Category Archives: William Wallace

Edward, I am Your Father

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Edward III

Over recent years here has been a lot of discussion regarding the possible survival of Edward III‘s father, Edward II, beyond his supposed 1327 death date. The fact no one was able to find his death certificate seems to support these claims – Queen Isabelle brushed them off, saying that it was ‘somewhere in the [filing] cabinet’, but this just doesn’t seem to ring true.

There is also a letter; the Fieschi Letter.

Manuele Fieschi (d. 1349) was a Genoese priest who became Bishop of Vercelli. He wrote his letter while in Avignon in 1337, telling the story of Edward II’s escape from Berkeley Castle and subsequent journey, via Corfe Castle and Ireland, to obscurity on the Continent.

In addition, diplomatic documents seem to back up the Fieschi letter, purporting to claim that Edward III met with his father in Koblenz in 1338.

The story goes that while Edward was in Koblenz to be installed as Vicar of the Holy Roman Empire  he met someone called William le Galeys, or William the Welshman, who claimed to be the king’s father.

You can imagine how dubious Edward must have been. After all, he had buried his father on the back of the fact he was dead. He’d even had to order the execution of his uncle, Edmund Earl of Kent, for trying to free his already-dead brother from Corfe Castle in 1330.

But what if it was someone else who was claiming to be the king’s father?

Mel Gibson wearing makeup that is meant to look like woad.
William Wallace

I was watching a wonderful documentary on the History Channel the other night – no, sorry, for some strange reason it was actually broadcast on Film 4. I thought that strange at the time, but got so engrossed in the documentary that it didn’t matter. The documentary was all about Scotland’s history and its struggles with England during the late 1200s.

A Professor Melvin Gibson argued that although  Edward II – then Prince of Wales – was married to Isabelle of France, he was not the father of his eldest son. Isabelle was seduced by the marvellously charismatic William Wallace. Wallace was the Guardian of Scotland; still a Scottish national hero. Isabelle and Wallace had a wondrous love affair which was only cut short by Wallace’s ‘apparent’ execution for treason in London, ordered by Edward I (just for clarity, Edward I is the father of Edward II and grandfather of Edward III – and great-grandfather of Edward the Black Prince).

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Contemporary portrait of Isabelle of France

At first I was derisory of Professor Gibson’s premise. There are a couple of issues with it, such as the supposed age of Isabelle of France – but then, what woman doesn’t lie about her age and try to take 10 years off whenever she can? And then there was the fact that, surely, William Wallace was even more dead than Edward II?

After all Edward II had a little accident with a poker.

Wallace, on the other hand, was hung, drawn and quartered with his head displayed on a pike afterwards. But was he?

I watched the documentary again and noticed that one fact didn’t agree with the historical record. According to Professor Gibson William Wallace was, about, what 5ft 4in?

And yet the man executed by Edward I’s henchmen was described of being of ‘uncommon height’. Of course, this could mean uncommonly short, but another commentator described him as a ‘giant’ and yet another as ‘7ft’.

So I can only conclude – seeing as the evidence points that way – the man executed by Edward I’s minions was not, in fact, William Wallace but a stunt double. Stunt doubles were used very rarely, according to the documentary, as most actors – sorry – historical heroes tended to do their own stunts.

However, it seems that Wallace wasn’t keen on the beheading scene of his execution, so he chose one of his fans to take part in this part of his life – and fled to the Continent, parting from Isabelle with the oft-used phrase; ‘I’ll be back’.

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William Wallace’s stunt double, executed in 1305

So, now we have 2 possible survivors of horrific deaths – and 2 possible fathers for Edward III. Having finished watching the documentary I decided to go back over the evidence.

I stopped at the name of Edward’s father, the one he was using in Koblenz; William le Galeys. This has been translated as William the Welshman and, seeing as Edward II was born in Caernarvon, it was obviously deciphered as referring to him. However, there is one problem with this assumption.

Edward II’s name was not William – and Edward II was not Welsh. As the Duke of Wellington is famously quoted as saying ‘just because you are born in a stable, it does not make you a horse’.

And this is when I had my ‘lightbulb moment’.

William le Galeys sounds an awful lot like William Wallace, if you say it fast enough. This was obviously a mis-transcription, much like the fact that we have spent 2 millennia calling Boudicca, the Queen of the Iceni, Boadicea.

So, William Wallace was, in fact, the man who walked into the audience chamber of Edward III in Koblenz and said to the king, in a rather breathy voice:

“Edward, I am your father.”

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Jeff R Sun is now going to sit in the back garden and relax, before deciding which historical myth to dispel next.

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Sources: Braveheart by Professor Melvin Gibson; Star Wars Episode V, The Empire Strikes Back by Dr Vader; Wikipedia; The Life and Times of Edward III by Paul Johnson; Terminator by Arnold Schwarzenegger; Monarchy, a novel by Dr David Snarkey; Wellington by Lady Elizabeth Longford

Pictures courtesy of Wikipedia

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William Wallace and Brave Heart (with a peep at Quantum Mechanics)

 

Since Mrs JJ flounced off at the end of last year and went to stay with her mother, I have found something wonderful. I have complete and absolute unilateral control of the television remote control and no longer have to be subjected to hour after hour of repeats of repeats of repeats of QI or never ending programmes about women giving birth.

I sat down one night with a glass of homemade Elderflower Cordial that Mrs JJ had left in

thriftyliving. net
Home madeelderflower cordial: thriftyliving. net

the pantry and despite this cordial being maybe 110% proof (how did she do that?) I flicked through the channels on the TV, finding a film called Braveheart was just starting.

