Special Sub-Topic: The Real William Wallace
|English propagandists said that William Wallace was a bloodthirsty giant. The movie "Braveheart" portrayed him as an average-sized man who only took up arms when his wife was killed. What do historians believe? He was ... ?|
A violent giant. All contemporary English accounts show him as a bloodthirsty savage and the Scottish accounts show him as a great warrior. Since those agree, and because a man would have to be a great warrior to lead so many men to war of their own free will, historians believe that Wallace was huge. That he murdered English soldiers and was not very "romantic" is not disputed.
|Wallace is shown in the movie to support Robert the Bruce's claim to the Scottish throne. Whom did he originally support?|
John Balliol. Wallace supported John Balliol despite his connections with the current English king. When his cousin, Robert the Bruce, murdered Balliol, Wallace showed support for him instead. Balliol was a weak ruler and easily intimidated by the English monarch.
|The English king that is portrayed as William Wallace's rival in "Braveheart" is Edward I. Which English monarch was actually his rival?|
Edward I. Although only his bloodthirsty side was shown in the movie, Edward I was also very beneficial to his own people. He created, for example, the first parliament.
|Wallace's greatest victory was the Battle of Stirling Bridge. "Braveheart" omitted an important factor that helped Wallace to victory. Which?|
The English calvary crossed a bridge that was cut out from under them. Though it apparently wasn't shown in the film because it wasn't glorious, a band of Scots cut down Stirling bridge when it was nearly full of some of England's best knights. Many of those who survived the fall drowned in their armor. Spearmen were used in this battle, but not as effectively as later. The Scots had few, if any, heavy cavalry or archers.
|Wallace had a partner who helped him plan all major victories and was absent during of his failures. |
t. Sir Andrew de Moray was Wallace's partner in military options and one of his best friends. He died a week after the battle of Stirling Bridge from wounds obtained there. Wallace never again won a major battle.
|Wallace really did ride into battle on a small horse while swinging a giant sword around wildly. |
t. Considering the nature of warfare at the time and that all accounts of the time hold this to be true, there is no reason to disbelieve this is in fact how he rode into battle.
|Edward II of England was shown to be homosexual in "Braveheart". Was he really so?|
y. Though he did have children, he preferred his own sex. His wife's unhappiness in the movie is probably not exaggerated.
|In "Braveheart" Wallace was shown to speak Latin and French. He was also shown conceiving a child with Edward II's wife, Isabella. Which was true?|
He spoke Latin and French (as well as Gaelic) but never met Isabella. Isabella was six years old at the time of Wallace's death!
|Edward II and Isabella had a son that would one day be a great military leader. Who was he, and where and what did he fight?|
Edward III - the early stages of the Hundred Years' War. Since his father was King of England and his mother Princess of France, Edward III claimed the French throne and started a period of warfare in France that lasted (with many intervals when there was no fighting) for 116 years.
|Who were the opposing monarchs whose forces fought the Battle of Bannockburn, the final major battle for Scotland's independence?|
Robert the Bruce and Edward II. It was a decisive victory for King Robert the Bruce. He used groups of pikemen much more effectively than Wallace. With this battle he stabilized Scotland and set up its independence many centuries.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction