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William Wallace-The Braveheart

Part Seven-The Price

Red John Comyn was defeated by Edward now Wallace was the only man who stood in opposition against the English king.Under a treaty called the Terms of Strathford John Comyn and all who fought on the side of Scotland were given light punishments with one exception Sir William Wallace was purposefully left out for in the eyes of Edward the only punishment for Wallace was death.Edward was either becoming obsessed with destroying Wallace or Wallace's non royalty status made him expendable and to make matters worse Edward granted special rights to any Scottish knight or noble who would help in the hunt for Wallace.

After a defeat at Happrew Wallace moved north in  hopes to free Stirling Castle and par usual being outnumbered did nothing to stop the Scottish troops , the castle fell but a cavalry brigade and mass force of archers chased Wallace in Stirlingshire south of Earnside.Wallace had also been receiving help from Robert Bruce and Bishop Lamberton even after Edward asked the Bruce to hunt Wallace down this activity by Robert Bruce the future liberator of Scotland led to his nearly being arrested himself for treason.William's brother Malcolm had been a friend to Robert and in letters Robert always refered to Wallace as Lord William Wallace even when he was feigning loyalty to Edward.

To catch Wallace Edward needed the help of someone close to him so he chose one of the few Scots he knew he could control Sir John Menteith whose own sons were Wallace's godchildren it can be speculated that Menteith wanted revenge against Wallace for the death of his nephew who was Sir John Stewart the knight who was slain in the battle of Falkirk.Menteith hired a young man whose name may have been John Short to act as Wallace's page when he was actually an English paid spy one day Wallace recieved a letter from Robert the Bruce and made for Glasgow a week later Wallace stayed in the town of Robroyston still awaiting Robert when he and his trusted aide Kerly went to sleep at midnight, Wallace with a woman he had met, however they had been drugged by the page into slumber and had their weapons taken as well the trap was set.Menteith and his companions charged into the room and Wallace with only his bare hands as a weapon crushed the spine of one man against the windowsill and crushed the skull of another by smashing it into a wall but still under the influence of the drug it was of little use and Wallace was taken but his friend Kerly who had survived many battles with William was killed on the spot Wallace knew he would be treated little better.

Wallace's captors took him by night knowing if they rode out during the day they could face a revolt.The journey to London lasted seventeen days and as a reward Menteith was given the earldom of Lennox.During the trip English citizens turned out in droves to see the giant Scotsman who from what they were told had cooked babies,raped nuns and tortured priests which was the exact opposite of the truth.Once in London Wallace was kept in a house owned by William De Leyre instead of the Tower of London the very next morning would come Wallace's trial and execution.

On Monday 23rd of August 1305 Wallace had a crown of laurel leaves placed on his brow and was presented before the court at Westminister.Wallace was charged with sedition,murder,spoliation,theft,arson and many other felonies.The charge of sedition and treason was based on the conquest of Scotland by Edward when Balliol was exiled in the eyes of Edward this meant he was King of Scotland but in the eyes of Wallace Edward was an invader and was to be treated as such.Wallace was also charged with defamation of the church which was hypocritical in the simple fact that Edward himself destroyed all the holy relics of Dunfermline and ravaged all the churches along the Scottish border.In his defense Wallace claimed he had never sworn loyalty to Edward and that the other charges against him were simply the results of war this was Wallace's only statement and once it was done there was no jury deliberation and no mercy in the sentence.The sentence was death by decollation and decapitation and once dead his body be dismembered.

Wallace was led outside Westminister Abbey and stripped naked he was then tied by a hurdle to two horses and dragged throughout London in midday while peasants threw garbage and excrement at him until he reached the place where he was to be executed.First came the hanging which was not done in the manner which we are familiar with in this case the rope ran along the side of the neck so that Wallace would not be killed quickly but would slowly be strangled for twenty minutes as his body was stretched out fully then he would be cut down and would have water thrown upon him so that he would not fall unconscious then his genitals would be cut off and finally a hook was brought out and a fire started in a brazier for the goriest part of the execution.Wallace's stomach was sliced open and his intestines pulled out and burned while he was still alive and kept awake then one by one his internal organs would be pulled out the heart being the last thing taken, this done the head was chopped off and the body cut into four halves to be placed at the four corners of England and the head placed atop London bridge as a warning to anyone who would oppose the power of King Edward.

The warnings would not work for Edward had given the Scots a martyr and a new resolve and only a few months later near Bannockburn the Scots would win their freedom and be led by their own king Robert the Bruce.


source for material was provided by the book William Wallace by James MacKay buy it now from
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