Sunday, August 21, 2011

William Wallace rejects the English proposals to put down his arms

William Wallace rejects the English proposals to put down his arms. From a A chronicle of England Author: James Edmund Doyle, Publisher: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1864. Edmund Evans (1826–1905) English engraver and printer.

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A last attempt to induce the peaceable submission of the Scots. Two Dominican monks were selected as the bearers of his proposals. They found the Scottish host encamped upon the hills above the abbey of Cambuskenneth, and delivered their message to the leaders. "Tell your countrymen," answered Wallace, "that we have come here, not for peace, but for war,—to revenge ourselves and liberate our country. Let them come on: we will meet them to their beards." The envoys returned, and their report was generally hailed with joy in the English ranks.

William Wallace rejects the English proposals to put down his arms

There were some, however, who doubted the prudence of advancing by the long and narrow bridge of Stirling, the most direct approach to the enemy. Sir Richard Lundy offered to lead a body of troops round by a ford, and attack his countrymen in the rear, while the Guardian effected the passage of the bridge; hut his plan was rejected. The council still hesitated, when Cressingham declared vehemently against wasting the king's treasure in protracted operations. "Let us cross," he said, "and do our duty."

Upon this, Warrenne gave the order, and his troops began to file over the bridge, Not a fourth had passed, when the Scots poured down from the hills, rushed impetuously on their enemies, seized the northern head of the bridge, and cut the English army in two. Nearly all who had crossed (to the number of about 5000) fell beneath the weapons of the Scots, or were drowned in attempting to escape, while their commander and the main body looked on, helpless to avert their fate. Amongst the slain was Cressingham. The Guardian, after placing a garrison in the castle of Stirling, hurriedly retreated to Berwick.

TEXT CREDIT: A chronicle of England By James Edmund Doyle

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