Scot it is...

Hi all,
I remember King Robert the Bruce,King of Scotland,& his association with the legendary spider. Well, two things reg that:-
1)Did it really happen, I mean spider and all?
2)Someone told me that they’d read it in Nat Geog or some other mag that a spider had actually been found which didn’t build webs straight up but had to 1st crawl up walls & then build webs; the guy supposedly used this to lend veracity to this legend. Which species of spider is this? where can I find out more abt this?
Thanx to those who’ll reply.

The legend dates from the 15th century, according to this site. If you consider that the only witness to this happening was Robert the Bruce himself – it does lack veracity. Sorry, I don’t know what type of spider it would have been.

There was a period of time after The Bruce claimed the crown that he was a hunted fugitive with only a small band of followers and often took refuge in caves and relied on the kindness of strangers. The very fact that over a very short period of time he went from “fugitive on the run” to “King of Scots at the head of his army” and won his kingdom back from English dominance is mind-boggling.

It’s easy to imagine him lying in a dark, damp cave and being ready to give up - his wife, daughter and sister were in particularly cruel captivity in England, a couple of his brothers were dead as were many of his friends, his lands had been redistributed to his enemies, and he was constantly on the run from the English and various Scottish nobles who would gladly turn him in. As for the spider itself…whether it existed or not isn’t really important in the end. It’s a good story, a good allegory for the king’s determination, and a nice anecdote to lend some personality to a man who would otherwise be not much more than bare historical data.

Probably mostly Sir Walter Scott, adapting a version of the story recorded in the early seventeenth century in which it was someone else who saw the spider.