Wallace's blood was at boiling point as he hacked one on the collarbone, another he struck on the arm with such force that both sword and arm fell to the ground. While the other two soldiers made off, William Wallace quickly finished off the man he had just maimed by running him through with an English sword. On return to his uncle's house, he explained what had happened and told his uncle that he would leave his home in order to spare him the revenge of the English who would no doubt be there at any time now.
Wallace gathered together his possessions and prepared to leave. William and his new page, who would also have been targeted with a price on his head , took to the woods in the north just like his father and brother had done a several years before. Meantime, John Balliol was about to be crowned and the divide in Scotland was thickening.
William Wallace was now deemed to be an outlaw for, what would have been seen as, multiple cold-blooded murders. He was an outlaw, a criminal and a man with a price on his head. His family were scattered to various parts of southern Scotland , his father was dead and Wallace had no choice but to fight or die, the penalties for what he had done was death.
He was only 20 years old. On the day following King Edward I's ruling, Robert Bruce 'the Competitor' retired from the Scottish political scene to his Annandale estate and later died on the first of April On the second day after the ruling, Robert Bruce's 'the Competitor' eldest son, Robert Bruce, 1 st Earl of Carrick resigned his earldom to his eighteen years old son, Robert Bruce the future king of Scotland , and then went on an extended European tour.
Two days later as a token gesture King Edward I ordered that twenty-three of the leading Scottish castles to be placed under the charge of John Balliol. On St. Andrews day , John Balliol was crowned as the King of Scotland on the Stone of Destiny, at Scone palace in Perthshire; King John Balliol presided over a technically English occupied nation even though he was in charge of the twenty-three leading Scottish castles. But these twenty-three Scottish castles were still effectively under English control because they still had an English constable and garrisoned by English soldiers.
Therefore King John's action denounced Scotland as nothing more than a region of England. William Wallace was bored so he decided to visit the nearby market town of Ayr in disguise. Of the many street entertainers William Wallace encountered, there was one that stood out from the crowd. It was a large burly Englishman, which for one groat a silver coin worth four old pence dared anybody to strike him with the pole he was carrying.
William Wallace couldn't resist the temptation and offered three groats for the privilege; Wallace whacked the oaf so hard that it sent him sprawling across the street and broke the oaf's back in the process. This single act of defiance by William Wallace would have sent the oppressed locals into an uproar, then a patrolling group of English soldiers made for Wallace.
After the English soldiers were dispatched William Wallace escaped back to Leglen Woods, amid the confusion and chaos that ensued. In another excursion into Ayr , William Wallace came to the aid of one of his uncle's Sir Reginald de Crauford servants who was being bullied by one of Sir Henry de Percy's the Captain of Ayr stewards. The steward's answer to William Wallace's intervention was to lunge at Wallace with his hunting staff.
In self-defence William Wallace grabbed the steward and plunged his dirk into the steward's heart, killing him instantly. Suddenly the mass of the English garrison at Ayr converged at William Wallace's location. William Wallace offered stiff resistance and slaughtered a considerable number of English soldiers, but by their shear force of numbers Wallace was eventually cornered; then captured and finally thrown into gaol. Due to the injuries sustained during his capture and mistreatment in gaol, William Wallace succumbed to a fever, and on the day of his trial he had lapsed into a coma.
The gaoler assumed that William Wallace had died from his fever and disposed of his body on the refuse tip outside the gaol, to rot with the other carcasses. Having heard the news of William Wallace's untimely demise his former nanny sought permission from the English authorities to give the corpse a decent burial. Having retrieved William Wallace's body, the former nanny noticed that there was a weak sign of life; therefore she and her daughter slowly nursed Wallace back to health, whilst they kept up the pretence of Wallace's death.
While visiting St. William Wallace was by now fully recovered from his near death experience, sent his former nanny and her daughter into the care of his mother in Elerslie, because of potential reprisals from the English authorities once it becomes apparent that she had aided him.
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Then armed only with a rusty old sword William Wallace walked towards Riccarton to visit his uncle, Sir Richard Wallace. During William Wallace's trek to Riccarton he was stopped; then interrogated by an English soldier called Longcastle and two guards. Longcastle became very suspicious during William Wallace's interrogation and therefore wanted to further detain Wallace in order to verify his story at Ayr. Suddenly William Wallace revealed his concealed sword; he dispatched Longcastle and then the two guards.
William Wallace then mounted one of the horses and resumed his journey, together with the other spoils from his small escapade: - two horses, provisions and weapons. On his return to Riccarton William Wallace was once again reunited with his uncle, Sir Richard Wallace, who only had just been grieving his nephew's death. While convalescing at Riccarton William Wallace heard Sir Thomas Rymour's prophecy and would have contemplated it's meaning - was he really destined to deliver Scotland its freedom. The combination of William Wallace's exploits against the English; the biblical connotation of resurrection from his near death experience; Sir Thomas Rymour's prophecy; inspired many of his kinsmen, closed friends and other sympathetic Scots to rally to him, as the leader that will liberate Scotland.
The value of kinship to William Wallace can't be overstated; since even kin in positions of modest power offered their discreet support and this kinship formed the backbone of a very effective intelligence network. B ack in July of the year , William Wallace received intelligence reports that Fenwick the very same English knight who murdered his father in was to command a convoy laden with gold and silver from the English garrisoned stronghold of Lanark to Ayr.
