used.
The Crown weighs 3 lb 10 oz (1644 g). It was remodelled in 1540 for James V
when the velvet and ermine bonnet were added to bring it to its present form. (It is not known exactly when the
crown was originally made, but it can be seen in its pre-1540 form in the famous portrait of James IV of Scotland
in the Book of Hours that was created for his marriage to Margaret Tudor in 1503.)
The four golden arches of the Crown are ornamented with gold and red
enamelled oak leaves, apparently of French workmanship. At the point where the arches meet there rests an
orb of gold which is enamelled in blue and ornamented with gilt stars. This is surmounted by
a large cross decorated in gold and black enamel with an amethyst in rectangular form, in the
centre. The upper and two side extremities of the cross are adorned with pearls.
The Sceptre of Scotland was a gift from Pope Alexander
VI to King James IV in 1494, and was remodelled and lengthened in 1536. It is
made of silver gilt, and is topped by a finial with polished rock (possibly Cairmgorm) and a
Scottish pearl. The Sceptre includes several Christian symbols: stylised dolphins, symbols of the
Church, appear on the head of the rod, as do images of the Virgin Mary holding a baby Christ, of Saint James the
Great, and of Saint Andrew holding a saltire.
The Sword of State of Scotland was also a papal gift; Pope Julius
II presented it to James IV in 1507. The etched blade, measuring 4.5
feet in length,includes figures of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, as well as the etched name of Julius
II. The silver gilt handle bears figures of oak leaves and acorns. The sword, an example of Italian craftsmanship,
was damaged in 1652 whilst being hidden from Cromwell's troops. It is accompanied by a wooden
scabbard which is covered with velvet and silver and hung from a woven silk and thread of gold belt.