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Robert the Bruce
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    (July 11, 1274-June 7, 1329)
    Birth name was Robert de Brus
    King of Scotland (1306-1329)
    Other titles included Earl of Carrick, Knight and Overlord of Annandale, and Guardian of Scotland
    Defeated Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn (1314)
    Also known as Robert I, King of Scots
    He was motivated as much by politics as by love for Scotland.
    He became king by murdering a rival for the throne.
    He was excommunicated for the murder, but he eventually smooth-talked the Pope into taking him back.
    When England invaded Scotland, he ran away and hid in Ireland.
    His forces only started winning when England's King Edward I died and his incompetent son took over.
    He asked that his heart be cut out and taken to the Holy Land when he died (and it was, but the, um, courier never made it there).
    He is thought to have come up with the irritating cliche: 'If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.'
    He eventually freed Scotland from English rule.
    Three of his brothers were murdered by English agents, and his wife, sisters, and daughter were imprisoned.
    With only 7,000 men, he defeated an army of 20,000 at Bannockburn.
    He taught his soldiers to use the difficult Scottish terrain to their advantage.
    He rebuilt the Scottish government from practically nothing.
    He was merciful to his conquered enemies.
    He spoke three languages.
    He died a horrible death from leprosy.
    The movie 'Braveheart' makes him look more conniving than he actually was.

Credit: Wieland Kalligaro

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