Your Braveheart Questions & Answers
(and answers) here from:
questions and answers
Fred Dingelhoff ...
Dear Madam, Sir,
My name is Fred and I live in the Netherlands. I am blind since 1990, and two years later I made my third visit to the Highlands of Scotland, but now of course without the sight in my eyes.
That trip was the beginning of rediscovering my life. On Ben Wyvis I made some important decisions for my
life and I felt free since a long time.
Braveheart is one of my favourite films and although never seen in real I can imagine what it looks like in
my own way....
In 2002 I made my last trip and visited important battlefields. Most impressive. Because Scotland and my freedom are so dear to me I have decided to have a tattoo put on my arm. I want to have the Freedom sword, if possible with some kind of text. Now I have downloaded a picture of the sword and a
friend of mine told me that there was text on this image. But the text is a bit confusing for me. Can you help me and tell me in some modern English what the text says:
'Wha for Scotland's King and Law,
Freedom's sword will strongly draw,
or Free-man fa'
Let him on wi' me!'
Hope you can help me with it!
Kind regards, Fred.
A. The lines are from Robert Burn's poem (and song) 'Robert Bruce's March to Bannockburn'. Bannockburn is the battle in the last scene in Braveheart. A modern plain-English translation would be:
Who will strongly draw freedom's sword for Scotland's
King and Law?
Free-man stand or free-man fall, let him follow me! (into battle, to either live or die)
In some prints of the song, "on wi' me" in the last line is shown as "follow me".
James Smith ...
Q. First, let me commend you an a wonderful and comprehensive site on what I believe to be one of the most interesting subjects in history. That being said, I would like to ask a question (which you've probably already touched upon, but I can't seem to find reference to). I know in response to one question you said that Robert the Bruce never betrayed Wallace. If this is correct then what events led to the capture of Wallace? Also, is there a picture of Wallace's actual sword on your site? Thank you for your time.
A. It is thought that when William Wallace was captured in August 1305 he was perhaps trying to get to a meeting with Robert the Bruce. There is no evidence however that he was betrayed by Robert the Bruce. It is believed that Wallace's small remaining group of resistance fighters was infiltrated by a spy who betrayed Wallace's location to Sir John of Menteith. See our Sir William Wallace page for a photo of the Wallace Sword.
Thomas Dobie ...
Q. Hi John and Linda,
Here is a question for you. At work recently a kind of throw away remark was made to me by a work mate, whilst having a chat about scotland in general but mostly about the sectarian problem that sadly still runs through our land. This remark was about an organisation that is supposed to go under the name (Sons of William) who are supposed to have some connection with Bathgate of all places. I thought immediately that he was on about some kind of connection to the Orange Order. But according to him i was mistaken, as its supposed to be a club or society or whatever relating to William Wallace hence i suppose the Sons of William name.
I am by no means an authority on Scottish history but have read a lot of books on our rich history. Though try as I might I can't recall ever hearing about (Sons of William) and their connection if any to Sir William Wallace. So here is the question for you, have any of the two of you heard of this organisation. I have tried lots of different web searches and have really got this bit between my teeth over this, but all to no avail I'm afraid. Needless to say I would be extremely grateful if you could shed any light on this for me.
I look forward to your reply and information if any on this subject.
Yours with regards
A. We've never heard of an organisation called 'Sons of William' in
the Bathgate area. However, not that far from Bathgate the Sir William Wallace
Grand Lodge of Scotland Free Colliers hold an annual march on the first Saturday
in August to the Wallacestone monument near Falkirk. Maybe there is a
If anyone has any more info please email us.
Michael Skowronek ...
Q. I was just wondering if you knew where you could find the notes
to the Braveheart theme on the pipes?
A. We've been asked about getting Braveheart sheet music before, without much success. Can anybody help?
Stefanie Götz ...
Q. Dear Madam /Sir,
Here's a German fan of your website, it's simply wonderful, thank you! And of course, I have a question, too. Can you tell me whether there is any evidence that Wallace really had his face painted blue at the battles? Are the colours already those of the St. Andrew's cross?
A. It is most unlikely that Wallace painted his face blue. The use of the face paint in Braveheart was for dramatic effect (e.g. to contrast the outwardly 'savage' Scots with the apparently more civilised English). Interestingly, like most things in the movie, the use of this device has some basis in both earlier Scottish history, and in an earlier telling of the the Wallace story. Pictish warriors were reported going into battle with painted bodies (that's how they got the name ... 'picture-people'), and in the original (prior to Hamilton of Gilbertfield's translation) text of Blind Harry's 'Wallace', the Virgin Mary appears to Wallace and paints the Saltire on his face (a source which also influenced the scene in Braveheart where Wallace meets the ghost of Murron in his dreams).
David Wallace Smith ...
Q. Do you know if Wallace whisky is still being produced, and if
so, where can I purchase this?
My name is David Wallace Smith, and my father came from Laurencekirk.
I need to purchase a bottle to wet my new baby daughter's head when she is born in July.
A. Yes, it is still being made.
... and it goes down very nicely.
All the best with the wee one ...
Roddy McGill ...
Q. Dear John/Linda,
I was wondering if you knew or could recommend anyone who might know the origins and reason of the name choice of Murron for Marion Braidfoot.
My wife is expecting our first child & if a girl we are particularly taken with Murron. However we have found it recorded nowhere else other than in Braveheart. No name books (even Celtic/Scottish/Irish) mention it and I am left wondering where Randall Wallace got the name from.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
A. See the answer to the question from Paul Hughes below.
Thomas Peter Loxham ...
Q. Do you know the speech William Wallace does before the first battle to get the troops motivated because we need the words for it we always watch it before we go out and if we knew all the words it would be ace!
William: Sons of Scotland, I am William Wallace.
Young soldier: William Wallace is 7 feet tall.
William: Yes, I've heard. He kills men by the hundreds, and if he were here he'd consume the English with fireballs from his eyes and bolts of lightning from his arse.
I am William Wallace, and I see a whole army of my countrymen here in defiance of tyranny.
You have come to fight as free men, and free men you are. What will you do with that freedom? Will you fight?
Veteran: Fight against that? No, we will run, and we will live.
William: Aye, fight and you may die, run and you'll live. At least a while.
And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they'll never take our freedom?! Alba gu brath!
Q. Hi! My name is Meghan and I am trying to find out some information about
something from the Braveheart movie. Would you be able to tell me what kind of flower
Marion gives to William Wallace when they are children at his father's funeral? He then
saves that flower and gives it to her later on. I would really appreciate finding out what
kind of flower that is!
A. It was a thistle. See other answers below, and see our Thistle and Thistle Competition 1996 webpages.
Paul Hughes ...
Q. My wife and I have named Our daughter Murron, we are constantly being
asked for the meaning of her name.
Do you know the meaning of the name? We did choose the name from the film and haven't been able to find out the meaning.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
A. The original screenplay for Braveheart had 'Marion' instead of 'Murron'. We believe that it was changed because of concerns about confusion with 'Marion' in the Robin Hood story/movie, with 'Murron' being substituted as a sort of Scottish 'Marion'. It may be that the existing name 'Mirren' influenced the choice of new name, as a number of other changes that were made once filming commenced were certainly influenced by local advice from Scottish actors and crew.
Jill Alexander ...
I wonder if you could give me some me details about the Scottish thistle. My daughter who is 10 years old has decided to do a project on this flower. I have found very little on the internet on this subject. Could you please help me by sending me information and pictures. I would appreciate this very much as I have been surfing for 2 days now.
A. Click here to go to our little thistle page.
|Q. Mr. and Mrs Anderson,
First, I wish to compliment you on an excellent website. It is rare in the extreme to find
an historical site that has been so thoroughly reseached and updated on both its primary
subject and related topics. My reason for writing has to do with two things:
1) A trip I am making to Scotland. and
2) The location of one of the many statues depicting Sir William Wallace.
I will be in Great Britain from the states for two weeks this Summer. (This alone has made me ecstatic.) The trip is taken care of. What I wish to know, If you have such knowlege, is the location of a statue of Wallace in which he is portrayed in classical attire, in the style of a Greek statesman, his sword slung across his back. I believe this is the statue portrayed in the poster on your website that reads: " Stirling 700: Big Man. Big Sword. Big Fun." This statue also appears briefly in the History Channel documentary on Wallace, near the programs end. If you could provide me with this information, I would be deeply thankful.
Thanks again! Sincerely, Compton Bailey
A. This statue is located in Stirling town centre in Scotland. It is at the foot of Spittal Street (which runs up from the town to Stirling Castle). There is also a statue of Rob Roy about 100 metres west of the Wallace statue. The Rob Roy figure is much less classical-looking, being rather squat in appearance because of being originally designed for a column-top location. In his lowly position at ground level, poor Rob has to suffer the indignity of his sword being cut off and stolen by pranksters/vandals from time to time.
|Q. Do you know where I can buy the lifelike movie promo stand-up of Mel
Gibson as William Wallace that is in a picture on your home page with the
I have been looking for it for a while now and would pay anything to get my hands on on. Please help or advise if you can.
