Scotland's History Debates Wallace's Legacy


The Scotland's History online debates are now closed.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed over the two years that they ran and made the debates lively, informative and engaging.

Wallace's Legacy

Debate: What was William Wallace's real contribution to liberating Scotland? Victory at Stirling, defeat at Falkirk and betrayal by his own people - what did Wallace really achieve?

A History of Scotland's view of Wallace and his achievements.

A History of Scotland

Fiona Watson's view of Wallace and his role in liberating Scotland.

Scotland's History Top Ten: The Wars of Independence.


chris0069, ayrshire 2011-03-17

if it wasnt for william wallace and andrew moray we would never have had freedom and we would have been ruled for years and years more. the man is a god in my eyes. he stood up for what he beleived in and gave others the courage to battle with him for what every scot wanted. but then to be betrayed by what I would call the lower class cowardly so called scots!! i am a very patriotic scot who is proud and love my country. love it that much my whole wedding is based on wallace, bruce, moray and scottish battles. if any1 could give me some info about the battles where these men took place that would b great.

-BBC Scotland Moderator-

Hi Chris, you can find out more about Wallace in our Wars of Independence section. Hope this helps.

Fenella, Australia 2010-08-15

I'm on this site for my ancestory ... this does me proud and I have tears knowing where my strong sense of freedom comes from. Thank you for this information and I am so excited to find out more.

gregs friends friend 2010-05-19

i agree

greg, dumfries 2010-03-12

yes 704 years ago the Scottish people had it's own kingdom / feedom I'm feeling so sad I don't
want to be here Greg aged 14 just want to RIP sir willeam wallace and Andrew Moray.

Brian Ross, Glasgow. 2010-03-03

Another I feel deserves recognition is Andrew de Moray who cleared the whole of SCOTLAND north of the Forth of English prior to meeting up with Wallace to do battle with England at Stirling. Why also when we all know of the 2 million that disappeared in Ireland's 7yr famine (1845-1852) do we know NOTHING of the 1.7 million that vanished in the first 6yrs of the 11yr Scottish Famine (1846-1857)?

Brian Ross, Glasgow 2010-03-02

We talk of Wallace, we talk of The Bruce - and rightly so!
Why have we forgotten Bruce's No1 general The Black Douglas? He was pivotal! Not just in Scotland but in being indirectly responsible for the death/murder of Edward II.
He was so feared that English mothers would soothe their wee ones to sleep at night with the rhyme: Hush ye hush ye, do not fret ye; The Black Douglas will not get ye!

ANON, Devon 2010-02-27

Jesus...Is this a Scottish conversation....or...can anyone join in ?

stewart short, glasgow 2010-01-21

to ralph de m of london ---eddy 1 would have been impressed by poker and rectum on his son- seems a noble english trait --are you aware eddy1 destroyed all scottish public records --he knew how to win friends and influence people just like you


he gave us freedom ALBA GU BRAUG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

stewart short, chryston glasgow 2009-12-08


jakki morrison, glasgow scotland 2009-12-08

iF IT WAS'NT FOR THE STRENGTH THAT WILLIAM WALLACE did to fight for the people's freedom and Independence in his Country and for the people to be free of English rule. Robert the BRUCE had to go to battle at BANNOCKBURN after wallace death to and for the noble's to do right this time for SCOTLAND . alba freedom

MacWard, Edinburgh 2009-11-30

Wallace is a legendary symbol, It is no doubt that he and others of the Scottish Wars of Independence shaped what we know as Scotland today.

Anonymous, Selkirk, Borders 2009-11-29

Does anyone out there know that Wallace was declared Guardian of Scotland at the Kirk o the Forest in Selkirk? So not just the Highlands were involved!!!!!!!!!!!!!

greg, dumfries 2009-11-22

sir william wallace die for others and to betraied by John de Menteith is the sadist story in scotland if only i could turn back time to the 5 August 1305 at Robroyston and saved sir willeam!i would give my life for that! i support scottish independence and want to start political party called ROS ( republic of scotland) please can you spead the word and don't leave wallace's death in vein! greg dumfries

Gerry Watson, Devon 2009-11-12

William Wallace was great for the highlanders in Scotland.....Problem was it was the border and lowland scots that didn't see eye-to-eye with him.
As for Mel Gibson.......his portrayal of William Wallace was an australian-american trying to roll his r's....bloody rediculous.

ian, Stirling 2009-11-03

The support of Scottish nobles was bought and sold all the time.It was the biggest reason that there was no unification of Scotland.
Scotland was its' own worst enemy.
Wallace fought for Scotland to be free and as a commoner he had no ulterior motive, this put him in a unique position.Treachery at Falkirk undid him otherwise who knows what would have happened.

