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William Wallace quotes

Sir William Wallace (c. 1270August 23 1305) was a Scottish knight and resistance leader during the Wars of Scottish Independence. This page is for actual quotations of or about Wallace; for quotations from the 1995 film based upon his life and legends, see Braveheart.


  • Pro Libertate
  • “For Freedom”, or “For Liberty” are translations of the Latin motto of Clan Wallace.

  • I have brought you to the ring, now dance if you can.
  • Statement before the Battle of Falkirk (21 July 1298); as quoted in The Story of England (1909) by Samuel B. Harding
  • Variants: I hae brocht ye to the ring, now see gif ye can dance.

I have brought you to the ring, now see if you can dance.
I have brought you to the ring. Dance if ye can.
I have brought you to the Revel, Now dance if you can.


Various accounts exist of Wallace’s statements during battles, and at his trial. The following are provided without a definite citation of sources.

  • We come here with no peaceful intent, but ready for battle, determined to avenge our wrongs and set our country free.
  • Statement before the Battle of Stirling Bridge (11 September 1297)

  • I could not be a traitor to Edward, for I was never his subject.
  • Statement at his trial (23 August 1305)

  • I can not be a traitor, for I owe him no allegiance. He is not my Sovereign; he never received my homage; and whilst life is in this persecuted body, he never shall receive it. To the other points whereof I am accused, I freely confess them all. As Governor of my country I have been an enemy to its enemies; I have slain the English; I have mortally opposed the English King; I have stormed and taken the towns and castles which he unjustly claimed as his own. If I or my soldiers have plundered or done injury to the houses or ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England I shall ask pardon.
  • Statement at his trial (23 August 1305)

  • Dico Tibi Verum, Libertas Optima Rerum: Nunquam Servili Sub Nexu Vivito, Fili
  • Translation: My Son, Freedom is best, I tell thee true, of all things to be won. Then never live within the Bond of Slavery.

About William Wallace

  • For sooth, ere he decease,

Shall many thousands in the field make end.
From Scotland he shall forth the Southron send,
And Scotland thrice he shall bring to peace.
So good of hand again shall ne’er be kenned.

  • Thomas the Rhymer

  • First, here I honour, in particular,

Sir William Wallace, much renown’d in war,
Whose bold progenitors have long time stood,
Of honourable and true Scottish blood.

  • Wallace by Blind Harry (c. 1460) as translated by William of Gilbertfield The Life and Heroic Actions of the Renoun’d Sir William Wallace, General and Governor of Scotland (1722)

  • Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.
  • Promotional phrase for the movie ”Braveheart

Source: Wikiquote