23.08.

1305: Horrific Execution of Scottish Hero William Wallace

1305: Horrific Execution of Scottish Hero William Wallace
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ William Wallace Statue in Aberdeen, Scotland

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 23 August 1305
  • Wallace was taken prisoner by the English on 5 August 1305, after Scottish knight John de Menteith betrayed him. He was sentenced to death, taken to the Tower of London, stripped of all clothing, and dragged through the streets by a horse. Next, he was hanged, but released when still alive. He was then emasculated, eviscerated, and had his innards burned before him. Finally, his head was cut off and his body quartered.

William Wallace was without doubt one of the greatest heroes of Scottish history.

He is probably best known as the leading character of the movie Braveheart, where he is played by Mel Gibson. Although the movie is filled with historical inaccuracies, it still manages to show the importance of William Wallace in Scottish history.

Wallace was taken prisoner by the English on 5 August 1305, after Scottish knight John de Menteith betrayed him. The traitor later earned the nickname “Fause Menteith” (Menteith the Treacherous) among the Scots.

Wallace was taken to London and put before Edward I Longshanks (the main antagonist of Braveheart). He was put on trial for treason, but he denied the charges, claiming he couldn’t have betrayed Edward since he had never sworn allegiance to him in the first place. He was sentenced to death regardless.

The execution was carried out in a truly horrific manner. Wallace was taken to the Tower of London, stripped of all clothing, and dragged through the streets by a horse. Next, he was hanged, but released when still alive. He was then emasculated, eviscerated, and had his innards burned before him. Finally, his head was cut off and his body quartered. Wallace’s severed head was placed on a pike atop London Bridge. His limbs were sent to Newcastle upon Tyne, Berwick upon Tweed, Stirling, and Perth, where they were put on public display.

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