Saturday, August 7, 2010
The Rout to London
So, I'm once again back home after my vacation out West and ready to continue our Wallace month in earnest now. I have been inspired by the mountains of New Mexico which are absolutely beautiful this year since they have gotten so much rain. There is nothing prettier than mountains after a rain. I went hiking and the trees were all a lush green and the wildflowers were popping out all over the place. The mountains were also covered by patches and fields of beautiful purple thistles that made it almost look like Scotland. I made sure to bring one home with me.
But back to our subject at hand. William wallace, Scotland's protector and freedom fighter has been captured through betrayal and is on his way to London for a trial and sure execution at the hands of the English king, Edward Longshanks. (Next week, I am going to write a whole post on the horrible enemy of Wallace.) After he was taken from Dumbarton Castle he was given to Seagrave who escorted him to London. It was a nineteen day march from Robroyston to London. Wallace was taken there sitting on a horse with his hands tied behind him and his feet tied under the horse to prevent him from dismounting and running off. It might seem an odd thing that none of Wallace's friends tried to release him, but, in truth, there was no one who knew he was captured, and by the time anyone who cared found out, is was too late and Wallace was already in London, or dead. I think that if his capture had been known at the right time, he would have been rescued by those still loyal to him and Scotland.
As it was though, Wallace was captured and taken to London. I can only imagine the journey south for him. It must have been painful. Once they crossed the border into England, I can see him looking back and saying goodbye to his homeland forever. I can't imagine him thinking he would live to see Scotland again. He knew the justice of Edward Longshanks.
At every English town Seagrave brought Wallace through, the Scotsman was taken from his horse and led chained through the streets for the people to scoff and jeer at. Everyone flocked to see England's most hated enemy in chains and they took advantage of the opportunity, throwing all manner of filth at him as he passed through the streets. (though, in truth, most of what they threw ended up on the guards who were leading Wallace instead.)
I will not even venture to say what Wallace was thinking as he saw London's skyline on the horizon. Only that I'm sure he figured that his life would not last much longer. Though, I'm sure that whatever went through his head, Scotland was probably the foremost thought in his mind. He loved his country dear, and he fought and shed blood for her, ultimately dying so that the people of Scotland would be free. He would have been brave.
I will be back next week to talk about Wallace's trial.
In the meantime, have a good weekend!