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Unit 6: Wallace's final years, 1303-1305

Image shows a drawing of a hanged man

Wallace was back in Scotland by early 1303, leading raids against the English and avoiding capture. Edward I retaliated. By the summer of 1304, Edward had captured Stirling, secured his grip on Scotland and forced many Scottish leaders into submission. Edward continued to pursue Wallace who refused to submit to him.

On 3 August 1305 Wallace was betrayed and captured by Sir John Menteith, keeper of Dumbarton Castle. He was tried in London for treason and other crimes, and on 23 August 1305, he suffered a traitor’s death. His dismembered body was put on public display in England and Scotland.

English Exchequer accounts for 1304-05 record the cost of Wallace’s execution, describe his death and shed light on how his resistance was regarded in England. He is described as one who throughout Scotland had falsely sought to call himself king of Scotland.

View the timeline of events in the Scottish Wars of Independence

Entry in the English Exchequer Pipe Rolls, 1304-1305

Image shows an extract from the English Exchequer Pipe Rolls, 1304-5. Reproduced courtesy of The National Archives reference E372/150 m.33

(Reproduced courtesy of The National Archives, reference E372/150 m.33)

Translation of extract

John of Lincoln and Roger of Paris render account for the citizens of London … As expenses and payments made by these sheriffs for William Wallace, a robber, a public traitor, and outlaw, an enemy of and rebel against the king, who in contempt of the king had throughout Scotland falsely sought to call himself king of Scotland and slew the king’s officials in Scotland and also led an army in hostility against the king by sentence of the king’s court at Westminster drawn, hanged, beheaded, his entrails burned and his body quartered whose four parts were despatched to the four principal towns of Scotland: this year 61 shillings 10 pence.

(English Exchequer accounts, translated by Dr J R Davies)




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