William Wallace is a name steeped in meaning. He is a symbol of freedom and courage too many but why? Well know for his part in the rebellion against English forces during the War of Independence William Wallace’s is thought of as more than just a leader of the Scots he is Scotland’s Guardian (pg3 fisher) hero of the realm but why is he remembered so well? The answer is the legend that has been perpetuated by writers of old such as Blind Harry and then continued by modern historians. To understand why he became so well know and his name so long lived one must first look at the historical context before, during, and after his time.
Tensions between England and Scotland raged for ...view middle of the document...
His son and heir Alexander the III was crowned soon after on the thirteenth of July 1249. (pg 94) Like his father he warred against the Norwegians over the Western Isles and later would sign the Treaty of Perth clearing the air with Norway on July 2 1266. (103) Unfortunately Alexander III would died thrown off his horse on his was to see if wife. “The death of Alexander in March 1286 was a devastating blow for Scotland but only in hindsight that we can see just how devastating it was.”-Magnus Magnusson pg 101 This statement could not be truer for it was the cause of succession struggle that would put Scotland’s freedom at stake.
“King Alexander, at Kinghorn in Fife, there from his horse did lose his royal life; through which arose a grievous debate some years there after, who should rule the state.” (Harry) After his death Margaret Alexander’s granddaughter was crowned Queen of the Scots October 1286 at the age of about four. The six guardians of Scotland were appointed to take care of Scotland during her minority. Their title will later be given to William Wallace for his efforts to dispel the English. (Fisher 3) Maragret was then betrothed to Edward II the son of England’s current king Edward I in hopes to create an alliance. Margaret would never marry Edward however; she died on her way to England in 1290 at the age of eight after four years of being Queen. (pg 110-111 mag) This is where the trouble really begins for Scotland.
Thirteen competitors arose to claim the throne. Two stood out as the most viable candidates. Both of these men came to Scotland in the twelfth century during the reign of David I, by name John Balliol and Robert Bruce. The Scots then asked Edward I King of England to judge the case. The King of course took this as an opportunity to gain power over Scotland an is stated so here “Who greedily the ref’rence did embrace but play’d his cards with dissembling face.”(Harry 3 Later in Blind Harry’s Wallace Balliol is portrayed as a traitor to Scotland for accepting Edward’s proposal for power and shows Bruce and other Scots as resisting English rule. (pg 2) In the end Balliol was appointed by Edward who sought feudal rights over Scotland in return for his help in the long decision making process. 116-117 Balliol’s reign was short lived. Crowned November 30th 1292. The guardians still held power in parliament, the Bruce’s held more influence, and the man who appointed him used him in attempt to gain power over Scotland. After a short rebellion led by Robert Bruce the gentry were forced to surrender and pledge loyalty to Edward. (Fisher) One man however did not. That man was William Wallace. Pg 120-125
For centuries English Kings wished to claim Scotland for their own and in the thirteen hundreds Edward I King of England closed in on the Northern nation. One man stands out among those who opposed Edward I. That man is the Guardian of Scotland, William Wallace.
Many events and tale make up the legend that is William...