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The Black Douglas

The name given, principally, to Sir James Douglas (1286-1330), the friend and confidant of Robert I, Robert the
Bruce; the name is also applied to the later Sir William Douglas, Lord of Nithsdale. Sir James Douglas successfully harried the English borderlands in 1319 and thus helped to bring about the treaty between Robert and England's king, Edward II. It was due to the ferocity of his army's depredations that he earned his nickname. On Robert's death Douglas is supposed to have taken the king's heart with him on a crusade to the Holy Lands, a pilgrimage that was cut short when he was killed fighting the Moors in Andalusia. In Scotland he is known as 'The Good Sir James Douglas' and his escapades feature in Castle Dangerous by Sir Walter Scott.

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