The Great Man Himself c.1300
The True ( But Condensed) Story Of William Wallace By Paul W.
- William was the second of three sons to Sir Malcolm Wallace, he was born on January 1272 in Scotland in the town of Elerslie known as Elderslie. Although some historians are doubtful over his actual birthyear.
- He first appears in history early in 1297, a few months after Longshanks (Edward the 1st) had deposed the King of Scots, John Baliol, and stationed English soldiers in Scotland. With a few troops Wallace attacked Lanark and killed the Sheriff of Lanark-William Heselrigg. He then gathered more men and marched to Scone in Perthshire.
- His greatest victory took place on 11th September 1297 at Stirling Bridge.Wallace and his great friend and General Andrew de Moray led 10,000 Scots into battle with approx. 50,000 English. Although heavily outnumbered Wallace realised that the English Cavalry would be of no use on the very heavy boggy conditions of the fields around Stirling Bridge (I have been on the land and can testify to this fact!). Wallace and Moray waited until half of the English army had crossed a narrow bridge (two abreast)over the River Forth and attacked. Panic set in amongst the English , the horses could not manouevre and the bridge collapsed taking thousands of English to their deaths. The English Leader Surrey fled and victory was Wallace's , but at a cost - Moray had been wounded and would die months later of his fatal wounds.
- This, the Battle of Stirling Bridge, led to the recovery of Scotland for a short time. The English garrisons were driven out and Wallace with his army crossed the border, ransacked Carlisle and Newcastle. After returning to Scotland Wallace was knighted and became known as 'Guardian of the Kingdom'.
- On July 22nd 1298 King Edward and Wallace fought again at Falkirk, the English were half-starved but the English Bowmen won the day and Wallace was defeated and escaped.
- Edward had to invade Scotland three more times before he subdued it in 1304.
- On August 5, 1305, Wallace was captured near Glasgow and was taken to London, where he was condemned to death in Westminster. Wallace was charged with rebellion, sedition, homicide, robbery, arson, sacrilege and other felonies, including the slaying of the sheriff of Lanark and raiding the Engish border counties. Wallace had never promised any obedience to King Edward, and was put to death the same day (August 23) with great cruelty. The body was cut up and divided into four parts and the head was set up on London Bridge his Liver was sent to Stirling as a warning to his supporters.
- After Wallace's death Robert The Bruce took over the mantle of Scottish Protector. He defeated the English in 1314 at Bannockburn (a site i have visited - see later).
- On a rainy day in Stirling on June 23rd 1861 a monument was erected in honour of William Wallace overlooking his famous battleground at Stirling Bridge. I have also visited this site and pictures can be seen on later pages.
The 'Mel Gibson' William Wallace
The Actual Sword Of William Wallace
The Wallace Monument
The Stirling Bridge & Bannockburn Sites