William Wallace

The Scottish National hero William Wallace (c.1270-1305) was the second son of a Scottish Knight. He emerged in 1297 as a leader of the opposition to English rule and gained fame for defeating the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge (11 September 1297). Wallace recaptured Berwick and invaded northern England. For these exploits Wallace was knighted and appointed Guardian of Scotland by the Scottish King John Balliol.

Wallace was the only major Scottish leader of resistance to the English who was not a great landed magnate, and some probably resented the pre-eminence of a man of relatively humble origins; but he seems to have enjoyed considerable popular support. At the Battle of Falkirk (22 July 1298) Wallace's army was decisively defeated by Edward I and support for him waned. He resigned his guardianship and the rest of his life is obscure, although he is known to have visited France, presumably to seek help.

Wallace was eventually captured by the English and executed in London.

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