How historically accurate is Braveheart
Braveheart was a very popular movie in 1995 that featured Mel Gibson playing the role of William Wallace, a Scottish knight who became a hero in the Scottish rebellions against the English in the late 13th and early 14th century. The significance of the movie is it helped to inspire Scottish national pride while also, to some, represent an early, Medieval warrior who fought for freedom for himself and his people. While much of the story depicted did occur, including the English occupation of Scotland during the time of Edward I, king of England, the depiction of the revolt against the English and other events do not correspond well to historical accounts
Early Years of William Wallace
In the movie, William Wallace is suggested to have traveled in Europe during the early years of Edward I's occupation of England. However, in reality little is known about Wallace's early years. First, it is assumed Wallace came from a noble family; two villages are often claimed as his birth places (Elderslie and Ellerslie), both on the western part of Scotland. We do know that Wallace was an experienced swordsman and knight, which indicates he may have fought in wars prior to his own rebellion and participation in the wars against the English. In fact, one possibility is he fought with king Edward I as a mercenary during that king's wars against the Welsh. That may have been the most feasible path for him to have gained fighting experience and possibly learn about English war tactics.