Son of a Renfrewshire laird, William Wallace was no great noble but he it was, who first raised the standard of revolt against the English invaders –with precious little help from the nobility.
Sir William Wallace met his death nine years prior to Bannockburn but his massive contribution –holding Scotland together during desperate times and pointing the way for the younger Bruce – earns him his place in this chess set.
Wallace was possibly Scotland’s greatest hero; for whereas Bruce fought for a throne, as well as independence, Wallace fought and died for the idea of a united and free Scottish nation.
Wallace taught the young Robert how to fight his campaigns, and how to make the land fight for him – a lesson which Bruce used to such devastating effect at Bannockburn.
Wallace won the first great battle against the English at Stirling Bridge, where his monument on the nearby Abbey Craig now dominates the landscape. He became Guardian of Scotland for a time thereafter and was knighted, almost certainly by Bruce himself. Finally, betrayed and captured, he was taken to London where, on the command of Edward I, he was executed in a most shocking fashion after being dragged through the streets at a horse’s tail.