Lesson 65 Essay
In 1270, a man named William Wallace was born. He was born in Scotland and was a landowner. Not much is known about this man's early life. During William's childhood, Scotland was ruled by Alexander III, who ruled with stability and kindness. When he died, his granddaughter reigned for awhile, but after her death she left no clear heir. Several great families tried to lay claim to the throne. The Scottish government stepped in and suggested that Edward I of England be king. However, the people of Scotland wanted John Balliol as their king.
Edward pressured John to abdicate his throne and John did just that. Now Edward was king of Scotland, as well as England. However, most of the Scots still saw John as their true king and did not want to be governed by England.
William Wallace started gathering an army to fight against the English. Wallace burned the town of Lanmark, killing the English sheriff in the city. He was less than thirty years old when he marched his army to defeat the strongholds on the English barrier.
Some time after this, an English army met William's army near Stirling and the Fourth River. Even though Wallace was outnumbered, he managed to gain the upper hand due to his cunning strategies. The Battle of Stirling Bridge, and subsequently Stirling Castle, were both won by this little band of Scots.
William Wallace was knighted and declared the guardian of the kingdom for these incredible victories. Only four months after the battle at Stirling, Edward himself invaded Scotland for a second time. The Scots responded to this invasion by trying to follow the English army and to attack them at their weaker points. This turned sour as the Edward's army pounced on the chance to engage the Scots and turned his army to face them. Edward defeated the Scots and was crowned king in 1304.
Wallace somehow escaped and lived as a refugee. Sadly, in 1305, Wallace was betrayed by a Scottish knight who was loyal to Edward. William was tried in Westminster Hall and convicted of treason to the crown. He was executed in a terribly painful way and parts of his body were displayed as warnings around Scotland.
William Wallace didn't free Scotland from English rule during his time on Earth, but he was seen as a martyr and hero to his people to fight for their freedom. He kept their hope and will to fight alive, and the Scots finally earned their freedom within 50 years after William Wallace's death.