Freedom Fighter

After managing to evade pursuers for seven years following his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk, Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace was captured on 5 August 1305 when one of his countrymen, John de Menteith, turned him over to English soldiers near Glasgow. Wallace, who’d been making life hell for the English for almost a decade, was taken to Westminster Hall in London, where he … Continue reading Freedom Fighter

Brave, but Stupid

On 13 July 1174, in the midst of the Revolt of 1173-74, King William of Scotland charged English troops at the Battle of Alnwick, shouting: “Now we shall see which of us are good knights!” He was almost immediately captured. William was taken in chains first to Newcastle, then to Northampton, and finally sent to Falaise in Normandy while Henry II of England sent troops … Continue reading Brave, but Stupid

Death of a Lion

After spending almost all of his adult life at war and then taking an arrow to the shoulder, King Richard I (the Lionhearted) died on April 6, 1199, leaving his brother John to take the throne and completely botch the job of being king. Richard was the third son of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, so he wasn’t expected to become king. In fact, … Continue reading Death of a Lion

A King’s Ransom

Richard the Lionhearted may have been a legendary king, but he led lousy road trips. During one, on December 20, 1192, he managed to get himself captured and imprisoned by Leopold V of Austria. At the time, Richard was making his way back to England after the end of the Third crusade (a three-year conflict that failed in its ultimate goal of conquering Jerusalem). He … Continue reading A King’s Ransom