A. If anyone out there can help Valli, please email: IsleValli@aol.com
Deborah Buie ...
Q. Being a Buie in America, we are very proud of our Scottish heritage. We are planning to attend a Rennaisance festival next spring & were wondering if you know some good sites that we could get costuming information. Why let the English have all the fun?!!! Also, could you send me information about the Braveheart computer game? Thank you, Deborah Buie
|A. We don't know of any costume-related websites, although there must be some. If anyone has any suggestions, please email us. We have a webpage about the computer game, and you can find out more about it on the Eidos website.|
Anthony McGuffie ...
|Q. DID WILLIAM WALLACE AND ROBERT BRUCE EVER MEET AND PLAN TO FREE
SCOTLAND FROM THE ENGLISH?
A. William Wallace and Robert the Bruce undoubtedly did meet, probably on a
number of occasions. The different social positions of the two men would have made for an
awkward relationship, and Braveheart makes a good job of indicating the way this might
"It seems probable that he* knighted Wallace, at Selkirk ...., when the victor of Stirling Bridge was appointed Guardian of Scotland - as was entirely suitable."
* he=Robert the Bruce
Greg Bartholomew ...
I'm looking for a picture of the statue of William Wallace standing beside the front gate to Edinburgh Castle. As I recall one statue had a sword in hand. I am about to start an ice sculpture competition in Fairbanks, Alaska on 1 March 2000. I wish to do a reproduction of one of these statues in ice about 10 feet tall. I do not have any decent pictures to go by for details. If you have the time to share any insight I would certainly appreciate it. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org if you would pass this information on to any one you might be willing to ask for help.
A. We have scanned a photo we took at Edinburgh Castle a few years ago of the statue - it is attached. It was taked from quite far away, so the resolution is quite poor. Maybe you can get enough of an idea though, as it is a fairly simple statue. He is wearing a simple plain round helmet, with straight sides, and a flattened conical top. There is chain mail below the helmet from about ear level downwards. He has a moustache and beard. He has a full length cloak to the rear. There is a saltire on the shield. He has a sword in his right hand, in front of the shield. He is wearing a plain belted tabard over his chain mail. Chain mail on legs (and probably feet too).
Mark Orth ...
Q. I love your site. I too am a B'heart fanatic. Everytime I watch it I love it more. I have a couple of questions about it that you might be able to answer. It says in the beginning that William's father owns his own land. If that is the case than wouldn't that land be William's by primogeniture and hence not an English lord's therefore nullifying prima-nachte which is what got Murran killed in the first place? Also, after the first uprising "the next clan over" comes to join the fight. They say they don't want the "Amadans(sp?)" thinking they can have all the fun. Who or what are Amadans. Is that the clan William belongs to. I assumed that he was of the Wallace clan but I know little of clan structure. Also, in the movie, William wears a tartan with the same pattern as on your page but I have seen another page that has a completely different pattern listed under Wallace. Apparently my ignorance of Scottish history prevents me from knowing these things. Thanks for your help.
A. It is thought that William was a second son. By the custom of the time, he would therefore not have inherited his father's lands. See the question below about prima nocte. See also the question below about 'amadans'. The origins of tartan provoke as much argument as the "truth" about the life of William Wallace. Tartans have potentially existed for 2000 years, with their early presentation taking place in both 'Scotland' and 'Ireland' (as we know them geographically today). Specific tartans became associated with particular clans 500 years ago or earlier. The 'Wallace' tartan you have seen is of the 'modern' variety i.e. definitely associated with one Clan (Wallace in this case), and with a pattern and colour that has been finalised within the last 200 years. The tartans used in Braveheart were in a sense "invented" by the movie-makers, but at the same time were based on research into the origins of tartan.
Christopher Kawagiwa ...
Q. I am someone who is very interested in the movie Braveheart.
Although I do not own a video copy of the movie, I do have the soundtrack which I listen to almost religiously. I did not have such a great interest in the film and Scottish history and the like until I had actually gone to the land, this summer. Now I feel as if I belong in such a place which many would think strange, as I am of Japanese descent. I'm not sure why I feel this way but it feels right. I want to know everthing about the country and be just
like one of its natives. Do you know of any way I can acquire such information? Things that will let me understand Scottish pride through its rich history? I don't think you have to be a Scot to appreciate Scotland.
Please tell me what you think...I am in the California, of the States.
A. Scottish identity is the subject of fierce debate in Scotland, so we probably shouldn't be too quick to give out advice on what being Scottish means. We think Braveheart, as you perhaps appreciate, gave out a picture of a type of Scottishness which seemed 'authentic', and also was of universal appeal. The opening of the new Scottish Parliament on 1st July, 1999, was a very "Scottish" occasion. The Parliament shop is selling VHS video copies of the opening ceremonies (probably only in European VHS format, which you would have to have converted to USA VHS format before viewing). We don't know whether the Parliament shop does mail-order to the USA, but you can contact them to find out:
|By telephone on +44(0) 131 348 5000 - Switchboard and Public Information|
|by post to|
|The Scottish Parliament
Edinburgh EH99 1SP
|or by e-mail to email@example.com - public information|
If they won't do mail order, let us know, and we will buy a copy for you in their shop and mail it to you.
Felix Beneduce ...
Q. Dear Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,
I saw Braveheart for the umpteenth time last night. Some research on the Internet led me to your excellent page. I would to 'tap into' your wealth of knowledge with a few questions, if I may.
Perhaps my favorite scene is what I call "The Meeting of the Celts", just previous to the Falkirk battle, specifically when the Irish infantry, brought by Edward Longshanks, and the Scottish run towards each other as if to battle but stop and greet each other warmly at the last minute. Is there any historical proof that this actually occurred? If so, what about the other Celtic people present at the battle, the Welsh, who incidentally only a few years prior to the battle had been subjugated by Edward? (Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, ruler of Wales, refused to submit to the Edward and in 1284, his principality was annexed to the English crown). What was their role, if any?
Lastly, two considerations. From your page I gather that the affair between Wallace and the Princess was an element of 'poetic license'. Since I believe that to be the weakest part of the film, it does not surprise me at all. It is however interesting to note that Edward III was much more warlike than his 'father', Edward II (although admittedly it would not have
I conclude providing you with my three favorite characters in the film:
Stephen, Hamish and Wallace, in that order. The mismatched surviving duo are the anchor to the entire endeavor. Their gazes directed towards the Bruce before the Battle of Bannockburn speak a thousand words.
A. Edward I had Welsh troops in his army at Falkirk. Prior to the battle they were in a state of near mutiny, and this may have been the seed of the idea of having the Irish in Braveheart perform as they did at the Falkirk battle. We do not know of Irish troops being at Falkirk in any number, far less behave as in the movie. We have read of a mercenary, Thomas Bisset, coming over to fight for Edward in the battle
Leonard Ornstein ...
Q. I was recently on a tour of Great Britain. I was very excited to visit the city of York, because in the movie, Wallace sacks York. I was surprised to say the least when I learned from my tour guide that Wallace never sacked York. So my question is, how close did Wallace get to York and why did Randall Wallace have Wallace sack York in the film?
A. Wallace did not sack York, although it is believed his army came within sight of the town. In those days the Scots generally did not have the equipment (siege engines) necessary to break down the defences of large castles or major towns like York (or Carlisle). BRAVEHEART is based on, and is in large part, a remarkably faithful dramatisation of Blind Harry's 'Wallace'. In this epic poem Harry has Wallace laying siege to York:
|'Faggots of fire out o'er the walls do cast,
And great prodigious red-hot gades [bars] of iron,
From which old Nick, their master, they did learn,
Hot burning pitch and scalding, stinking tar,
And other curs'd contrivances of war.'
Sound familiar? Blind Harry has Wallace laying siege until York is short of food. A bargain is then struck: York surrenders and pays 5000 pounds in gold, the Scottish banner flies over the town 'from eight to twelve at noon', and twenty days later Wallace's army march away 'in triumph'.
Keith Glynn ...
Q. Could you please tell me if it is know which bridge in Newcastle
William Wallace's limb was hung from & why was Newcastle chosen?
A. We have a number of histories of Scotland and a number of Wallace biographies. None of them provide direct answers to these questions. One quarter of Wallace is described as being hung from a gibbet in Newcastle, or hung from a bridge in Newcastle (or likely hung from a gibbet at a bridge in Newcastle). Our best guess would be at the place where the bridge over the Tyne at Newcastle was located in 1305. A location at a bridge would have been chosen to make sure the maximum number of people saw the display (as they came to the spot to cross the river). The choice of Newcastle was probably to show the local populace that the terrible bogey man 'Wallace', who had raided the area after his victory at Stirling Bridge, was definitely dead. Given that posession of this part of the country had been previously disputed between Scotland and England, the display would also have served as a reminder of who was in charge. If anyone has any additional information or opinions, please let us know.
