- "I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny. You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What would you do without freedom? Would you fight? Fight, and you may die. Run, and you'll live; at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day from this day till that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom?"
- — William Wallace before the Battle of Stirling.
|Real name:||William Wallace|
|Actor:|| Mel Gibson|
William Wallace was the leader of the War of Scottish Independence.
Biography EditWilliam Wallace was the son of Malcolm Wallace, brother of John Wallace, nephew of Argyle Wallace, and the grandson of Wallace. He was also good friends with Hamish Campbell, the son of one of his father's brothers-in-arms. In 1280, he wanted to go alongside his father and brother to a peace meeting with Edward I of England, who was at war with the Scottish clans, but his father told him to stay at the farm. However, he snuck behind him and when he entered the barn, he was scared to death at the hanging bodies of the peace delegation. He was haunted by the body of a page who had gone to the meeting, whose body was hanging, and his father told him to go home. The next morning, Malcolm and John departed from their home, telling William to stay home and look over the farm while they were gone. Only one day later, he noticed a group of people coming towards the farm. It was Campbell, MacClannough, and some other people coming back, and it appeared that his father was coming at first. But then, William found out that his father and brother had been killed in battle, and saw their bodies being cleaned up for the burial. At the funeral, he did not understand the priest's words, since he was speaking in Latin. But after the priest's words, a young girl named Murron MacClannough came up to William and gave him a flower to try and be kind to him. He cried, and felt strong for her. Shortly after, a man on a horse rode up to him, and he revealed to be his uncle, Argyle. Argyle and William left Malcolm's farm, and headed to his house. Argyle taught William how to speak French and Latin, how to read, took him on a pilgrimmage to Rome, but most importantly, he taught him to use his mind before he taught him to use a sword.
By 1296, after having been with his uncle for a while, he forgot about his friend Hamish, but remembered Murron and kept her flower with him. He was reunited with his friends at a festival celebrating the marriage of Morrison and Morrison's Wife, and had a contest with Hamish. He told Hamish to crush him like a worm by throwing a rock at him, but he missed, without William moving a bit. In response, William threw a stone at his head, hurting it, and he won the contest. He was about to talk to Murron when a friend of Murron's asked him to dance with her. They danced only briefly, since the English noble Lord Bottoms took Morrison's wife into his bed as a result of the institution of Prima Noctae by the English king. Later on that day, he rode to the MacClannough's house in the pouring rain to see if Murron could ride with him. Despite the parents' objections, Murron ran to him and they rode off. William told her that he could speak Latin and French, and when she asked how Rome looked, he said "almost as beautiful as you" in Latin, which she did not comprehend. He returned her home, but later on, her father told William that only if he fought, he would be allowed to court Murron. That night, he took her out in secret and he arranged a marriage between the two of them, and the Priest declared them husband and wife. Shortly after, they made love to one another in the lake.
The next morning, they met at a marketplace while Murron was shopping and they agreed to meet one another that night, although Murron's father was growing suspicious. It was then that an English officer named Smythe got a glance of Murron, and he tried to rape her. William knocked him unconscious, and gave her a horse to ride away. Pretty much every English soldier was after him, so he decided to run over the roofs and ran to the shack where Murron was assaulted. He then beat down an English knight, taking his uniform as a disguise, and ran to the arranged meeting place at the lake. She was not there, but was rather killed by the magistrate, Charles Heselrig to lure Wallace into the town. But Wallace came back with a mace and killed all of the guards save for a Corporal and Heselrig himself. He slit Heselrig's throat on the same post where he killed Murron, and was forgiven for his elopement with Murron by MacClannough, her father. Afterwards, the rebellion started, and the MacGregor Clan joined Wallace's rebels. They attacked the castle that threatened the MacGregors, held by Lord Bottoms, and he was put to justice by Morrison's axe. The outpost was burnt, and the victory here was followed by the burning of a village by English forces. Wallace and his men returned there to kill all of the attackers at the town, succeeded by an ambush of an English cavalry unit led by Lord Dolecroft. Edward I coincidentally left for France, leaving his careless son Prince Edward in command.After the small victoeis at the skirmishes, William was joined by several new recruits, including Faudron and Stephen. He immediately gained the latter's loyalty when he saved his life by killing Faudron, who was mentally ill and tried to assassinate William. After seeing the trees and after Campbell brought up the unbeaten English heavy cavalry, William ordered the construction of spears twice the size of a man to repel the English cavalry. Wallace was then joined by nobles Mornay, Lochlan, and Craig, three high-ranking officials loyal to Robert the Bruce, the rightful heir to the throne of Scotland. Despite this, he faced a larger English army with 300 heavy cavalry and far more infantry and bowmen, led by the Lord Talmadge and Lord Cheltham. At Stirling, the two armies met. The men, demoralized because of the amount of the English army and how they were fighting for lords who would still keep them as slaves. But Wallace delivered an inspiring speech that rallied all of the fleeing soldiers, and prepared his army. When he went to parley with Cressingham, he told him that Scotland's terms were that the English commander would have to "put his head between his legs and kiss his own arse" as well as retreat and stop at every town to apologize to the citizens for 100 years of brutality, rape, and torture. But the English called him insolent, and prepared for battle. Using his mind before the sword as Argyle had taught him, Wallace skillfully ordered his men to raise their shields to negate the effect of the arrows that flew towards him, and his men lifted their spears right when the English cavalry were coming, killing the horses and then the riders. Then, in the melee, he killed several English troops and beheaded Cressingham after unhorsing him.
