Stirling Bridge was the scene of William Wallace's greatest triumph as he led the Scots in revolt against Edward I.
The Battle of Stirling Bridge
BY DAVID ROSS, EDITOR
September 11, 1297
Stirling Bridge, Stirlingshire
Scots under William Wallace vs. English led by the Earl of Surrey
The roots of the conflict lie many years before. King Alexander of Scotland died mysteriously in 1286, leaving the child Margaret of Norway as his heir. Edward I extracted a promise of marriage between Margaret and his own son, but when Margaret died on her way back to Scotland there was no obvious heir.
The Scots asked Edward to mediate between the various claimants to the throne. Edward was scrupulously fair in his arbitration, but he extracted oaths of fealty from all the claimants. The two men with the best claims were John Balliol and Robert Bruce. Edward chose Balliol, and immediately began to show that he intended to manipulate his choice at every opportunity.
Balliol rebelled, and allied with France. Furious, Edward marched north, took Balliol prisoner, and occupied Scotland. William Wallace raised the Scots in revolt again, gaining most of his support from those who had originally backed Robert Bruce.
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This Day in British History
28 March, 1296
Edward I invades Scotland, sacking Berwick
Edward would later steal the Stone of Scone, traditional coronation stone of Scottish kings