Saturday, June 18, 2011

James the Good

All right, then, today, I'm going to give you a story about Sir James Douglas, one of Bruce's faithful followers and closest friends. He was also known as James the Good or The Black Douglas for his dark complexion--not because he was cold-hearted, for he was a very chivalrous knight.

The story I'm going to tell you today is about how Douglas took an English occupied castle in the middle of the night with hardly any problem whatsoever!

James Douglas watched the soldiers on the wall top as they marched back and fourth, studying their patterns. He beckoned to his men.

"They do not look down," he told the men. "We will sneak up on them that way."

"But they will see us coming from afar!" one of the men protested.

"They will see us. Be we will crawl. In the mirk, no one will know the difference between us and cows!"

The men approved this wisdom and they set out to cross the field, wrapping their weapons under their dark cloaks and some taking light rope ladders upon their backs.

Up on the wall top a woman sat with her baby, singing gently to it a lullaby that all the English mothers were singing at the time:

"Hush ye, hush ye, do not fret ye,
The Black Douglas shall not get thee."

She looked up as the guards spoke to each other then, pointing below to the grounds.

"What's that?" one asked his companion.

"Looks to be some cows runaway, man," the other guard replied. "If they're still there tomorrow, we can make a meal out of them."

They did not notice the ladders slipping over the battlements and as they continued their patrol, a dark clothed figure slipped over the wall top just as the mother finished singing to her babe the lullaby again.

"The Black Douglas shall not get thee."

"Do not be sure of that," Douglas said as he dropped down beside her.

"You!" the woman almost cried, but Douglas put a hand over her mouth.
"Wheesht!" he hissed and beckoned to one of him men now over the wall top. "He will stay with ye and keep ye safe. No harm will come to you and the bairn." And then he was gone along the wall. He rushed down the steps and opened the gates before any of the English could stop him, letting in the rest of his army. They quickly took the castle and before the English could do anything the Scots had won. And the woman and her baby were saved by one of the most hated enemies the English ever had.


Tell me how you are liking my stories and also if there are any you want me to tell about :) This next week, I hope to get at least two posts done as Friday will be Bannockburn when I have a special treat planned for you! ;-)

Slainte, Hazel

(was this post helpful? Drop me a comment or an email and let me know!)


  1. I love these stories.
    In part I like the fact that to the Irish, the Scots and the Welsh, History is not merely about "facts". There is a bigger truth than mere facts and you totally "get" that.

  2. Thank you so much! I like to hear stuff from people about my writing. (Always helps write more!) It's really because of these stories that I love history to begin with. And that's why I love to write historical fiction, because you put in the facts, but you can also make it your own story.

  3. You may be interested in this web site of mine which contains Jacobite content.
    At some point soon I will be adding pics from the Battle of Aughrim site (I was there last year).
    The Guestbook does not work but if you have comments I am at

  4. Thanks, I'll take a look at it!