Reconstructed face of Robert the Bruce is unveiled

robert-the-bruceHistorians have unveiled a digitally-reconstructed image of the face of Robert the Bruce almost 700 years after his death.

The image has been produced using casts from what is believed to be the skull of the famous Scottish king.

It is the culmination of a two-year research project by researchers at universities in Glasgow and Liverpool.

Until now, portraits and statues of the victor of Bannockburn have relied on artists’ imaginations.

With no contemporary artworks to tell us what King Robert actually looked like, historians at the University of Glasgow teamed up with Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU) to provide an accurate representation.

Its Face Lab specialises in recreating likenesses from legal and archaeological evidence – most famously, the face of the English king, Richard the Third.

Robert the Bruce is best remembered for his victory over the English army at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314.

Dr Macgregor said: “There is a real sense of character in this face.

“Bruce must have been a remarkable man. All of his achievements suggest this to us.

“There must have been tremendous strength of purpose in this individual as well as many other human virtues – flaws as well.”

Dr Macgregor said historians should remain cautious about the identity of the skull. More than one Scottish monarch was buried at Dunfermline.

But Prof David Gaimster, the director of the Hunterian, is confident the face is that of the famous king.

“The combination of these magnificent gilded marble fragments and the skeleton itself, the lead wrapping, the depth of the tomb, the location,” he said

“All of this information begins to build a high level of probability that this was in fact the tomb of Robert the Bruce.”

The King’s Head – the documentary following the reconstruction from start to finish – will be screened on BBC ALBA on 15 December 15 at 20:30

Photo Credit: Face Lab/Liverpool John Moores University

MAP#72: Jack Cade’s Rebellion: A Prelude to the Wars of the Roses

jack cade and the Wars of the Roses

Jack Cade’s Rebellion

The summer of 1450 was full of unrest in England. A failing war in France, political corruption and out of control crime left the citizens of England on edge. One man, Jack Cade, gathered together a band of followers from all classes of life and marched on London. The group presented King Henry VI a list of grievances called ‘The Complaint of the Poor Commons of Kent’ and demanded the King clean up the corruption and crime.

What followed was a summer of battles, looting, death and betrayal pitting Jack Cade and his followers against the King and his court.

Today on the Medieval Archives Podcast we discuss Jack Cade’s Rebellion, the history leading up to it’s beginnings, the rebellions and it’s aftremath and the fate of Jack Cade. Enjoy the lesson!

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In this episode we discuss:

  • Henry V
  • Henry VI
  • Richard, Duke of York
  • Jack Cade
  • And more…

Download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.

The music was provided by Tim Rayburn. It is available at

MAP Bonus: Top Five Borgia Myths and Book Giveaway


Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell

MadeGlobal’s History in a Nutshell Series aims to give readers a good grounding in a historical topic in a concise, easily digestible and accessible way.

Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell outlines the life of one of history’s most controversial figures from his birth through to his murder in 1507 at the age of just 31. This book aims to expose the truth behind the age-old rumours of this ancient family and to shed light onto a fascinating period of history.

Today on this bonus episode of the Medieval Archives Podcast Samantha presents the Top Five Borgia myths! Listen to the episode and sign up for the book giveaway below.

Please send any comments, suggestions or topic ideas to

If you are enjoying the podcast please considering leaving a rating on iTunes.

Book Giveaway!

For a chance to win a copy of Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell subscribe to our newsletter and then send us an email with the answer to the following question: Who was Cesare Borgia’s infamous father?

Giveaway expires on 30 Nov 2016 at 1700MST (1900EST, 2400GMT). Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.

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About the Author

samantha_morris_authorSamantha Morris studied archaeology at the University of Winchester where her interest in the history of the Italian Renaissance began. Since graduating University, her interest in the Borgia family has grown to such an extent that she is always looking for new information on the subject as well as fighting against the age-old rumours that haunt them. Samantha describes herself as an accountant by day, historian and author by night.