The intelligence report was so comprehensive that William Wallace even knew the exact date, route and strength of Fenwick's convoy, enabling Wallace to plan a guerrilla attack. William Wallace tactfully chose Loudoun Hill to concentrate his guerrilla attack on Fenwick and his convoy. Since at Loudoun Hill the track to Ayr narrows as it passes through a steep gorge, requiring the riders to pass at no more than two abreast.
William Wallace ordered his band of fifty partisans to further narrow the track by fabricating that a landslide had occurred, there by forcing riders to pass the obstacle in a single file. Without warning William Wallace and his band of partisans sprang from their concealed positions, as Fenwick and his convoy slowly milled around the obstacle. The first wave of William Wallace's attack concentrated on the front of Fenwick's convoy, in a bid to halt its progress.
The partisan's thrust their swords and spears into the relatively unprotected underbelly of the English heavy cavalry. As the fatally injured armoured horses collapsed, the cavalrymen or knights would be thrown from their mounts and then dispatched by the sword-wielding partisans. Chaos and confusion soon plagued the English ranks as William Wallace launched the second wave of his attack, this time on the main section of Fenwick's convoy.
Again the same tactic was employed against the heavy cavalry. As it forced the cavalrymen or knights to be dismounted and thus becoming easy prey for the partisans or to be trampled to death by their own startled horses or to be crushed by one of their fatally injured horses. Though Fenwick offered some resistance he was soon toppled from his armoured horse by a calculated slash from William Wallace's claymore, as it sliced Fenwick's saddle straps. William Wallace's first exploit as a guerrilla leader netted him two hundred packhorses heavily laden with provisions and treasures, heavy cavalry, armour and weapons.
It cost William Wallace the lives of three of his men to defeat Fenwick and his convoy, but out of one hundred and eighty men from Fenwick's convoy only eighty survived Wallace's onslaught. However the English paid an even stiffer penalty for their humiliating defeat, the publicity that fifty lightly armed men managed to shatter the myth of the invincibility of the heavy cavalry. On hearing the news of William Wallace's devastating guerrilla attack on Fenwick and his convoy, the Great Council at Glasgow eventually decided that it was wiser to make a truce with this 'awful chieftain'. It was also made crystal-clear to Sir Reginald de Crauford that his nephew, William Wallace, had to agree to these terms or else he would forfeit his land and sheriffdom.
In August , Sir Reginald de Crauford traced his nephew, William Wallace to his hideout at Clyde 's Forest and briefed him about the truce being offered by the English. Advised to accept the truce by his kinsmen and to save his uncle's position, William Wallace reluctantly agreed to the terms of the truce. Then William Wallace and his band of partisans parted their separate ways, and Wallace returned to Crosshouse to lodge with his uncle, Sir Reginald de Crauford.
Without his uncle's knowledge, William Wallace paid a visit to the nearby market town of Ayr. While in Ayr , William Wallace was subsequently recognised by a group of English soldiers, who then broke ranks to avenge the deaths of their fellow comrade-in-arms. William Wallace tactfully withdrew to Leglen Woods, but he left in his wake a trail of twenty-nine dead or dying English soldiers. In September , Sir Reginald de Crauford was yet again summoned to appear before the Great Council at Glasgow to answer for his nephew's actions in Ayr , as it violated the terms of the truce.
To see that Sir Reginald de Crauford complied with the summons, Sir Henry de Percy and his men were sent to escort him. Eager to exercise his supremacy, Sir Henry de Percy ordered one of his servants to exchange for Sir Reginald de Crauford fresher horse with his own exhausted one. Sir Reginald de Crauford eventually submitted to Sir Henry de Percy's bullyboy tactics rather than to cause a scene were blood would be shed.
William Wallace was incensed by Sir Henry de Percy's treatment of his uncle, galloped off, and closely followed by Gray and Kerly. William Wallace then decided to vent his anger on Sir Henry de Percy's baggage-train, due to Sir Henry de Percy's treatment of his uncle. This incident resulted in five of Sir Henry de Percy's men being killed and William Wallace netted: - heavy cavalry, money, packhorses, provisions and weapons.
Meanwhile at Glasgow , all the Great Council could do was to brand William Wallace an outlaw yet again, after his attack on Sir Henry de Percy's baggage-train was declared as highway robbery. By outlawing William Wallace the Great Council just attracted even greater interest about Wallace and his exploits against the English. The publicity generated by outlawing William Wallace attracted Irish exiles e. Stephen of Ireland who became one of Wallace's trusted comrade-in-arms , outlaws etc. William Wallace instructed his kinsmen, Gray and Kerly to act as his bodyguards, until he could trust the men that had joined him.
William Wallace and his band of armed partisans arms came courtesy of Sir Henry de Percy marched north to Gargunnock, near Stirling , with the intention to capture its peel tower. The two scouts William Wallace sent ahead of the main party, reported that the peel tower's security was lax, as the drawbridge was down, its guards were asleep, workers going in and out without being questioned.
Still under the cover of darkness, William Wallace and his partisans crept up to the peel-tower and found its door was bolted shut by an iron bar. Therefore William Wallace wrenched the iron bar free from its fixing, then kicked the door down. The noise woke up the guard, but he was quickly silenced.
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Then the bemused constable, Captain Thirlwall and twenty-two of his men stumbled into the scene, only to be swiftly dispatched by William Wallace and his partisans. However William Wallace spared the women and children from the same fate. The guerrilla attack was so skilfully executed that it had over whelmed the English before they even realised what was going on.
