THE VALIANT SCOT
(date of publication)
a synoptic, alphabetical character list
Beaumont is an English lord who takes part in the campaign against the rebel Scots. He is sent to Wallace's camp with a letter from Clifford and Percy. Unfortunately, his 'guide' turns out to be none other than Wallace in disguise as an injured soldier. Not long after they have set off, Wallace sends Beaumont back to the English camp.
Bolt is Sir Jeffrey's comic clerk. He interrogates Wallace, Mountford and Glascot at the gates of the English camp, where he is fooled by Wallace's disguise and makes friends with him. Later, Bolt and Sir Jeffrey find a trunk full of food and wine washed up on the seashore. Then the shipwrecked Wallace washes up too, and gulls them out of the food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. When he reveals his identity, Bolt and Sir Jeffrey run away. They then return and Bolt kills Haslerig in error for Wallace. When he announces to the King that he has killed Wallace he receives £100, but when he turns out to be mistaken, he saves his life only by amusing the King with his wit. For the rest of the play, he behaves as a jester-like figure for the King.
Clifford and Percy are the leaders of the English army against Wallace and the rebel Scots. When Wallace maims the English ambassadors, Clifford and Percy decide to lure him into a trap, but their plot is foiled easily because Wallace, in disguise, is present while they discuss this. Clifford has great respect for Wallace, and comes to admire him, longing to slay him nobly in single combat. He encourages Robert Bruce to see that the English sneer at him behind his back, and sends him twelve silver pence and a pair of spurs, to suggest that he is a traitor to his country and ought to flee. He then tells Bruce that he must lead the next attack on the English; Bruce confides in him that he is going to defect, but Clifford makes no promise to keep his secret. At the end of the play, Clifford delivers the final speech, praising Bruce for stabbing Coming so that "the ghost of Wallace shall sleep in peace."
Coming and Mentith are supporters of Wallace throughout his campaign. But when, after the battle, they hear of the price on Wallace's head, they ambush him and take him to the English. When Wallace manages to kill Mentith before being taken to execution, Coming expects to receive the bounty. But when Bruce is crowned king, he stabs Coming to death.
A Scottish lord who joins Wallace's revolt.
EARL of HUNTINGDON
One of the titles King Edward offers to Robert Bruce, by which the English often call him. In the end, the King refuses to give him the title, but only because he intends to make him King of Scotland instead.
The English herald at the Scottish camp after the first battle. He tells Mentith and Coming that King Edward has offered ten thousand crowns for Wallace's head.
"Two or three followers" of Grimsby are with him when he takes Wallace to the English camp.
Wallace's foot-boy is murdered offstage by Mentith, who then tells Wallace it was done by Robert Bruce.
Friar Gertrid is a friend of Old Wallace who marries Wallace and Peggie. He, Old Wallace and Peggie are captured by Selby and killed. Later, Friar Gertrid appears as a ghost to Wallace and warns him that he will be killed soon, and that Bruce is his bane.
Associates of Young Selby who guard Peggie when he abducts her.
GENERAL of SCOTLAND
The General of Scotland is the leader of the rebel Scots in the battle with the English. He offends Wallace by making him bring up the rear in the battle. In the battle, he is captured and killed by the English.
Sent by Clifford to give Robert Bruce twelve silver pence and a pair of spurs, to suggest that he is a traitor to his country and ought to flee.
Glascot and Mountford are English ambassadors to Scotland. They order Wallace to submit to Edward and confess himself a traitor. Wallace has Glascot blinded and Mountford's tongue cut out. Then, in disguise, he leads them back to the English camp, where they tell the English commanders what has happened.
A low-ranking but noble English lord who quarrels with the illustrious Percy. Although they make friends, Grimsby desires revenge. He is sent by King Edward to capture Wallace. When Wallace gives himself up to the English commissioners, Grimsby offers to take him to Queen Elinor's camp. But instead, fact he releases Wallace and fights alongside him. In the battle, Grimsby and the General are captured by the English. The text then says he dies alongside the General, this is an error as he reappears later, still supporting Wallace.
An English commissioner who rules Scotland, with Selby and Thorne. He holds the office of Sheriff of Ayre, formerly held by Old Wallace. The commissioners humiliate Old Wallace, forcing him to give up his lands, and they refuse to help Sir John Graham when Young Selby abducts his daughter Peggie. Haslerig is infuriated when Wallace kills Young Selby. He goes to England and warns King Edward that the Scots are rebelling. When he returns to Scotland, Peggie is ordered to be executed unless Wallace gives himself up. Wallace does so, and Peggie is duly exchanged for him, but Wallace is then released by Grimsby, who defects to the Scots. After the massacre at Lavercke, Haslerig stabs the recaptured Peggie to death. Later, after a long period of revolution, Haslerig and Selby are poor and wretched, and Haslrig kills Selby in a fight over some food. He is then killed by Sir Jeffrey and Bolt in mistake for Wallace.
