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Robert the Bruce is
Scotland’s greatest
national hero.

Where Wallace was to fail in
the struggle against English domination, Bruce was to succeed.

As seventh Lord of Annandale and Earl of Carrick, Bruce’s roots lay in both Scotland and Normandy.

With lands in England the family wished to retain, the Bruces played a shadowy roll in the early efforts Scotland made to rid herself of the unwanted presence of Edward I “The Hammer of the Scots”.

After the death of his father Bruce finally came to the fore in the struggle. His qualities of leadership, pre-eminent fighting skills, unfailing courage and, perhaps most importantly, his humanity, eventually saw the majority of Scots fall in behind his campaign.
Bannockburn is often hailed his greatest achievement. In military terms it certainly was. But Bruce must be remembered for one of the most important documents ever produced in Europe, The Declaration of Arbroath. Above all he gained Scotland her independence…just months before he died. Bruce was a man loved by his supporters; and a man to whom Scotland is still in debt.

When the Bruce family inherited the Earldom of Carrick, did the title bring with it some unwanted baggage?

It was King Robert's father who became Earl when he married Countess Marjorie after bringing the news back from the Holy Land that her husband had been killed on Crusade. At first it must have seemed a great acquisition for the family who were Lords of Annandale. But the title may have also carried a long standing feud with the people of Galloway. History records that Dungal Macdouall, head of the Galloway family, captured Bruce's brothers, Thomas and Alexander, on their return to Scotland in 1307 and handed them over to Edward I who had them executed. The wrath of the Bruces was to fall on the Macdoualls soon after.

So it is an interesting point and one that will be answered at an illustrated talk being organised by the Bruce Trust in Dumfries in March.

The speaker will be historian and author, Stuart McCulloch, and his subject, The Galloway Feud.

Stuart is an accomplished debater and he will be investigating the extent and impact of the conflicts in south west Scotland.

The talk takes place at the Cumberland Street Day Centre in Dumfries on Friday, March 6, from 7.30 until 9. Admission is free and refreshments will be provided.

Donations to the Trust would be welcomed.

The Bruce Trust has embarked on its most ambitious project so far, the creation of a Bruce Centre. As a small charity, the workload is quite onerous. We need new members, young blood with fresh ideas. Anyone who can attend regular meetings in Dumfries will be welcome. Please contact Doug Archibald on 07967 086 385 if you are interested.