Jeanine Wilson ...
I was looking about on your Braveheart web page, and I stumbled upon your thistle contest. No, I'm not submitting my own Braveheart testimonial, though it is my favorite movie. (It made one of the toughest guys I know cry!)
I am instead interested in the thistles themselves. How did you do it? I am in West Virginia USA this summer and I am surounded by the most beautiful thistles I have ever seen (the ones where I am from are so ugly!). I tried to press some in a flower press, but it didn't work. Is there some secret to this? If so, would you tell me?
A. The secret is to use only SCOTTISH THISTLES FROM SCOTLAND.
Only joking. We pressed the thistles by putting them between the pages of big old books (one thistle per book) and putting the books in a pile so that the weight of the all the books was pressing on the thistles at the bottom. We rotated the books from time to time.
The thistles got dry and flat(-ish). Because the head of a Scottish thistle is quite big, it is impossible to press it completely flat. Comparisons with traffic-accident hedgehogs spring to mind. As it dries and is pressed, the internal structure collapses up to a point, and becomes quite hard and 'woody'. At this point no amount of book or flower press pressure will get it any flatter. We tried putting one between two pieces of wood and clamping these in a vice. As the vice tightened this achieved a bit more flattening by compressing the 'woody' material. The final head thickness was around a quarter of an inch. At this stage the soft 'down' inside the top of the head was spread very wide. A 'haircut' with small scissors restored the proportions of the head.
T Pope ...
Q. I do not understand the relationship as to was brave heart William
Wallace or was brave heart Robert the Bruce. I am descended from David William
Barclay, one of the advisor/counselors to Robert the Bruce. See Clan Barclay
materials. My strain is Barclays of Ury. Do you know anything about
Your webs are beautiful. Are you a person or or you a machine?
are people. These web pages are put together by hand, with limited machine assistance.
Your main question is a good one. In our opintion both William and Robert are brave hearts. William is the uncompromising person who is brave at all times, and who we would perhaps all like to be. Robert is the person who behaves more like we all do most of the time, yet he decides to be brave in the end.
In the original screenplay, Robert the Bruce, at the bit when he jumps down from the table, says 'he has a brave heart', referring to William's courage in coming to the meeting with the nobles. This was dropped from the final filmed version, perhaps deliberately choosing to leave it open as to who is the brave heart of the film's title.
The term 'brave heart' has been used in the past to refer to supporters of Robert the Bruce. We have one such reference in a book published 150 years ago. There is the association of the word 'heart' with The Bruce ever since his death, because of the way his heart was taken on a Crusade by the Black Douglas.
Phillip Jones ...
Q. Dear Sir/Madam,
Was William Wallace born in Wales because several of my friends reckon he was.
Looking forward to your reply
A. See the Clan Wallace page.
Jimmy Email ...
Q. I noticed that the movie is written by Randall Wallace. Is this an actual relative?
Wallace spoke at the Braveheart Convention in
September, 1997. Although he has no evidence to support the feeling, he feels he is
descended from William Wallace "in his blood".
His achievement in bringing the Wallace story back to life (from a state of both deliberate and unconcious neglect in Scotland, pre-Braveheart) and giving it as an inspiration to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of people world-wide certainly earns him the right to be regarded as a true descendant of Wallace in spirit.
Steve Mitchell ...
Q. Hi, my name is Stevie Mitchell, and I am emailing you in search of
answers to 2 questions.
My first question is whether Robert the Bruce actually allied on the battlefield in the battle of Falkirk as it is portrayed in Braveheart? My second question is WHERE CAN I FIND THE MOVIE CALLED "The Bruce?"
I know you state how much worse it is than Braveheart, and how horrible it is, but I still wish to know how I, living in Alberta, Canada, can get this movie.
Before I end this letter, I would like to compliment you on the creation of this magnificent and inspiring website. I go every single day to the Macbrave website. I thank you for giving my favourite movie of all time such an amazing and resourceful site on the world-wide web.
are a number of conflicting answers to the question of what Robert the Bruce was doing
when the Battle of Falkirk was being fought. Sources have him arriving late, sending some
cavalry to assist Wallace, or present on the side of Edward I. The consensus currently is
that he was not there on the day, certainly during the battle, and was probably engaged in
activity against the English invaders on his own behalf in his lands in the south west of
As we have mentioned elsewhere on this page, The Bruce movie which was filmed in 1995 in Scotland is a truly terrible movie. When we first watched it we wondered for a short time whether it was one of those movies that was so bad that it might actually be good in a bizarre sort of way. However it is just very, very, bad, and approaches being unwatchable in terms of staying with it all the way through. Seoras Wallace (of the Wallace Clan Trust), who was involved in both Braveheart and The Bruce, once commented to us that the vast difference in the budgets (and hence the production values etc.) between the movies clearly showed. Seoras also made the valid point that at least the gauntlet had been thrown down for someone in the future to make a proper Bruce movie. At the time of writing (May, 1999) we understand that a new movie about the Bruce is being considered, perhaps with Mel Gibson behind the project, and Angus MacFadyen (the Bruce in Braveheart) likely to play the lead.
Having damned the 1995 Bruce movie, we nevertheless concede that there will be people who will be interested in obtaining a copy, if only for its curiosity value. Given that it is probably not available for sale outside of the UK, we are willing to buy copies in Edinburgh and mail them to anyone from outwith the UK who is determined to get a copy. Please email us if this is of interest.
Lloyd Alombro ...
Not a question, but maybe an answer.
I am a Sergeant First Class in the United States Army. I paid to see Braveheart at least 4 times in the first 2 weeks it played in my home town. Every time I saw it I walked away with more and more of the actual message. Freedom is not free. Two years ago I had to go on a 3yr tour away from my family, and tonight I watched the movie again. Needless to say, in the last 2 years, I have wondered what I am doing so far away from the ones I love. By the end of the movie tonight, I was once again made to realize why I even joined the military. Somebody has to stand up and say "Enough is enough!" William Wallace, against all odds, with little if any support had the guts to stand up to the powers that be and say "I will do what is right, either with you or without you" I guess being far away from my loved ones is nothing like being without my loved ones, as William Wallace was. But never the less, I would gladly go to someplace unfriendly, and die there, if it guarantees peace back home.
SFC Anybody....we all feel the same way
Michael Palmer ...
Q. The Princess speaks to Longshanks towards the end of the movie
saying "a child who is not of your line grows in my belly"...is there any
historical evidence of the Princess of Wales and William Wallace having a relationship or
her having a child?
A. There is no historical evidence to support the idea of William Wallace having a relationship with Princess Isabelle. Randall Wallace did however base his screenplay for Braveheart on Blind Harry's 'Wallace', and in this epic poem Wallace is depicted having a relationship with the wife of Longshanks (something for which there is also no basis in historical records). We therefore have two dramatists, 500 years apart, inventing relationships for Wallace to suit the purposes of the story they are telling, the later dramatist influenced by the earlier.
Karim Khayal ...
Q. Braveheart is somewhat of an historic fictitious movie, but, though
many things have been added, it still influences people, like that girl in Columbine High
School. [Gretchen Nash's message below]
I would like to know if he really screamed for freedom?
A. There is no record of what Wallace's last words were. It is perfectly reasonable for Randall Wallace, the dramatist, to have shown Wallace crying 'Freedom', give the life that Wallace had led. The motto of the Clan Wallace is 'Libertate' ('Freedom' in Latin).
Q. Please help me settle an argument. What was the location of
the final battle where Scotland gained independence?
A. The final battle portrayed in Braveheart was fought at Bannockburn, near Stirling, in June, 1314. This proved to be the decisive battle and paved the way for Scotland to be recognised as an independent country by England. It did however take until 1328 (the year before The Bruce's death) to get the all-important treaty acknowledging this independence signed (with much further bloodshed over the years between these dates).
Spencer K Griffin ...
Q. Hi. I'm looking for an excuse to have Braveheart shown on our
auditorium's big screen at my college next semester. Do you know of any dates that relate
to Wallace or Scottish independence sometime during the fall or early winter?
A. The nearest obvious dates are:
23rd August, 1999 : the
694th anniversary of the execution of William Wallace at Smithfield in London in 1305.
11th September, 1999 : the 702nd anniversary of the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297 (the battle in the movie with all the sharp sticks - 'hold ...hold... ' etc., ... and no bridge).
Q. Do you have any information on a monument to William Wallace
located in Australia, if so could you please supply details.
for school project
A. The Wallace statue in Australia is at Ballerat. It was sculpted for the Ballerat Caledonian Society by Percival Ball of Melbourne, and unveiled on 24th May, 1889. The model used for the statue was the Scottish World Champion athlete Donald Dinnie (1837-1916). Dinnie was also used to promote the soft drink Barrs Irn Bru back in Scotland.
