Culture

Robert the Bruce #OnThisDay

On 7th of June 1329, Robert the Bruce, King of Scots died. He was 54.

Robert the Bruce by Andrew Smith

credit: Andrew Smith

Robert the Bruce is the most famous of Scottish Kings and his successfully led campaign in the Scottish Wars of Independence culminated in the defeat of the English army led by Edward II, King of England at the Battle of Bannockburn.

Like all heroes he was a flawed character which makes him all the more interesting and in recent years has been the subject of two films: Outlaw King and Robert The Bruce.

The films cover different periods of The Bruce’s life during the long and brutal campaign to reassert the independence of the nation of Scotland.

The Declaration of Arbroath which would have been commemorating its 700th anniversary this year was published in his reign. A truly wonderful legacy to leave to the People of Scotland. Download: Declaration of Arbroath

Declaration of Arbroath FG

On his deathbed, Robert had asked that his heart be removed and taken to the Holy Land by Sir James Douglas, The Black Douglas.  Douglas died in battle and  the heart was returned to Scotland and buried at Melrose Abbey. In 1996, excavations at the abbey found a lead container, housing a further small container and a plaque recording that it had been discovered in 1921 to contain a heart. The casket was reburied in 1998.

The rest of the King’s  body was  buried within Dunfermline Abbey, the resting place of Scottish rulers since the early 12th century. An elaborate gilded marble tomb carved in France marked his resting place in the abbey’s choir. This tomb was destroyed during the Reformation, though fragments of alabaster found at Dunfermline may have once belonged to it.

During alterations to the church in 1818 a burial was unearthed – the skeleton was encased in lead and buried in a decayed wooden coffin with remains of gold cloth. The skeleton bore indications that the chest had been opened to remove the heart, suggesting it may indeed have been the remains of Robert I. After a cast of the skull was made, the remains were reburied in the church.

Robert Bruce And William Wallace Edinburgh Castle

Robert Bruce And William Wallace credit Md.altaf.rahman

You can view objects associated with Robert the Bruce online at the National Museum of Scotland.

Bruce defeats de Bohun on the eve of Bannockburn,_from_a_children's_history_book

Bruce defeats de Bohun on the eve of Bannockburn

1 reply »

  1. Robert the Bruce was a stubborn man who fought Stubbornly for his father’s dream the town of Scotland. He and his family held massive land grants in England and Scotland from the English kings And technically he was an English lord of Norman extraction . The one honour an English king could not give him was a crown so he was an ambitious man too . He wrested Scotland eventually from Texas English crown but his family paid a horrendous price . He lost his three brothers a f his sister Marh was hung from a cage outside the walls of Dunbar Castle for years hoping to tempt him to attack the castle to gain her release – he never did although he razed many Scottishcastles in his war against the English .There were Scots on both sides ! He got his crown but many generations later his ancestor James 6th ofScotland inherited the Englidhcrown and scuttled off at a rate of knots to be James 1 of England .he never even visited Scotland again ! So If as we know Bruce’s family were torn to pieces by his wars as were the familes rich and poor in Scotland decimated in lives and wealth for Robert the Bruces – was it all worthwhile ? Independence at any cost ! Particularly with a king based in London they pretty well had it anyway in a devolved sort of way !

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