Amazing Historical and Contemporary Facts From Your Favorite Authors.
Historical Tidbit offered by Linda L. Crockett, author over 14 historical novels.
WILLIAM WALLACE - More than a Brave Heart
The life of William Wallace was glorified in the movie Braveheart but there are many historical inaccuracies. Much of what we know of Wallace is owed to blind Harry a 15th century minstrel, who put his rhymes into writing about 150 years after Wallace's execution. His sage of Wm Wallace's life and times survives as one of Scotland's best known and best loved stories. The Acts and Deeds of Sir William Wallace, Knight of Elderslie, is reputed to be one of the first books printed in Scotland, sold more editions than any other Scottish book with the exception of those of Robert Burns and Sir Walter Scott.
Wallace historians and biographers have continually disputed part or all of Blind Harry's narrative. According to Blind Harry, Wallace was 45 when executed in 1305, although the commonly accepted date of Wallace's birth is 1270, making him a decade younger than Harry suggests. Most Wallace historians agree with Blind Harry's account of William's birth and parentage, all though one recent biographer argues the location of Elderslie to be Ayrshire, rather than Paisley. Wallace's uncle, a parson at Dunipace, near Stirling, apparently tutored him in Latin, English and French. Blind Harry's mention of a young maiden named Marion Braidfute of Lamington, who Wallace allegedly courted and wed, provided the inspiration for Murren, Wallace's secret wife in Braveheart. No factual evidence of this marriage survives to corroborate Blind Harry's tale.
Wallace did slay Sir William Heselrig, English sheriff in May 1297. Wallace cut him to pieces, some conjecture as revenge for the murder of Marion at the hands of Heselrig. After the Scot's victory at Stirling Bridge on Sept 11, 1297, Wallace was knighted and elected guardian of Scotland a position he resigned after his army's defeat at Falkirk. Unlike some facts shown in Braveheart, King Edward 1, was considered to be a loving husband. He actually fathered more legitimate children than any other English monarch in history. His first queen Eleanor died in 1290 and he didn't marry again (to Marguerite) until 1299... He grieved for his first wife and erected 12 crosses along the route taken with her body for burial. The most famous of these is Charring Cross in London. His son Prince Edward ll and Isabella were married in 1307, 2 years after Wallace's execution, so unlike the movie, there was no pregnancy from a liaison with Wallace, as Isabella was very young. Wallace was betrayed in 1305 by Sir John Menteith, a former friend and was captured by Edward 1 at Robroystoun near Glasgow. Following trial and conviction he was hanged, drawn, quartered at Smithfield on August 23, 1305. His body parts were displayed in the four corners of the kingdom as a warning.
An interesting aside is Urquhart Castle, the scene of violence since the 13th century. The present ruins rest upon older iron-age stone and timber fort. When Edward 1 invaded Scotland in the 13th century the position was fortified by Englishman, Sir Wm Fitzwaine, who defended it against the Scot, Andrew Moray. Fitzwarine withstood the siege but when Wm Wallace's army marched westward from Aberdeen, the English abandoned the fort. The Scots moved in and endured a lengthy siege during Edward's next foray into Scotland.
With thanks and acknowledgment to British Heritage Magazine.
Linda L. Crockett ~~ Linda Lea Castle is the author of over 14 historical novels. Her current project is a trilogy that asks...what happens when three sisters tell the same white lie?
Bogus Brides!! The trilogy starts with Addie & the Laird, 11-2000, followed by Mattie & the Blacksmith (4-2001) with the final installment - Lottie & the Rustler (8-2001).
She will have a series of medieval books out in 2002, Promise the Moon, Surrender the Stars and Embrace the Sun.... the Vaudry Series