BraveHeart – The 10 historical inaccuracies you need to know before watching the movie

The 1995 movie, BraveHeart, is a cinematic master-piece. A multiple Oscar winner, an awe-inspiring cinematic portrayal of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace and his greatest accomplishments. It’s also an extremely historically inaccurate film, but that doesn’t devalue it as a cinematic achievement. Star and director Mel Gibson himself notes that the film is a “historical fantasy” and shouldn’t be taken as the accurate portrayal of Wallace’s life.

Here is a list of the most important historical inaccuracies that people should be aware of before watching the movie. This is intended to enhance one’s enjoyment of the film and not berate it and its makers.

Error #1: William Wallace’s origins

Although Gibson can be excused on a lot of inaccuracies relating to Wallace’s early life on the basis that his pre-military life and career is not well documented, many historians may take offense to how Wee William is depicted in the film. The movie gives off the image of William being born to poverty and living the simple life of a farmer before being taken under the care of his uncle Argyle, when his father dies fighting the English.

In actuality, most historians believe Wallace was born to the Scottish aristocracy and was already a knight by the time of the Battle of Stirling (and wasn’t knighted afterwards like the movie suggests). But again, no actual historical texts say one way or another, so Gibson could be just as right as the historians as far as we know.

As an added side-note: Wallace’s wife was called Marian, not Murron. Gibson changed the name because he wanted to avoid the audience confusing her with Maid Marian from Robin Hood.

Error #2: Wardrobe incongruities

There are two major wardrobe related errors in the film. Probably the most discussed and well-known is the portrayal of Scots wearing kilts in the 13th century. In actuality, kilts did not become a popular form of men’s wear until well into the 17th century, which means that the film’s portrayal can be considered grossly inaccurate. However, there might be a legitimate cinematic reason for it which I’ll get to in a bit.

Another inaccuracy is the fact that the English soldiers are shown wearing uniforms while such was not in fact the custom in Wallace’s age. Martial dress code didn’t become a norm in England until the 17th century. In the age of Wallace, soldiers would wear pretty much anything they could get their hands on (as most were so poor they didn’t have two coins to rub together). Aristocratic knights did wear suits of armour head-to-toe, but the only insignia they would wear was frequently their family coat of arms which ensured that if they were captured alive, they would still have a chance of returning home once their family paid their ransom.

What can be seen both on the Scottish and English side of this wardrobe malfunction is a “uniformalization” of both sides. This is done for the audience’s convenience so that during the big battle scenes we can tell who’s who, without having to listen to who’s dying with a RP and who with a Highlands accent.

Error #3: Primae Noctis may have not really existed

The first night or Primae Noctis is apparently considered by most historians as a bit of a historical urban myth. There’s plenty of writings that allude to it, but very little scholarly evidence that it was ever actually used by any rulers anywhere. Certainly, during Wallace’s time, Primae Noctis was never used by Edward Longshanks (that actually was his nickname) to piss off the Scots.

However, BraveHeart is neither the first nor the last movie to have adapted Primae Noctis as a story-device and we can definitely see why it’s used in the film. It certainly sounds like the sort of debauch stuff that the high and mighty of the 13th century might have done but the ugly fact may be that it’s actually mere fiction.

Error #4: The Scots didn’t paint their faces for battle

At least they no longer did by the time of Wallace. What Gibson was obviously alluding to is the Scottish Picts’ tradition of painting their faces blue to scare off those pansies, the Romans, from their lands. Of course, Emperor Adrian would have nothing of it and built a wall to keep those evil buggers from sacking the rest of Britain while the sandal-folk still ruled the scene.

The blue face-paint is so iconic, though, you couldn’t imagine BraveHeart without it. These days of course the tradition is to paint the flag of Scotland (a white X across with blue sides) for sporting events.

Error#5: The Battle of Stirling… Bridge?

