Click here to Download Sir William Wallace PDF Book by Alexander Murison English having PDF Size 1.3 MB and No of Pages 90.
The shadows of coming trouble had fallen upon Scotland before the death of Alexander III. The family of the King had been swept away by death. His first queen, Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry III. and sister of Edward I. of England, had died in 1275. His younger son, David, had died in 1280.
Sir William Wallace PDF Book by Alexander Murison
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His elder son, Alexander, who married Margaret, daughter of Guy, Count of Flanders, in 1282, had died without issue early in 1283–84. His only daughter, who married Eric II., King of Norway, in 1281, had also died early in 1283–84, leaving a daughter. Alexander was little over forty.
Still there is no assurance of length of days; and if he should die there would be a minority, probably a disputed succession, possibly an active revival of the English claim to over-lordship. In these circumstances, Alexander at once proceeded to take such precautions as he could.
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He summoned a Parliament at Scone on February 5, 1283–84, and obtained from his nobles their solemn acknowledgment of Margaret, Princess of Norway, as heiress of Scotland, failing issue of himself and of his late son. Towards the end of next year, he also married a second wife, Joleta (or Iolande), daughter of the Count de Dreux; but she bore him no child.
Alexander must have often and anxiously reflected upon the likelihood of a recurrence of such baronial rivalries as had proved a grave danger to the country during 12 his own minority. On his tragic death on March 19, 1285–86, the hopes of the nation were left to rest upon the fragile Maid of Norway. For a short period the affairs of the kingdom maintained a placid course.
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On April 11, 1286, the magnates assembled at Scone, and selected six of their number to act as a Council of Regency, with the official designation of ‘the Guardians of the Kingdom of Scotland appointed by the common advice.’ The Bishop of St. Andrews and the Earls of Fife and Buchan were to administer the districts north of the Forth; the Bishop of Glasgow.
Comyn of Badenoch, and James the Steward of Scotland, were to rule the lands south of the Forth. No question was raised as to the succession of the little princess, and ostensibly there was every disposition on the part of the barons to fulfil the solemn pledges they had made to her grandfather two years before.
It may, however, be open to doubt whether intrigue had not commenced to operate by the time that Alexander III. was laid to rest at Dunfermline. For one thing, there is extant a letter of credence, dated Dunfermline, March 29, 1286, addressed to King Edward by the Bishops of St. Andrews and Glasgow. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
‘In their own name, and in the name of the clergy, earls, barons, and all others of the realm of Scotland, who had been present at the burial of the lord Alexander of good memory, the late illustrious King of Scotland,’ and commending to Edward’s confidence the two bearers, the Prior of the Dominicans of Perth and brother Arnold.
The two friars were to deliver an oral communication, and bring back the King’s answer. There remains no record of the matter of either message or reply. It is not easy to suppose that the business was of no deeper import than formal and complimentary intercourse. In view of the circumstances, it all but certainly must have borne reference, in part at least, to the settlement of the succession.
The political record of the Bishop of St. Andrews is not calculated to disarm suspicion. Edward, at any rate, appears to have been satisfied, for he presently embarked for France, and remained away for more than three years. Again, a few months later, Bruce of Annandale—ex-Chief-Justice of England. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
Smarting under his recent supersession—Bruce and his principal adherents took quiet action in view of contingencies. On September 20, at his son’s castle of Turnberry, fourteen Scots nobles—Patrick, Earl of Dunbar, and three sons; Walter, Earl of Menteith, and two sons; Bruce, lord of Annandale, and two sons; James, Steward (and one of the Guardians) of Scotland.
And John his brother; and Angus, son of Donald of the Isles, and his son—entered into a stringent bond, obliging them to give faithful adherence to Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, and Lord Thomas de Clare (brother of Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, Edward’s son-in-law and Bruce’s brother-in-law), ‘in their affairs.’
The nature of these affairs is not indicated, neither is there any other record of them. There is a suggestive clause saving their fealty to the King of England, and to ‘him that shall obtain the kingdom of Scotland through blood relationship with King Alexander of blessed memory, according to the ancient customs in the Kingdom of Scotland approved and observed.’ Sir William Wallace PDF Book
There is no direct reference to the child queen. It is useless to inquire what was the business that Richard de Burgh and Thomas de Clare had on hand or in contemplation. Plainly the instrument was simply a diplomatic process of binding all the parties together in support of such action as Bruce might take on the advice of a majority of their number, for advancing his pretensions to the throne of Scotland.
