The Execution of William Wallace
Today marks the anniversary of the execution, in 1305, of William Wallace.
Most people in this age, to the extent they know anything about William Wallace, learned it from the movie in which Mel Gibson played that role. The movie is entirely correct that William Wallace lived and fought for an independent Scotland. The movie is correct in that the he was opposed by King Edward I, who was known by the nickname “long shanks” (he was quite tall for the age). It is true, as depicted in the movie, that William Wallace was executed by being drawn and quartered.
Almost everything else in the movie is incorrect. For example:
· Piers Galveston, the “friend” of Edward II, was never thrown from a window by Edward I. Rather, Galveston lived well into the reign of Edward II, although he was ultimately.
· In all likelihood, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce (the 7th) never met.
· Isabella of France did not marry Edward II until 1308, well after the death of William Wallace.
· Likewise, Isabella of France never negotiated with William Wallace for the treatment of York or anything else; she was born in 1295 and in consequence would have been less than 10 years old at the time of Wallace’s death.
· The moniker “Braveheart” was attributed not to Wallace, but rather to Robert the Bruce. In fact, after his death, his heart was cut out and carried in a chest by Scottish forces going into battle.
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