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Good Sir James Douglas, throwing King Robert the Bruce's heart at the Moors at the battle of Teba in 1330.  In 1329 King Robert the Bruce of Scots (1306-1329) on his death bed insisted that after his death, his friend the 'Good Sir James' Douglas should cut out his heart and carry it in a casket on a pilgrimage to the holy lands. Douglas did as he was commanded and in 1330 he along with the Sinclairs of Roslin and Keith the Marishal with several other Lords of note set sail for the holy lands.  Unfortunately they only got as far as southern Spain ,where they became embroiled in the battle of Teba besieging the Moorish castle of the Star on behalf of their new found Spanish allies. During the battle the Moors feint a retreat drawing Douglas and his knights into an ambush. The Spanish were wise to such tactics and did not follow Douglas into the trap. Somehow, Douglas was able to fight his way clear but turned back into the fray on seeing Sinclair encircled by the Moors and about to be slain.

Historians have debated as to why the Moors picked on Sinclair as a prime target rather than Douglas who was certainly the most important Scottish knight present. It appears the Moors, though an extremely intelligent society, were totally ignorant to the significance of western heraldry. They were use to fighting English knights with red crosses on their surcoats and shields and French knights with white crosses. So when Douglas came along with three stars on his coat this meant nothing to them, whereas Sinclair had a great black cross on his surcoat and shield. He must be a really important leader.

As Sinclair fell under many blows, Douglas realising he too was about to die tore the casket containing Bruce's heart from round his neck and threw it at the Moors following his king into battle for one last time.  Soon after the Castle of the Star was taken by the Spanish/Scots forces. Both Douglas and Sinclairs's bodies were recovered along with Bruce's heart which was taken home to Scotland and buried at Melrose Abbey where it remains to this day.  Andrew Spratt

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