First War of Scottish Independence
Open Rebellion
©Angus McBride
1297 Jan 1

Open Rebellion

Scotland, UK

Edward I had crushed the Scots army, with many of the Scots nobility in captivity, he set about stripping Scotland of its statehood of identity, with the removal of the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish crown, the Black Rood of St Margaret all taken from Scotland and sent to Westminster Abbey, England.

The English occupation led to revolts during 1297 in northern and southern Scotland led by Andrew Moray in the north and William Wallace in the south. Moray quickly gathered a band of like-minded patriots, and employing hit-and-run guerrilla tactics, began to attack and devastate every English-garrisoned castle from Banff to Inverness. The entire province of Moray was soon in revolt against King Edward I's men, and before long Moray had secured Moray province, leaving him free to turn his attention to the rest of the northeast of Scotland.

William Wallace rose to prominence in May 1297, when he killed Sir William Haselrig, the English sheriff of Lanark, and members of his garrison at Lanark. It is possible Sir Richard Lundie helped in the attack. When news of Wallace's attack on the English rippled throughout Scotland, men rallied to him. The rebels were supported by Robert Wishart, Bishop of Glasgow, who longed for the defeat of the English. The blessing of Wishart gave Wallace and his soldiers a degree of respectability. Previously, Scottish nobles had considered them mere outlaws. He was soon joined by Sir William Douglas and others.