Probably the most glaring error in the entire film is the absence of the proverbial “Bridge” at the Battle of Stirling. This is an error that, Gibson admits, was done to make the battle more cinematically appealing.

In the actual Battle of Stirling, the English had to cross a bridge in order to attack the Scottish on the other side. The Stirling Bridge was badly built and very small, only allowing three cavalrymen to cross at a time. Wallace’s troops achieved victory by waiting for the English to cross and killing them immediately as they made it to the other side. The Scots achieved a brutal victory against a far larger force and the battle was a turning point in the Scottish War for independence.

In the movie, the Scots build large pikes to counter the heavy cavalry while their own cavalry rides behind the English and takes out their archers. The film’s premise of the heavy cavalry as unstoppable juggernauts on the battlefield is grounded in actual historical fact, so while the battle may not be accurate even in the loosest definition, it is at least historically plausible.

Error #6:  Isabelle of France never met William Wallace

Isabelle of France was Prince Edward’s fiance, but at the time of William Wallace’s military escapades, she was a mere four years old and therefore couldn’t have physically met or been in contact with Wallace (even though Wallace had travelled to France during the war to ask for assistance against the English).

This obviously means that everything she does in the film, help Wallace by informing him of the English Army’s movements, the affair and giving him pain-numbing medicine before his execution did not happen.

A more glaring incongruity might be that French was widely spoken in the English court even around the time of Wallace, which means that Isabelle and her handmaiden’s secret conversations in French, wouldn’t really have been very secret at all.

Poor Phillip never even saw it coming.

Error #7: Phillip was never defenestrated

Prince Edward’s gay lover in the film, Phillip, is most likely intended to be Edward II’s actual military advisor Sir Phillip de Mowbray. In this case, Phillip was never thrown out of any castle windows but in fact lived well beyond Edward I’s death.

The film’s depiction of Prince Edward II as a bisexual may not be entirely inaccurate, though it bares noting that he did have as many as five children. Edward was however, an ineffectual King which is why he was deposed at the end of his reign. It’s also unclear if Edward actually was in a homosexual relationship with Phillip de Mowbray, but the point is, as feared and crazy as his father may have been, he never threw the fag* out the window.

(* For the clueless, fag in Brit-talk also means a cigarette.)

Error #8: The Battle of Falkirk

Now, obviously the battle of Falkirk didn’t go down quite the way it’s depicted in the film. Edward I was actually present and he was known for using Irish and Welsh conscripts, but at no point did the Scots and Irish stop in the middle of the battle to shake hands and make nice.

The most overlooked aspect of the Falkirk battle is that while it was the first massive military blow for Wallace and the Scots (as depicted in the film) the actual reason for the Scot’s defeat is never mentioned in the film. Edward wasn’t quite as cold-blooded as in the film, telling the archers to fire blindly into the mêlée of Scots and English. But it was the Welsh archers, armed with the latest and most high-tech weaponry, the long bow, that won the battle for the English. They were able to fire from distances far greater than the Scottish archers, some of whom actually used slingshots rather than bows.

Error #9: Robert the Bruce never betrayed Wallace

Robert the 17th Bruce was one of the many people during the Scottish War of Independence who was trying to claim the throne of Scotland for himself. While during the early days of Wallace’s military campaign, he did publicly disown him, he secretly and later publicly supported him and his war effort. So, his supposed portrayal at the Battle of Falkirk is just some more cinematic fancy rather than actual historical fact.

However, otherwise Robert the Bruce is very accurately depicted within the film. Wallace did support Robert the Bruce for the throne and Bruce’s father (Robert the 16th Bruce) did suffer from leprosy, which is why he couldn’t make a claim for the throne (but he did not engineer Wallace’s capture as depicted in the film).

The most notable fact of all is that the name “Brave Heart” actually refers to Robert the Bruce and not William Wallace. After his death, Robert’s heart was literally carried into battle, giving birth to the nickname.

