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To all those Scots who are beset with doubt about their Independence, I urge you all to remember one man; William Wallace.
“The Wallace" is world famous, a national hero who fought and died to free Scotland from English rule.
Wallace was betrayed, according to legend, into the hands of a Scottish Baron, John Monteith. His apprehension took place in the house of Ralph Rae near Glasgow , for which Monteith received a grant of land with the annual value of ú100. Wallace was first taken to Dumbarton Castle , and then to London under a heavy guard. On reaching London he was conveyed to Westminster Hall on August 23, 1305 , and formally accused of treason. A crown of laurel was placed on his head in mockery as, it was alleged, he had aspired to the Scottish crown. The King’s justice, Sir Peter Mallorie, then impeached him as a traitor to Edward, to which Wallace answered,
“I can not be a traitor, for I owe him no allegiance. He is not my Sovereign; he never received my homage; and whilst life is in this persecuted body, he never shall receive it. To the other points whereof I am accused, I freely confess them all. As Governor of my country I have been an enemy to its enemies; I have slain the English; I have mortally opposed the English King; I have stormed and taken the towns and castles that he unjustly claimed as his own. If I or my soldiers have plundered or done injury to the houses or ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England I shall ask pardon."
In accordance with the predetermined result of the case, Wallace was found guilty and condemned to death with the sentence being carried out on the same day in the most inhumane way possible. He was dragged through the streets of London to a gallows erected in Elms in Smithfield . Where after being hanged for a short time he was taken down still breathing and his bowels torn out and burned. His head was then struck off, and his body divided into quarters, the punishment known as ‘hanged, drawn and quartered’. His head was placed on a pole on London Bridge , his right arm above the bridge in Newcastle , his left arm was sent to Berwick, his right foot and limb to Perth and his left quarter to Aberdeen where it was buried in what is now the wall at St. Machars Cathedral. He bore his fate with a magnanimity that secured the admiration even of his enemies, and the truehearted friends of freedom will hold his name in everlasting honour in every age and country.
The huge Wallace statue outside the theatre in Aberdeen stands as a constant reminder of the independent nature of the Scots. Erected in 1888, it bears the inscription, allegedly told to Wallace by his uncle and guardian … 'I tell you a truth, liberty is the best of all things, my son, never live under any slavish bond'. It stands as a constant reminder to the individuality of the Scots and their turbulent link with their English neighbours.
You can judge a man’s true character by the way he treats his fellow animals.