William Wallace and his partisans stayed in the peel-tower for a period of four days, before carting off its cache of provisions and weapons; then they finally torching the peel-tower. William Wallace and his band of partisans then marched to Methven Wood, first crossing the river Forth at Kincardine; then the river Teith; and finally the river Earn. They were hiding during the day, trekking at night, and showing no mercy to any English soldiers they met. Arriving at Methven Wood, William Wallace with seven companions headed to Perth for a reconnaissance mission, while the rest of the partisans made camp.
Then it became apparent to William Wallace that he didn't have the necessary resources to liberate the town of Perth.
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However William Wallace also learned that Sir James Butler would be returning home to Kinclaven with a convoy well laden with money, provisions, weapons, and only guarded by a detachment of ninety-three cavalrymen. Since the odds were much more favourable, William Wallace settled on attacking Sir James Butler's convoy, and therefore dashed back to Methven Wood to plan his ambush. A scout informed William Wallace that three outriders from Sir James Butler's convoy had ridden by, but Wallace waited until the main party was in sight before he revealed his position.
The cavalrymen acknowledged them as nothing more than a mere bunch of lightly armed bandits and therefore charged at them, with the notion that they will either scatter in disarray or get trampled. However William Wallace and his partisans stood their ground as the ninety strong cavalry lowered their lances and charged, at the very last minute they swiftly stepped aside to avoid the being skewered or trampled by the charging cavalry. Then they slashed at the horse's legs or belly as it thundered past, causing the rider to thrown from his mount and therefore allowing the rider to be easily dispatched.
Sir James Butler together with sixty of his cavalrymen was slaughtered in the ambush. The surviving thirty cavalrymen fled in a state of panic for the safety of the nearby Kinclaven castle, with William Wallace and his partisans close on their heels. In the gatekeeper's eagerness to let his fleeing colleagues into the safety of Kinclaven castle he also inadvertently allowed William Wallace and his partisans to enter the castle.
William Wallace and his partisans then purged all the English soldiers from the castle, but five partisans lost their lives as the English soldiers offered stiff resistance. However the women, the children and two priests were spared from the bloodshed. The castle was systematically plundered; then set ablaze, before William Wallace and his fifty-five remaining partisans retired to Shortwood Shaw with their spoils. On hearing the news, Sir Gerard Heron was so incensed that a mere outlaw had the sheer audacity to not only slaughter his men, but also to capture one of his castles.
Sir Gerard Heron immediately mobilised six companies of heavy cavalry, totalling one thousand men, to search and destroy William Wallace. Eventually William Wallace was traced back to Shortwood Shaw. Five companies formed a security net around Shortwood Shaw to prevent William Wallace from escaping and the sixth company, commanded by Sir John Butler Sir James Butler's son , would head the direct assault against Wallace. William Wallace anticipated that Sir Gerard Heron would employ his heavy cavalry to stage a counter-attack.
So William Wallace's plan was to lure Sir Gerard Heron's heavy cavalry into a fortified corral within Shortwood Shaw, were they would be picked off en route and finally be slaughtered at the corral. Since William Wallace knew that in a heavily forested terrain horses are cumbersome and a liability to their riders. In the morning, Sir John Butler and his men advanced into Shortwood Shaw, shortly afterwards William Wallace launched his guerrilla attack.
As anticipated the riders of the heavy cavalry proved to be easy prey and were eliminated one by one as they travelled deeper and deeper into Shortwood Shaw. Eventually Sir John Butler acknowledged the vulnerability of his heavy cavalry in such a heavily forested terrain and summoned the support of one hundred and forty highly skilled archers plus eighty spearmen.
So now during each guerrilla attack, the English archers would answer back by firing volley after volley of arrows in the general direction of William Wallace and his partisans, showering the area in a deadly hail of arrows. William Wallace immediately acknowledged the strategic importance of an archer, and therefore ordered his men to concentrate on taking out the English archers first.
However William Wallace only had twenty archers with a limited supply of arrows and therefore employed the strategy of one arrow one kill. After all the arrows were used up William Wallace and his partisans embraced the enemy in closed quarter fighting using their two handed claymores.
Then an English marksman fired an arrow, which managed to piece the left side of William Wallace's protective steel collar, inflicting a debilitating and painful wound. By the afternoon Sir Gerard Heron had suffered heavy loses among his ranks, but was still not any closer in achieving his goal. The skirmish intensified as a further three hundred English soldiers, commanded by Sir William de Lorraine, converged on William Wallace's location in Shortwood Shaw.
Confronted with an English army now ten times greater than his, William Wallace tactfully decided to withdraw deeper into Shortwood Shaw, along with his remaining fifty partisans. As William Wallace and his partisans seemed to have "melted away" within the heavily forested terrain without a trace, Sir John Butler then ordered his soldiers to fan out and search for them. William Wallace and his partisans were eventually located near an impassable steep craggy ascend within Shortwood Shaw by one of Sir John Butler's search parties.
With their backs against the steep craggy ascend, William Wallace and his partisans confronted the search party head on in a desperate bid to escape before the full force of Sir John Butler's soldiers descended on their location. As the full force of Sir John Bulter's soldiers finally descended on the steep craggy ascend, all they witnessed was a bloody scene littered with the carcasses of their former colleagues.