Error #10: Hanged, drawn and quartered

Wallace’s execution in the film, while not entirely inaccurate, is considerably tamed from what was actually done to him. Like many other famous traitors he was Hanged, Drawn and Quartered: a five stage punishment where a person was hanged, cut open to expose his intestines, castrated, chopped into pieces and finally beheaded. Before the execution Wallace was stripped naked and pulled around town by horse-carriage by a rope around his ankles and after the execution dipped in tar.

The film makes note of how Wallace’s body parts and head were put up for public display and sent to “the four corners of England”. This is historically accurate.

What we see in the film is a toned down version of the Hanged, Drawn and Quartered punishment. Wallace is shown hanged and stretched, and though not explicitly shown, it’s indicated that his intestines are taken out. The slicing and castration bits are left out and instead Wallace is beheaded after he screams “Freedom!” one last time. In actuality, Wallace’s last words are unknown.

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About thehande
I'm an amateur voice-actor, animator and writer. I plan to become an English or Geography teacher in the future. My main interests include animation (both American and Japanese), movies and video-games.

92 Responses to BraveHeart – The 10 historical inaccuracies you need to know before watching the movie

  1. boovis says:

    It would be nice if the film actually portrayed humans as they are: some nice on some side, some evil on the other. History is a point of view and to portray the English as pure evil types and the Irish and Scottish as lovely farmy huggy country types is idiotic at best, propaganda at worst.

    • James says:

      yep…..Boovis. Pure Racism to me!

      • Morrigan says:

        To be fair, not racism but nationalism. and, er, while the Scots and Irish have never been free of evil (nor have any people) you have to admit the real history of treatment at the hands of the English (not really covered in the film) as at the time pretty damn awful. And to be fair, it doesn’t depict the common Brits, really just the people in power trying to subjugate another nation…pretty much a good definition of a type of evil.

    • Brent says:

      Weren’t the English power hungry? Why is it over the course of history that England found it necessary to “take over” or “control” so many other countries. I’d really just like to know.

      • An interested observer says:

        Err, the Scots actually came over and colinised Western Scotland from Ireland…

    • Steve says:

      History is a point of view? That statement is utter nonsense.
      History is fact. Whether it is recounted factually is another is thing, but point of view??

      • Ralph Siegler says:

        but most we have of history is written or recorded points of view. the old saying, ” history is written by the winners” also worth pondering

      • William says:

        History is only written by the victors. therefore it is a point of view. the point of view comes from those who win.

  2. mike burns says:

    Did Wallace capture York? He does in the film . . . lol

    • Dan Morgan says:

      never captured York, and I don’t believe he ever tried, but I have seen at least one source suggest that his (Wallace’s) army was close to York at some point.

      • Allan Sutherland says:

        It’s a film man, he also did not meet or have sexual encounters with the 6 year old Princess of Wales played by Sophie Marceau.

    • If he does in the film well then obviously he does it so why ask a question that youv’e already answered for yourself that’s just dumb.

  3. John Mepham says:

    Delighted to read this analysis of Braveheart’s inaccuracies. Could you do the same for “The Patriot?” It’s time Hollywood stopped insulting the British and English.

    • CHRISTIAN ALDUNATE HERNANDEZ says:

      I THINK IT’S TIME FOR YOU TO TAKE A LOOK INTO YOURSELF,THE ONES THAT HAVEN’T TAKEN CONCIENCE YET OF WHAT THE BRITISH DID!!,DON’T YOU BELIEVE YOU CAN’T CONTINUE HIDING YOUR MISSES????,AND BLAMING OTHERS,BLAMING ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF ALL TIME,A R E A L M A R T E R W O R K!!!!!,AND IF THE STORY HAS BEEN MODIFIED SOMEHOW,IS THE RIGHT AND OF THE DIRECTOR AND PRODUCER TO DO IT,OR HAVE DONE IT,DOESN’T MEAN THE FACTS WERE NOT THAT WAY AT ALL!!!!,YOU BRITISH PEOPLE,OR AT LEAST SOME OF YOU HAVE TO REALIZE THAT ONCE FOR ALL.

