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Pict Clanns of Albann


The term, 'Welsh' appeared in the earlier English form of 'Weallise' and the mediaeval form of 'Wallensis', and was applied to the all British peoples from Strathclyde in Scotland to Brittany in France who spoke P-Celtic family of languages, now represented by Welsh, Breton and to a much lesser extent, Cornish.  in the 12th century, the Kings of Scots were still addressing their subjects as distinct ethnic groups; French, English, Scots and Welsh.

In the 2nd half of he 12th century, a man called Richard, defined as a Wallace, obtained lands in Ayrshire, which belongs to the former kingdom of Strathclyde.  His grandson, Sir Malcom Wallace, received the lands of Elderslie in Renfrewshire.  Such was the back ground of Malcolm's son, William, who was to evoke a national spirit which untied so many disparate peoples and to earn his place as Scotland's greatest patriot.Memorial outside Barts Hospital, London

Sir William Wallace of Elderslie was born about 1275.  In 1286, Alexander III died, leaving his grand daughter, the Maid of Norway as his sole descendant.  When she died in 1290, the direct line of the kings of Scots became extinct, and the crown was in dispute between opposing elements, all of whom were subject to Edward I of England.  Edward was invited to adjudicate, and immediately revived the claim that his predecessor was Lord Paramount of Scotland. 

He then selected the rightful heir, John Balliol, but then treated him with much disdain as a vassal king that King John was finally provoked into resistance.  Thereupon, Edward invaded Scotland, carried John Balliol off to the Tower of London, and subjugated Scotland.

Wallace then emerged as a guerilla leader of indomitable courage and skill.  In 1297, an English force moved north to destroy him but he routed them at Stirling Bridge.  Stirling Castle surrendered to him, and in a few weeks the Scots were invading England.  Wallace and his associate, Sir Andrew Murray of Moray, wrote to other countries advising them that normal trade could commence as thanks to the Grace of God, Scotland was now free.

In fact, the Wars of Independence continued for many years to come.  Facing overwhelming odds, Wallace was forced to flee to France but returned in 1303.  Two years later, he was betrayed, and arrested near Glasgow, and then taken to London in 1304.

He was executed in London with extreme cruelty in the cruelest of deaths, the one reserved for traitors; hanging, drawing and quartering. Then the final humiliation, his head was hung for display at London Bridge.

However, Wallace had sown the seeds of patriotism as none of his nation had done before him, and he was raised to the place of highest honour in Scotland.  Although he left no known descendants, there are many fortunate enough to bear his name, and they can trace their descent back to the house of Riccarton from which he sprang. 

The feelings of betrayal of those who 'bled for Wallace' continued for decades, and it was a factor in so many Highland Chiefs' antagonism towards Robert Bruce, which, in turn, resulted in so much upheaval in the Highlands as Bruce turned against those he felt were his enemies.  Among other conflagrations, it sparked the nemesis of the Clan Gregor and several other patriotic Highland clans.