William Wallace - Infamous Trial - A HERO EMERGES

Long a hero, based on real-life events, this artistic impression of William Wallace appeared in a children's history book in 1906.


In the ensuing battles of 1296, the town of Berwick was sacked, its inhabitants massacred. Scottish lords, loyal to Edward, helped the English Earl of Surrey win the battle of Dunbar. Soon Edinburgh Castle fell and Balliol surrendered.

Edward I no longer needed subtlety. John Balliol's efforts at independent thinking were rewarded with imprisonment in the Tower of London (although he was later released and exiled to France where he died blind and forgotten).

Edward returned to England, leaving his hand-picked men in all the strategic Scottish castles, including the important fortress on the River Forth, Stirling Castle. He was the unquestioned ruler of England, Wales, and now Scotland.

Or so he thought.

In the rugged land to the north, not everyone was willing to swear an oath of allegiance to the English king. Some of the Scottish people still coveted independence. The Wallace family was willing to risk the consequences for refusing to swear allegiance to an outsider. Those consequences could be death.

Malcolm Wallace, William's father, paid the ultimate price. He was killed on Louden Hill. (Five years later, William killed his father's assailant, Lord Fenwick, on the same hill.)

After the death of his father, Wallace's hatred of the English intensified. Wearing the bright green tartan of his clan, William was taunted by the son of the English constable at Shrewbury.

Not willing to suffer English abuse, Wallace killed the man. He was now an "outlaw" who fled to the thick Scottish forests where he was able to hide. (Parenthetically, given the available evidence, it is relatively easy to believe that the legend of Robin Hood has its roots in the story of William Wallace.)

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jul 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 09, 2019

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"A HERO EMERGES" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2002. Feb 17, 2020.
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