Scone's Scottish and Celtic Internet Book

Scottish History and Culture & &

"Wallace Remembered"

by Sconemac

Scottish Highlands and Islands Partnership

"another page in my book"


On the Anniversary of His Death, We Honor Him.


He is one of the most revered men in Scotland and yet, one of the men with the least known about him.

His beginnings as near as I have been able to discern, were humble by most standards, although his Grandfather (they believe) came from Wales to escape the abuses of Edwards I. He owned some land, so he was not the poorest.[3]

This could be the reason William Wallace had such a distinct dislike for the English and Edward I, in 'particular', Edward I. This dislike caused him to form small bands of "brawlers and fighters" who gave the English a thrashing every chance they could. They didn't always win, but it was the "trying" that was the thrill. They wanted to be free, and they fought in every conceivable way to be free. Wallace's right-hand man and friend was, Andrew de Moray, (later pronounced Murray). They were an inspiration to each other and were each the other's best friend and patriot.

Finally, Wallace, in an act of definite sorrow and defiance, killed Hazelrig, Sheriff of Lanark, after Hazelrig's men burned down his sweetheart's home, killing her and some of her relatiaves. [2] We don't know that they were married - only know she existed, until the Sheffric killed her. This act, most feel was to draw Wallace in battle and it did. Rumor goes that he did a number on the outpost of the English, similar to what is shown in the movie "Braveheart".

The man ached, breathed and loved to be free. He made everyone around him feel the same way, and they fought some pretty tough odds according to legend. He was the stuff that free men are made of. He was very courageous. He could lead men, and he knew it. He was tall (so we are told), he was handsome (we don't know), he was compelling (this we do know;) and he was ready to fight when the odds were against him as well as for him, and - he won most of the time.

His greatest skirmishes were hit and run, and he hit hard. Like a Viking, he felt it was best to take a quick retreat to fight another day, than to die man for man in a battle. That was in his skirmishes. By fighting this way, he protected his men as well as himself, to fight again.

On the battlefield, he fought valiantly and hard, he fought to a man, and until all hope was gone, or they had destroyed the enemy. Then and only then, was it over.

He became noticed by the Lords of Scotland, when Edward I entered into the discussion of 'who should be King of Scotland.' A discussion he (Edward I) should never have been in on, at all, and one that was not appreciated by Wallace.

Edward I wanted Balliol, because he could manipulate him, and that made the common man angry. "Toom Tabord", or "Empty Coat" was the name given Balliol, meaning a coat without a real leader in it. Wallace must have felt this although many accounts try to say Wallace was for Balliol. I will not argue that, I can't. We have no facts on that, but I will say - that is when Wallace came into his own as a leader.

The common men followed him, and even some Highlanders, and they came because they approved of him and his tactics, as well as a mutual hate of the English. More and more Highlanders joined him, although to say 'most' would be quite incorrect. Wallace spoke no Gaelic, that we know of, and it was the bulk of the 'common Scots' on both side of the borders of England, with a sprinkling of Scottish Lords that threw in with him. Yes, some did betray him, to their shame. The movie "Braveheart" shows him getting his revenge. We don't know that,......I hope he did.

Robert the Bruce, admired his fighting ways, although I have never read anywhere that they actually met. It is rumored that Bruce knighted him "Guardian of Scotland". I cannot prove that either. [1]

This man known as Wallace, was wonderfully brave and excitingly patriotic. He was the glue of the revolt against Edward I, and he held the men together through great odds.

Defeat at Falkirk, hit him hard. At least that is what the 'Bard'tells us. He was so hurt for his men it is said; so humiliated that these Scottish Lords sold him out; that so many of his men were killed 'until the blood ground ran red with Scottish blood', that he disappeared. Some say in depression, melancoly, or whatever the 'test' he had to go through, some said he went to France for support, but I doubt that, no accounts of him arriving or leaving France could be found. He did not get caught for seven years and then he was betrayed by a "so-called friend" by the name of Mentieth. His former friend turned him over to Edward I, and it was Edward's own invented torture that took his life (Drawn & Quartered).

He was beaten, dragged, hung until his air was almost depleated, then he was disembowled, his entrails cooked in a brazier while he was alive. Finally, his head was chopped off. What a horrible death, what a horrible man Edward I was, to think up that death. Wallace's body quartered and was sent to the four corners of Scotland as a warning, and his head impaled where he died.

Problem was, instead of getting scared, the people saw this terrible death and body parts as the strongest insult and it congealed the people together in a force, a force Edward I would have to come up against, many times.

So, even in his death......he was a great hero.

No real history is know of Wallace, except by a Bard named Blind Harry or Blind Hary. He sang Wallaces' praises, two hundered years after his death, and that is all the history we really have on him, and it is not all factual. A bard, two hundred years later.......... but it is all we have.

Wallace Aye,
Alba Guth Brath!!!

[1]-[Robert the Bruce is said to knighted Wallace after Falkirk by two references: a.Ronald Scott McNair (in his boigraphy) and b. Tim Newark in "The Celts"]
[2]- Marion Braidfute's
[3]-He may or may not have been of Welsh descent as he could have equally been of Strathclyde British (the Britons) descent (they spoke a similar language to Welsh).

Pax, Aye,
Scone, (Nancy MacLeod MacCorkill). F.S.A. Scot
Author, Poet,
Historian of the Ancient Clans of Scotland
"All rights reserved N. MacCorkill, 08/22/2001"


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