This is the essay for the 13th week of the 7th Grade Ron Paul Curriculum. It’s about William Wallace.
In this blog post, I shall be showing you how William Wallace brought Scotland closer to independence.
William Wallace was born on April 3rd of 1270. He was born into a Scottish landowner’s family. Almost nothing is known about William Wallace’s childhood. One thing that is known is that In William’s childhood there was peace in Scotland because Alexander III was king. After that his granddaughter, Margaret was queen.
But when Margaret died in 1283 she left no clear heir several people rose up and claimed they had a claim to the throne. One of these people was King Edward I of England. King Edward I wanted to rule Scotland, but the Scottish didn’t want this. The Scottish chose someone else, John Balliol. Then John became king, but this didn’t last long, because when Edward threatened John to abdicate the throne, John agreed. Then Edward became king of Scotland and now he was king of England as well as Scotland.
The people were furious, but nobody, except a few people, took action to replace Edward I with another king. These few people were William Wallace and a few other Scots. William raised an army out of Scots who were willing to take action and burned the city of Lanmark to ashes. The sheriff of Lanmark tried to defend the city but he was killed. This started the long war between the English and the Scots.
Later Wallace started marching to the English border with his army to take out the strongholds there. But during his march there on 11 September in 1297 he encountered an English army on a bridge near a town named Stirling. William was outnumbered, but he used the bridge strategically by trapping the English on the bridge and slaughtering them. By using this strategy he won the Battle of Stirling Bridge. After the battle he conquered Stirling castle as well. After this major victory when he returned to Scotland he was knighted and declared the guardian of Scotland for his victory.
When Edward I returned from France he invaded Scotland again. This time a smaller Scottish army was sent to destroy the English one by attacking the army’s weak point, but the English surprise attacked the Scottish army and it was destroyed. Wallace managed to escape from the battle and go into hiding. But Edward I became king of the Scottish once again in 1304.
A year after Edward I was crowned king of Scotland Wallace was found by a Scottish knight who was loyal to Edward. Wallace was brought to Westminster Hall and brought to trial. In the trial, Wallace was convicted of treason against the English Crown. Then he was executed in a very painful way. Wallace was first dragged around the city and then he was hanged. But he was released while he was still alive and then he was quartered by stretching his body. His body parts were placed around Scotland to show what would happen if somebody tried doing the same thing.
But somebody did it anyway. This somebody was Robert Bruce. William Wallace made Robert the Bruce, also want to fight for Scottish independence who 50 years after Wallace’s death brought Scotland to Independence.