Then on hearing the news that William Wallace butchered Sir William de Lorraine, Sir Gerard Heron unleashed his remaining five companies of heavy cavalry to go in for the kill. However William Wallace and his partisans had already slipped passed Sir Gerard Heron security net via the north side of Shortwood Shaw, but seven comrades had sacrificed their lives in order to secure their escape.
William Wallace and his surviving forty-three partisans then nursed their wounds in Cargill Wood, while the English were still frantically searching for them in Shortwood Shaw. Twenty-four hours later under the cover of darkness, William Wallace and his partisans returned to Shortwood Shaw, to recover their concealed cache of booty; then they headed for an area within Methven Wood called Elcho Park. Bored after a period of inactivity within Elcho Park , William Wallace decided to see his girlfriend in Perth. On their second meeting William Wallace was informed by his girlfriend that the English authorities had set a trap for him, after they forced her to divulge details of their rendezvous.
William Wallace then immediately fled to the relative safety of Elcho Park , leaving behind a trail of dead English soldiers in his wake. The English soldiers vented their anger and frustration, over the deaths of their colleagues, by murdering William Wallace's girlfriend. Then Sir Gerard Heron along with half of his soldiers surrounded Elcho Park , while Sir John Butler lead the direct assault on William Wallace with the remaining three hundred soldiers. A bit apprehensive at first, Sir John Butler and his soldiers marched into the thick vegetation of Elcho Park. On their initial contact both parties just stared at each other over no man's land, in an effort to out psych their opponents.
Then suddenly Sir John Butler gave the nod for his soldiers to charge, but William Wallace and his forty-three partisans stood their ground. Finding that the area was indefensible, William Wallace and his partisans tactfully withdrew from the scene, but were finally cornered as they encountered the river Tay. Unable to navigate the river Tay , William Wallace was faced with the decision of either to fight or die. With their backs against the river Tay , William Wallace yelled out a battle cry, then charged straight at their pursuers, closely supported by his partisans.
Sir John Butler's defences collapsed as William Wallace and his partisans carved through Butler 's ranks, slaying sixty English soldiers and scattering the survivors in disarray. By the time Sir John Butler was in a position to give chase, William Wallace and his partisans had already breached Sir Gerard Heron's security cordon. As dusk approached, William Wallace finally ordered his partisans to scatter, in a bid to evade being captured by the pursing English.
After an arduous trek William Wallace finally reached the river Earn, but was spotted by a sceptical Sir John Butler, who suspected that this bloodstained young man was one of his father's assailants. Therefore Sir John Butler moved in closer to investigate, and looked down on the bloodstained young man, as both men made eye contact, Butler instantly knew it was William Wallace.
Then Sir John Butler immediately reached for his sword, but William Wallace had already slashed open Butler 's thigh, and was proceeding to slit Butler 's throat. William Wallace then mounted Sir John Butler's horse and galloped off, closely pursued by the mounted English soldiers. When the mounted English soldiers caught up with William Wallace, a running battle ensued, in which a total of twenty soldiers were killed.
Fifteen miles later, near Blackford, William Wallace's horse stumbled and then died of exhaustion, this resulted in Wallace having to trek on foot the rest of the way to Dunipace. But firstly William Wallace had to negotiate the river Forth , to avoid detection; Wallace had to swim the river at Cambuskenneth. The icy currents of the river Forth took its toll on William Wallace's battered and bruised body, as he just barely managed to crawl out onto the south bank of the river. In his weaken state, William Wallace was forced to ask for shelter at a hut occupied by a widow and her three sons, near Torwood.
Then the widow tended to William Wallace's wounds; feed and provided him with dry clothes, before concealing him in a nearby thicket, guarded by her two sons, whilst the third son contacted Wallace's uncle in Dunipace. William Wallace's uncle was pleased to see that his nephew was alive and well, but pleaded with him that this was the time to make peace with the English. Since King Edward I would have surely rewarded him with gold and land, if he just yielded to his rule. His uncle's advice had the negative effect, as it stiffened William Wallace's resolve, that he wasn't motivated by greed, as befouled other "Scottish nobles", but for the principle of freeing Scotland from the tyranny of English domination.
Meanwhile William Wallace was now joined by two of his most trusted men, Stephen of Ireland and Kerly of Cruggleton, who were ecstatic that Wallace was alive and kicking, and not as rumours have it drowned in the river Forth. The old priest was still concern was about his nephew's safety, therefore he provided horses and provisions for his nephew, William Wallace and his two friends.
The three of them decided to lie low for a period of time, and rode off towards Dundaff moor, for Dundaff in Stirlingshire. Though Sir John Graham Sr. His son, Sir John Graham Jr. William Wallace and his two friends stayed for three nights before heading south to Gilbank, a small estate in Lesmahagow parish. William Wallace passed the Christmas period of at Gilbank with his cousin, Patrick Auchinleck, as quietly as possible, but he wasn't totally inactive.
William Wallace sent Stephen and Kerly touring around Scotland to drum up support for his next campaign, and Wallace himself wound slip into the town of Lanark for "sport", by slaying all those of English origin. It was during this period that William Wallace met and fell in love with Marion Braidfute, the eighteen years old daughter and heiress of Hugh Braidfute of Lamington, whilst he was visiting St. Kentigern Church in Lanark. As their relationship flourished, William Wallace wound discreetly visit Marion Braidfute at her dwelling, in the centre of Lanark.
