Is Braveheart a true story?

All in all the film is based upon a true story.
The action takes place from 1267 till 1314. This was the time when Edward the First conquered Wales and Scotland. He wanted Scotland to become a real part of England. Edward wanted to control the whole British Island, but there was an ongoing struggle between the English conquerers and the Scots. Edward the First was not as bad as shown in the movie: he surely ruled with a strong hand but he was not as cruel and merciless as shown in the movie.



William Wallace was born in this period. After his father Malcom was killed by an English knight called Fenwick, William grew up and was educated by his uncle in an abbey (there are no historical facts that William´s uncle took William with him, as shown in the film).
William was a rebell and had a few fights with English soldiers. In Lanark he met his childhood love Marion Braidfute (in the movie she´s called Murron. We cannot be sure about wether he married her in reality). The sheriff of Lanark executed Marion´s brother because he said something wrong against the English king.William wanted revenge for Marion´s brother and tried to kill the sheriff, but he failed.As a reaction to William`s attempt to kill him, the sheriff murdered Marion.After this, William and a few friends returned to Lanark to kill the sheriff. William´s troops killed a lot of English soldiers and the sheriff. This news spread like a fire all over Scotland and thousands of Scots joined William.
( to get more information about William Wallace read ``Sir William Wallace``)
William, as the leader of the Scottish troops, marched into the South and killed some smaller English troops with guerilla tactics. By this time, more and more Scots joined William´s war. He also conquered a lot of castles on his way, such as York. By this time, William couldn´t kill the English troops with guerilla tactics any more. He now had to fight on a battle field, like in Stirling or Falkirk. He could only win these battles with tricks. These battles are historical facts. (Although the Battle of Stirling took place over a bridge. The English and Scottish troops each camped on one side of the river. To get more informations over the Battles in Braveheart read ``The battles``)
But then Robert the Bruce`s father worked together with Edward the First. He told the English troops where to catch Wallace. Edward wanted to get William because he knew that all the Scots would only follow him. Wallace was caught and then brought to London. There, his execution took place (the real date is not known).


After William´s death, Robert the Bruce became king of Scotland in 1306. But Scotland wasn´t independent yet.In 1314 Robert the Bruce lead the Scottish troops to the Battle of Bannockburn. Edward the Second, the son Edward the First´s, brought up a huge number of soldiers against Robert the Bruce. However, the Scottish won the Battle. Finally, Scotland won its independence after the battle of Bannockburn in 1314.
Of course, nearly everything that is shown in the movie is based upon historical facts. The director changed some things to make Braveheart a better movie, but the general content of the film is historically correct. For example the love to the Princess of England isn´t true, but should it round up the film with a great love-story.


by Michael