Rey Wedo ...
Q. Hi, I'm in the middle of watching Braveheart now for the 40th. time
and I've always had a question on my mind and I'm glad now I found a site that might
actually help answer it.......I've always wondered about "Stephen of Ireland"
... he always referred Ireland as "His island". Who was this man? Did he
actually exist? Was he the rightful heir of Ireland's throne?
And finally is there anything on the internet about him that you know of??? thanks for yer time..
You both did a fantastic job on this site....
|A. Stephen of Ireland is mentioned in Blind Harry's
'Wallace', fighting with Wallace in the uprising. We do not know of any old sources
which would give substance to his claim in Braveheart that it
was 'his island'... maybe he wasn't 'right in the head'.
John Walker ...
Q. I've noticed one or two posts which claim a descent from Wallace
for either the poster or a relative. This implies that Wallace must have had at
least one child. I'm not at all sure there is any evidence to support this.
Anyone got an opinion?
Falkirk Local History Society
A. On page 106 of his book 'WilliamWallace - Brave Heart' James MacKay says that Blind Harry's poem tells of William Wallace and Marion Braidfute getting married and that she bore him a daughter who eventually married a squire named Shaw, bearing him 'right goodly men'. He goes on to say that the printed 1594 edition of Blind Harry's 'Wallace' asserts that the daughter of Wallace married a squire of Balliol's blood, and that their heirs succeeded to Lamington. [Given the recent bad press regarding Mr MacKay's writings, the above would need to be carefully checked]. Anyone know of any other information regarding possible Wallace offspring?
Gretchen Nash ...
Q. I have a question about a word used in the film and that is the
scene where William has just killed the English magistrate and the soldiers...anyway,
Hamish's father as he looks about the scene nods his head in approval and says a word that
sounds like 'mcculoch'??? What is the word and what does it
mean? Thanks for letting me know...Everytime I watch Braveheart I wonder what he is saying...On a sad note..One of the young girls killed at Columbine High in Littleton, Colorado whose name was Cassie Bernall had just visited Britain and in her short biography it stated how BRAVEHEART was her favourite film. She was the person the gunman had asked, "Do you believe in God?" When she replied "Yes", he laughed and killed her. I just had to mention that here. Maybe you've heard this story already...anyway, in her final moments I feel she truly demonstrated the courage and fearless spirit of a true 'Braveheart' herself. May she rest in peace. Thanks for everything both of you and have a
wonderful day. Sincerely, Gretchen Nash
A. The original screenplay the chant at this point in the movie is:
Wal-lace, Wal-lace, Wal-lace
from the outset. At the time of filming it was changed to 'McAulish' (Gallic: Mac = "son of", Aulish = "Wallace") following input from the Wallace Clan Trust. The chanting of the leader's name like this is a feature of earlier epic movies e.g. 'El Cid'.
Woodbine Farm ...
Q. I'm writing a book about recent historical films, and a detailed look at
Braveheart - one of my favourite films - will be an important part of it. I'm really
impressed by your site - it's by far the best movie-related site I've ever visited. The
Q&A section is excellent... and I wonder if I could
take advantage of it to settle a matter that's been puzzling me?
In the film Longshanks declares he is going to 'breed out' the Scots by introducing the ancient English custom of prima nocte, giving noblemen the right to sleep with the bride on the night of a tenant's marriage.
Does anyone know whether there was such a custom and whether it was introduced in Scotland in the late 14thC (or indeed, was it being practised by Scots nobles already?). Any ideas would be gratefully received.
A. We understand that there is no evidence to indicate that the feudal right of 'jus primae noctis', where the Lord has one night of sexual access to a newly married tenant, was operated in Scotland at the time of the Wars of Independence. The introduction of this aspect of feudalism into the movie script was purely for dramatic reasons.
Nick Antonioy ...
Q. I AM NICK ANTONIOY FROM GREECE. I AND MY FRIEND HAVE SEEN MANY TIMES THE
MOVIE AND WE HAVE BECOME GREAT FANS OF BRAVEHEART, AND WE TRY TO FIND ANY INFORMATION WE
WE WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE YEAR OF WILLIAM WALLACE'S DEATH AND 1314?
A. In real history, as opposed to the dramatised story in the movie, the years 1305 (when Wallace was executed) to 1314 (Battle of Bannockburn) saw Robert the Bruce take the crown of Scotland (in 1306), after killing his rival John Comyn at the church of the Minorite friars in Dumfries. Edward I (Longshanks), needless to say, was not pleased about this, and newly-crowned Robert was soon on the run in the West Highlands and then Northern Ireland, two of his brothers caught and executed, his wife and daughter imprisoned. He returned in February 1307 and began to have some success in regaining his kingdom from the occupying English forces. This was helped by Longshank's death in July 1307. Edward II was no 'Hammer of the Scots' as his father had been and, although war continued between England and Scotland, the Bruce and his supporters gained the upper hand more and more. The challenge (issued perhaps foolishly by Robert's brother Edward Bruce) to the English to relieve the Scots siege on Stirling Castle by midsummer 1314 (or give up the castle) precipitated the Battle of Bannockburn, which at last freed Scotland, and allowed Robert to ransom back his wife and daughter. This did not put an end to the fighting entirely, and it took until 1328, a year before his death, for Robert to see a treaty signed with England accepting Scotland's independence.
Sarah Johnson ...
Q. Hi. I was just wondering if there is any link I could go to to see
pictures of James Robinson (young William)? I have tried many times but I never got any
pictures of him.
Thanks so much. if u could tell me I would appreciate it so much.
A. James came to the 1997 Braveheart Convention We have pictures of James on our page with messages from the convention.
Noor Faizah ...
Q. I've been to every Braveheart website and some said that the character Murron was made up. There's no one named Murron in the actual life of Sir William. Is that true?
A. What is known about William Wallace indicates that he was married to Marion Braidfute of Lamington. The wife of the Braveheart Wallace character was called 'Marion' in Randall Wallace's original screenplay. We believe it was subsequently changed to 'Murron' to avoid confusion with the Marion in the Robin Hood story (as in Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves movie).
Lee Norman ...
Q. If you know, what is an "amadon" as referred to by the neighbouring MacGregor clansmen?
A. In the original screenplay 'Amadans' is not mentioned:
We heard about what was happenin'.
And we don't want ya thinkin' ya
can have your fun without us.
The Amadan are Irish faerie fools. The word, meaning 'idiot', is used in parts of Scotland (e.g. Galloway). This change to the original screenplay is probably as a result of input from the Clan Wallace.
Mike Anderson ...
Q. What is the historical significance of the thistle becoming the national
flower of Scotland?
A. Click here to find out about the thistle.
Q. I'm wondering what tartan everyone is wearing in Williams
village? The brownish one. It can't be the Wallace clan tartan, can it?
Please answer me personally or on the FAQ. page. I really have to know this now!!! And does anyone know what the wife who had to sleep with the Englishman is called?
tartans used were specially developed for the movie.
The actress who played the wife in the village wedding scene was Julie Austin, you can see photographs of her on some of the 1997 Braveheart Convention pages.
Richard & Kim Clark ...
Q. I have just been exploring the web and found your site, it
is good that someone has made a site for this brilliant film.
I have been to Scotland many times on holiday. I heard of Robert the Bruce long ago, and I've stood inside the cave that is believed to be where he hid for many months watching the spider, but I never heard of William Wallace.
During the eighties, the best film I saw was Highlander, and a few years after I saw it I had to go up there and see the places it was made. It's a shame what they did in the sequels to that film, I don't think the producers realised that by dropping the soundtrack, Queen's music and the scenery, the
following films would be unsuccessful.
In 1994, I took my wife up to see Scotland - it was the first time she had been to Scotland, and she wanted to see the sites used in Highlander. While we were staying in Fort William, we asked the people we stayed with about the sites, and she told us a new film was being mad in the glen - Braveheart. Kim and I were up there straight away, it was raining but we saw the beginning of the film being made (with the nobles and their pages riding to McAndrew's Barn). I took photos of the village, and some of the characters. When the film came out at the cinema, Kim and I were first to see it, and we noticed at the beginning, you can see a white car go up the mountain in the distance, as the nobles are riding down the hill - our car is white but it is very difficult to tell if it is ours.
We watched both Braveheart and Rob Roy, bought the videos, books and soundtracks. I thought both films were excellent, however my wife isn't too keen on Rob Roy, I believe this is to do with the rape scene, Rob Roy cutting the insides out of the rotting cow, and watching Cunningham being sliced in half at the end, but I think the story, soundtrack and scenery make up for these.
Hopefully, one day we will be able to afford to travel to Scotland again (depending on what Mr Brown announces about petrol prices next year), and we would like to see Stirling, as well as the film sites. The book of the film Braveheart is much longer than the film - is there any chance of there being a "Special Edition" of the film (like Star Wars, T2 & Aliens) showing Wallace going to France and Rome to get help?
