The Black Douglas (2:54)

Cover of The Corries

From The Corries and 8 other releases

Forgotten hero
A master swordsman, formidable soldier and supreme tactician, the Black Douglas was instrumental in the fight against the English in the 14th century.

He was a specialist in fighting under cover of darkness, won more victories over the English than any other Scottish leader, and commanded a quarter of the Scots army at Bannockburn.

In 1314, he and his men attacked Roxburgh Castle at night disguised as cows, and recorded the first use of rope ladders with hooks on the end to scale the walls. His often ruthless deeds on the battlefield - including beheading enemy soldiers to warn off other attackers - struck fear into the hearts of the English. Mothers would warn their children to behave or the Black Douglas would get them.

To the Scots however, he was the Good Lord James who, true to Robert the Bruce’s dying wish, carried his king’s heart on crusade against the “heathen Moor” in southern Spain. Knights from across Europe joined the campaign, but Douglas died in battle at Teba.

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