William Wallace - Infamous Trial - A TRIAL WITHOUT JUSTICE

William Bell Scott (1811-1890), a Scottish poet and artist, created this artistic impression of “The Trial of Sir William Wallace at Westminster.”


The great legal reformer, Edward I, conducted a show trial on August 23, 1305. He had his prisoner - William Wallace, formerly the Guardian of Scotland - brought to England from Scotland.

On his way to Westminster Hall, Wallace was led through the streets of London where people jeered and pelted him with rotten food. He was charged with treason, among other things.

When he arrived at Westminster Hall, a crown of laurel was placed on his head. Wasn't he, after all, trying to wear the Scottish crown?

Since the English considered Wallace to be an "outlaw," he was treated outside the boundaries of the law:

  • He had no lawyer.
  • He was not even allowed to speak on his own behalf.

The outcome of the trial (a guilty verdict) and the punishment (death) was assured long before Wallace was captured.

The great law-giver of The Middle Ages, Edward I, who created the system of barristers still in use today, did not allow a barrister to speak for Wallace. Trial was a mockery of justice.

Only once did Wallace speak, when he shouted at Sir Peter Mallorie who formally accused Wallace of treason:

I can not be a traitor, for I owe him no allegiance. He is not my Sovereign; he never received my homage; and whilst life is in this persecuted body, he shall never receive it.

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

Original Release: Jul 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 10, 2019

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"A TRIAL WITHOUT JUSTICE" AwesomeStories.com. Jul 01, 2002. Feb 21, 2020.
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