The jewel consists of an oval chalcedony cut with a cameo of St Andrew and his cross with thistle below the figure. The cameo is surrounded by twelve large rose-cut diamonds with a larger diamond set on the ribbon loop. The original colour of the ribbon was dark purple. On the reverse is an enamelled oval circumscribed by the motto of the Order, NEMO NE IMPUNE LACESSIT (no one assails me with impunity) in gold letters. The centre is oval, bearing an enamelled thistle, is hinged and opens to reveal a miniature portrait of Princess Louise of Stolberg, wife of Bonnie Prince

Charlie. Probably the original miniature showed Mary Modena, first wife of King James VII. The Jewel bears no internal marks but was made by a London goldsmith between May 1687 and December 1688. Part of the secondary honours, The Stewart Jewels, taken to France when James VII became an exile, the jewels were passed to Prince James Francis Edward ('the Old Pretender') and Prince Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) finally to his brother Prince Henry , later Cardinal York. The Stewart Jewels returned to Great Britain in 1807 to King George III. In 1830 the jewels were returned by King William IV and deposited in Edinburgh Castle in 1830. Forms part of the Stewart Jewels. Lent by Her Majesty The Queen.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle has witnessed many of the defining events in Scotland’s history. Sieges were fought over the mighty stronghold. Royalty lived and died within its walls. Just the sight of the Castle Rock has terrified and inspired countless generations.

Fierce Iron Age warriors defended a hill fort here, and the nation’s oldest poetry tells of a war band feasting here for a year before riding to their deaths in battle.

The castle’s royal connections go back 1,000 years, and the city’s oldest building stands on the site. David I built St Margaret’s Chapel around 1130, as a tribute to his devout mother.

Edinburgh has been besieged more than any other castle in the UK, and the Scots and English struggled over its control during the Wars of Independence. In 1314, Thomas Randolph, a relative of Robert the Bruce, led a daring night raid to reclaim it from the English.

Over the last 200 years, Edinburgh Castle has become a national icon. Today it is Scotland’s leading tourist attraction and a chief element of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Home of royalty

Scottish monarchs commissioned grand buildings here – both as secure lodgings and to show off their wealth, power and good taste. The castle’s royal role continues today.

Monarchs who sheltered here include:

  • Queen Margaret (later St Margaret), who died here in 1093
  • Mary Queen of Scots, who gave birth to James VI in the Royal Palace in 1566

Edinburgh was among Scotland’s chief royal residences during the 1400s and 1500s.

Bonnie Prince Charlie – Mary’s great-great-great grandson – captured Edinburgh but failed to take the castle during the 1745–46 Jacobite Rising.

The Stone of Destiny has been kept at the castle since it was returned to Scotland in 1996. Edward I, the English monarch, had removed Scotland’s ancient inauguration stone from Scone in 1296.

Army headquarters

Edinburgh Castle became more important as a military base from the late 1500s onwards.

After the ‘Lang Siege’ of 1571–3, the castle’s military strength was repaired, maintained and improved. Additions included:

  • the distinctive Half Moon Battery
  • a huge garrison
  • a secure jail for prisoners of war

The military presence remains unbroken – Edinburgh Castle is still an active base today. It also houses three military museums, the Scottish National War Memorial and the Prisons of War exhibition.

Find out more about Edinburgh Castle

Details

Date Made
May 1687-Dec 1688
Dimensions
65 x 40mm
Property Information
Edinburgh Castle
Object Number
RCIN441923
Access Status
Display

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