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Re: The Heart of Bruce
At 22:23 30/07/99 -0400, you wrote:
> I trust that your trip to Rosslyn went well. What did you learn about
>our little "colored" fellow?
> I was reading the poem entitled "The Heart of Bruce" at pages 53 and 54
>of Andrew Sinclair's book, "The Sword and the Grail." He identifies the
>author as "Aytoun," but there were two Scottish poets by the name of Aytoun,
>Sir Robert and William Edmondstoune. Do you happen to know which of these
>two is the proper author of "The Heart of Bruce?" Also at page 56, there is
>the "White deer" ballad in which Sir William Sinclair wagers his head in a
>bet with Robert the Bruce that his hounds would do the deer in before it
>crossed the stream. Is the author of this ballad known?
> I have mailed you an enlargement of the angel carving.
>Respectfully yours, Ward Ginn
The Aytouns were originally of the de Vesci family who came over from
They settled near the River Eye (hence Eye Town or in Lowland Scots
They were related to the Sinclairs and Sir William Edmondstone Aytoun's
Sinclair" was a semi-biographical novel.
Ayton (notice change in spelling) Castle is a splendid building but no
longer in the
hands of the family.
Aytoun was responsible for "The Heart of Bruce" but the story about the
(Help and Hold) is somewhat apocryphal - no more than a lovely legend
master and his love of his hounds (something which I may have inherited
dogs have always played an important part in my life). The story of
the hounds was
written by W.G. Whyte-Melville and, like the story of the Apprentice
who built the
magnificent pillar within Rosslyn Chapel, has to be taken with a pinch
William Sinclair with his brother, John, gave their lives life whilst
carrying the heart
of Robert the Bruce to the Holy Land. They were killed at Theba
whilst trying to
help King Alonzo of Castille in his fight against the Moors. Sir James
also with the party although the actual task had actually been
entrusted to. Sir William
Sinclair (the father of William Sinclair) as he was a contemporary of
by the time of the Bruce's death, he was too old to carry out the task
delegated to his sons, William and John, and to Sir James Douglas and
The Moors had been so impressed with the bravery of the Scottish
knights that they
allowed their bodies to be returned to Scotland with the heart of
Bruce which is now
in Melrose Abbey. The tombstone of Sir William Sinclair is now in
The whereabouts of the body of his brother, John Sinclair, is
unknown. Sir James
Douglas lies in the Douglas Chapel.
Those were the days of chivalry when one's enemy respected courage as
(Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi) who, when he saw Richard the Lionheart's horse
sent him a replacement horse with his compliments.
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