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Scottish King Robert the Bruce pursues the defeated army of the English King, Edward II on the second day of the Battle of Bannockburn (near Stirling castle, Scotland). Though outnumbered, three to one by an English force of over twenty thousand men, Bruce wins a great victory which will give him undisputed control over Scotland. However, it will not be until 1328, one year before his death of old age that Scotland will eventually gain full independence from the English crown. Bruce, born in 1274, is a distant relative of the Scottish royal family and always has ambitions to be king. Inspired by William Wallace's resistance to the English, he will see his dreams realized, though not without bloodshed! A few weeks prior to his coronation in 1306 he stabs to death his fellow Guardian of Scotland (and chief rival) Sir John Comyn of Badenoch in the Dumfries church of Gray Friars, following one of many heated arguments! Though proclaimed Scottish King and crowned at Scone, he is now not only a sworn enemy of the enemy of the English and the Comyns; but is also excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Clement V for committing murder on holy ground! Bruce and his supporters are quickly beaten on the field of battle at Methven in Perthshire. His family members are captured, imprisoned and three of his brothers are executed by the English. Bruce flees to Ireland's Antrim coast, in complete despair! But here a legend is borne! While Bruce hides in a cave, he draws inspiration from a determined spider that repeatedly tries and tries again to spin a web and finally succeeds. According to legend, Bruce takes courage from the spider and returns to Scotland to fight and regain power. Fortunately for Bruce, the brutal and successful military commander King Edward I of England (also known as "Hammer of The Scots") dies in 1306. He is replaced by his inept son, Edward II. Bruce sees his opportunity to strike back at the English occupying forces in Scotland with a lightning hit and run guerilla tactics. In 1307 with his friend, Sir James Douglas, Bruce wins his first victory on Palm Sunday. Now with growing support from the Clans, he lays siege to and destroys all Scottish castles garrisoned by the English. By 1314 the only fortress to remain loyal to England is Stirling Castle. Edward II amasses a huge force to break the siege but is soundly defeated at the two-day battle of Bannockburn. Now Bruce advances towards England itself and even captures the town of Berwick in 1318. In 1320, the earls and barons of all Scotland petition the new Pope John XXII with the famous Declaration of Arbroath; asserting Scottish independence and in 1324 the Pope recognizes Bruce as rightful King of an Independent Scotland. By now there is also a new King, Edward III, on the throne of England (his father, Edward II having been deposed and murdered by conspirators). This new King signs the peace treaty with Scotland in 1328 that finally renounces all English claims to Scotland. "Good King Robert" dies one year later at the age of fifty-four. This great Scottish hero is buried in Dunfirmline but his heart was removed and carried on crusade to the Holy Land by Sir James Douglas. From Left to right: Sir James "the Black" Douglas, Lord of Douglas Robert Bruce, King of Scotland Edward Bruce, Earl of Carrick, High King of Ireland (brother to the king Robert) Sir Robert Keith, Great Marischal of Scotland commander of the cavalry at Bannockburn)