Wallace at the End


At the execution of William Wallace, the dying
patriot found comfort in the Psalter, which had
been the companion of his adventurous wanderings.
Betrayed to the English by the " fause Menteith," tried
for treason in Westminster Hall, he was executed at
West Smith field (August 23rd, 1305) with all the
barbarities of the age. As he stood on the scaffold,
in the midst of the instruments for his torture, he
begged Lord Clifford to restore to him the Psalter,
which had been taken from him at his capture. The
prayer was granted. Unable to hold the book in his
chained hands, he asked a priest to keep it open for
him, and, as he hung from the gallows, he continued
to look on it with love and devotion. After he was
taken down and, still alive and sensible, disembowelled,
his eyes remained fixed upon the Psalter, until they
closed in death.

(Taken from "The Psalms in Human Life" by Rowland Prothero, 1852-1937)

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