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William Wallace the Brave Heart

Part Four-Rebellion!

In April 1297,William with nine of his men made his way back to Lanark to be with his wife Marion.Now,in May of that same year he went to St.Kentigern's Church for mass.Lanark's sheriff Sir William Heselrig ,who had killed Marion's elder brother some time ago, and the Captain of the guard Robert Thorn devised a plan by which they would trap Wallace and arrest him.

Wallace often went about town in armour of some sort but today he wore a green outfit since summer was approaching and expected no trouble as it was Sunday and he was just leaving mass.

The plan Heselrig and Thorn devised was to get Wallace to pick a fight and then with a large number of men apprehend him.The largest soldier in the English garrison made a taunt at Wallace in English and French but Wallace knew he was being baited.Several other English soldiers gathered around while insults flew back and forth more English kept coming hoping the Scots wouldn't notice their arrival butt hen one of the English soldiers made a comment questioning Marion's integrity as a lady.Wallace attacked.

The large number of soldiers that Heselrig gathered may have been the main reason Wallace and his men escaped.The Scots had fought many battles like this and the number of civilians in the area complicated the English soldier's position soon there were 50 dead of the Sheriff's men.Wallace and his group fled for Marion's house and then to Cartland Crags one mile northwest of Lanark.

Heselrig was furious that Wallace escaped and charged into Marion's house with his soldiers.Marion had aided in William's escape and in his anger Heselrig killed Marion in her own house.This act enraged Wallace to the point of uncontrollable hatred of the English and he was determined to see Heselrig and every other English soldier in Lanark pay in the worst way possible.

Patrick Auchinlick ,a land owner and friend, sent 10 men to help avenge Marion's murder and that night one by one the Scots crept into the walled city of Lanark.Wallace led one group to attack Heselrig's home and a Scottish knight Sir John Graham went to handle Robert Thorn.

Wallace broke open Heselrig's front door and charged in finding Heselrig in bed and with a single swordstroke he cleaved Heselrig's head and neck in two from forehead to collarbone.Heselrig's son a soldier in his twenties attacked but Wallace stabbed him and threw him down the staircase.Graham who was sent to kill Thorn simply burned down the English captain's house with him in it.During the night the Scots under Wallace's command killed every English soldier they could find and forced the English women,children and priests to leave the city immediately.

Scotland was in full revolt.The word that the English had been driven from Lanark spead like wildfire.Gilbert De Grimsby one of King Edward I's finest warriors joined Wallace and the two surviving Guardians of Scotland James the Steward and the Bishop of Glasgow gave their support.William Wishart who was the Bishop elect of Glasgow defied the wishes of the Pope in giving support to Scotland.

Judge Arnulf of Southampton summoned prominent Scots to a session which was to have been held in a large barn in Ayr but as the Scots entered the barn they were hung one by one.Wallace was away in Kingace but made the journey to Ayr in two days.Wallace had a girl in the village mark all the doors where the English slept with chalk and the Scots went about securing the doors.The next step in William's plan was to surround the large barn where the English soldiers were sleeping after getting drunk the night before with kindling and logs.The Scots burned the great barn with the English soldiers still in it to the ground.

William had the hearts of the people but the lords of Scotland were a bit harder the Earls of Atholl,Menteith and Bucham still supported Edward I.

Dunnottar Castle was the site of one particular raid in which 4,000 English fled before the Scots even got there they burned this castle to the ground as well as the others.Eventually William got word that the English were gathering in Sterling.

 
  Part Five-Wallace Triumphant