      • Ralph Siegler says:

        are you saying the British somehow has done more evil things with its colonizing and wars than say the USA or China or in its history?

      • DoubtingTomas says:

        Wow you just gave me a headache! Take the caps lock off!

        Also times were far different back then, whats Americas excuse?

      • Hmmm tell that to the Indian’s you happily committed genocide against, the Chinese you murdered to build your railroads and the Black people you enslaved and segregated for years after slavery was removed. Also you might what to give a honorable mention to Vietnamese you used chemical weapons against. My point is your no more innocent or guilty any other country in fact in some cases your worse because your willing to rewrite your history and take no responsibility for it

      • Robert says:

        Racist nonsense – If you were right then why the need to twist everything so incredibly. The whole world were nasty a thousand years ago. We were just cleverer and stronger, partly because as an island we had been invaded for centuries by all the cleverest and strongest peoples in the world and the all bred here. Anyway Mr Angry, it’s got nothing to do with anyone living so grow up and stop YOUR CAPital LETTER HATRED and go get some swords. By the way I’m part Scot and part English and your just jealous ;-)

      • William says:

        in response to ralph and doubtingthomas.
        America is a fairly young country so instead of focusing on the mistakes we have made focus on the successes. and the successess to come. In just a short time We became one of h worlds largest economic powers. also in a very short time we had become a large military power. without the USA there would not have been Lightbulbs, Cars, Air conditioning, Advanced wepons, Penicilin, the Polio Vaccine. With out america Cuba, Guam, and The philippines would still be under Imperial Spanish Control. France would be speaking German as well. Plus when America was first started we beat the WORLDS LARGEST MILITARY FORCE….. TWICE!!!!!!! So next time you open your mouth to criticize America I would Think twice if I were you.
        Sincerely,
        A Patriot

      • Primo Escobar says:

        In reply to William:

        Penicillin – Discovered by Alexander Fleming, Scottish
        Modern Car – Karl Benz, German in 1886
        Lightbulb – Sir Joseph Wilson Swan, British, although developed later by Edison.

        Maybe before you praise America’s contribution to the world you can at least get your facts straight. Three pretty major landmarks in human history.

    • yves says:

      But if the British and the English did in fact commit those atrocities against the people portrayed in The Patriot and against the Scottish, then the truth needs to be told. The truth is, that the British and English did commit these crimes against these countries just because they were greedy and wanted land and power against every other country. The British and English of today are not being criticized, only those in history who committed the crimes against almost every country because of their greed.

      • Mike says:

        But they didn’t that’s this whole point. Thank you for raising the Patriot also, more nonsense from Mel Gibson. The church incident never happened. The Mel Gibson character is mainly based on Francis Marion a man who killed Indians for fun and raped his
        own slaves. Do not try and learn history or truth from Hollywood who love making out English and British characters out as the baddies. Land and power! What do you think American settlers did and wanted from the Indians, land and power, and they got it. Massacres, land grab, rape murder……

      • Agatha says:

        There is an excellent series from the “Open University’ (thank you BBC) which gets rid of the myths and made that aim clear in the first episode It is presented by Neil Oliver.

  4. jack J says:

    A Hollywood film that was far fetched?

    Never. Next thing you’ll be telling us that Luke Skywalker didn’t really live a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.

    • thehande says:

      People rarely seem to understand that biopics are full of simplifications and fictionalised elements, that’s to make it a better movie. BraveHeart is a really good movie, but I thought it would be interesting to point out the most glaring oversights/errors in the film’s interpretation of William Wallace for the benefit of enjoying the movie better.

    • J. R. Tomlin says:

      To the best of my knowledge no one thinks Star Wars is based on a historical character. Braveheart took national heroes such as the Bruce and slandered them.

