William Wallace and Robert The Bruce

Week #13 Essay, History

4/11/16

William Wallace & Robert the Bruce

 

William Wallace was born into a poor family around 1270. While he was a child, the Scottish were ruled by Alexander the III, and the land was peaceful. After his death, his granddaughter became the Queen. After her death though, there was no clear heir.

Many families tried to claim that they were of royal blood. The Scottish government suggested that Edward I of England become king, but, the Scots wanted John Balliol as king. John was crowned king, he was a weak king though, and eventually Edward I of England became king of Scotland as well.

Many people didn’t want an English ruler. William Wallace raised an army against the English. William burned down the English town of Landmark, killing the English Sheriff. Younger than 30 years old, William marched his little army to destroy the strongholds on the English border.

An English army met him in between Stirling and the Fourth River. William and his army were badly outnumbered, but they managed to win that battle. This battle is known as The Battle of Stirling Bridge. William and his army also won The Battle at Stirling Castle.

When William and his army returned, William was declared Guardian of the Kingdom of Scotland.

Four months after the Battle of Stirling Bridge, Edward invaded Scotland, furious that the throne was taken from him. This time, the Scots were defeated, and Edward was crowned king of Scotland once again in 1304.

William escaped from imprisonment and lived as a refugee. William was captured in 1305 when a Scottish knight told King Edward where he was hiding. William was tried in Westminster Hall and was convicted of treason.

He was executed in a horrible way, being cut to pieces while he was still alive. Parts of him were displayed around town as warnings to the other Scots.

 

Robert the Bruce was born into a noble family in 1274. His mother received Earldom of Carrick and through his father’s side he had claims on the Scottish throne. William Wallace sided with John Balliol, but Robert sided with Edward. After Edward was crowned king, he set up Englishmen to rule the country.

Robert decided he couldn’t side against his people and he went and joined William. William handed his position of Guardian of The Kingdom of Scotland over to Robert.

Robert, as I said, had a strong claim to the throne, but John Comyn did also. John Comyn met with Robert and agreed to resign as king in exchange for the Bruce’s land. John went back on his word though and in an argument, Robert killed John.

Robert fought for the throne and conquered the castle at Dumfries. Six weeks later, March 25, 1306, Robert was crowned king of Scotland. Edward I and his son, Edward II did not accept their defeat. At the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 Robert finally defeated the English and earned Scotland’s freedom. It was not until Edward III had become king that the English realized that Robert was the true king.

The Treaty of Edinburgh-Northnamp was signed, bringing the war to an end. Scotland was declared its own country and stayed that way until 1707.

By Amelia Jacobson

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