An English lord who fights in the battle against the rebel Scots.
A lord who appears in the English army in one scene; probably an error for 'Hereford.'
KING EDWARD I
King Edward, known as 'Longshanks,' is angered by Grimsby's quarrel with Percy and orders them to make friends. When the Scots rebel, he sends Grimsby to capture Wallace or else "Ruine that stubborne Nation." King Edward fights in the battle against the rebels. Afterwards, he offers a bounty of ten thousand crowns for Wallace's death. Wallace is duly captured by the traitorous Scots Mentith and Coming, and King Edward orders him to be hung drawn and quartered.
The nickname of King Edward I.
A Scottish lord who joins Wallace's revolt.
Mentith and Coming are supporters of Wallace throughout his campaign. But when, after the battle, they hear of the price on Wallace's head, they ambush him and take him to the English. Before he is dragged away to execution, Wallace manages to kill Mentith with his fist.
Mountford and Glascot are English ambassadors to Scotland. They order Wallace to submit to Edward and confess himself a traitor. Wallace has Glascot blinded and Mountford's tongue cut out. Then, in disguise, he leads them back to the English camp, where they tell the English commanders what has happened.
An alternative title for Percy.
Old Wallace was the Sheriff of Ayre before Edward I's invasion; his office is now possessed by Haslerig, and his lands have been surrendered to the English. He warns Wallace that Peggie is going to be executed, and is delighted when Wallace saves Peggie and then marries her. But then he, Friar Gertrid and Peggie are captured by Selby, who stabs Old Wallace to death in revenge for Wallace's murder of his own son. Later, he appears as a ghost to Wallace and frightens him without offering any useful information.
Daughter of Sir John Graham and beloved of Wallace. Peggie is abducted by Young Selby who plans to drag her to a Church and marry her by force. She is saved by the intervention of Wallace who kills Selby, but she is captured by the English commissioners, who sentence her to death unless Wallace gives himself up to them, which he does. She is reunited with Wallace when he escapes capture, and they are married by Friar Gertrid. But then Peggie, Old Wallace and the Friar are captured by Selby when seeking a cave for shelter. She is stabbed to death by Haslerig, but she is able to tell Wallace who killed her before she dies. Later, she appears as a ghost to Wallace, and gives him a riddling warning, "come not near Bruce, yet Bruce shall not hurt thee."
A powerful English lord, sometimes anachronistically referred to as 'Northumberland.' He quarrels with the lower-ranking Grimsby. With Clifford, he is made a leader of the English army against Wallace and the rebel Scots. After Wallace maims the English ambassadors, Clifford and Percy decide to lure Wallace into a trap, but their plan is easily foiled because Wallace, in disguise, is present at their discussion. Percy fights in the climactic battle against the rebel Scots, and, unlike Clifford, has nothing but disdain for Wallace.
The future Edward II is present in the English court scene, but does not speak.
Queen of England. Queen Elinor encourages King Edward to be kinder to the Scots, and makes him agree to punish transgressing officers. She is one of the leaders of the English army against Wallace but contributes nothing more to the action.
Robert Bruce is heir to the throne of Scotland, but resident at the English court. His plea for a discussion of his status is ignored by King Edward, who sends him to levy troops against France. Later, he fights in the battle against the rebel Scots. He meets Wallace in the field, who tells him that he is fighting on the wrong side. To prove this, Wallace suggests that Bruce wash his hands in blood and then see how much respect he gets from the English. Bruce does so, and sure enough the English are dismissive of his prowess. Clifford tells Bruce that the English sneer at him as a traitorous Scot, and then sends him twelve silver pence and a pair of spurs, meaning that he is a traitor to his country and ought to flee. Bruce recognizes his folly, and decides to join with Wallace. But before he can leave, Wallace is brought into the English camp by Mentith and Coming. King Edward then crowns Bruce the King of Scotland and Bruce bends to his command. However, he then stabs Coming to avenge the death of Wallace.
Ruge-Crosse is a Scottish herald who relays messages, and escorts the English herald to Wallace.
Sebastian is a nephew of Queen Elinor. He arrives at the camp of the rebel Scots with the English ambassadors. He is impressed by Wallace, but Wallace has him beheaded.