Their relationship were further complicated by the fact that the Sheriff of Lanark, Sir William Heselrig, had desires on her valuable estate, and planned to marry Marion Braidfute off with his son. To rendezvous with Edward Little and Tom Halliday, both veterans of the Shortwood Shaw campaign, and with the cleric John Blair, they were all ecstatic to see that William Wallace was still alive and kicking. With their ranks increased to a total of fifteen, William Wallace headed towards Lochmaben, with the clear intention to seize this strategically important castle.
Whilst they were still in the church, Clifford, the young nephew of Sir Henry de Percy, along with his bully-boy friends strutted passed, and they instantly despised the fact of Scots owning horses finer than theirs. Hearing all the commotion outside, William Wallace and his friends rushed out, only to see Clifford and his bully-boy friends smugly admiring their handy work of removing the tails from their horses.
William Wallace and his friends answer to the mutilation of his horses were to put Clifford and his bully-boy friends to the sword. They immediately fled the scene on their injured horses, but were closely pursued by a number of mounted English soldiers. Their horses began to subdue from blood loss and pain, allowing the English soldiers to gradually gain ground. William Wallace acknowledged the fact that riding to Knock Wood was now futile and he therefore must make a stand know now. Rapidly dismounting, William Wallace and his friends with their swords at the ready, standing still and facing the enemy head on, as they thundered nearer and nearer.
The ferocity of their defence left fifteen dead or dying English soldiers, the survivors retreating and was waiting for reinforcement before they even consider another confrontation with William Wallace. This gave William Wallace the opportunity to contact the rest of his men at Knock Wood, thus enabling him to organise an effective counter-attack against their English pursuers. In the ensuing skirmish that followed, the opposing English side suffered twenty casualties, including the much-noted Sir Hugh de Morland, and was totally annihilated. The reinforcement in the guise of Sir John de Graystock, the English commander of the region, was so incensed at the death of Sir Hugh de Morland that he kept up the pursuit.
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Forcing William Wallace and his men to fight a rear guard action, as they once again fled from the English soldiers. With the reinforcements, William Wallace has now sixty-seven men under his command, and he decided it was now the time to make a defiant stance against his pursuers, Sir John de Graystock. Therefore William Wallace and his men turned round, faced the enemy head on and charged straight at their pursuers, this had the effect of scattering the English soldiers in disarray, except for Sir John de Graystock and one hundred of his men who held their nerve.
Then William Wallace concentrated on taking Lochmaben Castle, the stronghold of the 6 th Lord of Annandale, Robert Bruce the father of the future King of Scotland and currently the governor of Carlisle Castle , due to its of strategic importance. As Lochmaben Castle straddles the main trade route between Carlisle and Glasgow effectively controlling the movement of traffic in Annandale.
Being natives of Annandale , Tom Halliday and Watson were assigned as pathfinders, so they rode ahead of the main force heading for Lochmaben Castle. The gatekeeper recognised Watson as being a local and therefore he opened the gates to let him through, Tom Halliday then swiftly dispatched the unsuspecting gatekeeper. The gates were thrown wide open, allowing William Wallace and the rest of his men to storm the castle, but they found that it was only occupied by servants, women and children. The survivors from the Queensberry conflict were now starting to limp back to base in twos and threes.
Watson would casually wave them pass the gates; whilst Wallace and his men were lurking in the shadows ready to seal their fate. After he laid waste to Crawford Castle William Wallace retreated back to Dunduff Castle to wait out the rest of the winter months. During the spring of , William Wallace accompanied by nine friends left Dunduff Castle and rode south to Gilbank to visit his cousin, Patrick Auchinleck.
By the time of April , he would been sneaking into Lanark, heavily disguised, to visit his girlfriend, Marion Braidfute. It was also about this time that William Wallace and Marion Braidfute got married, and shortly afterward she gave birth to a daughter, who later married a 'squire of Balliol's blood' called Shaw.
After a period of time William Wallace discarded his disguise, as he grew more and more confident that the occupying English garrison would not harass him as he ventured into Lanark. The Sheriff of Lanark, Sir William Heselrig, wasn't a man who would tolerate such an act of defiance to his authority for long. The opportunity for Sir William Heselrig to put his plan into action occurred in May Kentigern Church, and were walking down Lanark High Street. Then one of Sir William Heselrig's soldiers stood directly in William Wallace path and started to taunt him.
Immediately a further two more English soldiers joined in the taunting, then a few more. Rather than to get drawn in, William Wallace kept his cool, looked around, noticed that the locals were a little edgy and there were English soldiers disguised as locals loitering about. Sensing an ambush and his current position indefensible, as it would have forced him to fend off attacks from all flanks, William Wallace and Sir John Graham Jr. By now the English mob had swollen to two hundred in numbers and lurking in the background was Sir William Heselrig, who finally ordered the mob in for the kill.
Whilst the majority of the English soldiers merely acted as spectators to the slaughter of their comrades further up the field, as William Wallace and Sir John Graham Jr.
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Leaving a trail of fifty dead or dying soldiers in their wake, they made for the refuge of Marion 's house at the foot of the High Street, where William Wallace and Sir John Graham Jr. They then immediately fled out the back door, across the garden, over the town walls and headed for their hideout in the Cartland Crags. In close pursuit were the remaining English soldiers and Sir William Heselrig. Marion desperately played for time to allow her husband to escape, but Sir William Heselrig grew impatient of her delaying tactics and kicked the front door down.
