This speech begins: 'AT the Battle of Falkirk, Robert Bruce (afterwards K. Robert 1st.) Son to Robert Bruce, Lord of Mannia &c: being then under English Influence'. There follows a commentary by Buchanan, and two short fables translated from Aesop.
This broadside, ostensibly posing as a historical report, is in fact anti-English propaganda against the proposed Act of Union between the Scots and English parliaments. This was eventually passed in 1707. Daniel Defoe and John Hamilton, Baron Belhaven, were especially vocal, Defoe on the unionist side. The National Library of Scotland holds their broadside publications.
This tactic of using the story of Wallace and his fight against the English to highlight current injustices was employed again in recent years. The emotive influence of the film 'Braveheart' (1995), which included this speech Wallace made in 1298 at the Battle of Falkirk, was exploited by the Scottish National Party. They signed up a great many supporters by positioning themselves outside cinemas when emotionally charged filmgoers were leaving.
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Probable date published:
1706 shelfmark: S.302.b.2(046)
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