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Sword given to Sir James Douglas by Robert the Bruce









Among other tokens of love and esteem for his noble subject, there is generally reported to have been a sword, believed to have been given by (King Robert the) Bruce on his deathbed to Sir James. The sword, which is about three feet long and an inch and a half broad at the hilt, and was probably not a weapon used in warfare, but a sword of State, still exists among the heirlooms of Douglas Castle (in 1885). On one side of the blade is the engraving of a heart, to which two hands point, over the one hand being the letters K. K. B., and over the other the letters I. L. D. On the other side of the blade are depicted within a shield the royal arms of Scotland, the lion rampant within the double tressure. The shield is surmounted by a crown. The following legend is also inscribed on the two sides of the weapon :

" So mony gvid as of the Dovglas beine, Of ane svrname, wer never in Scotland seine.
I wil ye charge, efter that I depart,
To Holy gravfe, and thair bvry my hart:
Let it remane ever, bothe tyme and hovr, To the last day I sie my Saviovr.
So I protest in tyme of al my ringe, Ye lyk subiectis had never ony keing."

This relic was nearly lost to the family on the occasion of the rebellion of 1745, as in their retreat from Preston the followers of Prince Charles Edward took up their quarters for a time in Douglas Castle, and carried the sword away with them when they left. Only after some troublesome negotiations with the rebel leaders, was the sword recovered and replaced in the castle by the Duke of Douglas.




King Robert the Bruce also presented a sword to Sir William Sinclair (of the Hermandston Branch).



There is a problem - the Douglases did not adopt the heart til after the Battle of Teba, when Sir James Douglas was killed taking The Bruce's heart to the Holy Land.


See also:
1.  Sir James Douglas

2.  Commorative Sword

3.  Douglas swords



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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018