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Myths & Legends


The Legend of William Wallace

Little solid historical evidence has been found concerning William Wallace. Modern day versions of his story, most popularly in the film Braveheart, are derived from a poem on Wallace's life by 'Blind Hary' (sic). This was written before 1492, but based on earlier popular sources (such as William of Wyntoun), and first printed in Scotland around 1508. Harry may have been a soldier, and certainly emphasised Wallace's military skills. He may also have been encouraged in this by descendants of Wallace himself living at the end of the fifteenth century.

Since details of Wallace's life are sketchy, much misinformation has been generated in modern times. Readers can get a flavour of this from some of the websites relating to Wallace. Many offer personal opinions and are less than accurate (including one that strongly suggests that Wallace was also Robin Hood!), while others take their historical facts from popular entertainment (a method of historical learning which predates Shakespeare). Many have colourful images and all offer some insight into Wallace's life.


William Wallace: The TruthExternal website - link opens in a new window

Sir William WallaceExternal website - link opens in a new window

(Please note that we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information on these sites.)

Readers can also find a more reliable account of Wallace's life in James Mackay, William Wallace: Braveheart (Mainstream, 1996).

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