The part of the film we liked the best, was the battle of Stirling. I assume this is probably everyone's favourite part. The only thing missing of course, was the river. According to the book, Wallace allowed the English to partially assemble on the northern side of the bridge, then he charged, which is similar to how Hannibal defeated the Romans, by surrounding them, giving them no room to fight. In the film however, there was no river, and it does look strange that the Scots were outnumbered before the fight.
Another question, when Wallace was knighted, a noble called Balliol walked up to him and asked him to support his claim to the throne. Who exactly was this Balliol? I though the leader of the Balliols was in the Tower of London after refusing to pay homage to Longshanks.
Anyway to answer one of your questions, I must have seen the film at least 30 times, and haven't become tired of it yet. Is there any chance of a sequel to the film, showing Robert the Bruce leading the Scots to freedom?
Braveheart appears to have left the ending open for a sequel.
Richard & Kim Clark
A. So many questions. Some answers/thoughts ...
Following on from the accidental death of
King Alexander III of Scotland in 1286, and the subsequent death of the Maid of Norway,
the Scottish nobles stupidly asked Longshanks to help them chose a new king from the
various claimants. Longshanks chose John Balliol. Balliol was indeed being held in England
(since July 1296) at the time of the events portrayed in Braveheart.
The movie makers used a bit of artistic licence here as elsewhere.
As regards a sequel to Braveheart, the most likely outcome would be for a movie to be made of the life of Robert the Bruce, probably based on the excellent Nigel Tranter book (trilogy). Mel Gibson could direct this one without having to star in it too. We are only five years away from the 700th anniversary of Wallace's death, and six years away from the 700th anniversary of Bruce taking the crown (after killing John Comyn). Time enough to develop a screenplay, put the finance together, film it and release the movie to tie-in with these anniversaries.
We understand (although we haven't seen it) that the laserdisk version of Braveheart was longer than the cinema release version (e.g. more lovemaking with the Princess). There was considerably more footage shot than made it to the final movie, so in theory a significantly longer version would be possible. We feel however that the decisions taken to make the cuts (taking the running time down to 3 hours) were for the best, from a dramatic point of view, although it does leave a number of occasions where characters are saying dialogue which might make better sense had the cuts not taken place e.g. Wallace talks about hanging women and children from the city walls (which was filmed at Trim Castle but not included in the movie).
The decision not to have a bridge at the Battle of Stirling (Bridge) was probably taken on grounds of dramatic effect and cost. Again this was probably the right decision, although it offended a lot of historical purists. If a more realistic portrayal of the battle had been attempted, it is doubtful whether it would have been as dramatic, and major difficulties would have been encountered with the length of the sequence (it would have tended to be too long).
We too think Rob Roy was an excellent movie.
Anthony Nichols ...
Q. I am looking for a movie on The Bruce . I know it is out there somewhere, because I saw it in a magazine . Thank you for your help.
A. The movie 'The Bruce' was filmed just after Braveheart was released in the UK. It was made with a very low budget. It is a truly terrible movie. Anyone watching it and expecting an experience like Braveheart will be very disappointed.
Chris Jackson ...
Q. Dear Sir or Maam,
I have looked high and low and I was hoping that you could help me.
I cant seem to find anywhere piano scores for any of the music for the soundtrack of Braveheart. Any information you might have that could lead to me finding them would be very much appreciated. Thank you very, very much.
A. Anyone able to help?
Q. My name is Petter, and I'm from Sweden.
Right now I'm doing a schoolwork named : "Braveheart, reality and movie", and I have a question for you.
How come that Robert the Bruce doesn't speak with Scottish accent?
Would be glad for an answer! Bye bye..
A. Angus McFadyen, who played The Bruce in the movie, spoke with an accent which was fairly neutral, but which did sound "Scottish" to Scottish ears. Setting aside 'The Bruce' character, in Braveheart we had:
Patrick McGoohan (an Irishman) playing an Englishman
Brendan Gleeson (an Irishman) playing a Scot (Hamish).
David O'Hara (a Scot) playing an Irishman (Stephen of Ireland).
and all played their their parts very well.
In reality, The Bruce was partly descended from Normans (who spoke French) and Celts (who spoke Gaelic) and he probably could speak both of these languages as well as English (as spoken in England where he spent time in his youth) and old Scots (as spoken in lowland Scotland at the time). He would probably also have been been familiar with Latin. Goodness knows what sort of accent he would have had when speaking in each of these languages!
Q. Hello, My name is Richard
My Favourite character of the movie was..... your right ROBERT THE BRUCE and I was reading along in your chronology when suddenly ....... The Bruce Dies??? what how! Who !!??
my question is how did the actual Robert die of??? did someone slay him or did he just die of age????
A. He died in his bed in Cardross castle. He was almost 55 years old, which was reasonably old for his times. He had suffered illness at various times, and one idea out about is that he had leprosy, and died of this in the end. After his death his wishes were respected, and his heart was taken from his body, out in a casket, and taken on a Crusade by his friend, Sir James Douglas.
Joel Whitmore ...
Q. Hello John and Linda,
I love the news letter. I was speaking to my brother last week (he's a MA in history) about finding a copy of the Blind Harry poem. Thanks a million , you've solved that problem. However, for the last three years I have been on a quest. I have been trying to find out who the sword smith was on the film.
The person who actually smithed Mel's large claymore. I have three years of dead ends behind me. I own a replica from Castle Arms and love it. Could you maybe pass this e-mail around and see if anyone knows who made the swords (there were 10 according to the production notes) and how I might contact that person ?
A. Simon Atherton,
widely regarded in the International film world as one of the best weapons makers and
suppliers to the industry, made the weapons for Braveheart (answer courtesy of Seoras
Wallace of the Wallace Clan Trust).
|Q. I am a descendant of John Blair, the comrade of William
Wallace, and I have searched for stories about these men, but all I find is
stories of Robert
de Bruce, who is also a great Grandfather, if you have any information on how
I might find stories about John Blair please notify me. It would be
A. As you
mention, John Blair was Wallace's friend,
comrade-in-arms, chaplain, and biographer. Much of what we know about Wallace
we have learned from Blind
Harry's epic poem 'Wallace', which was itself based
on John Blair's earlier biography of Wallace.
commissions John Blair to write the biography of Wallace
Hugh Sinclair Johnson ...
Q. I'm an Englishman (coming back in May 98) in Australia and I have links through my family history to Stewart of Appin. I was wondering if there is a clan as such or just links with others.
A. Sir John Stewart of Lorne was murdered in 1463. Dugald, his son, looked to recover the lordship from his uncle who had taken it. By way of a compromise he was given the lands of Appin. Allan, 3rd of Appin, divided these lands between his five sons and thereby established the Appin clan.
Stewart of Appin
William N Greer ...
Q. In her 1986 book "King Arthur," Norma Goodrich
presents her argument for a Scottish King Arthur and references:
1) the 'earliest archives,'
2) George Crawford's "Peerage of Scotland"
3) W.D.H. Sellars' article "The Earliest Campbells" appearing in Scottish Studies 17, #2, pp 109-125.
for her genealogical tree which depicts the origins of Clan Campbell --- and especially the descent of the Gillespie (who wed his cousin Eva, daughter of Paul an Sporran) from the King Arthur of Camelot. A rather detailed tree is presented, but with almost nothing except names.
QUESTION: Have you any knowledge of this legendary descent and of how I may learn more about it --- and about those who currently or recently uphold it?
Many thanks for your kind attention to my question.
A. We had not previously heard of a proposed Campbell descent from King Arthur. We were however aware of discussions regarding King Arthur's Scottish origins.
See our page: Was Arthur's Camelot at Falkirk?
The following is direct quotation from Chapter II page 24 of Volume I of James Taylor's Pictorial History of Scotland, published in 1859:
"Among the petty chiefs who reigned over Strathclyde, there are none whose names or exploits are worthy of preservation , with the single exception of the famous King Arthur. At the commencement of the sixth century, this semi-fabulous monarch was chosen pendragon, or chief military leader of the Cumbrian Britons, expelled his sovereign, the feeble Huail of Hoel, and reigned over Strathclyde from A.D. 508 to A.D. 542, when he was killed in the fatal battle of Camlan. The fame of his deeds of valour has been perpetuated both by the romances of the poets and the tales of tradition, while his obscure successors, continually occupied either in civil broils or foreign conflicts, have engaged neither poet or chronicler to transmit their deeds to more inquisitive times."
The footnotes to page 24 comment:
"It has been strenuously maintained that Arthur is not a real but only a mythological personage, the chief divinity of that system of revived Druidism which appears to have arisen in the unconquered parts of the west of Britain, after the departure of the Romans. For an elaborate examination of this question see 'Britannia after the Romans,' pp 70-141. A defence of the historic reality of Arthur will be found in 'Turner's Anglo-Saxons,' pp 268-283."