Her first published book, Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell, is a brief biography which aims to dispel the myths surrounding a key member of the Borgia family.

She runs the popular Borgia website and would love to see you on her site.

You can follow Samantha on Twitter: @TheBorgiaBull and check out her Facebook page for The Borgia Bull

Download the MP3 and listen to it on your favorite MP3 player. Subscribe to the feed so you do not miss a single episode.

The music was provided by Tim Rayburn. It is available at

Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell by Samantha Morris


Today we are part of another book tour and this one includes a giveaway! The book is Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell by Samantha Morris. Samantha was nice enough to provide a video with the Toop 5 Borgia myths! We are also giving away a copy of the book Cesare Borgia in a Nutshell! The…

New database reveals ancestor veterans of the Hundred Years War


If you’ve ever wondered whether your ancestors served as a medieval soldier in the Hundred Years War, a newly launched website from historians at the universities of Southampton and Reading may have the answer. The names of over 3,500 French soldiers linked to the Battle of Agincourt (1415) have been added to The Soldier in…

A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount


Have you ever wondered what life was like in the Middle Ages? Not just the ‘celebrity’ news of Kings, Knights and Nobles, but the life of the villager or local merchant. Wonder no more! Toni Mount offers a look at the everyday Medieval life in her new book A Year in the Life of Medieval…

10 surprising facts about William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest


1) No one at the time called William ‘the Conqueror’ The earliest recorded use of that nickname occurs in the 1120s, and it didn’t really take off until the 13th century. At the time of his death in 1087, William was called ‘the Great’ by his admirers, and ‘the Bastard’ by his detractors; the latter…

Major £13m project will transform Norwich Castle’s keep


It is one of the great historic centrepieces of the city, and over the next few years an ambitious project is aiming to transform Norwich Castle keep and give visitors the chance to step back in time to the world of the Norman kings. Called Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England, the £13m four-year project…

Canterbury Cathedral’s medieval window frame restored


The gleam of new stone in sunlight reveals that work is complete on the conservation challenge that Canterbury Cathedral would never have wanted to tackle – the reconstruction of a towering medieval window, built to hold some of the most precious stained glass in the world. “This is the stone’s time to shine, when you…

Ulfberht Viking Sword – MAN AT ARMS:REFORGED

Viking Sword

Man at Arms: Reforged is a web series following thew bladesmiths of Baltimore Knife and Sword. A lot of their creations are for movies, but recently they tackled the king of Viking swords…the Ulfberht. Watch how they forge the blade in the video below and decide if they get it right.

Longbow versus breastplate


The age old debate of Longbow vs. Armor… pick your side and watch the video below

MAP#71: The Children’s Crusade 1212

The Children's Crusade

The Children’s Crusade 1212 In the summer of 1212 a French boy and a German boy had separate visions of freeing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Their quests included over 20,000 medieval children and is known as the Children’s Crusade. Stephan of Cloyes, a French shepard boy, claimed Jesus told him to gather a…

World’s 1st Plague Pandemic Bacteria Gets New Genetic Analysis

Justinian Plague

With a single tooth from an ancient human skeleton found in Germany, scientists have now created the most complete genetic picture yet of the bacteria that caused the world’s first plague pandemic. The Justinianic Plague killed 50 million people from the sixth to eighth centuries, and was caused by the same species of bacteria, Yersinia…

Lost Medieval castle discovered at House of Dun

Dun Castle

Archaeological excavations at the House of Dun have uncovered the remains of what is thought to be a 14th century castle. The excavations were carried out as part of the National Trust for Scotland’s Trailblazer residential working holidays, which offer the opportunity for young people aged 16 to 17 to experience archaeological excavations and conservation…

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Richie got his start with British gangster flicks like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He moved onto to a re-envisioned Sherlock Holmes and now he is putting his spin on the legend of King Arthur. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword stars Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, Djimon Hounsou and Eric Bana…