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William Wallace History
Variations of the name Wallace can be
found in records from the 1100s as Landowners
in Ayrshire and Renfrewshire /South of
Families gained land and wealth by
supporting Kings in battle. The braver in
battle, the more land and wealth they
acquired. Landowners had many workers on
their land, with all these workers available
to fight for the Landowner and King at any
time. This allowed Scottish Kings to raise
armies up to 15,000 men.
William Wallace was born around 1270,
thought to be at Riccarton by Kilmarnock in
Ayrshire, with the family land sometimes
referred to as Ellerslie.
1286, the death of the Scottish King
Alexander III, and that of his sole heir, the
child Princess Margaret in 1290, left
Scotland without a Monarch.
1291, King Edward I of England begins to
pressure Scottish landowners into giving him
their support. The documents these Scots
signed, were referred to as the Ragman
Many Scottish landowners refused to
support the English, with many executed as a
Some Wallace branches gave support to the
English king, and some refused. This led to
some members of the Wallace Clan being
1291 - 1297, William Wallace is reported
to have been involved in a number of disputes
and small battles with English troops, and
Scots supporting the English king. These
battles were said to be in and around the
towns of Dundee, Irvine, Ayr, Perth, and
Lanark. This time saw Wallace gain a large
number of followers.
1297 May, William Wallace is first
recorded in history after killing William de
Heselrig, an Englishman serving as High
Sheriff of Lanark. This is thought to have
been revenge for the execution of relations
1297 June, Wallace is recorded as taking
part in a raid on the Royal Residence town of
Early September 1297, Wallace and Andrew
Moray from the north of Scotland joined their
forces so they could attack a massive English
army traveling up from England to support the
English troops that were in control of
Wallace and Moray had around 15,000 men
between them. The English were said to number
20,000 to 30,000.
1297 11th September, Battle of Stirling
Bridge takes place at the narrow wooden
bridge with wetlands all around. The Scots
forces allowed about 5,000 of the English
troops and knights to cross the bridge, then
made their attack.
Most of the English that crossed the
bridge were killed in battle. The remainder
of the English forces destroyed the bridge
before returning to England.
Moray died a few days later from wounds he
received during the battle.
1297 November, Wallace led a raid into
Northumberland and Cumberland in England. On
his return, he was Knighted at the town of
1298 22nd July, Battle of Falkirk sees the
Scots led by Wallace defeated in battle.
Wallace survived the battle and went into
1305 5th August, Wallace is captured in
Glasgow and taken to London to stand trial
for a number of offences including
1305 23rd August, Wallace was tried in
Westminster Hall and found guilty of all
charges. He was then taken to Elms at
Smithfield where he was hung, drawn,
disemboweled, had his head hacked off, and
his body cut into four pieces.
Pieces of his body were then sent to be
displayed around the country at Berwick,
Newcastle, Stirling, and Perth to show how
the English would deal with uprisings.
1314 June 23rd & 24th, Scottish forces
led by Robert the Bruce, defeated an English
army led by King Edward II in the area of
Bannockburn, about 2 miles south of Stirling
Castle, leading to Bruce becoming King of a
1800s, famous writers such a Sir Walter
Scott revived interest in Scottish history.
This led to fundraising to build monuments
around the country in honour of Sir William
1832, the Wallace Tower
in the town of Ayr was completed at 115ft
Tower is built between Ayr and Kilmarnock
for Wallace at 60ft high.
1869, the Wallace Monument at Stirling was
completed at 220ft high.