Lia Fáil (Stone of Destiny) is a stone at the inauguration mound on the Hill of Tara in County Meath, Ireland, which served as the coronation stone for the High Kings of Ireland. It is also known as the Coronation Stone of Tara. In legend, all of the kings of Ireland were crowned on the stone up to Muirchertach mac Ercae c. AD 500.
Kay Metheson was a 22-year-old student at the earning a degree in domestic science (in the U.S., we’d call it “home economics”) in 1950, when she and three other friends stole the “Stone of Destiny” from Wesminster Abbey - at 4:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.
The Stone of Scone, as it was also called for the abbey which kept it, was the seat of coronation for Scottish kings for centuries. In 1296, Edward I of England after defeating the Scots took the stone to Westminster Abbey. He had a chair built with the stone as its seat. Known as “King Edward’s Chair” it was where all subsequent monarchs were crowned.
On that Christmas morning Ms. Metheson was waiting outside the Abbey waiting for her co-conspirators (Ian Hamilton, Gavin Vernon, and Alan Stuart). As the men removed the stone from the chair it broke into two pieces. They placed both pieces into the trunk of their car and drove to Kent where they hid them.
During the subsequent manhunt the Scottish foursome managed to evade capture and deliver the (repaired) stone to Abroath Abbey. It was discovered in April 1951 and returned to Westminster.
Random note: Stone of Destiny, a film released in 2008, tells the story of the theft. Ms. Metheson was portrayed by Kate Mara.
Forty-five years later England returned the Stone of Destiny to Edinburgh Castle. Ms. Metheson was in attendance at the ceremony.
Kay Metheson died on July 6, 2013 at the age of 84.
there are a lot of things i like about scotland but my favorite is how king edward the first stole the stone of scone from the scots in like 1300 and like 650 years later four scottish college students broke into westminster abbey to steal it and bring it back to scotland but they dropped it and it broke in half
It was on this day in British history, 3 July 1996, that the British government made the symbolic move of formally returning the Stone of Scone to Scotland. The stone had been kept at Westminster Abbey ever since Edward I took it as a spoil of war in 1296. It is now kept in Scotland at Edinburgh Castle.