We would be interested to hear from hear from anyone who can provide further information on this subject.
Carl Bennett ...
|Q. Thanks for such a great Web page! In the film, the young
Murron gives young William a flower, which of course he carries for years and returns to
her when they meet as adults.
. . . I'm clueless when it comes to botany . . . but isn't the flower in the film a tigerlilly? I've been trying to confirm the flower type, as I wish to give this gift to a very important woman in my life . . . who of course . . . shares my passion for the epic Braveheart. Please let me know if anyone can confirm the flower type. Thanks and warm regards to all Braveheart Fans!
|A. The flower involved was a thistle. The thistle is the national flower of
Scotland. The images show a "live" thistle (top) and a dried and pressed thistle
When young Murron gave William the thistle, in addition to the straightforward gesture of sympathy and affection, she was symbolically placing the future of Scotland in his charge.
The Scots thistle is a fairly prickly plant, and it would be difficult to pick with little fingers without bloodshed. The thistle which is seen being picked in the movie looks like a specially manufactured "safe" one.
Thistles grow wild in Scotland and flower in August and September.
See our thistle competition in 1996.
Cheri Bonney ...
|Q. I am a huge Braveheart fan, I've seen the movies several
time...but cannot remember the character who played Hamish's name. Do you know this? Do
you also have any information about this person? Thanks so much!
A. Brendan Gleeson played Hamish (as an adult) in Braveheart. Brendan is an Irish actor, playwright, and musician. He lives near Dublin and has appeared in movies such as Into the West and Michael Collins.
Q. hi. Braveheart was easily my favourite movie. I 've taken
up the bagpipe because of it. I was wondering if there were any mailing lists or something
you could get me on to.
Jon Land ...
Q. Hi there, nice to see all the info on Wallace, I've a student who would like to know where Wallace is buried? Can you help?
A. After Wallace's execution his head was displayed on a pole on London Bridge, and his body was quartered. One quarter was exhibited above the common sewer at Newcastle-upon-tyne, another at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and another at Perth. Their is some doubt about the destination of the fourth quarter, with sources naming either Stirling or Aberdeen.
There is no record of what was subsequently done with these remains. A local tale from the Stirling area tells of the monks of the nearby Cambuskenneth Abbey salvaging Wallace's arm from beside Stirling Bridge, and burying it in consecrated ground. Legend has it that his left arm is buried with his finger pointing towards the Abbey Craig, from where he achieved his greatest victory on 11th September, 1297.
|Scott Robert Ladd ...
Q. I hope you can answer two questions for me:
A. See Bruce's heart still in Edinburgh (latest update 19th February, 1998).
Most of the battlefield site at Bannockburn is now covered with roads and housing (in the background on the photo on the right). The visitor centre, battle memorial, and Bruce statue are on a mound that Bruce is supposed to have used as his command post during the battle.
Photo courtesy of Susan Hodges
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,
My name is Patrick and I am from TX. I have seen Braveheart so many times I have lost count. I watched it three times in a row when I got it on Christmas Day. I know that I have not kept up with the other fans of this movie but I plan on watching it until my tape runs out. I have a very IMPORTANT QUESTION. Where can I find/buy an uncut version of Braveheart??
Is there even a director's cut that I could buy?? I would appreciate any information that you could send me on this topic. thanks again!!!
Q. You're Braveheart site is amazing, I absolutely love it.
Could you please place my name on the list to receive the newsletter, I must have it.
Also, I have a question for the Braveheart Q&A.
Does anyone have information on the scene when Wallace and Murron get married and they wrap their hands together? I know that it is a Celtic pagan ritual, but I need to know more.
Ander Henderson ...
Q. does any one know why Braveheart makes Bruce look so bad.
in truth he
was one of Scotland's greatest heroes (I do admit he did lick Edward's boots for a while but he got over that way before sterling bridge or even Falkirk. he actually had some 700 horse there and helped Wallace out.
A. The movie Braveheart was primarily a work of drama, rather than a historical document. The Bruce appears to come out badly from the way he is presented in the movie, but he gets there in the end (at Bannockburn). The characters of Bruce and his father are very important in the movie to show the way the 'nobles' in Scotland were thinking and acting, and to show someone we can relate to (The Bruce) in a dilemma (in contrast to Wallace's uncompromising approach) which he would ultimately resolve for himself by risking all for Scotland after Wallace's death.
Marie-Andre Crothers ...
Q. Dear authors of a truly great Braveheart site:
How did Mr. Gibson film the torture scenes? They were just too realistic.
Thanks a lot,
Marie-Andrée Crothers, Canada
A. We seem to remember Mel joking in one interview that it was possible, with good direction and filming, to even make 'hanging, drawing and quartering' look 'pretty'. We don't have technical details of how the hanging etc. was carried out in a non-fatal way, but maybe someone who knows could get in touch.
Jonathan Zang ...
Q. I was wondering if you knew of anywhere to get BH wallpaper and screensavers?? Thanks Jon
Jerry Thomas ...
Q. Didn't Scotsman Sir Walter Scott write an extensive "history of Scotland"?
Francesco Lazzaro ...
Q. I have the integral scripts of the film; Sorry for my
English, I hope you'll understand anyway...
What does the father of William tell him after dying: "Your heart is free have the courage to follow it!" or ..."to follow her?!"
A. Have the courage to follow it!
Amy Shaw ...
Q. I have seen Braveheart about 12 times, but I am anticipating seeing it much more
in the next 2 weeks as I have a project on Braveheart due on May 12. I am in a Film class
at the University of New Hampshire and as I already have an interest in Scottish history
(my family is very Scottish) I have decided to concentrate on comparing the movie to the
real history. The only problem is, our school library is under construction and they have
none of the books I need. Could anyone help me find a book I might be able to get at the
public library or local bookstore. I tried to order the book by James Mackay, but it was
Thanks very much
Ange Parkin ...
A. In response to Amy Shaw's inquiry on where to get Scottish history info. I spent 3 months researching Scotland's history and found that if you have a low budget library like I do, then the best place to get info is encyclopaedias(esp. World Book '97 and any really old encyc. you can get your hands on. I know the info's really dated but they taught me so much more about Scotland!!) I hope that sort of helped you out.
Q. Do you know where I might be able to find interviews of the actors and actresses of Braveheart in text form? Thanks.
Jeremiah J. Henn ...
Q. Who played Robert the Bruce's father? I thought that Mel Gibson played that part but I couldn't tell in the credits. Do you know??
A. Ian Bannen played The Bruce's father in Braveheart (see our BH credits see also his message to the 1997 Braveheart Convention). Sadly, Ian died in a car accident in Scotland on 3rd November, 1999.
Laura Paulsel ...
Q. I very much enjoy your page about Braveheart; it is a
beautiful film about the search for freedom. I love viewing it even more each time, and I
believe the soundtrack contains my favourite music of all time.
My question is this: I understand that Scotland won its freedom in the year 1314 after the battle of Bannockburn, but when did the country return to English rule? Is it now, as I understand, part of the United Kingdom and under the rule of the British monarch? Is it also true that Queen Elizabeth was born at Balmoral castle and still vacations there?
My only complaint about the film is the sensationalism employed in joining Wallace with the Princess. In truth, Isabella did not marry the Prince of Wales until some years after the death of Wallace, and their tryst seemed to add nothing to the film. In fact, it made Wallace appear to dishonour the memory of his fallen wife--the very reason he continued to fight. Any reason you know of as to why this was included?
A. Although Scotland won a major victory at
Bannockburn in 1314, King Robert the Bruce and his supporters had to fight on for another
14 years until 1328 to achieve a satisfactory peace treaty with England (where England
renounced its claim to rule Scotland). In later centuries there was first a union of the
crowns and then, in 1707, a union of the parliaments, creating the present 'United
Kingdom'. Queen Elizabeth certainly vacations at Balmoral, we don't know whether she was
The princess character was introduced for dramatic reasons, for example to react to Longshanks's discussions in the scenes in the palace in London. Having introduced the character for good dramatic reasons, and then having her act as a link between the Wallace and Longshanks characters, it is understandable that the romance and tryst would have then seemed like a logical extension of this treatment of the Wallace story [trying to read Randall Wallace's mind here :-) ].
D M Behnken ...
Q. SEVERAL VIEWINGS LATER, I REMAIN IN AWE OF THE POWER OF BRAVEHEART. I BELIEVE THE FILM DEMONSTRATES ART'S FULL POTENTIALITY AS AN AGENT FOR THE EXPANSION OF CONSCIOUSNESS: SPIRITUAL, SOCIAL AND POLITICAL; FOR HERE WE ARE, OUR FORGOTTEN HUNGER FOR REAL FREEDOM REAWAKENED. FROM A PURELY HEDONISTIC PERSPECTIVE, THE FILM IS GORGEOUS: PURE UNADULTERATED VISUAL PLEASURE. (HOW COULD SUCH BLOODSHED BE SO AESTHETICALLY MOVING? HOW DID GIBSON PULL THAT ONE OFF?)
