GEORGE IV.—GOD SAVE THE KING
‘ Hark ! the pibroch’ s martial strain
Ca’s the clans to Lothian plain :
Scotland’s got her King again ;
Welcome, Royal Geordie ! ’
George ii. died in 1759 a.d., and was succeeded by his
grandson, George iii. He reigned for sixty years, and
was succeeded in 1820 a.d. by his son George IV. I have
not told you very much about these kings because most
of the interesting things which happened belong to the
story of Britain, and you will read of them in British
You remember in the time of Anne, when the king
doms of England and Scotland were joined together, the
Regalia of Scotland were carefully locked up and hidden
away. So carefully were they hidden away that many
people thought that they were lost for ever. At last the
King was asked to allow the strong room to be opened, so
that the Regalia might be searched for.
The King gave his consent, and one morning several
gentlemen went to Edinburgh castle to look for the crown.
The door of the strong room was opened, and inside,
the chest was found. There were two locks on the chest,
and as the keys had been lost, the King’s smith was sent
for to break the locks. As the blows of his hammer fell,
the chest seemed to give back a hollow, empty sound,
GOD SAVE THE KING
Among the gentlemen who stood round watching and
waiting anxiously was Mr. Walter Scott. He was a
writer of books. He wrote stories of Scotland and
Scottish life which are read not only by Scotsmen, but by
people all over the world. He also wrote a History of
Scotland for his grandson, which he called Tales of a
Grandfather, and some day, when you are a very little
older, you will read his History and his other stories too.
George IV. thought so much of Mr. Scott’s books that he
made him a baronet, and so we remember him, not as
Mr. Scott, but as Sir Walter Scott
Sir Walter loved Scotland and everything that
belonged to Scotland, and while the locks of the chest
in which the Regalia lay, were being broken, he waited
with an anxious heart.
At last the heavy lid was lifted, and there, to the
delight of every one, lay the Regalia, just as they had been
hidden away more than a hundred years before. As soon
as it was known that the jewels were safe, the royal
standard was hoisted on the castle, and the cheers of the
soldiers were echoed by hundreds of people who had
gathered in the streets, waiting for the news.
Since then the Regalia have been placed in a room in
Edinburgh castle where every one may see them. And
when you go to Edinburgh, as you will some day, you
will climb the castle rock and look at the crown and
sceptre and sword of the Ancient Kingdom.
About two years after George IV. came to the throne
he paid a visit to Scotland. Except for ‘the King over
the water’ it was the first time that a king had visited
Scotland since the days of Charles I., and although
George IV. was neither a good man nor a great king, the
people welcomed him with joy.
It was resolved to remove the Regalia from the castle
of Edinburgh to Holyrood Palace, so that they might be
carried before the King when he rode in state to the
castle. This was done with much ceremony. A great
procession of lords and gentlemen went to the castle, the
gates of which were found fast shut A herald blew his
trumpet ‘ Who is there ? ’ asked a voice from within the
‘The King’s Knight Marischal,’ replied the herald.
‘He comes to receive the Regalia which are placed
within your castle. He demands admission in the name
of the King.’
‘ Throw open the gates and make way for the King‘s
Knight Marischal,’ cried the voice from within.
The gates were then thrown open, and the Knight
Marischal, followed by other great people, marched in.
When he came out again the Knight Marischal carried
the Regalia on a velvet cushion, the band played ‘God
save the King,’ and so, with banners flying and bagpipes
playing, the Regalia were carried in state to Holyrood,
through streets crowded with cheering people. There
they were kept, guarded night and day by twelve gentle
men, until the King‘s visit was over, and they were then
taken back again to the castle.
The King sailed to Scotland in his yacht the Royal
George. When he anchored at Leith, Sir Walter Scott
went out in a boat to welcome him.
‘What,’ said the King when he heard that he was
there, ‘ Walter Scott, the man in Scotland I most want
to see. Let him come up.’
So Sir Walter went on board and knelt to kiss the
King‘s hand, and George called for wine and drank to his
Next day the King drove through the streets of Edin
burgh. He wore a thistle and a sprig of heather in his
GOD SAVE THE KING 417
hat, and was dressed in Stewart tartan, and the people
cheered him for a true Scottish King. For a few days
there was great excitement, bonfires and fireworks, balls,
parties, and processions. Then the King went back to
And here 1 think I must end, for Scotland has no
more a story of her own—her story is Britain’s story.
It was Highlandmen who withstood the enemy at
Balaclava ; it was the sound of the bagpipes that brought
hope to the hopeless in dreadful Lucknow ; it was Scots
men who led the way up the Heights of Abraham ; it
was a Scotsman, David Livingstone, who first brought
light into Darkest Africa, and it was another Scotsman,
General Gordon, who there laid down his life for the
Empire, so you must read the rest of the story of Scot
land in the story of the Empire. For Scotsmen did not
do these things alone. They were able to do them
because they stood shoulder to shoulder with their
English brothers, and fought and laboured, not for them
selves, but for the Empire, and so Scotland shares in the
glory of the Empire, and adds to it.
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