William Wallace Executed

William Wallace on trial at Westminster Hall in a painting by Daniel Maclise
William Wallace on trial at Westminster Hall in a painting by Daniel Maclise

Historical Context

One of the great heroes of Scotland, William Wallace was one of the main leaders of the First War of Scottish Independence. In September 1297 he defeated the English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge and was appointed the Guardian of Scotland, but was defeated at Falkirk in 1298. He resigned his post in favor of Robert the Bruce.

Wallace managed to avoid being captured until 1305 when he was turned over to Edward I of England and he was put on trial for treason. To this charge he replied "I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject."

On August 23, 1305, he was stripped naked and dragged by a horse through London. He was then hung, drawn and quartered - strangled by hanging, but kept alive, emasculated, disemboweled and had his bowels burned before him, beheaded and then cut into four parts.

William Wallace was portrayed by Mel Gibson in the Academy Award-winning film Braveheart, released in 1995.

Painting Info


Artist: Daniel Maclise
Location painted: London, Kingdom of England

Source: Wikimedia Commons

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