Once inside Sir, William Heselrig saw that William Wallace had escaped through the back, in frustration Heselrig murdered Marion and finally torched her house. On hearing the news of his wife's murder, William Wallace was madden with rage and consumed with grief, since now the English have murdered both his wife and father, and persecuted his mother until her recent demise. This event proved to be a turning point in William Wallace's life as previously he was content just to liberate Scotland , but now it grew into a personnel vendetta against the English.
But firstly, as honour demanded it, William Wallace must return to Lanark to avenge the death of his wife. At nightfall, William Wallace and a select band of men sneaked into Lanark from the various gates in the town walls, in ones or twos and at random intervals, as not to arouse the suspicion of the guards. They rendezvoused at a pre-determined location within Lanark, and waited until their contingent was at full strength.
William Wallace led the assault on Sir William Heselrig's abode; he kicked the front door down and stormed up the stairs to confront a startled Heselrig. Sir William Heselrig immediately arose out of his bed, only to be struck down by an almighty blow from William Wallace's sword. Jets of blood spurted from Sir William Heselrig's headless torso, hitting William Wallace in the face temporary blinding him. As he wiped the blood from his face, Wallace in a defiant gesture kicked Heselrig's head down the stairs. Heselrig's son at this stage was at the bottom of the stairs and watched as his father's head tumbled down the stairs.
Heselrig's son immediately rushed up the stairs clutching a sword, suddenly his sword hand was amputated by William Wallace and then with another swipe of the sword, sliced open Heselrig's son abdomen, allowing his entrails to spill onto the floor. Finally William Wallace sealed this bloody act of vengeance by torching Sir William Heselrig's house.
Under the hands of Sir John Graham Jr. Then for the rest of the night, William Wallace and his men went on a killing frenzy, slaughtering in total two hundred and forty men of English origin. The surviving English nationals from the night of carnage priests, women and children were forcibly evicted from the town and left destitute. A fter massacring the English in Lanark William Wallace and his men travelled westwards into the familiar territory of Ayrshire.
The news of William Wallace's latest attack on the English would have rippled through out Scotland , and it had the effect of rallying like-minded men from all over Scotland flocking to join him. Before long William Wallace found himself in command of three thousand well armed men, all rallying under the banner of freedom.
From Kyle and Cunningham alone a thousand men on horseback were raised, old friends like Adam Wallace and Robert Boyd, and new ones like Sir John Tinto, also joined, together with their vassals. One notable recruit to join the rebel forces was Gilbert de Grimsby, a Scot who enlisted in the English army and served under King Edward I in Flanders , Picardy and distinguished himself in the Battle of Dunbar in Gilbert de Grimsby deflection from the English army would have brought valuable intelligence about their numbers and tactics to the rebel forces.
The build up of a rebel army in Ayrshire certainly didn't go unnoticed by the Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart, especially that the commander was William Wallace, as he would have no doubt heard about his exploits against the English. Since Robert Wishart required men like William Wallace to transform his plan into a reality, he therefore actively sought out Wallace and recruited him to fight for the cause of freedom, but in the name of John Balliol.
The blessing of Robert Wishart gave William Wallace and his rebel army a veil of respectability, as previously the nobles considered Wallace as nothing more than a mere outlaw. Another advantage in allying with the church was that it was well versed to conduct underground activities, as it already had in place the logistical and communicational infrastructure that is requires sustaining and co-ordinate a rebel force.
The rebellious nature of Robert Wishart stems from the fact that King Edward I planned to anglicanize the Scottish church by replacing its clergy with English priests, this included his position which was decreed to be subordinate to Antony Bek, the Bishop of Durham. Shortly after his release from captivity in the latter months of , Sir William Douglas the former governor of Berwick joined the rebel ranks of William Wallace. On the strength of this information, that his brother-in-law, Sir William Douglas had joined the rebels, Robert Wishart finally convinced the ever cautious James the Steward one of the Guardians of the Peace to support his cause.
One of the first acts that Sir William Douglas undertook as a rebel was to lead the assault and subsequent capture of Sanquhar Castle , but the Captain of Durisdeer later besieged it. William Wallace immediately headed south after he heard of the situation, and defeated the English at Dalswinton, having killed five hundred of them in the progress. Since April the north of Scotland was also in revolt, with Andrew de Moray and his right hand man, Alexander Pilche, raising the banner for freedom in the name of John Balliol.
These minor gentry led a small rebel army of common men across the country attacking and devastating every English garrisoned castle from Banff to Inverness. Possibly under the guidance of Robert Wishart they employed the same hit and run guerrilla tactics that worked so well for William Wallace, as they harassed and killed the English at will. By now practically the entire Moray region was in revolt, as the remaining burgesses hastily abandoned their sworn allegiance to King Edward I and united with Andrew de Moray, under the banner of freedom.
It was not until early June that King Edward I received intelligence reports about a northern revolt in the province of Moray. Determined to stamp it out immediately, he released some of the Scottish nobles captured in the Battle of Dunbar in , under the condition that they curb the northern revolt. How effective they were at dealing with the rebellion is open for question.
It was from Scone , a site held sacred by the Scots, that William Ormesby would dispense heavy-handedly his form of English justice. Since William Ormesby's primary mandate was to force all Scots that haven't done so already to swear allegiance to King Edward I by whatever means at his disposal. Riding northwards with an elite contingent of his rebel army, William Wallace rendezvous with Sir William Douglas, the former governor of Berwick castle, at Perth and together they headed for Scone. The Justiciar of Scotland, William Ormesby, was forewarned of William Wallace imminent assault on Scone ; with the massacre of the English in Lanark fresh in Ormesby's mind it immediately struck a cord.
