Recently i spoke to an American freind and the subject of Braveheart - Mel Gibson came up. My pal spoke glowingly of the incident in the film where the good old Irish changed sides in a pre-arranged ploy. Its simply not true, this was inserted with poetic licence to "sell" the film to the Irish American population.
In fact this did happen in an ancient battle against the English but it was the Welsh, not the Irish.
Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr routed the english at the battle of Bryn Glas (check it out on wikededia) in 1402 and part of the plan involved Welsh mercenary bowmen in the English army changing sides. As Glyndwr attacked with bowmen from the front, his army also attacked from the side. As the English turned, they were faced with the Welsh mercenaries who simply loosed their arrows on the English army they had supposedly turned up with to assist.
Mel Gibson took a great true story and adapted it to suit a film that made the Scottish look like mighty warriors when in fact, the Scottish only ever fought for whomever their landlord told them to. There was no real sense of Scotland the Brave, it is a cute little myth.
In fact, the much smaller country of Wales dominated the Island for many years and Welsh was actually spoken in West Scotland only 400 years ago. Glasgow, Perth and Aberdeen to name a few, are all Welsh names.
Edward nearly bankrupt the English throne spending all the money on castles to subdue the Welsh and Wales still has more castles per square mile than any country on earth.
The reason the Union between Scotland and England was formed was because Edward did not have the funds to raise an army, and had no choice in the end. Effectively, Wales saved Scotlands bacon.
Isnt History wonderful - someone should do an epic about Owain Glyndwr - a real hero!
there, some clarity lol
Braveheart - the truth
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