Arbroath honours ‘The Lion’

The 800th anniversary of the death of Arbroath Abbey founder and King of Scotland, William ‘The Lion’ was marked by a service on Thursday.

Timethemes, in association with Arbroath Abbey staff and by kind permission of Historic Scotland gathered in their historical dress to lead a procession with the Standard of William and a wreath, to the stone in front of the High Altar, where William was laid to rest on December 10, 800 years ago.

The procession comprised some of the Nobles of Scotland and their Ladies and monks, to a lament played by a lone piper.

At the grave, the stone was draped with his Standard and the wreath laid.

A prayer and words of commemoration at the grave were then given by Father Ian Wilson of St Thomas of Canterbury in Arbroath.

William was the founder of Arbroath Abbey in 1178 and this act created the very town of Arbroath.

Some years ago the late Morris Scott arranged to have his burial spot marked with a commemorative stone, replacing the original which had been lost at the Reformation.

Former senior service manager for Angus Council Cultural Services, Norman Atkinson, said of the significant date: “Arbroath Abbey’s endowments made it the richest abbey in all Scotland, and all Arbroathians owe this great King a huge debt in establishing their town.

“King William, who reigned from 1165 to 1214, is the only Scottish King to be buried in Angus, let alone Arbroath, and it was obviously his wish to be laid to rest at his greatest foundation.”

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