Parent tester

24th October 1997 at 01:00
Why is a painting of the coronation of James II in 1437 hanging in the so-called European Room of Edinburgh City Chambers?

Education convener Elizabeth Maginnis wondered out loud about this important issue at a meeting last week. Could anyone enlighten her? Seven other paintings are of well-known local historical scenes such as news of Flodden, Queen Mary's entry to Edinburgh and Bonnie Prince Charlie feasting in Edinburgh (presumably an early example of sleaze). The crowning of a Scottish king, traditionally at Scone, seemed to be the exception.

Alas, there was no answer from the meeting of the council's consultative committee with parents. Undeterred, Maginnis suggested parents should find out the answer and report back to the next meeting under "matters arising".

For those who cannot wait eight weeks for an answer, James II's coronation at the age of six is entirely in keeping with the august and thematic walls of the city chambers. The ceremony took place in the Abbey Church of Holyrood and was the first to break with the hallowed Scone event.

Appropriately, the agenda for the meeting included the report from the curriculum council on the teaching of Scottish history in schools. The puzzle over James II seemed amply to confirm the findings of the council's review.

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