A freedom fighter during the Wars of Independence, and something of a
folk hero in certain parts of world. A man from a non-aristocratic background
who led armies and became the Guardian of Scotland, before being betrayed
and executed in London. He instantly became a martyr - the stuff that
legends are made of.
Wallace the Martyr
on how Wallace became a martyr.
The Battle of Stirling Bridge
Video on Wallace's greatest victory.
Blind Harry's 'The Wallace'
Blind Harry's epic poem about the exploits of William Wallace, written
150 years after his death, became the most popular book in Scotland after
the Bible. Harry's aim was to edify Wallace, not to report historical
facts, and by the time he wrote the verse, c.1478, there was already a
thriving tradition in literature dedicated to this national hero.
Video reading and explanation on the work of Blind Harry.
The Wallace (Chpt XI) - On the Death of Wallace
Who shall defend thee now, and make thee free?
Alas! in war,
who shall thy leader be!
Who shall thee now rescue from Saxon rage,
And who their rath and fury can assuage?
I say no more, but beg God of his grace,
May thee in
haste restore to wealth and peace:
Brave Wallace now shall thee govern no more,
Who to thy rights restor'd thee thrice before.
If the audio/video doesn't play, you may need to download the free RealPlayer plug-in.
RealOne (for Windows 98/2000/XP and Mac OS X users) or RealPlayer 8 Basic (for Windows 95 and Mac OS 9 users). BBC WebWise has a step-by-step guide to help you.