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The field of a recent Netflix fashioned movie known as Outlaw King, Robert the Bruce is undoubtedly one of Scotland’s mammoth nationwide heroes. Gain to know King Bob rather better.

1. Robert the Bruce turned into a polyglot who loved telling tales.

He likely spoke Scots, Gaelic, Latin, and Norman French, and turned into an avid reader who loved studying the lives of outdated monarchs. Per a parliamentary temporary from around 1364, Robert the Bruce “former continuously to learn, or have learn in his presence, the histories of extinct kings and princes, and how they conducted themselves in their times, both in wartime and in peacetime.” In his free time, he would recite tales about Charlemagne and Hannibal from memory.

2. Regardless of his recognition as Scotland’s savior, he spent years siding with England.

The Bruce family spent the 1290s complaining they had been robbed of the Scottish Crown. That’s attributable to, after the deaths of King Alexander III and his granddaughter Margaret, it turned into unclear who Scotland’s next monarch needs to be. Debates raged except John Balliol turned into declared King in 1292. The Bruces, who had closer blood ties to the outdated royal family (but no longer closer paternal ties) thought about Balliol an usurper. So when tensions later flared between Balliol and Edward I of England, the resentful Bruces took England’s side.

three. He murdered his most attention-grabbing political rival.

Regarded as one of the most main figures standing in the blueprint in which of Robert the Bruce’s path to Scotland’s throne turned into Balliol’s nephew, John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch. In 1306, Robert arranged a gathering with Comyn in the Chapel of Greyfriars in Dumfries, Scotland. There, Robert accused Comyn of treachery and stabbed him. (And when be aware spread that Comyn had in a technique survived, two of Robert’s cronies returned to the church and done the deed, spilling Comyn’s blood on the steps of the altar.) Quickly after, Robert declared himself King of Scotland and began to snort an uprising towards England.

Four. He lived in a cave and turned into inspired by a extremely continual spider.

The uprising didn’t sail precisely per thought. After Robert the Bruce killed Comyn in a church, Pope Clement V excommunicated him. In an effort to add salt to his wounds, Robert’s ensuing attempts to fight England turned into a total failure. Within the iciness of 1306, he turned into forced to hover Scotland and turned into exiled to a cave on Rathlin Island in Northern Eire.

Yarn has it that as Robert took refuge in the cave, he saw a spider trying—and failing—to hurry a web. The creature kept making an are trying to swing toward a nearby rock and refused to supply up. Bruce turned into so inspired by the spider’s tenacity that he vowed to come to Scotland and warfare. Within three years, he turned into conserving his first session of parliament.

5. He went to fight with a legion of ponies.

For fight, Robert the Bruce most neatly-liked to use a light cavalry of ponies (known as spare time activities) and tiny horses (known as palfreys) in a tactic acknowledged as hobelar warfare. In a single notorious epic, a younger English knight named Sir Henry de Bohun sat atop a orderly warhorse and saw Robert the Bruce mounted upon a palfrey. Bohun decided to fee. Robert saw his oncoming attacker and stood in his stirrups—putting him on the ultimate height to swing a battleaxe on the oncoming horseman’s head. After slaying his opponent, the king reportedly complained, “I in actual fact have broken my factual axe.”

6. He loved to eat eels.

Robert the Bruce’s physician, Maino de Maineri, criticized the king’s penchant for devouring eels. “I’m definite that this fish need to aloof no longer be eaten attributable to I in actual fact have viewed it for the length of the time I turned into with the king of the Scots, Robert Bruce, who risked many risks by ingesting [moray eels], which are by nature fancy lampreys,” de Maineri wrote. “It’s lawful that these [morays] were caught in muddy and rotten waters.” (Seriously, overeating eels turned into thought about the explanation in the support of King Henry I England’s loss of life.)

7. His underdog victory at Bannockburn proved that nice might per chance well additionally defeat quantity.

In 1314, Robert the Bruce defeated King Edward II’s navy at Bannockburn, sending England (as the common anthem Flower of Scotland goes) “homeward tae mediate again.” It turned into a frightful victory; the English had about 2000 armored horsemen and 15,000 foot soldiers, in comparison with the Scots’s 500 horsemen and 7000 foot soldiers. But Robert the Bruce former geography to his advantage, forcing the English to are trying crossing two orderly and boggy streams. The victory turned into a immense turning point in the Scottish War of Independence and would abet true Scotland’s freedom.

8. He’s firmly intertwined with the Knights Templar mythology.

Admire hunters speculate that in the 14th century, the Knights Templar fled to Scotland with a trove of valuables attributable to they purchased support and protection from King Robert the Bruce. On legend of of his abet, they are saying, the Knights were in a procedure to camouflage gold and holy relics—from extinct Gospel scrolls to the Holy Grail—in secret spots across the nation (together with in Rosslyn Chapel, of The Da Vinci Code popularity). But there is cramped proof to support these intellectual myths. Templar pupil and medieval historian Helen Nicholson mentioned that any final Knights Templar were likely putting out in the balmy climes of Cyprus.

9. He’s aloof donating money to a Scottish church.

After the loss of life of his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh, Robert the Bruce decreed to supply the Auld Kirk in Cullen, Scotland—now the Cullen and Deskford Parish—a total of 5 Scots pounds yearly. That’s attributable to, in 1327, Elizabeth had died after falling off a horse, and the local congregation generously took care of her stays. Robert turned into so touched by the gesture that he promised to donate money “for all eternity.” To for the time being, his bequest is aloof being paid.

10. Parts of his body are buried in loads of locations.

Robert the Bruce died on June 7, 1329, factual a month earlier than his 55th birthday. The reason in the support of his loss of life has been a supply of famous discussion, and incompatibility, but newest scholars take into consideration that he succumbed to leprosy. His funeral turned into a rather present an explanation for affair that required nearly 7000 pounds of candle wax factual for the funerary candles. Following the vogue for royalty, he turned into buried in loads of locations. His chest turned into sawed open and his coronary heart and interior organs removed: The heart were buried advance his loss of life-set up on the Manor of Cardross, advance Dumbarton; his corpse interred in Dunfermline Abbey; and his coronary heart placed interior a metal urn to be ragged around the neck of Sir James Douglas, who promised to employ it to the Holy Lord.

Eleven. His coronary heart turned into the fashioned “Plucky Heart.”

Unfortunately, Sir Douglas never made it to the Holy Land: He purchased sidetracked and took a detour to warfare the Moors in Spain, the set up he turned into killed. Sooner than his attackers reached him, Douglas reportedly threw the urn containing the king’s coronary heart and yelled, “Lead on courageous coronary heart, I’ll be aware thee.” The coronary heart turned into rapidly returned to Scotland, the set up its space turned into forgotten except a personnel of archaeologists learned it in 1921. It’s now interred in Melrose Abbey.