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The Help of Sir William Wallace

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The Help of Sir William Wallace

Sir William Wallace is one of Scotland's greatest generals and was a great help towards the freedom of Scotland because he brought patriotism to the minds of his fellow Scotsmen in order fight for the freedom for which was nearly taken away by the their English neighbors. He would ride through Scotland gathering clans both from the high and lowlands. Over the years after his death, Scots have proclaimed Sir William Wallace as their countries hero and the man who made freedom run through the blood of so many who were by his side.

Hundreds of years before the time of Sir William Wallace, Roman troops tried to conquer parts of Scotland but failed. The savagery of the Scots put the fear in the Romans and caused them to build Hadrian's Wall. The wall separated Scotland and England (which was part of the Roman Empire). When the great empire fell to destruction by many Germanic tribes, Scots began to live a more peaceful life. During the Norman conquest of 1066, a group of people called the Normans invaded England, killed many Anglo-Saxon and Celtic tribes, and took over the country. England was now under Norman rule and would stay that way. (Compton's Home Encyclopedia CD Rom)

In 1296, English troops invaded the lowlands of Scotland burning villages, killing innocent Scots, and trying to over rule the vast countrysides of the lowlands and the highlands. The new ruler of England, King Edward I the Long Shanks, started all this.

He believed that he should have control of the whole island itself. His idea about conquering Scotland was that if he can't beat them out, then he could breed them out. He brought the old English custom called Prima Noctes; if a woman is married in the country of Scotland, an English lord has every right to take her away from her husband for a few days and have his ways with her. Clans of lowlanders came together to form an army. It took awhile for the highlanders to know about this. Conflicts brook out between the Scottish rebels and English troops. Bows and arrows and other combat weapons were taken from the Scots except for their swords and axes. (Compton's Home Encyclopedia CD Rom)

The answer to Scotland's problems came with the birth of William Wallace. His exact date of birth is unknown but he was born in the 1270's. As a young man, he quickly became educated by having his father, Malcolm Wallace, deciding for William to move to France with his uncle to have a better education. At the age of 18, Wallace moved back to Scotland hoping to see his father and two brothers (Malcolm Jr. and John). The hope of his would come to an end when he found out that his father and brothers were killed in battle during a revolt in Southern Scotland. Anger immerged in the young Scotsman. In the movie Braveheart, he had vengeance towards the English for the death of his wife, but that was all false. He was never married. (Battle of the Clans on the History Channel)

At a bar (Town unknown) an English man started to insult Wallace causing the frustrating young man to kill him. He was an outlaw after the incident. Wallace became revengeful to the English and traveled from town to town, village to village gathering a

band of followers and clans from both the highlands and the lowlands. They began the struggle against the English rule of Edward I. Gradually the number of Wallace's followers grew, as they all headed farther south from the highlands to fight the massive English army. (Battle of the Clans on the History Channel)

September. 11, 1297, William Wallace and his army full of clans marched to attack English troops at Stirling. They charged over the bridge leading to the city and clashed against the enemy's forces. Bloody it was, but it paid off. They defeated and almost destroyed the English army at Stirling, and drove the enemy entirely out of Scotland. This devastated and brought fear in the whole northern part of England. As a reward for his victory, patriotism, and courage, Wallace became knighted and was proclaimed as guardian of Scotland. He then became known as Sir William Wallace. After the embarrassment of his defeat, Edward the Long Shank's soon led a new and larger army to stop the forces of Sir William Wallace and to claim Scotland as his own. (

The nobles of Scotland started to become more involved in English customs and government. This was because they were bribed for the lowlands of Scotland. For

giving much of the lands to England, their reward would be more land to claim their own and fine estates. Many Scots from small villages would then be put to force of labor for

the land owning nobles. This brought even more conflict between England and even some of the nobles. Some were even murdered. (

The nobles were pretty much traitors to the country and were letting greed get in their minds instead of fighting for a cause that they would



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