      • this guy says:

        What? Did you even watch the movie? Robert in the end is the one that stands up against the British and continues Wallace’s dream instead of letting it die with him. How is that slandering him? It portrays Robert’s character evolving through the movie, which according to historical facts is somewhat accurate. He originally publicly disowned Wallace and then later supported him, although he may have never set him up for defeat, it adds emphasis to the part where he spares him after Falkrik and eventually leads Scotland to freedom.

    • Scott and karen says:

      Great answer! Giggling along with you in Montana! Thanks for making our day!

  5. Allan Sutherland says:

    The kilt as descrided above may not have become popular until the 17th centuary but the garments we wore were actually a representation of the plaid or feilidh mor, the precursor to the kilt and from which the kilt is only a smaller part of, Scots and Picts before them including Irish also have worn flat pieces of fabric folded and pleated into various forms of dress since before records began, even the Romans had togas pre-dating any thing such as breeks or trousers as do most native cultures going as far back as cavemen wrapping themsleves in animal hides. We demonstrated plaids as worn to the folk responsible for the costuming but photos taken of the plaid on a person and some costume short cuts led to the sort of kilt like apparel we are wearing in the film.

    • Yes, while I’m the first to both celebrate Braveheart as a piece of entertainment, but also acknowledge how ragingly inaccurate it is historically, the Scots’ dress is actually NOT one of those points. The kilts to which you are referring (current incarnation of kilts with buckles, pleating & structure only encompassing the skirt) were indeed invented later. However, that is because the wrapped tartan garment like you see in Braveheart became a liability during the industrial revolution – many highland scots would migrate to the factories to make money & their tartans would become entangled in the machines, halting production & often injuring or killing the Scot. Kilts were designed to allow Scots to continue wearing their tartans, but in such a way that it wouldn’t so easily get caught in the machines. So while you are not wrong that kilts were invented later, what we see in the movie are not in fact KILTS. They are the wrapped tartan garments that pre-dated kilts.

      • Allan Sutherland says:

        Trust me I was there on the film and still have the outfit I wore during filming, we also helped to advise the film-makers on what would be historically accurate dress and what we got to wear was a kilt with an extra piece on the short edge so as to mock up what is more commonly referred to as a plaid or feilidh mor, the camera lies quite convincingly and what you see looks like a plaid but it is not, the garment we had was approx 15-20 feet long but only about 3 feet wide. The kilt was indeed created much later but some time before the industrial revolution probably during the Victorian period and a revival of Scottishness as envisioned by that monarch and her court at that time.

      • Ah, interesting behind the scenes insight! When I was doing my sociology degree Edinburgh Uni, the professor said kilts as they are commonly known now were invented the way I said, but then I also don’t claim to be an expert. I left sociology & became a photographer… So I am definitely aware of camera tricks!

      • Allan Sutherland says:

        For sure, the camera lies like a seasoned politician looking to boost his expenses, I’m also not an expert on these things but having worn plaids and other historical costume for almost 20 years now I know how to see though much of what the camera is hiding, on Rob Roy (filmed the same year) I had a proper plaid to wear but it was sewn in at the pleats rather than pleated for use at the moment of dressing which made for quick costume dressing especially with the extras who had never worn a real plaid previously.

    • laochri says:

      The problem with William Wallace wearing a feileadh mor, is the fact he was from Ellerslie, Ayrshire. That would make him a lowlander, and lowlanders didn’t wear Kilts (feileadh mor). Evan his Great Sword is similar to a Lowland Cross Sword.

      • J. R. Tomlin says:

        And even had he worn a feileadh mor (and even those dated later than the 1290s) he would have worn it CORRECTLY. The ones in the movie were very obviously incorrectly draped.

      • laochri says:

        J. R. Tomlin “And even had he worn a feileadh mor (and even those dated later than the 1290s) he would have worn it CORRECTLY. The ones in the movie were very obviously incorrectly draped.”

