William Wallace

William Wallace was one of the greatest patriots in the history of Scotland. Little is known about his life, except for a short period of his rebellion, victory, defeat, and execution.

According to tradition in 1297 he killed the sheriff of Lanark in revenge for the murder of his fiancee. This action pushed him and his followers into open rebellion. At that time the ruler was Edward I, the king of England and much of France. Called "the Hammer of the Scots" he was the most merciless foe Scotland ever faced.

William Wallace headed all the Scottish folk and nobles, who were unwilling to bear Edward's bonds. Several battles ensued, including the battle of Stirling. In the battle of Falkirk, despite Wallace's best efforts, the Scots were defeated. Wallace himself barely escaped. Soon he was captured near Glasgow, and brought to London, tormented and convicted of treason. William Wallace was executed in 1305.

Many people believe that the legend of Robin Hood is based on Wallace. He raised a band of supporters, helped the poor, harassed the English, and avoided capture numerous times.