William Wallace, Bronze

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William Wallace was the second son of a minor knight who was born and lived in Renfrewshire, south of Glasgow. After the deposition of King John, to whom he always maintained his loyalty, he took part in a general uprising in association with Andrew Murray from the North East of Scotland to take revenge for the brutal English incursions into Scotland in mid-1296 which had resulted in the sack and capture of Berwick and the occupation of Roxburgh, Edinburgh and Stirling castles; to all intents the country was under English occupation and Scottish morale was at a low ebb. By early 1297, however, the general uprising was gaining strength, aided and partly organised by two of the nation's Guardians (Wishart and Stewart) and Robert Bruce, later to become King. On September 11th 1297 the two armies met at Stirling Bridge where the English were all but routed; it was the first and last pitched battle that Wallace won. Wallace accepted sole Guardianship of the Realm. In the spring of 1298, Edward himself, led the English Army north into Scotland. Wallace's forces retreated laying waste to southern Scotland in an effort to starve and delay the English. At Falkirk on 22 July the two met. The Scots formed "Shiltrons", human hedgehogs with pikes as spines, and the small cavalry force was kept to the rear to charge forward when required. As battle commenced the cavalry failed and fled, the Infantry, although protected from the English Cavalry by their pikes, were massacred by Edward's crossbowmen.
William Wallace survived and fled into the forests of Scotland where he became a fugitive. He handed over his title of "Guardian" and became an outlaw. During a skirmish in August 1304 he was captured and taken to London to be arraigned in Westminster Hall where he was convicted of treason and was sentenced to death by hanging after which he was drawn, quartered and his head exhibited on a spike. A savage end for a brave man.
Sir William Wallace was a big, tall man, (6ft 7in) at a time when the average soldier was little over 5 feet. He was without doubt charismatic, and had the ability to inspire the support of common Scots folk. Although his triumph lasted little over a year (he gave up his role as Guardian of Scotland after his defeat at Falkirk) he gave back pride and respect to a demoralised nation and for this he is always remembered. On a high crag near Stirling Castle and the site of his victory, a grateful nation built the Wallace Memorial which contains his great two-handed battle sword.
A fitting tribute to an unflinching patriot, a charismatic war-lord and one of Scotland's most loved and respected heroes.
The statuette captures the moment in 1296 when Wallace, sick of the English oppression, swore an oath to rise and fight for Scotland. Holding his massive two handed sword by the blade allowing the hilt and guard to form a cross he pledges his life, if required, to the cause of Scottish freedom.