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William Wallace lived in the same time as Macbeth, in Scotland.

He had a very interesting childhood, which was filled with many traumatizing experiences. William Wallace was born in 1274, the second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie in the county of Renfrew. He grew up in what would now be comparable to the home of a well-to-do country gentleman, whose feudal vassals paid rent by their services. A great figure in his childhood was his uncle, who taught him to speak and write in Gaelic, Latin, and French. He entered school at Paisley Abbey, and Dundee, where he proved to be a very bright student. While William was at Dundee, his father was killed by a group of English soldiers, because he had refused to swear his allegiance to England. Due to this, William highly resented the English role in Scottish lands. He responded to this by mocking the sons of English “officers”, and showing great disrespect towards his English authorities. In one instance, he even killed and injured a few English soldiers.

Reference on Page 54

Due to this violent incursion, William had to hide in Laglane Wood, a forest, since he was a fugitive in Dundee.

Another interesting aspect about the life of William Wallace was his military career. He was described as Reference on Page 94.

This military genius was thoroughly shown at Stirling Bridge, in a conflict in which the English outnumbered the Scots by a ratio of 5:1. The English troops saw this as an easy victory, due to their overpowering number of infantry and cavalry. On the morning of Sept. 11, 1297, the English commander, Hugh de Cressingham, led 5000 soldiers and 100 cavalry across Stirling Bridge. The Scots patiently waited, as the English troops met a morass of mud and marshy ground. At 11:00 A.M., the Scots swept down, and easily destroyed the confused English troops, floundering in the muddy mess. All of those who tried to escape were either killed or drowned in the cold river. Of the 5000 infantry and over 100 cavalry who had crossed the bridge, almost all, including 300 Welsh, were wiped out.

The final and most grotesque aspect about William Wallace s life was his shocking betrayal and death. William had successfully held out against King Edward for more than 8 years at the time. Sir John de Menteith, a Scottish knight who held a grudge against William for the death of his father, was at this time offered a reward for Wallace s capture. In July of 1305, Menteith made his move, bursting in upon the sleeping Wallace and capturing him. Sir John then led William on a 17-day journey to Westminster Hall in London, where he would be arraigned. Here is an excerpt from the book on William s arraignment: Reference On Page 151.

William Wallace died, at the age of forty-five, in 1305.

I think that William Wallace would be a good role model for anyone, but more specifically those who are involved in a conflict or struggle. This is because of his determination to do what was right, or to liberate Scotland.

This book was highly subjective. It gave an account of William Wallace s life as taken from the ballads of Blind Harry, a minstrel who lived in the time of Wallace.

Yes, I would highly recommend this book. I enjoyed it because it was interesting to learn about William Wallace, and how his life was in many ways different from the movie Braveheart. Also, I learned a lot about the history of Scotland in the late 13th century, which I had previously known little about.


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