When opportunity should serve. There is nothing to show that Edward ever had knowledge of this bond. Somewhere about this time, moreover, Bruce passed from speculation to action. Balliol, in his pleadings before Edward in 1291, averred that, in violation of their oath of fealty to Queen Margaret, ‘Sir Robert Bruce and the Earl of Carrick.
His son, attacked the castle of Dumfries with fire and arms, and banners displayed, and against the peace expelled the forces of the Queen, who held the same. Hence Sir Robert advanced to the castle of Buittle. He then caused a proclamation to be made by one Patrick M’Guffock, within the bailiary of the said castle,’ with the result that good subjects were driven from the land. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
‘Furthermore,’ the allegation ran, ‘the Earl of Carrick, by the assent and power of his father, took the Lady of Scotland’s castle of Wigton, and killed several of her people there.’ A number of entries in the Exchequer Rolls combine to support Balliol’s charge, and even to show that the wave of disturbance was felt on the eastern seaboard. How Bruce was brought back to peaceable ways does not appear.
Meantime Wallace was living at Kilspindie, and proceeding with his studies at Dundee in some school connected with the Church. There he met John Blair, who subsequently became a Benedictine monk, but left the cloister to attend his friend as chaplain, to bear a hand in many a tough fight, or to conduct diplomatic negotiations.
And who eventually wrote the biography that formed the basis of Harry’s poem, probably in the retirement of Dunfermline Abbey. There, too, according to Harry, he met Duncan of Lorn, who figures in one of his early enterprises; Sir Niel Campbell of Lochawe; and probably others of his later trusty comrades. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
The question arises why young Wallace was staying at Kilspindie and studying with the monks in Dundee when his father and his brother were so sore bested. He must have been a big fellow, well capable of wielding arms to purpose. It may be that his father judged that his own and his eldest son’s lives were a sufficiently heavy stake.
And that it was desirable that one of his sons at least should be near his wife, even in a place of comparative shelter. If it had been intended that William should rejoin his father and brother by and by, the early disaster at Loudon Hill would have rendered his presence in the West worse than futile.
There may, indeed, have been another idea. There may have been an intention to dedicate him, a younger son, to the service of the Church. Harry indicates, at a late period of his career, some purpose of religious retirement ‘to serve God and the Kirk’—a tendency that may readily connect itself with an early bent of mind. Sir William Wallace PDF Book Downloadf
The idea of making Wallace a priest, if it ever existed, was promptly dispelled by the force of circumstances. One day, Harry says, he was grossly insulted in Dundee by a young Englishman named Selby, a son of the ‘Captain,’ who was strolling about with several companions. Wallace restrained himself till Selby attempted to wrest his knife from him.
Whereupon he seized the aggressor by the collar and struck him dead on the spot. Defending himself knife in hand, he made for a house his uncle had used to frequent, and was quickly disguised by the lady of the house, who rigged him out in a dress of her own, and set him down with a ‘rock’ (distaff) to spin.
He thus eluded his pursuers; and at night he escaped out of the town by some irregular way. The English authorities at once put the law in active motion in Dundee, and made it impossible for him to remain longer in such dangerous neighbourhood. This episode, the very first of Harry’s stories, has been overclouded with doubts. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
In deference to the scruples of those that cannot imagine Wallace as only at the end of his teens at Stirling Bridge, we have ventured to throw back the occurrence some five years. Who was Captain of Dundee in 1296–97 we do not know. Was Selby, then, the ‘Captain’ in 1291–92? The Captain of Dundee Castle from July 18, 1291, to November 18, 1292, was Sir Brian Fitz Alan.
But Sir Brian was at the same time castellan of Forfar, and (from August 4) of Roxburgh and Jedburgh; and on June 13 he had also been appointed one of the Guardians, and he was (at any rate, by August 23) one of the three Justices. His hands must therefore have been very full of official business, and he could not be always in Dundee.
