England: Construction Workers Discover Skull of William Wallace


London| A team of construction workers employed at demolishing an old pub last month in the Bermondsey district of the London borough of Southwark, have discovered an ancient and badly damaged wooden crate containing three pierced human skulls, presumably the severed heads of criminals or traitors that had been impaled on pikes and displayed at the southern gatehouse of the Old London Bridge. The remains, which were sent to the Ireland to be analyzed by a team of archaeologists associated with the National Museum of Ireland, have turned out to be those of 14th Century rebel heroes of the Wars of Scottish Independence, including that of the former Guardian of Scotland, William Wallace.

All three heads have visibly been dipped in tar and boiled for preservation, before being pierced by pikes or spears. According to the various tests and analysis realized on the three heads, two of the skulls have been proven by DNA, to belong to the brothers, John and Simon Fraser, while the third is strongly believed to have belonged to William Wallace. All three men were indeed condemned to being executed in 1305 and 1306, and many contemporary writers describe how the head of the three men were exposed at the same time atop the London Bridge, starting a tradition of gruesome dissuasion that was to continue for another 355 years . The Bermondsey district was less densely urbanized at the time and it is quite possible that after their period of public exposure, the heads were simply buried near the foundation of the bridge.


Two of the skulls, turned out to have very similar genetics suggesting they were siblings. DNA comparison with descendants of John and Simon Fraser of Oliver and Neidpath, have confirmed that these were indeed the remains of the famous rebel knights banneret.

All three rebels were in fact separately condemned to being hanged, drawn and quartered, an exceptionally cruel, long and bloody method of public execution. Convicts were fastened to a hurdle, or a wooden panel, and drawn by horse to the place of execution, where they were hanged almost to the point of death, but released while still alive. They were then emasculated, eviscerated and their bowels were burnt before them, before they were finally beheaded. Their bodies were then cut into four parts, to be exposed like the head, in different parts of the Kingdom.

In the case of William Wallace, contemporary chronicles state that his preserved head was placed on a pike atop London Bridge while his limbs were displayed, separately, in Newcastle upon Tyne, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Stirling, and Perth.

Sir William Wallace (from the Gaelic Uilliam Uallas) was a Scottish member of the lesser nobility who became one of the main leaders of the rebels during the Wars of Scottish Independence. Along with Andrew Moray, Wallace defeated an English army at the Battle of Stirling Bridge in September 1297, and was appointed Guardian of Scotland by an assembly of noblemen. He commanded the Scottish army until his defeat at the Battle of Falkirk in July 1298, when he resigned from his function. He was captured in August 1305 in Robroyston, near Glasgow,  after the betrayal of the Scottish knight John de Menteith, and was handed over to King Edward I of England, who had him tortured and killed for high treason and crimes against English civilians. He is depicted in the very inaccurate but award-winning historical drama Braveheart, directed by and starring Mel Gibson, that was released in 1995.

According to most experts, the historical William Wallace most likely wore chain and plate mail and looked more like a medieval knight than a painted Celtic warrior with a kilt.

According to most experts, the historical William Wallace most likely wore chain and plate mail and looked more like a medieval knight than a painted Celtic warrior with a kilt.

The remains of the three men will be sent to Scotland in a few weeks, after the scientists have gathered all possible information from the bones. They should then be placed in the crypt of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, a Roman Catholic church located in Edinburgh.

31 Comments on "England: Construction Workers Discover Skull of William Wallace"

  1. The timing of this random discovery is impeccable lol

  2. John Northcote | September 4, 2014 at 8:45 pm | Reply

    Wow! that’s an horrible death!

    • I can remember seeing something of William Wallace in a display case in Hollyrood House on Edinburgh. If his head has just been found in London – whats in Hollyrood?

  3. Rebels?

    It is a pity the author of this piece did not do his/her homework. These men were not rebels. They were Scottish patriots attempting to rid their country of an invading army intent on occupying their country.

    To call them rebels is akin to accusing the Russians in WWII of being treasonous by rebelling against their German invaders.

    • Esther McWhirter | September 4, 2014 at 11:35 pm |

      I agree, Jim. Thank you. Patriots all.