        How do you figure? The Feileadh mor was worn the way the person wanted to. There was no set way to adorn it.

  6. Simon says:

    Threw the “fag” out the window? Really?

  7. im says:

    That piece of writing was rubbish.

    To quote just the first part of your anti scottish rant:-
    “But again, no actual historical texts say one way or another, so Gibson could be just as right as the historians as far as we know.”

    Why number it as a historical ‘innacuracy’ then?

    Also your homophic use of the word ‘fag’ for a person of homosexual orientation proves right away what an arrogant, unlearned individual you are.

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  9. cjr8888 says:

    Having just plucked up the courage to suffer ‘Braveheart’ from start to finish for the first time, I can say that my worst fears were realised. Far from the10 inaccuracies, there are so many made up elements that this is a historical fantasy.

    I do not agree that to make a good film we need to invent or distort history.

    Rob Roy too is a film made to distort history so that an American audience can feel good about some fantastical Celtic ancestry, while joining in the trendy English hating.

    Even Neil Jordan’s mostly accurate ‘Michael Collins’ exaggerates the horrible truth of the first “Bloody Sunday” and implies that Collins’ political opponent Eamon De Valera was behind the subject’s assassination. Firstly, the truth is bad enough without exaggerating and secondly rumours should not be portrayed as fact.

    It is unethical to change history in films because many people simply believe that what they see in them is historical fact and this is dangerous, even in a modern supposedly enlightened world, as it feeds bigotry and changes perceptions.

    • laochri says:

      There is no “trendy English hating” in the US. We hate The British for our own reasons. Today is the Fourth of July, a day of celebrating our independence form the British. Although, that was 237 yrs. ago, I think the hatred has subside.

      What are some examples of Rob Roy distorting history.

      • J. R. Tomlin says:

        I don’t know about Rob Roy (I’ve heard it’s inaccurate but refuse to see it) but Gibson did a brilliant job of fucking up Wallace. Almost nothing in it was correct, not the costumes, not the battles, not the characterisations and if anything the movie was anti-Scottish with it’s outright lies about the Bruce.

    • Remember that history is always written by the more powerful side. History itself is distorted

      • yves says:

        So what? it was a great movie to watch. What’s the big deal? It was made for entertainment, not as a history a lesson. If you want a lesson in the history of William Wallce’s true story, buy the book or borrow it from the library. But stop criticizing Mel Gibson, Braveheart is a great movie!!! I actually loved it and I am very familiar with the history of King Edward i, William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.

  10. Stamford Raffles says:

    Those who love the truth and Britain need a stiff brandy before watching it obviously. I won’t buy it and put money into the hands of those who made it.

  11. Starn87 says:

    Wallace isn’t recorded as having a wife at all, she was added into the story hundreds of years later buy an enterprising family who wanted to add their ancestors to a story that was getting re-invented during another period of warfare with the English.

    Plaid fabrics were probably being produced in Scotland (as well as various other places around Europe) from pre-roman times but there were no clan tartans or recognized plaids until the mid 1500′s at the earliest, which is also when the earliest version of the wrapped “great kilts” even begin to appear. Before that even in the highlands clothing was no different from the rest of Europe, except for maybe being old fashioned or out of touch. The blue paint comes from one reference from Tacitus talks about the Celts of Europe not the Picts who were seperate peoples entirely. If anything the yellow coloured tunics were the thing most likely to represent warlike intent amongst the medieval Scots.

    There is almost nothing historically accurate about braveheart. The story of the film is based on a patriotic poem written 200 years after the events rather than on any thing that really happened.

    And all of that aside, I don’t even think it was a good movie.