AS A GAY WOMAN (INCIDENTALLY OF IRISH/SCOTTISH DESCENT), I MUST TAKE ISSUE WITH THE CONFLATION, INTENTIONAL OR NOT, OF THE HISTORICAL FACT OF EDWARD II'S HOMOSEXUALITY AND HIS PORTRAYAL AS A SELF-ABSORBED, TWIT; I.E. NOT ALL SELF-ABSORBED TWITS ARE HOMOSEXUAL AND NOT ALL HOMOSEXUALS ARE SELF-ABSORBED TWITS. THAT'S THE MAIN THRUST OF MY POINT. ADDITIONALLY, I FIND NOTHING ESPECIALLY TRAGIC IN THE CLASSICAL SENSE ABOUT THE EXECUTION OF EDWARD, AS A POLITICAL RIVAL, HE WAS FAIR GAME. BUT ITS MANNER, APART FROM BEING "BEYOND" CRUEL, WAS CLEARLY DIRECTED AT HIS HOMOSEXUALITY AND THIS APPALS AND SADDENS ME.
PLEASE FORGIVE THE APPARENT ANTAGONISM OF THIS QUESTION WHICH IS OFFERED IN ALL SINCERITY. IS THERE ANY HISTORICAL DATA TO SUGGEST THAT EDWARD II WAS TRULY THE SPINELESS, SELF-ABSORBED IDIOT AS PORTRAYED; OR, WAS THAT GIBSON'S TAKE ON "THE HOMOSEXUAL PRINCE" I.E., HE WAS GAY SO HE MUST HAVE BEEN EFFEMINATE, SPINELESS ETC.
THANKS IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR KIND CONSIDERATION OF MY QUESTION
J E Hawcroft ...
A. I have never seen any outright reference to Edward II being a
homosexual, which considering the status of homosexuality in medieval England doesn't mean
he was or he wasn't. I have seen plenty of historians, however, who indeed consider Edward
II to be a complete wimp. This wasn't shown in Braveheart, but Princess Isabel took a
lover (Mortimer someone or other, I think) shortly after Edward I's death, and she and
Mortimer chucked Edward II off the throne, ruled in his place and basically pushed him
around. Also Edward II's battle record against the Bruce isn't very impressive, the Scots
him all the way from Edinburgh to York once and history records that Edward lost all his luggage in the process. It's little details like this that give him the prat-like image.
I agree that it's a shame that the only possibly gay figure in the film is such a berk (although Edward's "lover" Philip seems OK). However it would be equally biased to say that gay people aren't as likely as straight people to be idiots sometimes.
Ray Cartwright ...
Q. Wow! I just saw Braveheart for the first time on Cinemax. It was awesome.
However, I must be a little weird...even though I thought the battle scenes were
impressive, I loved the scene when the Scottish bride (Julie Austin) calmed the fighting
and then whispered something to her husband. Gosh that scene is incredible. Who is this
If anyone can give me more information about her (age, hometown, previous works, married, etc) I would appreciate it.
Caroline Edingburg ...
Q. I have a question about the movie and actual history. I have just started doing
some research on William Wallace and Scottish history and nowhere does it say anything
about his wife and the reason he lost it was because they killed his wife. Was that true
did they actually kill his wife? What is the actual story behind that and how accurate was
the movies portrayal as far as his wife was concerned? Thanks for any info.
Mel Gibson is my favourite actor of all time and he was the only one who could have done this...he was perfect! This movie has stirred such a yearning in me to not only research Scotland's history but to go there and I find it ironic that my last name is Edingburg!
Thank you for any information that you can give.
A. Regarding the events of May 1297, the following is from chapter 3
of Andrew Fisher's 1986 book 'William Wallace':
'Wallace had become a magnet for the discontented. He had recently married a young woman who lived in Lanark. Visiting her by stealth, as a marked man, he clashed with an English patrol. Fighting his way clear, he retreated to her house and as the pursuers hammered on the front door he escaped by the back to the rocky Cartland Crags. Enraged by the failure to capture him, Sir William Heselrig, Sheriff of Lanark, ordered the house to be burned and all within it., wife and servants, to be out to the sword. From that day Wallace vowed an undying vengeance against the English.'
'Gathering together a band of desperate men, he fell by night upon the sheriff and his armed guard, hewed the sherrif into small pieces with his own sword and burned the buildings and those within them.'
My name is Murron ;) and I'm a die-hard Braveheart fan...
I can't help feeling so jealous when I read about the 700th anniversary of Stirling. (I live in southern CA, USA unfortunately). I have one question, though... I thought that the battle of Stirling Bridge was fought on JUNE 17,
1297, not September 11... I guess I was wrong... was I? What happened on June 17?
I wish I could join you in Scotland... I'd really give anything to go. I will be in London this June (around the 17th) and I thought I'd maybe get to see some partying there, but now I suppose I won't get to. :( Well, your
page is really good... thanks for all your helpful info. :)
A. The Battle of
Bannockburn was fought on the 23rd and 24th June, 1314. The English army under Percy
and Clifford had moved into Scotland (to put down rebellion) in June 1297, and by the end
of that month were at Ayr.
We can't think of an anniversary on 17th June. If anyone else can, please let us know.
There will be a programme of events to mark the 700th anniversary taking place throughout the summer in Stirling, so maybe you can get to some partying after all. We'll publish details of these events in MacBraveHeart when they are available (next month we think).
Christopher Hamilton ...
Q. My Name is Christopher Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org). I am from
Australia, and would very much like to visit the home land of Willam Wallace, to stand
upon the ground that he once did.
Though this may never be the case, I type in the event that you might know if there are any Australian conventions (or any thing of the type), of which you could tell me about, so I can to celebrate
the 700th anniversary of such an inspiring battles to be fought and won.
THANK YOU Christopher
Sarah Wallin ...
Q. I have a quick question, and I think you might be able to help me out in this area. I have a friend who is really upset because his cool Braveheart poster recently got stolen. He doesn't really know where to look, and I want to help him out. Do you know of any good places where I can send in and maybe get a replacement poster or something? Any input you could give me on this matter would be greatly appreciated!!!
A.Try: Innervisions, 4548 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 634-2392 email@example.com
Andy Holak ...
Q. I have heard that an epic movie about Robert the Bruce is in production. I'm not sure where I heard it, but can anyone out there substantiate this rumour? I would love to see a movie about Robert the Bruce. I've done some research since seeing Braveheart, and it appears that Robert the Bruce did more to free Scotland than even William Wallace. From some accounts I've read, the Bruce was an absolutely brilliant strategist, and also made forays into England. One account I read had the Bruce's men scaling the walls of a cliff to attack a castle(can't remember which one). It would make an exciting movie!
A. The movie 'The Bruce' is available in the UK to hire or buy. It
was made on a low budget during 1995, and it shows. Anyone who has seen Braveheart
and is expecting a similar experience will be very disappointed. We couldn't really
The Bruce story would indeed make a tremendous movie or TV series. We strongly recommend reading the 'Bruce' trilogy by Nigel Tranter (ISBN 0 340 37186 2).
Marian Sampson's response to Andy's question re the Bruce movie:
There is a film about Robert the Bruce which stars, among
others, Oliver Reed. Save your money. It is bloody awful & doesn't even come close to
reality. As soon as I remember where I threw it, I'll get back to you with more details.
Meanwhile, if you want a really good bio of the Bruce, get Ronald McNair Scott's book. It
is so-o-o good.
P.S. Loved Braveheart, & watch my copy over & over, but it is not exactly factual, either, though it comes closer than most that Hollywood produces.
Karen King ...
Q. I am interested in knowing where I can read the original legends of William Wallace and of his time in Scottish history. In my opinion, there are three Braveheart stories: 1. the original story, 2. the legends that grew up around the original story, and then 3. the Hollywood version of the legend. Any suggestions where I can look to help sort these out?
A. We suggest you read
William Wallace - Brave Heart by James Mackay
The Wallace by Nigel Tranter
to begin with. J & L.
Q. I have a repro of the actual sword used in the movie. The only company that is
authorised to make the exact sword is a company named The Noble Collection.
I do have a question however, are you aware of anyone that makes a repro of Wallace's actual sword? The one that is kept in the Wallace National Monument in Stirling? I have been searching and searching, including recruiting employees from the monument.
Thank you in advance for your help,
[ NOTE! The validity of the above phone number has been queried. We're checking it. ]
Q. Hi...I have been searching for a Braveheart screensaver for ages...was wondering if you knew of one that was out there and available to download. Thanks for your help.
Q. hello my name is patrik I want to ask about the length of the braveheart film I
read that mel gibson cutted down the movie 1 hour I have the film on laserdisk and I have
probably seen the film 20 times and I want to see the rest do you know if braveheart are
gonna be released in directors cut and if so when I hope you can help me thank you
A. We believe that Mel said that although he cut some of the violent shots out of the battle scenes, he did not feel that this harmed the overall effect of the movie. He said that the movie as released was 'the Director's cut'. J&L
Sheldon Martin ...