An English commissioner who rules Scotland, with Haslerig and Thorne. The commissioners humiliate Old Wallace, forcing him to give up his lands, and they refuse to help Sir John Graham when Young Selby abducts his daughter Peggie. Wallace saves Peggie by killing Young Selby. The commissioners capture Peggie and order her to be executed unless Wallace gives himself up. Wallace does so, and Peggie is duly exchanged for him, but Wallace is then released by Grimsby, who defects to the Scots. After the massacre at Lavercke, Selby captures Old Wallace and Peggie as they seek a cave for shelter, and stabs Old Wallace in revenge for the death of his son. Later, after a long period of revolution, Selby is "miserably poor" and suicidal. Wallace meets him and is merciful, but then Haslerig, also wretched, kills him in a fight over some food.
SIR JEFFREY WISEACRES
Sir Jeffrey Wiseacres is a comic justice of the peace (although his comic nature does not emerge until the second half of the play). He is present at all the meetings of the commissioners. After the massacre of Lavercke, he stabs Friar Gertrid to death. Later, he and his clerk, Bolt, find a trunk full of food and wine washed up on the seashore. Then Wallace washes up, too, and gulls them out of the food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. He then reveals his identity and they run away. Sir Jeffrey and Bolt then arrest Haslerig in error for Wallace and Bolt kills him. They are disappointed to miss out on the bounty when they realize their mistake.
SIR JOHN GRAHAM
Sir John Graham is a friend of Wallace and the father of Peggie. He goes to the English commissioners for justice when Young Selby abducts Peggie, but they spurn him. He then spreads rumors that the Scottish rebels have disbanded in order to slow the English troops, and he delivers Wallace, bound to the English commissioners, apparently in exchange for Peggie's life. But later he is able to reunite Peggie with Wallace.
A soldier helps Bruce to disguise him as he prepares to leave the English camp for Wallace.
"Three or four tattered soldiers" governed by Bolt interrogate Wallace, Mountford and Glascot at the gates of the English camp.
The commissioners humiliate Old Wallace, forcing him to give up his lands, and they refuse to help Sir John Graham when Young Selby abducts his daughter Peggie. Wallace saves Peggie by killing Young Selby. The commissioners capture Peggie and order her to be executed unless Wallace gives himself up. Wallace does so, and Peggie is duly exchanged for him, but Wallace is then released by Grimsby, who defects to the Scots.
William Wallace is a fiery Scottish warrior. When Young Selby captures his beloved Peggie, Wallace kills him. Peggie is captured by the English commissioners, who demand that he exchange his life for Peggie's. Wallace agrees, and gives himself up. Grimsby, a secret sympathizer with the Scots, pretends to lead Wallace to the English camp, and then releases him, so that Wallace is reunited with his family and friends. Wallace and Peggie are married, and Wallace then massacres the town of Lavercke in revenge for the English affronts, but disaster strikes when his father and Peggie are murdered by the commissioners. Sebastian, Glascot and Mountford then arrive at his camp as ambassadors from the English. Wallace orders Sebastian to be beheaded, Glascot blinded, Mountford's tongue to be cut out. Then he disguises as a lame Scots soldier loyal to King Edward and leads Mountford and Glascot to the English camp. He uses his disguise to eavesdrop while Clifford and Percy decide to lead Wallace into a trap. He offers to guide the English messenger, Beaumont, to the Scottish camp, but after they have set off, he triumphantly sends Beaumont back to the English with one of his crutches. Later, he is shipwrecked and washed up on a beach, where he gulls Sir Jeffrey Wiseacres and Bolt out of a trunk of food by pretending to be an anonymous Scot. When he reveals his identity they run away. Meeting Selby, who is in a state of wretchedness and does not recognize him, Wallace decides to be merciful rather than kill him. This is a wise decision, as Selby and Haslerig are shortly afterwards killed by other means. During the battle against the English, Wallace is offended when the General of Scotland orders him to bring up the rear. When the English capture the General and Grimsby, Wallace fights off the enemy but is too late to save the General from being killed. He then meets Robert Bruce in the field and tells him he is fighting on the wrong side. They agree to meet him in secret later. After the battle, Wallace is visited by the ghosts of Friar Gertrid, Old Wallace, and Peggie, who warn him against meeting with Bruce. He goes, warily, to his meeting nonetheless, but the traitors Mentith and Coming are lying in wait. They capture him and take him to the English. There, Wallace kills Mentith "with his fist" but he is then ordered by King Edward to be hung, drawn and quartered.
A 'ghost character.' The Sheriff of Fife. He offers Mentith money in addition to that of King Edward, to kill Wallace.
A Scottish lord who joins Wallace's revolt.
Young Selby abducts Peggie Graham with the aim of forcing her to marry him. Wallace kills him.