Did we open the right coffin?

Did we open the right coffin?

There was an interesting post from Sarah Fraser recently – did the coffin we examined belong to Simon the Fox? It is a double lead coffin, the type Prof Sue Black told us was used when bodies are to be transported a long distance, such as from London to Kirkhill. The other coffins appear to be single layer lead coffins as can be seen from the photos below. These were taken by our architect and Trustee Fred Geddes in the early 1990’s when the restoration project was being planned. At that time the outer lid of the coffin was bent back, showing how much the coffin had been interfered with and how easy it would have been to place other bones from a graveyard or crypt tidy-up in the coffin. Now that the lid has been pressed flat again we can see the shadow outline of a name plate with a screw hole in each corner. The size of the nameplate...
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Do we have ‘The Old Fox’?

Do we have ‘The Old Fox’?

​You may be aware that for some time we have wanted to do a DNA test on the remains in the coffin that is believed to contain Simon the Fox. We want to find out if he is buried here or, as the official records state, at the Tower of London. This will now take place soon as part of the Royal Society of Edinburgh outreach programme. In preparation for this we had a recce visit from Professor Dame Sue Black from Dundee University last week who will undertake the examination later this year. We went for a look at the mausoleum and crypt to work out how we would do the work but ended up opening the coffin there and then.  From a preliminary look we could see there was NO head. This ties with the report of it going on a spike at Traitors Gate at the Tower of London but it could also have been removed later as...
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Rediscovered Coffin Plates

We have just discovered coffin name plates which were removed during the restoration for safe keeping and forgotten about! They are the plates from the coffins of The Old Fox, Simon the Master, Archibald Fraser and Henry Emo Fraser. They were covered in wax which was from candles people had used to try and read them in the past. Many thanks to Andrew for managing to get clear photos of them. (Click image to enlarge)...
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