"In 1297, William Wallace lifted up his head."
These are the words recorded by the 14th Century Scottish Chronicles of
John of Fordun. How well they evoke the inspiring image of this hero's
dramatic entrance onto the stage of history.
In "The Oryginale Chronykil of Scotland" by Andrew of Wyntoun, the
poet-historian evokes the lasting Scottish impression of William Wallace:
"In all England there was not then
As William Wallace so true a man
Whatever he did against their nation
They made him ample provocation
Nor to them sworn never he was
To fellowship, faith or loyalty"
In his book "William Wallace", Andrew Fisher described Wallace as
"Wallace's inherent aggressiveness, in the personal and military
senses, cut across preconceptions of what was fitting. He acted on his
own judgement. This cannot have endeared him to Bruce, or later to Comyn,
any more than it did to Edward. These three, even when enemies, shared a
common heritage from which Wallace was excluded" - they were Normans,
Wallace was a Briton.
Fisher tells us that we need not charge Bruce, Comyn and others with
complicity in Wallace's execution. They viewed it with indifference,
because to them Wallace was an embarrassment. Wallace's death was a
symbolic prelude, it marked a beginning to them, as we can judge by their
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