War and Roses 1470: The Kingmaker
9th Earl of Douglas & 3rd Earl of Avondale
Adept Command of Arms
+2 Attack rating and +1 Damage to all
attacks made in Personal Combat.
Heart of the Black Douglas
Sir James is proud of his ancestry-over
300 years of Clan Douglas history. +2 LVL bonus
to any Retreat or Death test rolls. +1 Command
Point per turn during battle.
Commands 1 contingent of archers, 1 detachment of men-at-arms, 1 detachment of spies, and 2 detachments of Scottish spears. In addition 2 knights, Sir William Douglas, his cousin, and Sir Robert Niven of Moray, are sworn to him.
Sir James the Earl of Douglas and Avondale, known to the Scots and the English as the “Black Douglas” or the Black Earl of Douglas, is 44 years old at the start of the War & Roses. He is the youngest son of James the Gross, 7th Earl of Douglas and Avondale and the younger brother of Sir William Douglas who became the 8th Earl of Douglas upon their fathers’ death in the year 1443. Sir James inherited his brothers titles when King James II of Scotland killed Sir William in the year 1452 by stabbing him with a dagger and then throwing his body out of a window into the garden of Stirling castle as they parlayed one winter’s evening.
Sir James had a younger twin brother named Archibald who was the Earl of Moray before him before Sir Archibald was killed at the Battle of Arkinholm in 1455 whilst fighting against a royalist army sworn to King James. Another brother, Sir Hugh the Earl of Ormonde was slain in the same battle and his youngest brother Sir John Lord of Balvenie was executed in the year 1463. The Douglas clan coat of arms is the crowned heart of Robert the Bruce on a field of white with three white stars of the field azure. They earned King Robert’s heart in their arms after King Robert I ordered Sir James’ predecessor the first Black Earl of Douglas to carry his heart to Jerusalem and to bury it there. The Black Douglas ultimately failed however, losing his life in Moorish Spain at the Battle of Teba in the year 1330.
James, now the former Earl of Douglas fought at the Battle of Arkinholm alongside his brother, escaping with his life after their defeat. This battle only intensified animosity between the royal House of Stewart and the Douglas Clan specifically between the Black Douglas family led from 1452 on by Sir James and his wife & cousin, Margaret Douglas the Fair Maid of Galloway. In the year 1455 he was attainted for treason; his life, titles, lands, and estates forfeited to the Scottish Crown.
In the aftermath of his attainder he fled to Northern England rather than face certain execution. His wife Margaret of Galloway divorced him not long after leading to the rise of the Red Douglas family led first by George Douglas the Earl of Angus, Lord of Abernethy & Jedburgh Forest, and currently by Sir James’ cousin, Archibald Douglas the Earl of Angus, who has ruled since the year 1463. The Black Douglas became relatively important throughout King Edward IV’s early reign when he intrigued against the current King of Scotland, the 19 year old King James III. He sent Irish assassins to kill the young king in 1465 and again in 1467; though both attempts failed. The Black Douglas was a member of King Edward’s Northern army, 10,000 strong who had been sent over the Cheviot Hills into Scotland in the year 1463. Led by Baron Scrope of Bolton and Baron Walter Devereux of Chartley castle, a Yorkist army pillaged and plundered as far as Perth on a three month campaign.
In September of 1463 they were defeated outside the city of Perth by the Red Douglas an forced to and flee south. The Black Douglas was wounded by an arrow in the press of battle and later took sick in the abysmal failure of a campaign following the attempted Siege of Caerlaverock castle in southern Scotland. He lives now in permanent exile in Northumberland. The Black Douglas is unmarried and is a Uncommitted.