“Few traces remain of Scottish hero William Wallace, the medieval knight who fought against English oppression.” (Cohen) The most known facts come from legends surrounding the infamous William Wallace and his short, tragic career saving Scotland. Now a martyr, Sir William Wallace is inspiration to many Scottish families that anything can be done. A compilation of many widely accepted legends is told in Mel Gibson’s BraveHeart.
During the time, the English king tyrant Edward Longshanks (Edward the First) has taken over medieval Scotland, placing English nobles in charge of every city and town. Wallace as a child watched his father as a rebel against the English nobles. His father fought many battles against the English. As grew William to be a man his only desire as an adult was to live in peace with a family and a small farm. Soon he found a bride to live out that dream. He married her in secret with hoping to conceal the marriage from the English nobles. It was English tradition that the night of a Scottish wedding the nobles were allowed to take the virginity of the young bride. They lived in peace for days after until their secret was out. Wallace was faced with saving her from being raped by an elder English noble. The newlyweds tried to run away, separating onto different paths into a nearby grove. Wallace made it to the safe zone while his bride was caught and had her throat slit by the English sheriff. Out of grief, he returned to their hometown and with the help of the rest of the Scottish men slaughtered all English nobles in the vicinity. With a new vendetta, Wallace led a small militia of Scottish men to defeat the English and free his country. Soon Wallace temporary relieved Scotland from English oppression. With the help of Scotland’s rightful king, John Balliol, he maintained this peace until the Battle of Falkirk. The only battle lost by Wallace and the last of his battles. Wallace left Scotland to find help and upon returning to Scotland, Scottish noble captured Wallace later turning him in to King Edward. Ironically, John Balliol led the Scottish nobles in the effort. The Entire country of England celebrated capture of this “savage”. Wallace’s offense was treason against the English Crown (Ironically the same charge given to his deceased bride). Later decapitated and limbs removed; each of the parts were placed in symbolic areas of England as a warning. This did not discourage the Scottish from fighting harder later, the Scottish won their independence.
Many of Wallace’s attempts to save Scotland has been lost in the folklore that surrounds him; leaving gaps in details that can make a big difference in the story. The most known about him is his involvement in the Scottish War of Independence leading up to his gruesome death.
The Scottish War of Independence was caused after the early 1200’s Alexander III led Scotland into over 20 years of peace and prosperity. Married to the sister of the power English King, Edward the First,...