It is a film that I have never seen, to the incredulous amazement of my fellow Jeffs, but after fetching a plate of cheese and pickled gherkins I sat down to watch with enjoyment as Mel Gibson, cast as a fictitious character called William Wallace, swash buckled his way through the scenes.

Feeling mellow I reflected how similar this film was to the life of real person in history with a similar name and wondered why this should be.

Mel Gibson wearing makeup that is meant to look like woad.
Mel Gibson wearing makeup that meant to look like woad.

For days I hunted through articles and journals and even took a trip to Rome to hunt for clues to this strange matter. It was in Rome, most glorious and historic of cities, that I found the answer, an answer so strange as to defy belief but believe it I must. I have seen the evidence. I have the photo copies and now you will have the story.

Braveheart is a 1995 epic historic fantasy film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson plays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England. Except for the actual existence of a king of that name and regnal number and a war of that name, the whole of the plot is made up. (Scots are not made up of course and did exist in Mediaeval times and still exist today. My cousin Jeff’s wife is a Scot.)

Uilliam Uallas, however, was a mild mannered, scholarly land owner in Scotland who was born about 1270. As a child he liked pressing wild flowers and catching butterflies with his mother’s hessian hair net, but he longed to be more manly and masculine to attract the attention of the sweetest girl he had ever seen. This was not to be however, as after his father’s death he was sent to live with his uncle and continued his education in Rome.

It was while in Rome that Uilliam met the Medici family through a contact of his Uncle and lodged with them until his return to Scotland around 1291. He stayed mostly at their estate at Mugello, just 37 km from Florence and a day’s jaunt away from their town house in Rome. By road now the journey takes about four and a half hours but in baking summer sun it seems longer than a day and certainly no jaunt, particularly when undertaken with a car sick Mrs JJ and two small people in the back seat.

Uilliam’s greatest friend there was Salvestro de’ Medici, son of Averardo, who interestingly are cited as being the possible 18th and 19th great grandfathers of Princess Di. Salvestro was a young man fascinated in what we today would describe as physics or physical science but then was described as natural philosophy.

The Medici’s were up an up and coming yuppy family, famous for pickling gherkins, and although they were initially considered very nouveau riche and crass, their patronizing of artists and natural philosophers made them more acceptable among the old money; it also kept them abreast of the latest in ‘scientific’ experiments and gadgets. Among the papers in the family archives are Salvestro’s designs for what we would later describe as a helicopter and scuba diving equipment, designs that later would be reworked and credited to Leonardo da Vinci.

Also among the family papers are pages and pages of equations and one is amazing.

E = mc²

along with margin notes in Salvestro’s writing saying in Mediaeval Italian: time travel is possible, at least in one direction.

Physics is not my strong point so I Googled time travel and came up up this page http://timetravelphilosophy.net/topics/relativity/

The page claims conclusively that Time Travel in both directions is possible, not only possible but probable! and consistent with the theory of relativity.

And Salvestro knew this and would have told his friend Uilliam who was desperate to be a manly man to woo the girl he loved (manly men were in big demand then*) and didn’t know how to go about it.

A third page article that I found online in the Cornish Guardian dated December 1995 gives the rest of the story.

Double History. Cornish guardian spoof.

So piecing together all of this evidence, it is clear that Uilliam time travelled forward to 1995, watched a fantasy film, thought ‘I can do that’, went back to Rome and spent hours weight training until he resembled the swash buckling hero of the movie, grew his hair long and didn’t shave too often and then journeyed back to his lands in Scotland….and the rest, as they say, is history.

Uilliam Uallas is better known of course by the modern spelling of William Wallace and is commemorated in Blind Harry’s epic poem The Actes and Deidis of the Illustre and Vallyeant Campioun Schir William Wallace.

The opening lines of The Wallace

Our antecessowris that we suld of reide, And hald in mynde thar nobille worthi deid, We lat ourslide throu verray sleuthfulnes, And castis us ever till uther besynes. Till honour ennymyis is our haile entent, It has beyne seyne in thir tymys bywent. Our ald ennemys cummyn of Saxonys blud, That nevyr yeit to Scotland wald do gud, But ever on fors and contrar haile thar will, Quhow gret kyndnes thar has beyne kyth thaim till. It is weyle knawyne on mony divers syde, How they haff wrocht in to thar mychty pryde, To hald Scotland at undyr evermar, Bot God abuff has maid thar mycht to par. Yhit we suld thynk one our bearis befor, Of that parablys as now I say no mor. We reide of ane rycht famous of renowne, Of worthi blude that ryngis in this regioune, And hensfurth I will my proces hald, Of Wilyham Wallas yhe haf hard beyne tald.

(Auto correct went slightly insane whilst typing that. Auto correct is currently under sedation in a darkened room and ‘hops two bee buck son’)

And that is the end of my tale, until Wallace comes again from the past, or will it be the future, or can he indeed do that at all now he has been hung, drawn and quartered not to mention castrated?

No! I said NOT to mention castrated!

Watch this space.

* Jeff Jefferty Jeff considers himself manly man, though maybe a little inclined to chubbiness. He is currently separated and looking for a suitable woman for friendship and to share his interests. Knowledge of how to use a tin opener and microwave is essential.

Sources:

Cornish Guardian newspaper online

Brave heart- film

Microwave cookery for one: Belinda Bellend

The Medicis: Scrap of old paper I found in Aunt Rose’s trunk

Nat West bank Statement (from the personal collection of Jeff Jefferty Jeff)

How to get a quicky divorce from a flouncing wife: public interest article, the Guardian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Jeff Jefferty Jeff February 2015