William Wallace (c1270-1305)
William Wallace has come to be known as one of Scotland’s many heroes and the undeniable leader of the Scottish resistance forces dying for their freedom from English Rule at the end of the 13th century.
Most accounts of Wallace have been passed down through the generations by word of mouth, making Wallace somewhat of a Scottish folk hero. Most accounts are merely tentative, and in part due to his success in instilling fear into the hearts of English writers and storytellers of the time, that they demonized him, his achievements, and his motives.
Wallace was born in around 1270 and is assumed near Ellerslie(which is now Elderslie), In Ayrshire , Scottland. His father was sir Malcolm Wallace, Laird of Elderslie and Auchinbothie. His father was a somewhat insignificant, being as he was merely a small land owner and little-known Scottish knight. Wallace’s mother was believed to be the daughter of the Sheriff of Ayr. Malcolm is believed to have an elder brother, also called Malcolm. William was the 2nd son and thus did not inherit his father’s title or lands.
William was born during the reign of Alexander III who had already been sitting on Scotland’s throne for nearly Twenty-seven years. During the reign of Alexander III there lived a period of much peace and tranquility, not to mention economic stability. Alexander III did his job and fended off continuing English claims to suzerainty. King Edward I (Also known as “Edward Long shanks” came to the throne of England in 1272, two years after Wallace was born.
There is little to no information about William Wallace’s childhood years. He is believed to have spent these years with his Uncle, who was a priest, in Dunipace, near Stirling. It is assumed that William and his brother Malcolm lived a peaceful life, being as they were the sons of a nobleman. The boys were no strangers to the martial arts. The boys learned many skills of Swordsmanship and horsemanship. Contemporary chroniclers say that William was a large. Powerful man. He reportedly stood at six and a half feet tall. The average infantryman stood only inches over five feet tall.
In 1286, by the time William was about sixteen, Wallace may have been preparing to pursue a life in the church, as most boys of the time did. In that year Alexander III died after riding off a cliff during a wild storm. None of Alexander III’s children survived him. After Alexander III’s death, his young granddaughter Margaret. The ‘maid of Norway’ was declared queen of Scotland by the Scottish...