William Wallace, his enduring truth and bellicose creativity
Rejecting English political dominance over Scotland, this soldier without former military training extended a nationalist feeling and created strategies to dominate an advantaged army.
Every man dies. Not every man really lives.
The life of the Scotsman William Wallace still holds today irresolute episodes. As often happens with national heroes, a considerable portion of his story is plagued with myth. The first historical record on him happened two centuries after his birth. His adventures, however, permeated by a noble courage, are still to this day a reference of valour and congruence.
Wallace, a humble scot, had a classical education. In which he learned languages such as French, Latin, Gaelic and English. It is believed that his father and brother were murdered by English soldiers —which would correspond with his resentment against “the invaders”.
He married Marian Braidfoot, whom he had a daughter with, and although it is believed he would have led a calm life, Wallace did not accept the submission to England treaty, signed by Scottish nobles in 1297. In Irvine he joined noblemen fighting against the English, and from that moment onwards, he stood out for being an indomitable warrior. His most emblematic victory was during the battle of Stirling, in which he dealt a severe defeat against an army made up of 300 knights and 10 thousand infantry men. He also trained his men in the art of war, and created the “Schiltroms”, groups of soldiers with spears two metres long, specialised in stopping the charge of the cavalry.
Wallace eluded his capture until 1305, when he was finally taken prisoner, judged and executed for treason to the English Crown. From the beginning of the rebellion he maintained a firm conviction to the national autonomy of Scotland. His ideology was immortalised in phrases that reflect a genuine philosophy of life, in sync with authentic conviction of the spirit. Among these we can find: “Your heart is free. Have the courage to follow it”, “For the hand that rocks the cradle – Is the hand that rules the world.” The life of this indomitable warrior represents a valuable invitation to imprint courage unto our decisions, and remember that we are, inescapably, architects of our circumstances.
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