On reading the feature on Dunfermline Abbey in last quarter’s issue (Spring 2017), I was compelled to sign the petition and write to your publication. The fact that Margaret Wessex, the Pearl of Scotland, has been so neglected by history seems a real disservice to her memory. To think that 11 royal graves remain unmarked in one of Scotland’s most significant historical sites is simply unfathomable. We should cherish these ancient locations, especially as 2017 has been allocated as a year to celebrate our country’s history, heritage and archaeology. I am very surprised action on this matter has not been taken before as it seems so vital. Saint Margaret was born in political exile in Hungary. She returned to England during the
short and ill fated reign of her brother as the last Anglo-Saxon King of England. However she was forced to flee to Scotland after the Norman Conquest. She then married King Malcolm III ‘Canmore’, the king who famously killed Macbeth, in 1070. Her devotion as a Roman Catholic and various charitable activities, including the founding of a ferry service crossing the Firth of Forth to allow pilgrims to travel to Dunfermline Abbey and St Andrews, saw her later canonised by Pope Innocent IV in 1250. She died at Edinburgh Castle in 1093, only hours after hearing of her husband’s death at the Battle of Alnwick and the mortal wounding of their eldest son and heir apparent, Prince Edward. A princess who died of a broken heart, then was made a saint – it is a wonder no scriptwriter has come up with a franchise to encourage visitors to Dunfermline.
Alexandra Dundas, Cardiff
Image: Dunfermline Abbey.