It has accordingly been suggested that Selby might have been his deputy, or lieutenant. Near Queensberry Wallace was happily reinforced by Sir John the Graham with thirty men, and by Kirkpatrick of Torthorwald, who had been holding out in Eskdale Wood, with twenty men. The Scots thereupon charged through the English, scattering them in flight. Sir William Wallace PDF Book
But 100 held together, and Wallace, with brusque directness, recalled Sir John and ordered him to break up this body. The rout was complete, and at the Knock Head Sir John killed Graystock. The valour of Sir John, Kirkpatrick, and Halliday had been conspicuous. Harry remarks a delicate courtesy of Wallace’s in apologising to Sir John for the brusqueness of his order in the heat of the pursuit.
And no less generous was Sir John’s answer. In this engagement the Scots did not lose a single man! The victorious Scots now held a council, and unanimously adopted Wallace’s proposal to take Lochmaben Castle, the seat of the Bruce. The possession of Lochmaben would establish a strong footing against the English; and perhaps they might also link with it Carlaverock Castle.
If this could be wrested from Sir Herbert de Maxwell. In the dusk of the evening, Halliday, taking with him John Watson, both of them having special local knowledge, rode to the gate. The porter, who knew Watson well, unsuspiciously opened the gate, on his information that the captain was coming, and was instantly killed by Halliday, Watson taking his keys. Sir William Wallace PDF Book Download
Wallace then came up and entered, finding only women and a couple of men-servants. The women he spared, but the men he killed. As the Knock Head fugitives returned, Watson let them in, and Wallace’s men immediately slew them. ‘No man left there that was of England born.’ Johnstone, the husband of Halliday’s second daughter—probably the Johnstone of Eskdale mentioned later by Harry—was made captain.
Lochmaben was thus the first castle that Wallace attempted to hold. The short campaign in Annandale was over. Halliday settled down again in the Corhall, and Kirkpatrick returned to Eskdale Wood. Wallace and Sir John, with forty men, passed north into Lanarkshire, and having captured and dismantled Crawford Castle, proceeded straight to Dundaff.
Wallace, according to Harry, proceeded straight to Glasgow, fearing that Bek and Percy might be perpetrating a similar atrocity at the eyre of justice they were holding for Clydesdale. He defeated the English in a stiff combat, killing Percy quite unhistorically. Bishop Bek, with an escort, escaped to Bothwell, whither Wallace pursued him, but apparently he could not take him out of the hands of Sir Aymer de Valence. Sir William Wallace PDF Book Download
Bek was no doubt in Scotland somewhere about this time—perhaps two or three months later than Harry supposes; for Edward had sent him to report personally on the state of affairs, concerning which various unwelcome indications had reached him. One especially unwelcome report, which the chroniclers specify as the immediate reason for despatching Bek.
Informed the King of a daring attack upon Ormsby, his Justiciar, at Scone, by Wallace and Douglas. Ormsby demanded homage and fealty, and visited non-performance with the utmost severity. ‘The temper of Scotland at that season,’ says Lord Hailes, ‘required vigilance, courage, liberality, and moderation in its rulers.
The ministers of Edward displayed none of these qualities. While other objects of interest or ambition occupied his thoughts, the administration of his officers became more and more abhorred and feeble.’ This is true of Ormsby, and true generally. Ormsby, forewarned of the approach of Wallace, just managed to escape, leaving all his goods and chattels to the spoilers. Sir William Wallace PDF Book Free
Wallace and Douglas, it is said, killed a great many Englishmen, and laid siege to several castles; but the details are not available. The date of the attack on Ormsby is given by the chroniclers as May; but the seriousness of the situation must have impressed Edward before then, for we have seen that by this time he was preparing for a ‘Scottish war.’
The insurrectionary feeling was certainly stirring all over the country, and not merely within the range of Wallace’s known operations. About this time, or a little later, Macduff had made an ineffectual rising in Fife; on August 1, Warenne reports from Berwick that the Earl of Strathearn had captured Macduff and his two sons, and ‘they shall receive their deserts when they arrive.’
About this time, or very little later, Sir Alexander of Argyll was reported to have taken the Steward’s castle of Glasrog, and to have invaded Alexander of the Isles, a liegeman of Edward. Sir William Wallace PDF Book Free