As William Wallace rode into Scone he came across little resistance as his fearsome reputation had surpassed him, since the English soldiers, including William Ormesby, had already hastily fled, abandoning a very large cache of booty. He immediately ordered the seizure of Sir William Douglas's estates in Essex and Northumberland and entrusted the 2 nd Earl of Carrick, to deal with Douglas. Henceforth the 2 nd Earl of Carrick, Robert Bruce, together with his father's vassals of Annandale was dispatched to attack Sir William Douglas stronghold in Douglasdale.
But the Bishop of Carlisle, Walter Hemingburgh was suspicious of the Earl's loyalty and therefore made him swear on both the bible and the sword of St. Then for no apparent reason the 2 nd Earl of Carrick done an abrupt U-turn and changed sides. Using the walls of the castle as a platform, the 2 nd Earl of Carrick rallied his father's vassals to join him, but his appeal had fallen on deaf ears.
He was dishearten but not surprised by their answer, the 2 nd Earl of Carrick together with Lady Douglas and her family then travelled westward into Ayrshire. With his wife and family in the custody of the 2 nd Earl of Carrick, Sir William Douglas was forced to align himself with the 2 nd Earl of Carrick, probably as a means to secure their release.
At Carrick the Earl had better luck at mobilising his own vassals, from there on they went on an orgy of wanton destruction and ethnic cleansing of the English from southern Ayrshire. By the 14 June , King Edward I couldn't tolerate the deteriorating situation any further, therefore he ordered the Governor of Scotland, John de Warenne to henceforth return back to Scotland and restore feudalism. As John de Warenne had retreated to his estates in Surrey on the onset of winter in and left Hugh Cressingham in control of Scotland.
King Edward I lost his patience as John de Warenne dithered about, and it wouldn't be until the end of July that Warenne eventually reached Berwick. Alarmed about the mounting crisis sweeping Scotland the English authorities in Ayrshire were determined to nip it in the bud. The eyre-court was held in a large lofty building, known locally as the Barns, situated on the outskirts of Ayr. English soldiers who herded the Scots into the building in a single file guarded the only entrance into the Barns.
As the Scots entered the building they were immediately restrained; gagged and a noose placed around their necks before they were finally strung up from the rafters. In total three hundred and sixty Scotsmen were lured to their deaths, in an incident called 'the Barns of Ayr'. But on the 18 June , William Wallace travelled to Kingace rather than to attend the eyre-court and listen to the rantings from one of King Edward I's representative.
Returning back to Ayr in the afternoon, he was informed that the eyre-court had been an elaborate trap, but what incensed him the most was the underhanded nature by which the English authorities had massacred his fellow countrymen. William Wallace wanted to return the favour and therefore sent word to his rebel army to rendezvous with him at Leglen Wood. A couple of days later, during the middle of the night, William Wallace and his rebels stealthy entered the town. As they encroached on the town dwelling they secured all the doors that had been marked, trapping its English occupants.
Fifty men, including Robert Boyd made for Ayr Castle and kept it under surveillance, whilst the rest followed William Wallace to the Barns. Their information proved to be accurate, as they found the English judge together with a large contingent of English soldiers sleeping off the effects of a heavy night of drinking. They immediately barricaded the door and strategically placed brushwood around the building; then it was doused with oil; finally the signal was given to torch the place and instantly the building was set ablaze.
By now alarm bells were ringing at the castle, as the burning building lit up the night sky. The English soldiers hastily stumbled out of the castle to aid their colleagues, but were ambushed; then slaughtered by Robert Boyd and his party. Prior Drumlay and his monk also carried their revenge for 'the Barns of Ayr' incident and executed one hundred and forty English soldiers as they slept in the priory, in an incident known as Prior of Ayr's Blessing.
By dawn the estimated English death toll had reached five thousand men, while the rebels suffered minimal casualties. By the end of June the whole of Scotland was practically up in rebellion. Its English occupiers were virtually in a state of siege, as the English soldiers had retreated to their castles and they were confined to the towns, which can be supplied by the sea, since the rebels had severed all other means of communication.
It was not until early July that Sir Henry de Percy and Sir Robert de Clifford crossed the Anglo-Scottish border and marched into Annanadale with an English army consisting of three hundred cavalry and forty thousand foot soldiers. The Scottish nobles answered Robert Wishart's call, and hastily gathered at Irvine with their vassals, united by a kindred spirit of nationhood and determined to rid Scotland of the English.
By now the solidarity that had united the Scottish nobles was nothing more than a distant memory, as a bitter internal power struggle ravaged through the Scottish ranks. Incensed by the bickering of the Scottish nobles, who were more concern about the structure of command rather than concentrating on battle tactics, that it forced Sir Richard Lundie to leave in disgust and deflected to the side of Sir Henry de Percy and Sir Robert de Clifford.
On the 7 July , the Scottish nobles surrendered ignominiously, without even striking a single blow in anger, as the nobles were more interested in their own self-preservation rather than in any conflict. Sir Henry de Percy promised the nobles that he would honour the conditions of their surrender by firstly sparing their lives, then with no infringement of their personal liberties and then finally there will be no forfeiture of their estates, but only if they provided hostage s or enlist for the expedition into Flanders. In the case of the 2 nd Earl of Carrick, he agreed to hand over his infant daughter, Marjorie as a hostage, but later he reneged on the deal and suffered no reprisals.