The victory was so great that Craig and all of the nobles proclaimed him a knight, guardian, and High Protector of Scotland. He named Hamish, Campbell, and Stephen. A huge fight happened when Balliol invited him to uphold his rightful claim, and continue support of the Balliols, and he left the room because they would not stand together. He planned to invade England and defeat the English on their own ground. He denounced the nobles, but Robert the Bruce told them to make sure that he did not face enemy on both borders, the nobles and the English.
Wallace invaded England and took the city of York, sending the governor's head to King Edward, who had returned, to inform him that he had sacked the city. A few nights later, he had a dream of Murron, who told him to wake up. It was really Campbell, who was shouting for him to wake up after Princess Isabella and flags of truce appeared outside of York. She had come to offer him tons of treasure and a truce. Isabella called him the sacker of peaceful cities and the executioner of the king's nephew, her husband's own cousin. When her adviser Hamilton told her that he was a lying savage, he replied in Latin that he was not a liar but was a savage. He then told her that York was a staging point for every invasion of Scotland and told her about all of Edward's cruelty. Then, he concluded with the sentence about how no Scot that will ever live will belong to the King of England. Edward dispatched an invasion force, which was sent before Isabella was sent with peace offers, and Irish conscripts, Welsh bowmen, and the Army of France were sent to go so far around his flank to attack Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. William was early warned by Nicolette, the escort of the princess, who gave him a letter, telling him of the attack. The battle was at Falkirk, near Edinburgh. Mornay told him that the only option was to negotiate, but Wallace told him that he required every soldier he could require, even the nobles and their personal escorts. He told them that he won at Stirling, and still they quibbled; at York they would not aid him, and now, during the most desperate moment, they must help him. Robert the Bruce promised him that he would unite the clans and aid him at Falkirk.Before the battle began, Stephen convinced the Irish infantry to join the Scottish, since it was "his island". This increased the size of the Scottish army slightly. The Scottish had the upper hand at first, repeating their successful melee tactics as used at Stirling. But the English fired their arrows into the field, killing several men on both sides. Mornay and Lochlan left the field with their men as agreed with Edward, and they abandoned the Scottish army. The Scottish were defeated, and both Campbell and Morrison died of arrow wounds. William was wounded, and was aided by the Bruce, who secretly fought for the English under a helmet that did not show his face, but he felt regret and gave him to Stephen to ride off with. Wallace was disappointed, but wanted to continue the war. He came close to being assassinated by English troops disguised as the escort of Princess Isabella, but locked them in a hut and then burnt it, after having been informed so by Isabella, whose aide Nicolette overheard the plot. He secretly headed to thank Isabella for helping him, and asked why she helped him. She replied "because of the way you are looking at me now", and the two fell in love. She was impregnated by him, and he left to rejoin his army. When he returned, Craig gave him the Pledge of Robert the Bruce, who wanted to meet with him at Edinburgh. Though Hamish told him that it was a trap, William told him that he should try and he did go. Robert greeted him, but the Edinburgh Boy and a man carrying a bundle of sticks gave the signal for the English troops to attack Wallace. Robert, uninformed of the trap, tried to intervene but was hurt. William was sent to trial, and he refused to plead insane to the Judge, and spat out poison given to him by Isabella. Present in the crowd was Hamish and Stephen, two of the very few people in his army. He was first put on a noose until he almost suffocated to death, then he was racked, and finally, he was beheaded after yelling out "Freedom!" rather than "Mercy!", which even the English citizens in the crowd were yelling. His last sight was a vision of Murron walking in the crowd, and then died.
- In the film, William Wallace, Edward I, and The Leper were alive in the same year. In reality, The Leper died 1304, William 1305, and Edward 1307. They all died in the same year in the movie.
- William never had a wife or children, at least recorded ones.
- William did not ever meet Isabella, for she was just a little girl when he would have met her.