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.