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The Life and Death of William Wallace No national hero ever excited greater admiration than that of William Wallace No hero remained such a shadowy figure his life and actions beset by myths and contradictions When Scotlands hope of becoming independent was smashed when the Scots were oppressed and their nation virtually wiped out Wallace emerged from the shadows like some bright meteor in the night sky He gained a spectacular victory over the English in one battle and sustained a crushing defeat in a second He disappeared from recorded history just as swiftly as he had come emerging only briefly seven years later when he was betrayed to the English brought to London subjected to a mockery of a trial and executed in a most hideous and barbaric manner Mackay 9 Though his life came to a tragic end William Wallaces life greatly influenced the movement for Scotlands independence Born in January most likely in 1272 in the town of Elerslie Scotland known now as Elderslie William Wallace was born as the second of three sons to Sir Malcolm Wallace Few national heroes possess such an obscure and contradictory background as William Wallace The year of his birth has been stated as anywhere between 1260-1278 and his fathers name given as Malcolm Andrew or William and his mothers name has been given as Jean Joan or Margaret or not stated at all and her surname given as Crawford Craufurd Crawfoord or some other variation Mackay 13 If we accept the traditional account Wallace for the time and given his origins was well educated As a result he was familiar with Greek as well as Latin and his knowledge of the Bible was extensive As a younger son with few prospects he was we to assume intended for the priesthood consequently following in the steps of the uncles to whom he owed his education Fisher 12 One of Williams uncles taught him this couplet Dico
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