Cathal 2009-08-11


Ralph De Morthernmer, London 2009-02-16

Hi Dave,
An interesting point of view with a LOT of truth in it. I was merely trying to draw some positives from Edward's reign, quite a lot of good came out of it indirectly, peace and stability within England must have had a positive effect, not that Edward would have cared!
Yes, I wonder what we would be like if Harold had won?

Dave 2009-02-16

Edward de Morthernmer -Edward1 was a self centred, megalomaniac Norman War Lord who had no problems using the lives of English, French, Welsh or any other nationality that came to hand to further his own gross ambitions. De Brus was of the same blood and had no compunction in using Scots to further his own ambitions to get his own little kingdom. The Curse of the Normans remains with us to this day. O that Harold Godwinson had won at Senlac Hill.

Ralph De Morthernmer, London 2009-02-13

Hi Brian,
Only got a bit of your last post, looks good, hope the rest turns up soon. All the very best and thanks for the debate, I'd better stop as I am looking over my posts and I'm starting to rant!


Brian Ross, Glasgow. 2009-02-12

Carried her on their shoulders all the way from Wales back to London, stopping every 7 miles to plant a cross in the ground & named each cross after his beloved wife- "Darling queen" cross. Only the "Darling queen" was in French- "Chčre Reine". The Chčre Reine Cross. He's said to have applicated this name to crossroads in London also which has stuck to this day- Chčre Reine Cross, however with the changing of language down the years it became Charing Cross. Thanks for talking Ralph. Take care. Brian.

Ralph De Morthernmer, London 2009-02-11

Last bit for now Brian, (but I am enjoying this) to sum up Edward I. A very complex man in a complex time of England's history. People believed in King Arthur at the time as truth, and Edward set out to emulate him, to unite the British Isles, into one glorious nation (under his sole command of course) and sweep the heathens into the abyss. What Edward failed to see and couldn't understand was that other's didn't share his idea, the Scots being a prime example. He spent his whole life at war, was good at it, and kept his barons in check and largely on side, a considerable achievement at that time. He was respected across Europe, travelled more widely than most other monarchs, was well educated, improved roads, left many spectacular buildings and laws. That for me is a great (and terrible) man, not a romantic figure like Wallace or Bruce or Robin Hood etc, but real, warts 'n all.

Ralph De Morthernmer 2009-02-11

Hi Brian,
My point about anti-semitism is that there would have been no such thing as anti-semitism which implies having a point of view, in the medieval world hating the Jewish people as murderers of Christ wasn't an option, it would have been preached from every pulpit, everywhere. EVERYONE (not 'most' as you wrongly qoute me) would have been anti-semetic. Christian rulers constantly had to keep the mobs from slaughtering jewish communities. Talk to a medieval person about being anti-semetic they would have just blinked at you. Also, Edward set up the conversion houses AFTER he bled them dry, it was a case of convert or leave. And yes, it was a protection racket, but if you label Edward as a genocidal anti-semetist then you have to label every warring leader at that time with the same accolade.

Ralph De Morthernmer, London 2009-02-11

Usually in medieval sieges if a garrison refused to surrender and they were breached they were at the mercy of the beseiger. If Berwick had surrended straightaway they would probably have been allowed to march away with their weapons and honour intact, as the rules stated, they refused and suffered the consequences. Also, contrary to popular opinion Edward's army had a great deal on mercenaries and Welshman looking for booty and new lands, not that many feudal english, who were only happy to fight for their own lands. It would have been impossible for Edward to stop his troops from plundering, after hazarding the city defences his troops expected reward in the form of booty, booze and women and they didn't want to pay for it. Awful. My sources also state that Edward DID try to spare the women and children but his orders were ignored in the blood-lust. I would suspect Wallace's men were guilty of similar outrages on their nuisance raids into northern England.

Ralph De Morthernmer, London 2009-02-11

Just to set the record straight Brian, the Assassin incident and the battle of Evesham covered in blood story are different occasions. At Evesham Edward was fighting Simon De Monfort, who had deposed his father Henry III. De Monfort was a europe wide renowned warrior and Edward made a bee-line for him in the battle and chopped him to pieces (another exmaple of his temper). I thought you as a good Scot would bring up Berwick. Well, my sources state that Edward offered terms to the people of Berwick who not only refused them but waved their privates at him! This may have caused Edward to get into one of his rages. >>>



About the Scotland's History Debates

The Scotland's History debates ran from October 2008 to March 2011. They were run in conjunction with the TV series A History of Scotland.

By the time of closing the debates had received well over six thousand comments from members of the public.

We would like to thank everyone who contributed and made the debates so lively, informative and engaging.

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