Facts and Events
Robert I (11 July 1274 – 7 June 1329), popularly known as Robert the Bruce (Medieval Gaelic: Roibert a Briuis; modern Scottish Gaelic: Raibeart Bruis; Norman French: Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys), was King of Scots from 25 March 1306, until his death in 1329.
His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage (originating in Brix, Manche, Normandy), and his maternal of Franco-Gaelic. He became one of Scotland's greatest kings, as well as one of the most famous warriors of his generation, eventually leading Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence against the Kingdom of England. He claimed the Scottish throne as a fourth great-grandson of David I, and fought successfully during his reign to regain Scotland's place as an independent nation. Today in Scotland, Bruce is remembered as a national hero.
His body is buried in Dunfermline Abbey, while it is believed his heart was interred in Melrose Abbey. Bruce's lieutenant and friend Sir James Douglas agreed to take the late King's embalmed heart on crusade to the Holy Land, but he only reached Moorish Granada. According to tradition, Douglas was carrying the heart in a silver casket when he died at the head of the Scottish contingent at the Battle of Teba. He was killed in the battle fighting the Moors, but the king's heart was recovered and brought back to Scotland.
Story of what happened to Bruce's heart
When Bruce was dying (1329) his one big regret in life was that he had never went on a crusade to the Holy Land because of the constant wars with England. On his death bed he asked his friend, Sir James Douglas, (who I am named after) The Good Sir James to the Scots, The Black Douglas to the English, if he would on his death remove his heart, hence the sawn ribs when the body was rediscovered, and as he could not go, would Douglas take his heart to the Holy Land. (Not asking much)
Douglas and his followers got as far as Seville in southern Spain where the Spanish king asked for his help to remove the Moors from Spain. In the battle that followed the Moors feigned retreat and led Douglas into a trap. His last deed was to take the casket that held Bruce's heart and throw it into the enemy calling on his men to follow Bruce for the last time. Douglas was killed.
The casket was recovered and taken back to Scotland.
Back around 1998 my wife and I were on a bus trip in southern Spain going to Seville when the courier informed the group that up in the mountains close by was a town called Teba where recently a monument had been erected in honour of Sir James, that was the cue for my wife and I to go back the following year and find Teba which after some difficulty we found hidden high in the mountains.
The photos which are attached are 2 of the monument and one of the area round it. One side of it tells the story in English, the other side in Spanish tells a slightly different story. The others are of Melrose Abbey in Scotland where the heart was buried. The heart's casket in recent times was exhumed and scientifically examined and reburied with the appropriate marker with an inscription which means 'A noble heart may know no ease if freedom fail'.
(note: this is an email that was sent to me by a friend who was born and lives in Scotland, He is the one who took these pictures and sent me a lot of information on Robert King of Scotland)--Dlbradley1 11:51, 18 November 2008 (EST)
I have attached some photos from Melrose Abbey where your ancestor King Robert 1 is buried.
The top of the tower of the abbey church is square and on each side is first 'King' then 'Robert' then 'The' then 'Bruce'.
The brass plate on the tomb is modern and was donated by Bruce's, descendant, the Earl of Elgin (The Elgin Marbles family) Bruce's tomb was 'lost' when the abbey was trashed at the time of the reformation in the 16th century, his remains were found when workmen around 1819 were doing work at the abbey and dug up his remains wrapped in a cloth of gold, further proof was the skeleton's rib's had been sawn through to remove the heart so that Sir James Douglas could fulfil Bruce's wish that his heart be taken to the Holy Land. It got as far as Spain but I'm sure you know the story. Bruce's remains were re-buried with great ceremony in the abbey church and there was a great resurgence of Scottish nationalism at that time.
(note: this is an email that was sent to me by a friend who was born and lives in Scotland, He is the one who took these pictures and sent me a lot of information on Robert King of Scotland )--Dlbradley1 11:51, 18 November 2008 (EST) ---
REI DA ESCOCIA