The Stone of Destiny was kept in the Abbey of Scone, near Perth, and it was there, in 1296 A.D. that King Edward I of England headed during his campaign against John Balliol. Edward arrived at Berwick on 28 March, 1296 and it quickly surrendered to him. The English army under Edward I remained at Berwick during the entire month of April, during which the Scots were engaged at Dunbar. Through the month of May, the two armies sparred in skirmishes at Haddington, Jedworth, Roxborough and Castleton. By the beginning of June, Edward brought his army to Edinburgh. The castle at Edinburgh was bravely defended, but eventually fell to the English army. Edward stayed at Edinburgh until 14 June, and during that time plundered the treasures of Scotland.
It is believed that Edward either removed or destroyed many of the ancient records of the Scottish kingdom. It is believed that he also took the ancient crown and sceptre and many other symbols of the Scottish sovereign. These things are believed by many, despite the fact that they cannot be proven by any contemporary document. There is a document, written in Latin, known as the Inventa In Castro De Edenburgh, which is an inventory of the various items (e.g. jewels, cups, etc.) which Edward had compiled of the plunder he took from Scotland.(
Edward marched farther northward to Stirling, arriving there between 16 and 20 June. He arrived at Perth on the 22nd. From Perth Edward marched to Cluny and Forfar, arriving at Montrose on the 7th of July. The English army would remain there for four days While he was at Montrose, he received the surrender of Balliol and his supporters. Edward then moved on to Aberdeen, Kyntore and ‘Elgin in Moravia’ and returned southward through Brechin, Dundee and back to Perth.
It was during his second visit to Perth that Edward stopped at the Abbey of Scone, where the fabled Stone of Destiny rested under the chair upon which Scottish kings would sit to have the crown placed on their heads. The English king destroyed the chair and took the Stone with him. The English army returned to England soon thereafter, and it was not long before the Stone of Destiny was placed in Westminster Abbey.
The initial spot in which the Stone was deposited was in the chapel at Westminster which Edward’s father had erected to enclose the shrine of Edward the Confessor. The Stone was laid beside an altar that stood opposite the shrine. Edward commissioned his goldsmith, a man by the name of Adam, to create a chair of bornze, but later changed his mind and requested instead one of wood. The chair was then decorated by the court painter, Master Walter. Because of its position in the shrine of Edward the Confessor, the chair was often referred to as ‘Saint Edward’s Chair.’
It is said that when a king (or queen) was to be crowned, a piece of cloth of gold would be placed over the Stone, and the monarch to be would sit upon it. It was believed that a rightful heir to the throne would cause the Stone to issue musical sounds, but when sat upon by a usurper the Stone would remain silent.