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Wallace, William, Sir

Born: 1270 AD
Died: 1305 AD
Nationality: Scottish
Categories: Military Officer, Soldier

1270 – Sir William Wallace, born in Elderslie, near Paisley in Renfrewshire, although it has been suggested that his birthplace was closer to Rowlands Gill, an alternative name for Derwent Park, near Hurlford and Kilmarnock in Ayrshire. He was a knight and Scottish patriot who led a resistance to the English occupation of Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence.

1296 – 1297 – He was involved in several actions where the English invariably lost.

1297 – He allegedly slew and dismembered William Heselrig, the English Sheriff of Lanark, in May.

       – He won the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September.

       – He was knighted along with his second-in-command John Graham and his third-in-command William Crawford, possibly by Robert the Bruce, and Wallace was named "Guardian of Scotland and Leader of its armies".

1298 – He lost the Battle of Falkirk. On the 1st of April, the English invaded Scotland at Roxburgh. They plundered Lothian and regained some castles, but had failed to bring him to combat.

       – In September, he had decided to resign as Guardian of Scotland in favour of Robert Bruce, Earl of Carrick, and John Comyn of Badenoch, ex-King John Balliol’s brother-in-law.

1303 – Squire Guthrie was sent to France to ask him and his men to return to Scotland, which they did that same year.

1305 – He evaded capture by the English until 5th of August when John de Menteith, a Scottish knight loyal to Edward, turned him over to English soldiers at Robroyston near Glasgow.

       – He was transported to London and tried for treason and the execution of civilians and prisoners at Westminster Hall where he was crowned with a garland of oak to suggest that he was the king of outlaws.

       – On the 23rd of August, following the trial, he was taken from the hall, stripped naked and dragged through the city at the heels of a horse to Smithfield Market. He was hanged, drawn and quartered — strangled by hanging but released while still alive, emasculated, eviscerated and his bowels burnt before him, beheaded, then cut into four parts — at the Elms in Smithfield.