Q. I figure you have the soundtrack to braveheart so I wanted to ask a question. In
the movie there are more musical scores than on the soundtrack. Why is this? Did the
makers of the album make another version with all the scores on them.
Just to let you know, I finally was able to buy the movie. I bought the widescreen version so its as good as in the theatre.
If possible, I am going to try to dress as William Wallace to go the school and the dance on Halloween. If I do, I will get a picture taken and put it on my Web page.
[We hadn't noticed any significant difference between our soundtrack CD and the music on our video (other than missing out the wedding music). We don't know of any longer CD version. We look forward to seeing the Halloween picture.
Terry Sarros ...
My name is Terry Sarros, I just have a quick question for you. Do you know of any place that I can get leather armour like what was used in Braveheart (the best movie ever)? I have check every place I can think of and no-one has any ideas, can you help? Thank you for your time.
A. We hope to put up information on the web pages soon that will allow this sort of thing to be ordered via MacBraveHeart. [April 2000]
Q. Andersons -- Thanks for a wonderful web page! Do you/does anyone know where to find information on David O'Hara (Stephen)? Thanks!
Graham St. John ...
Q. Hello again, I have a question you can hopefully answer. I have been pondering
over the last couple lines in Braveheart.
In the year of our lord 1314, patriots of Scotland, Starving and outnumbered, charged the fields of bannockburn. They fought like warrior poets. They fought like Scotsmen and won their freedom.
Now unless i've been totally misled, am I not correct in saying that the Scots were slaughtered at the battle of Bannockburn?
A women on your appeal page said something like Robert The Bruce picked up where Sir William Wallace left off and led Scotland to freedom. You had not reply to her letter so I'm not sure if she is right or not.
I am a third generation American but before that, both my mothers and my fathers sides of my family came from Scotland. I wish i knew more about scottish history. I have spent many hours recentally talking to my Grandparents asking about the history of our Clan and the history of Scotland.
A. It was definitely the English army which got slaughtered at Bannockburn Graham. It is generally accepted that the terrible way Wallace was executed by Edward I in 1305 was one of the factors which drove The Bruce to wage a lengthy campaign to free Scotland, leading to the great military victory at Bannockburn. It then took Bruce further years of struggle until 1328 when a treaty with England finally recognised that Scotland was free.
Marc A. McEachern ...
Q. Do you know of anywhere I can obtain win95 Braveheart Themes? I'd be greatful for any information. thanks...
A. Answer from Tom
Crosby (24th December, 1996):
I have an answer to a question written by Marc A. McEachern. To obtain a Windows 95 Braveheart theme, check out http://www.aloha.net/%7Ebrvhrt/ The file is near the bottom of the page. Also, you have put together a very nice page, I enjoyed visiting it.
David C. Cole ...
Q. I love your web page! I have seen Braveheart 5 times and have loved it every time. My question is, how did the wimpy Prince die? I've heard that the soon-to-be queen killed him to take sole posession of the throne. I've also heard the way she did it was quite interesting. Please excuse my vagueness. My Scottish history is very poor.
David C. Cole
A. Answer from Andrea Tomich:
I was looking over your MacBraveHeart page (great job, by the way), and I found David C. Cole's question of how Queen Isabella had King Edward II killed in your questions and answers section. I have the answer to that question.
But first, in case it isn't known about, there is a Braveheart CD-ROM out by Midisoft Entertainment. It's wonderful--I have it. It tells histories of all the main characters, information about the movie, information about the Medieval Ages, and even has fun games where the rewards are movie bloopers and behind-the-scene looks. GREAT fun. It runs on Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, and there is a Mac version as well. I thought you may want to let the fans know about it if they don't know already. A possible e-mail to write to to ask about it is firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.midisoft.com. If you need the address and phone number, it's listed as well and I can send it to you.
But about Edward II. Isabella did indeed overthrow him to gain the throne. She fell in love with Roger Mortimer from France and they captured Edward and his lover (yes, he really was homosexual). They imprisoned Edward in Kenilworth Castle until the queen decided what to do with him. They then moved him to Berkeley Castle in late summer of 1327. There he was steadily ignored until he was moved into a tiny cell. On Sept 21 he was executed, and it was just as bad as David heard. "He was held down by two of his executioners, while the third inserted a red-hot iron into Edward's rectum and thrust this deadly implement deep into his bowels. This left no outward evidence of bodily harm but the legend is that his once handsome face remained contorted into a grotesque grimace of horror and pain." (Courtesy of Braveheart CD-ROM, Midisoft Entertainment, 1995.)
There's the answer to David's question--hope it helps! And I wouldn't even wish that death on my worst enemy!
Joe Dwyer ...
Q. Do you have any recommended books on William Wallace. My searches show nothing on Randall Wallace. Thank you. Joe Dwyer
A. Please see the answer to Karen Kings's question.
During the wedding festivities after Wallace returns home as a man,Hamish challenges William to the boulder toss by saying he can crush William's skull like a "wuddom" (I tried to spell it like it sounded to me!) Please can anyone tell me what it is?
P.S. Your Web Site is my FAVOURITE!!
A. Hamish said that he would crush William 'like a worm'.
Mathias Kohring ...
Q. I have one question regarding the sword in the movie. I have seen the picture of Wallace's sword on display in Stirling, and it is obviously not the same one used in the movie. Still, I have heard that the sword in the movie IS an actual replica of Wallace's sword. I know I am being nit-picky, but is the sword in the movie accurate or not?
By the way, I have only seen the movie four times, and it becomes more vivid and moving each time. Thank you for a wonderful www page on such an important figure.
A. Weve seen the sword in the flesh so to speak. I think the sword in the film was a reasonable replica. It certainly looks approximately the same shape. Historically its difficult to establish whether the sword in Stirling is the Wallace sword. Id be delighted to receive any information on its path from Wallace to its resting place now. However all accounts of Wallace suggest he was very tall, about six feet six inches. The sword was 66inches, the blade 52inches and forged in Scotland. I cant imagine Mel could have swung such a length of sword. Apparently James IV ordered the sword to be rehilted in 1505. In 1937 it was stolen from the memorial and recovered some time later in a house in North West Scotland. The stone of destiny on which Scottish kings were crowned was removed from Scone by Longshanks. However there is some suggestion in historical references that he removed the wrong stone and the true one was hidden. He certainly removed just about everything to do with the history of Scotland, in order to wipe out its history as a realm (Scotland was the oldest known realm in Christendom). One last point; Scotland always had a King of Scots (the people), where England had a King or Queen of England. This unique definition of sovereignty was alluded to in Wallaces speech after his knighting. Nobles exist to give the people their freedom etc. (Robert the Bruce became King of Scots). Normally Kings were Kings of a country and the people merely the vassals on it.
Q. John and Linda,
Thank you for responding to my inquiry. I was curious about the nature of the sword because of some mismatched details. First of all, the sword in the movie appears to be a two handed broad sword with a spherical pommel. The crossguard is straight and about a foot of the blade wrapped in leather towards the handle. None of this seems apparent in the picture of the sword at Stirling. It appears to be a regular broadsword with a different pommel and no leather on the blade at all. When James IV had the sword rehilted, the design might have changed. As a matter of fact, the sword in the picture doesn't seem like anything special at all. I suppose one has to see it in the flesh ( so to speak) to appreciate the actual size of this weapon.
I hate to be so picky, but when filmmakers claim to be as accurate as possible, I like to think I am seeing the real thing. I find the details about the sword's history and Scotland fascinating. Imagine the terror Wallace must have struck in the hearts of the English when he swung that mighty sword at them. It is too bad Scotland did not remain free.
Wallace had the right idea. Rulers serve to protect the people they rule. If only everyone could realise that this is common sense.
All my best,
A. The sword in our picture taken at the Stirling Wallace Monument page is a two-handed sword of about 5ft long, and it looks like it would take small giant to wield it. We think they must have decided that they wanted a more 'basic' look for the sword for the movie, and put together their own design. The overall length would be about the same, though if one is bigger, we think it would be the one in the Monument.
Sheldon Martin ...
Q. I was wondering how historically accurate is the movie on Wallace's life. How long did it actually take to film the movie.
A. Answer to Shelmart@computime.bc.ca, it took two years to make Braveheart, Mr. Gibson had to do a lot of research to make it as accurate as possible, he did a marvellous job, agree? - Bonnie Bell 19th June, 1996
Linda email@example.com ...
Q. Anyone from Scotland, please E-Mail me if you heard of celebrations during and after the Academy Awards ceremony as Mel mentioned that Glasgow was partying hard. Also, what did Scottish papers say on Braveheart's victory. Would love to know. Also, does anyone know of a book about Braveheart on how the film was made etc.
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