    • Caytie Hogan | September 5, 2014 at 2:23 am |

      It is extremely frustrating to hear of patriots of the past being described as rebels. They had the right to defend their country from invaders. Always wondered what happened to him and now I know.

    • I disagree. Rebels against a government that has taken fraudulent control ARE patriots, even when their country is just a glimmer of an idea. To rebel against malevolent authority is honorable!

    • Jas. Gillber't | September 5, 2014 at 9:40 am |

      Here, Here !!
      Alba Gu Brath !!!!!!!

    • Christine Wright | September 5, 2014 at 11:12 pm |

      I agree with you Jim.

    • James Gear Dudgeon | September 6, 2014 at 7:44 pm |

      Agree again. John and Simon are my direct ancestors! Scotland Forever!

    • One man’s patriot is another man’s traitor. Take the founding fathers of the United States. Had they lost the Revolutionary War, they all would have been hanged and their lands and fortunes forfeit to George III. If you are the winner, it’s a war of independence. If you are the loser, it is a war of rebellion. The Civil War was not referred to as such during the time that it was taking place. The North called it the war of the rebellion. The South referred to it as the Second American Revolution or The War for Southern Independence. The leaders of the Confederacy have Abraham Lincoln to thank for the fact that they were not all hanged or shot. In his Second Inaugural address, he outlined his plan to heal the nation….”With malice toward none, with charity for all….”

    • @ Mark: You don’t know much about lincoln, apparently. lincoln, and his freedom-hating corrupt big business cronies in the north were responsible for that needless war, and have the blood of hundreds of thousands of Americans on their hands. The South was an independent and sovereign nation, with a Constitution and freely-elected gov’t, that was illegally invaded, destroyed, and subjugated by forces of the United States Gov’t. The only thing the South has to thank lincoln for is that he’s dead and hopefully burning in Hell with sherman and the rest of their ilk.

    • Well Said Jim ! Whenever that important time period of our country is mentioned it is always rebels and yet he was punished for “crimes against English civilians”.

    • @Steve, it’s not a matter of knowing about Lincoln, it’s all how you look at it. In Texas v. White, the Supreme Court decided that the secession of Texas was illegal. Of course, that was the Supreme Court of the United States. After you secede, you’re no longer part of the US. So, as Mark said, one man’s patriot is another man’s traitor.

    • Steve,

      You must know even less about the Civil War because it started before Lincoln was even sworn in! Obviously from your tone you are an apologist for the South and wish was still the order of the day. The South will never rise again because the cause for which it fought was immoral and unjust. Long life freedom and God bless the Republic!

    • Thank you, Jim. I am Russian and I can’t agree more to your comment. Freedom to Scotland!!!

    • Carla DeVries | February 14, 2015 at 3:32 pm |

      Agreed ! Countrymen attempting to rid their lands of foreign invaders or resident tyrants are not rebels, terrorists or anything of the sort. They are doing their duty to resist rule by corrupt, unjust & wicked people.

    • He was in fact just defending his country however from England’s perspective back then, they thought it was a ‘Scottish Rebellion’ so thats where he got the name rebel from.

    • You can’t say the South had a free Republican government when they enslaved a quarter of the population.

      If they had ended Slavery and then seceded then the independent nation argument would be morally justifiable.

      I was raised in Greenville SC and went to Wade Hampton High so I know the South apologist position. It’s the same as a neo-nazi.

    • I agree with Jim completely – they were the Scottish Nationals of their day – brave men who were treated abominably by the English.

    • Yeah! They are always rebels when they lose. Sure makes the winner sounds so justified in their actions. What a bunch of ballyhoo!

    • He was part of the rebel alliance and a traitor! Take him away!

    • Personally I don’t find the terms rebel and patriot to be mutually exclusive. Just because you’re resisting unjust rule does not mean it isn’t rebellion however patriotic it is.

    • Thank you Jim, I missed that one. Reminds me of a journey we took through Ireland at the height of the troubles. Black flags were displayed in all the villages as the hunger strikers died. They were variously described as “terrorists” or “patriots” depending on who had put up the notices!

  4. you can keep the heid, we have the heart of William Wallace!

  5. From a tweet elsewhere – And ATOS certified him fit for work.

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