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William Wallace - Infamous Trial - Preface

William Wallace - Infamous Trial (Illustration) Famous People History Social Studies World History Civil Rights Famous Historical Events Film Trials

Statue of William Wallace, located in Aberdeen Scotland  by William Grant Stevenson in 1888.  Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons. 

 

"Pro libertate"
("FOR FREEDOM")

Wallace Family Motto
Scotland, Late 1200s

 "In the month of May (1297) the perfidious race of Scots began to rebel." So says a contemporary English monastic chronicler, Walter of Hemingborough. And so begins our story of William Wallace, brilliantly played by Mel Gibson in the Academy Award winning movie, "Braveheart."

It was a difficult time for the people of Scotland. Edward I (commonly called "Longshanks") was, at 35 years, crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey. This tall, powerful military genius had subjected Wales after fierce fighting. Edward's castles were everywhere. The Welsh were now in Edward's hands, and those hands were beginning to tighten around Scotland's throat.

Always asserting they were a free and independent people, the Scots had been crushed by Edward's military might in 1296. The Scottish "king" (John Balliol) had surrendered to the English. The Scots were outraged. They believed Longshanks would treat them as he was treating the Welsh.

Equally bad, the Scots were unmercifully taxed by Edward's treasurer in Scotland (Earl Cressingham). The Scottish people needed a hero to believe in so they could once again believe in themselves.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5189stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: May 21, 2019


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"William Wallace - Infamous Trial" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2002. Dec 06, 2019.
       <http://www.awesomestories.com/asset/view/133481>.
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