BLACK DOUGLAS

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The War for Scottish Independence produced many iconic heroes such as William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Another hero was James Douglas, Lord of Douglasdale. When his father, William Douglas, supported William Wallace, James went to Paris when he was a boy to be educated. When his father was slain, James lost all of his ancestral lands and titles, which were given to an English baron named Robert Clifford. After William Wallace was executed, James approached Edward I in an attempt to win back his lands, but Edward I spurned him. When Robert the Bruce was crowned King of Scots, James swore fealty to him because he saw Robert the Bruce as his last hope to get his lands back. Throughout the war, James Douglas proved to be a ruthless military leader who was a demon with a sword on the battlefield. He instilled so much fear into the English that he became known as The Black Douglas. After the Battle of Bannockburn, James led countless raids against northern England. It was because of him that the English never invaded Scotland again; they were too scared of the Black Douglas! When the war was over and Scotland finally regained their independence, James got his lands and titles back with A LOT of interest. Before the war, the House Douglas was a relatively obscure noble family. Thanks to his unmatched military record and undying loyalty to the Scottish crown, James made his House more powerful and influential than it had ever been before. After Robert the Bruce died, James was made Guardian of Scotland and tutor to the future Robert II. In his final campaign, James took Robert the Bruce’s heart to the Holy Land, where James was slain in battle while fighting the Moors. James Douglas was succeeded by his two sons, William and Archibald.

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