Sir William Wallace

Sir William Wallace

[wol-is, waw-lis]
Wallace, Sir William, 1272?-1305, Scottish soldier and national hero. The first historical record of Wallace's activities concerns the burning of Lanark by Wallace and 30 men in May, 1297, and the slaying of the English sheriff, one of those whom Edward I of England had installed in his attempt to make good his claim to overlordship of Scotland. After the burning of Lanark many joined Wallace's forces, and under his leadership a disciplined army was evolved. Wallace marched on Scone and met an English force of more than 50,000 before Stirling Castle in Sept., 1297. The English, trying to cross a narrow bridge over the Forth River, were killed as they crossed, and their army was routed. Wallace crossed the border and laid waste several counties in the North of England. In December he returned to Scotland and for a short time acted as guardian of the realm for the imprisoned king, John de Baliol. In July, 1298, Edward defeated Wallace and his army at Falkirk, and forced him to retreat northward. His prestige lost, Wallace went to France in 1299 to seek the aid of King Philip IV, and he possibly went on to Rome. He is heard of again fighting in Scotland in 1304, but there was a price on his head, and in 1305 he was captured by Sir John de Menteith. He was taken to London in Aug., 1305, declared guilty of treason, and executed. The best-known source for the life of Wallace is a long romantic poem attributed to Blind Harry, written in the 15th cent.

See biography by J. Fergusson (1938, rev. ed. 1948).

The Sir William Wallace Hotel is an historic pub in the suburb of Balmain in the inner-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia.

The pub is one of a number of buildings which formed an integral part of the shipbuilding and industrial history of the local area.


The pub is named after Sir William Wallace, the famous 13th century knight and Scottish patriot, although the reasons for choosing the name are not known. The close proximity to Mort's Dock and later Balmain Colliery ensured early patronage. The pub is now frequented by locals to whom it is affectionately known as the "Willie Wallace" or "Willie Wallie".

A mural depicting pub life, complete with regular patrons, was painted on an internal wall in 1990. The mural contains an image of actor Mel Gibson who provided perhaps the best known account of the life of William Wallace in the 1995 film Braveheart. A signed poster from the film also hangs on the wall in the main bar.


The pub is a heritage-listed building of local significance built in the Victorian Filligree style. It is a two storeyed corner hotel with a panelled lace upper verandah, timber posts to street and iron lace ballustrades. It is a rare example of a hotel still in its original state.

Use as a filming location

  • The pub was used as the location for the 1975 Australian film Caddie, starring Helen Morse and Jack Thompson.
  • It is held by the locals and staff that some of the 2001 film Balmain Boys was filmed in the pub and also at number 34 across the road.
  • In 2001, the hotel was used as a location for an episode of the UK series The Bill.


  • Davidson, B; Hamey, K; Nicholls, D; Called To The Bar - 150 Years of pubs in Balmain & Rozelle, The Balmain Association, 1991, ISBN 0-9599502-6-5.
  • Nicholls, D; Baglin, D; Clarke, G; Around Balmain, The Balmain Association, 1986, ISBN 0-9599502-5-7.

External links

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