Robert the Bruce
Every bottle of Scottish Kings gin tells the story of its homeland: of billowing sea fog, of juniper-shrouded hills, of fierce monarchs fighting for glory and for freedom. Among those monarchs was Robert the Bruce, pictured on every Scottish Kings label with an axe and shield in hand.
It seems a fruitless endeavor distinguishing truth from folklore when it comes to the legacy of Robert the Bruce, but few would contest his position in history as a hero in the fight for Scotland’s independence. There is perhaps no better way to capture the resilient spirit of Scotland than to tell his story.
Robert the Bruce was the first born of ten to noble parents during a period of great political turmoil and unrest in Scotland. While his family believed him to be the true heir to the Scottish throne, a power struggle ensued. As England fought to regain control of an independent Scotland, Robert the Bruce fought for the crown, evading assassination and arrest and finally murdering John Comyn when he refused to forfeit his claim to the throne. In 1306, he was at last crowned King Robert I and the battle for Scotland's independence was afoot.
Battle of Bannockburn
Robert the Bruce led his army in a series of victories over the English, recapturing castles, laying siege to outposts and taking the English army by storm, despite being drastically outnumbered. It was in the famous Battle of Bannockburn that Bruce positioned his army on high ground and orchestrated a strategic attack on the English.
On the first day of this great battle, Robert the Bruce was met in single combat by Sir Henry de Bohun, who hoped to demoralize Scotland's army by first killing their King. With a crown atop his helmet and a battle axe in hand, Bruce charged toward Bohun, their armies looking on with bated breath. In one stroke, Bruce brought his axe down on the head of Bohun, splitting his helmet down the middle and knocking him dead off his horse.
Amidst the shouts and hoots of victory from the Scottish army, it is written that Bruce merely glanced downward and muttered, I have broke my good axe, I have broke my good axe. Within days of Robert the Bruce's victory against Bohun, the Battle of Bannockburn was over and the English had retreated in a panic, thousands slain by Bruce and his impassioned men.
Take a Closer Look
Robert the Bruce can be seen on every Scottish Kings label, facing off against Sir Henry de Bohun as Scottish thistles grow up around them. While this victory was one of dozens in the fight for Scotland's independence, it marked a turning point for Bruce and his army. It seemed that nothing could come between Scotland and her independence, and Bohun's split helmet was the perfect symbol of Scotland's impending victory over the English.
It is a privilege to mark each of our bottles with the image of Robert the Bruce, and we don't doubt that a King as shrewd, steadfast, and fearless as he would have celebrated his victory with a glass of Scottish Kings.
So there you have it, the riveting story of Robert the Bruce. There is more to tell, but best to save it for another day. The history of Scotland is a rich one, rife with bloodshed, glory and resilience. Without Robert the Bruce, there might be no Scotland. And without Scotland, there would be no Scottish Kings.