There, in line with Bruce's "scorched earth" policy, he razed the
castle, killing everyone inside.
He next appears in 1314 as Bruce's second-in-command at
Bannockburn. He fought valiantly on the battlefield and chased the
English all the way to Berwick.
The thought that Black Douglas was
on their tail sent the English fleeing so fast that, according to
reports, "they did not even stop to pass water".
He signed the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, and his last act
of loyalty was to agree to Bruce's death-bed request to take his
heart on crusade. On Bruce's death Douglas cut out his king's heart
and placed it round his neck in a silver casket.
Fame in Spain
He left for Spain where his fame and reputation ensured that knights
from across Europe rallied to his banner. They travelled to Grenada
in southern Spain to help Alfonso XI's Castillian crusade against the "heathen"
moor. In the village of Teba they the forces of Mohammed IV and a
fierce battle took place. Douglas succeeded in cutting a path to
Reaching safety, he saw William Sinclair of Roslin isolated
and vulnerable. Douglas pulled his horse round, and throwing Bruce's
heart into battle charged with a shout of "A Bruce, a Bruce". He was
quickly overwhelmed, and realising he was soon to die threw the
casket into battle again, crying out: "Now, go in front of us, as
you had desired, and I'll follow you or I'll die".
The Scots won the battle, and in the aftermath Douglas's body
was found beside Bruce's heart. His men would not hear of him being
buried on foreign soil, so his body was boiled in a cauldron of
vinegar until the flesh fell from the bones. This was buried in
Spain and his bones returned to Scotland.