Scotland’s Fight for Freedom: William Wallace and Robert The Bruce

The story of the Scottish fight for freedom is long and valiant. Heroes fought and died for their country. But they pushed through and earned the prize of freedom.

Alexander III was king of Scotland. When he died his granddaughter Margaret assumed the throne. When she, too, died and left no heirs, everyone at once commenced to fight over the right to rule.

A council was called, in which it was decided that they would invite Edward Longshanks of England (also known as Edward I) to come over and become king.

Unfortunately for them the true Scottish people didn’t want to be ruled by a foreigner. Instead, they elected a man named John Baliol to be their king.

Edward, when he learned of this, sent a message to Baliol ordering him to give up the throne. Baliol, afraid of the English king’s wrath, did as he asked and then fled from his people to France. Thus Edward became king, but he was a king in name alone.

A man named William Wallace decided that it was time for Scotland to speak for itself, so he started gathering an army. His first step was to take the town of Lanark and do away with the English sheriff and governor.

Then he met the English at the Castle of Stirling. The English, encouraged by the sight of the Scots, quickly started running towards the bridge that they would have to cross to get to the Scots. As they came across, three abreast, the Scots mercilessly killed them. Because of the narrowness of the bridge, they were able to pick off the English one by one, until the rest of the English army decided quits.

After this victory William Wallace was named the official Guardian of the Kingdom.

After seeing the invisible dent the English generals were able to make in the ardor of the Scots, Edward himself invaded with a large army. The Scots followed the army for weeks, burning the country ahead of the English and destroying small parties that set out to look for food.

When they got to Falkirk, the entire English army turned around and met the Scots in open battle. Because of their outrageously superior numbers the English won the day. William however, was able to escape. He lived as a refugee, until a traitorous Scottish knight loyal to Edward betrayed him.

William Wallace was tried at Westminster and convicted guilty. He died, but the Scots were more determined than ever to fight for the cause that he had begun.

Then, when all seemed lost for Scotland, Robert the Bruce, a figure who had had contact with Wallace, took over. He fought the Battle of Methven, which was a smashing Scottish victory.

Then Robert retired to Ireland, seeking an alliance with the Irish. After witnessing how they fought, however, he decided on the contrary.

He went back to Scotland, determined to end the war. More battles were fought and there was more hostility in the war cries.

Edward agreed with his ministers that further continuation was useless, so in 1315 a treaty was signed and the war came to an end. Robert the Bruce became the king of Scotland and Edward stayed in England.

The Scottish fight for freedom is one of the greatest epics of all time. The loyal Scotsmen, inspired by men like William Wallace, fought a great war, one that held a great prize at the end if they could reach it. That prize was Freedom.

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