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  15. TruthSeeker says:

    Mel Gibson hates all things English. His movies The Patriot and Braveheart are based on lies and half-truths, and are sold to the public as historical facts. If these movies told such fictional stories (disguised as true facts) against any other nationality they could be deemed hate crimes. Mr. Gibson has dangerously spread his hatred to a generation of people whose only education of history is what they see as “fact” in the movies. As for the previous comments by “laochri” who claims to hate the British for his own reasons – today being the 4th of July, what a stupid remark for him to make. I, as a Canadian could say that I hate all Americans because last year (2013) was the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 when the American army invaded Canada. Fortunately, Canada with the help of the British were able to put down the invaders.

    • J. R. Tomlin says:

      His lies about the Scots (primitives who wore face paint and were too stupid to comb their hair or wear armor and their greatest hero a traitor) were even those against the English.

    • truthseeker sucks big green donkeydicks says:

      . I, as a Canadian could say that I hate all Americans because last year (2013) was the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 when the American army invaded Canada. Fortunately, Canada with the help of the British were able to put down the invaders.

      Good thing brits was there to help. Canada could never hold any invasion.lmao ,just for your information the people of the USA , hate you not Canadians just you lol!what does Canada have to offer the world? Marijuana. Lmao,crawl back in your hole. You inbred

    • yves says:

      Well because the English have a past history of being very greedy and cruel and were relentless in their cruelty against their adversarys to get what they wanted. You would feel the same way if you were against abuse.

    • William says:

      FUCK YOU truthseeker… USA LIVES ON!!!!!!!!!!

  16. norm says:

    It is wrong to even have a story about William Wallace, without mentioning his “right hand”, Sir John Graham, whom William Wallace carried to his final resting place after his death at Falkirk. These are the facts that you do know, why leave them out. It’s downright offensive to leave out Sir John Graham.

  17. norm says:

    It’s ironic that the motto of the graham clan is “Ne Oublie” (never forget), and yet, Mel Gibson and the writer forgot Sir John Graham. ouch. Half of what is known about William Wallace, is his involvement with Sir John Graham. But, others were forgotten as well…..It’s just oddly offensive to get some details wrong when people died fighting for a cause they believed in.

  18. norm says:

    Andrew Moray and William Wallace pulled off an unbelievable victory at Sterling Bridge, during a FAMINE. But was it a coincidence that the bridge started falling apart? Note that Moray and Wallace did not cross the bridge, they crossed at a ford. Cressingham ignored good advise, and crossed the bridge insted of flanking a smaller force. Stirling Bridge is as much Cressingham’s mistake, who sent troops away, ignored good advise, and refused to offer the compromise the king was willing to make. And Cressingham was a money man. Ouch…an army decision made by an accountant.

  19. norm says:

    interesting times. The king of scotland sons died, his wife died, and then he finds a new wife, but dies trying to get in bed with the young girl. Then she died. Something sounds really fishy here, even before the English decided to try to take Scotland. I suspect The Bruce….

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  21. kim says:

    Mr Gibson is a fantastic movie maker most would agree , however I believe he would not like a film no matter how well made if it was full of lies about his family .

  22. Alan Hay says:

    Braveheart is a film, not a history documentary.

    Of course it’s inaccurate. So what? So is Henry V, Richard III, Lawrence of Arabia…. It’s a story – that’s all.

  23. wendamere says:

    I didn’t understand why, when watching the movie for the first time, I was so disturbed by the story’s portrayal of Robert The Bruce as betraying Wallace…beyond the obvious that is, which is the subject of betrayal in general. Somehow, I took it personally as a gross injustice, and I knew nothing of the real story Then, some months later, I was doing some family genealogy, and found that RTB is a many-generations-removed paternal grandfather. memory? My jaw certainly hit my chest at the discovery. What do you think? Cell memory? To quote older Zachry in “Cloud Atlas,” was it “ancestors yibbering stories” and yelling, “The movie’s not true, not true?” I don’t know.