The fate of Sir William Douglas was less fortunate as he neither provided any hostage s or enlisted and as a result he was incarcerate in Berwick Castle , then from 12 October he was imprisoned in the Tower of London till his death on 20 January Then finally for the part that he played in the uprising, the Bishop of Glasgow, Robert Wishart was forced to surrender himself into English custody and then was incarcerated in Roxburgh Castle.
King Edward I may have cowed the Scottish nobles, but William Wallace was still at large and operating in the field. Smaller children were at the mercy of older ones and violence, theft and extortion were common. As part of his initiation at Gordonstoun, Prince Charles, aged 13, is said to have been caged naked in a basket and left under a cold shower.
In , Hahn founded a preparatory school for Gordonstoun, to cater for children as young as seven. The regime at Aberlour House was not much softer. In the s there was no central heating. Windows were left open at night: in the winter, the children could wake up with snow on their blankets. The school was separate, situated half an hour away, though Gordonstoun helped manage it.
But a series of complaints sent to me covering 40 years reveal a dark alternative history. Not all of the stories can be detailed here. But, too often to be excused, Gordonstoun and its junior school appear to have let down the trust of parents and failed to respect the rights and needs of children. Predatory paedophiles are a part of the history of many celebrated schools in Britain. They can mean predators, who might be brought to trial, remain at large and free to offend.
Kate arrived at Aberlour House on a bursary in the s. She was nine years old. Initially she was bullied by other pupils for being poor and having a Scottish accent. The lochside where the children camped saw the end of that Kate. What she says happened beside it has tarnished her life: an assault by a serial rapist, the trusted young teacher in charge of the expedition. Her most vivid memory of the subsequent summer days in the Highlands is of the moment when she went to a cliff-top, having decided to end her life. She was The exped was led by a male teacher.
Mr X, as we must call him, was in sole charge of the trip. As the excited children got ready in their dormitories at Aberlour House, he supervised the packing. He told them — as other witnesses told the police — not to bother with bathing costumes.
As an adult, you go… What? The exped set off in high excitement. So, we were a tent short, which meant that somebody would have to sleep in his tent each night. I think it was rum. I felt a bit giddy. In the tent, the first night, it was me and two other girls. I remember being cold, wearing a jumper.
And he started touching me, when they were still in the tent. I was totally frozen, scared. I pretended to be asleep thinking it might stop. They left the tent, they were embarrassed, they knew what was going on. So they went to sleep somewhere else and left me alone with him. They were just in another tent, they must have heard everything. So they all knew it had happened. I was terrified. What kind of a man takes a packet of condoms on a school camping trip? Five or six more nights.
Nobody spoke to me. For the rest of the trip Mr X ignored her. One day, lonely and confused, Kate wandered away from the campsite, contemplating suicide. Kate then began to have an inkling that she was not the only girl targeted. She was, I realise now from what the police have told me, already in a relationship with him. And the other girls were her gang. It was because one of the boys had to make a call to his parents. He said to this other girl, Jane, she had to come as well. This boy remembers the event well. I remember giggling about it with Jane. I think now that I was there because it would have been weird for him to have gone just with her, in a pub buying a year-old drinks.
I left the room, but I went back very quickly and the door was locked. When I knocked no one answered, but I knew they were in there. X continued for at least another year at Aberlour. At Gordonstoun the following year, the bullying began. It was led by Jane and it was rooted in the rape at the campsite. Both she and Jane subsequently changed their names by deed poll — not unusual for adults trying to rebuild themselves after childhood abuse.
In some ways, she had it worse than me. She considered herself in a relationship with him. I suppose she was in love with him. She had always been close to him. When she was 14 she had tried to tell him about X. Gordonstoun threatened to kick me out, after my father was killed, unless I had psychiatric help. The bullying, the gossip and name-calling stopped. In actual fact it has given me some very unhealthy patterns of behaviour, and also feelings towards myself. I only realised this in the past year, on my own.
All that stuff. I thought I had sorted it all out. There are other stories, too. At the age of seven, John also started at the school one summer in the s. He is a member of the fundraising committee of the Kurt Hahn Foundation, which raises money for scholarships to the school. He wanted to board and did well. He excelled at sport and passed the exams to go on to the senior school with a commendation.
After a year or two, a new teacher arrived to take charge of English. Derek Jones was a keen photographer and ran the photography club. Pupils remember him wandering the school, a camera hanging down to his belly, his hands resting on top. His wanderings took him to the sports changing rooms.
John got to know Jones well after he was cast in the school panto. Late one night in his final year, , John left the dormitory seeking help. Two of his toenails had been surgically removed after being broken in a rugby match that afternoon, and the painkillers had worn off. Jones found him, took him into his bedroom and said that he could provide some special, very strong painkillers so long as John promised to keep it secret. Half an hour later, Jones assaulted John in his bed in the dormitory.
Evening top 5: Girl (2) dies after being found with serious injuries in Cork
After stroking and patting the boy, he reached under the covers, pulled down his boxer shorts and attempted to masturbate him. John, under the effect of the pills, tried to push the teacher off him. He found he could not speak. After minutes of panicky struggle, Jones stopped the fondling and put his head under the covers, turning on a torch.