Author: Denise Clark

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Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 11:32 pm
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Liberty’s Christening has a Place in History

20 month old Liberty Smith from Bonnyrigg has been christened in the same font that Mary Queen of Scots is believed to have been baptised in, making history as the first baby in living memory to be christened in the ancient artefact.

It is understood that the font, which is now held in the private chapel within the grounds of Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith, originally belonged to Linlithgow Palace, where Mary Queen of Scots was baptised in 1542.

The font was brought to Newbattle Abbey in the 1870s from the grounds of Mavisbank House in Polton near Loanhead, and is distinguishable via the coats of arms around the stone including those of Mary’s mother, Mary of Guise, her father, James V and Abbot Haswell, former Abbot of Newbattle Abbey.

Rae McGhee, Heritage Development Officer at Newbattle Abbey College, said, “I can find absolutely no records of when the font was last used. Liberty’s christening could be the first in many hundreds of years. It was a historic moment for Scotland’s hidden gem.”

Liberty’s parents, Karen-Louise (38) and Darren Smith (35) had the Church of Scotland Ceremony at Newbattle Abbey earlier this summer.  “The reason we decided to have our daughter’s ceremony at Newbattle was because we love the history of the building and we thought that it would be a unique and special place to have the christening,” said Karen.

“It was a great day. After the ceremony our guests enjoyed a champagne reception in the Drawing Room before being taken on guided tours around Newbattle’s grounds.”

The historic back drop of Newbattle Abbey made the perfect setting. Newbattle Abbey College is Scotland’s only adult education residential college and aims to increase participation and access for adult learners with few or no qualifications.

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