Wallace, Sir William

Wallace, Sir William, the champion of Scottish independence, born in Renfrewshire, second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie; was early seized with a desire to free his country from foreign oppressors, and ere long began to figure as chief of a band of outlaws combined to defy the authority of Edward I., who had declared himself Lord of Scotland, till at length the sense of the oppression became wide-spread, and he was appointed to lead in a general revolt, while many of the nobles held aloof or succumbed to the usurper; he drove the English from one stronghold after another, finishing with the battle of Stirling, and was installed thereafter guardian of the kingdom; such a reverse was more than the “proud usurper” could brook; he accordingly mustered a large army, and at Falkirk literally crushed Wallace and his followers with an overwhelming force, the craven nobles still standing aloof, one of them in the end proving traitor, and handing Wallace over to the enemy, who carried him off to London, and had him hanged, beheaded, and quartered.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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