Friday, March 5, 2010

The Sword of William Wallace

When most people think of an object closely associated with Scotland's great patriot, they think of his famous sword. But his greatest treasure was in fact a sword of another kind (Eph. 6.17; Heb. 4.12). When Sir William Wallace was a boy, a Psalter was given to him, perhaps by his mother or uncle. It was his constant companion throughout his life and a solace to him in the midst of great hardships. When he was executed at the Elms at Smithfield on August 23, 1305, he requested that the very same Psalter, which had been taken away from him, be held in front of his face by a priest until he expired. He beheld the Psalter even after being disemboweled. The Psalter, which was among his earliest possessions, was also his very last earthly possession, and the last thing he saw as he left this world and entered the next. Like Augustine, who had the penitential psalms inscribed and posted on the walls around his deathbed, or our Lord Jesus, who quoted the psalms while hanging on the cross, the Psalter brought comfort to Scotland's greatest patriot, not only during his final hour on earth, but throughout his heroic life. An epitome of the Bible, the Psalter was, for William Wallace, the sword upon which he most depended.

In the words of his poetic biographer, Blind Harry the minstrel:

Wallace about him, from his childhood, kept,
Where'er he went, whether he walked or slept,
A psalter book, where he beseech'd a knight,
Lord Clifford, might be brought unto his sight.
Which done, he caus'd a priest upon the place,
To hold it open straight before his face,
On which he look'd, sometimes his eyes up cast,
Religiously unto his very last.


  1. A great history snippet! The sword of the Lord, our strength and comfort throughout this life.
    Loved to read this post today. Thanks Andrew.

  2. Aha - the Sword of the Lord. What a great companion for each and every one of us. Thank you for sharing. :D

    Have a wonderful weekend,
    Jillian ♥

  3. Wonderful. Thanks for sharing. It is things like this that make history come alive.

  4. You are all very welcome. Thank you so much for your encouraging feedback. God bless each of you.