    But, that said, (I just watched the DVD again last night) Mel Gibson states very clearly in the Special Features interviews, that this movie is an historical fantasy, and he addresses many of the historical inaccuracies this article discusses. Personally, I’ve had no trouble understanding the concept of “poetic license” and/or the “suspension of disbelief” when it comes to movies, so this movie made me curious to research the REAL story. I think it is a good thing to engage our curiosity so that we try to find the truth from multiple sources, don’t you think? Expanding our minds with “truth” is how things like bigotry and racism end.

    Historical documentaries don’t become box office blockbusters…but if a movie gets folks off their iphones and researching truth, I think that a good thing.

    • Soilwork says:

      Very well said. I am no history buff. I thoroughly enjoyed the film. At no point in any movie that I have seen did I believe it to be 100% accurate to what it is based on. It’s just common sense.. It wasn’t until seeing and adoring this film that I wanted to learn what really happened, which brought me to this link.

      Mr Gibsons personal flaws aside, he is or rather was one of the best Directors ever, and a damn good actor!

      As stated many times in the comments, this is just a movie. I understand why some may take offense to the changes, but it’s not purposely done to piss you off.

  24. I’ve read many Wallace books, done much research and I know that Braveheart is full of inaccuracy, but I noticed you made a few as well…

    1. Wallace was knighted after Stirling. Don’t believe me? Read almost every Wallace book out there.

    2. Lots of soldiers from different nations wore tunics with patterns and colours, to help their fellow soldiers recognize them. Many paintings and drawings, from back then show lots of people wearing tunics in battle.

    3. Wallace’s wife was called Marion, not Marian.

    4. Two of Wallace’s pieces were sent to different locations in England, but the other two were sent to Scotland. Perth and Stirling were and still are, a part of Scotland!

    Oh yeah, you made two mistakes about the movie.

    1. The main reason they didn’t film Braveheart on Stirling Bridge is because, people would fall off and they were wearing heavy armor and kilts, so… they might drown.

    2. You keep saying all of the errors are Mel Gibson’s fault although the movie was written by Randall Wallace.

    I know I may sound like an ass, but I had to point out these errors.

  25. Pingback: [Monday] – 2.12.2013. | Džecin blog

  26. Pingback: The Water's Edge » Ten Elections to Watch in 2014

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  29. Fredericka says:

    The rest of this monitor is not as remarkable, and the features are similar to the Acer’s: 5ms response time, DVI and VGA inputs, and still no HDMI. When reading your favorite books, the landscape orientation isn’t the best to use.

  30. Pingback: AT-forløb (EN+HI): Braveheart som historisk kilde | Teaching the Referendum

  31. Francisca says:

    Well, Wolfram – Alpha still does not know much about plywood, disappointingly enough. Currently, inroads have already been made in the use of genetically modified (GM) crops to dramatically increase harvests.

  32. James Davidson says:

    As far as I’m aware, Wallace did not support the Bruce’s claim to the throne. Wallace wanted the Balliol/Comyn family reinstated as rightful King of Scotland.

    Hence the reason Bruce often took the English side against Wallace’s uprising. Bruce defended Carlisle castle against Scottish attack. Bruce would often switch sides or remain neutral.

  33. Nick says:

    In the execution scene, there are clearly machined pulley systems with flathead screws in them (or so it looks to me)….would they have had metal pulley systems of that degree in the 13th century? And what about Williams intricated silk diamond pattern sewn saddle pad? Were there seamstresses in the 13th century capable if that precise of craftsmanship?

    • Soilwork says:

      You have a good eye for detail. That being said, they didn’t have movie cameras and Mel Gibson in the 13th century.. It’s a movie, not a history lesson

  34. Pingback: Is he Right or wrong? - TeakDoor.com - The Thailand Forum

  35. EmmyP says:

    You guys are all a bunch of whiney pansies.
    He said “fag,” wah!
    It makes England look bad, wah!
    The U.S. is worse, wah!

    Thanks for writing the article. I enjoyed it!

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