William Wallace is considered a legend in Scotland. For years, England and Scotland were at war, and behind many of the battles for Scotland’s independence was William Wallace. While the information about him, like any good hero, might be over exaggerated by some historians, what’s true is that he gave the country hope that Scotland could be free from English Tyranny. For years after he died, others took his place in saving Scotland from English rule.
William Wallace was so famous among the Scots that they made a movie about him. The movie was directed by Mel Gibson, and originally written as a book by Randall Wallace. Mel Gibson played William Wallace. In the movie, William goes on his ...view middle of the document...
King Edward took on a pretty ruthless approach to invading Scotland. William Wallace went from town to town, reaching the highlands and the lowlands to find men who would help defend Scotland. He was able to get men from different clans to unite together as one.
William Wallace’s most epic battle was the Battle at Sterling Bridge. It was September 1297. The English army arrived at Sterling with a large military presence of cavalry and infantry. They were led by Hugh de Cressingham and John de Warenne, who was the Earl of Surrey and Governor in Scotland for Edward I. John de Warenne was convinced that this show of force, combined with previous other battles they had recently victoriously won, that the Scottish would surrender.
The English gave the Scottish plenty of time to negotiate, but the Scottish, led by William Wallace, were prepared for battle. Well, actually, they were very out numbered, and could have easily lost this battle. Instead of winning by force, William Wallace was determined to outwit the English.
For the English to continue further north, they would need to cross the River Forth at Stirling. If they got past Sterling, there would have been no stopping them from continuing north. So if this battle were lost, then Scotland’s independence might have been lost as well. William Wallace’s men were mostly made up of about 8,000 poor country men forming an infantry using long spears. They had about 30-40 men on horseback, while the English had 200 to 300 cavalry and 10,000 men.
There was a narrow bridge over the River Forth., which would force the English Army to cross slowly with just a few people across and end in a confined narrow loop in the river. While they started to cross, Warenne had called his men back multiple times. The first time he called them back because he overslept in the Sterling Castle. He was also hoping that William Wallace and his men would surrender, but instead William Wallace sent this note: “Tell your commander that we are not here to make peace but to do battle, defend ourselves and liberate our kingdom. Let them come on, and we shall prove this in their very beards.”
Warrene felt that by shear size, they would win, even though some of his higher ranking men warned him that entering the bridge would mean death to the men. Hugh de Cressingham led the English army over the bridge and then they waited at the loop of the...