Battle of Falkirk

Battles of Falkirk

1298 & 1746

The most notable casualty in the first Battle in July 1298 was Sir John de Graeme, the young man who had fought alongside Wallace from the time of Stirling Bridge. The death of Wallace's right hand man is one of the most noteworthy passages in the eleven books which make up Blind Harry's account. It tells how de Graeme fought and killed an English knight.

 

... there is a touching passage which has affected readers down through the ages. Wallace dismounting and taking de Graeme in his arms, kissed him and called him his best Brother,


"My faithful friend when I was hardest stead

My hope, my health thou wast in most honour

My faith, my help my strenthiest in stoure ..."

There follows a recital of knightly virtues:

"In thee was wit, freedom and hardiness

In thee was truth, manhood and nobleness

In thee was rule, in thee was governing,

In thee virtue without varying;

In thee was loyalty, in thee was largeese

In thee Gentility, in thee was steadfastness ...

They carried him with worship and dolour

Into Fawkyrk graith'd him in sepulture."

 

 

It is most likely that de Graeme's first gravestone was similar to that which covered Sir John Stewart the other notable casualty of the battle. However when Blind Harry's poem was re-published in 1670 it may have occasioned the erection of the first slab resting on four pillars which certainly was in position in 1697.

 

 

CrossSir John Stewart, brother of the High Steward of Scotland, fell in the very first action of the battle. As he lay mortally wounded, his Men of Bute refused to forsake him, ringed their fallen chief, and were themselves cut down until not a man survived. The brave story of the Men of Bute inspired the erection of the Celtic Cross (left) at the West end of the parish churchyard in 1877. (Since moved to accommodate the St Modan's Hall.) It's legend reads:

"In memory of the Men of Bute who under Sir John Stuart on 22nd July, 1298 in the Battle near the Fawe Kirk fought bravely and fell gloriously this Cross is reverently raised by John Stuart, marquess of Bute AD 1877."

Gravestone

 

 

 

Stewart was laid in the churchyard, and the present gravestone (right) may well be the original for it is typical of the 13th century with its coffin shape and bevelled edges. It lies on the right of the path entering from manse Place. In the Old Stastical Account reference is made to this stone having no inscription and the present lettering is 19th century:

"Here lies a Scottish hero, Sir John Stewart who was killed at the Battle of Falkirk 22nd July 1298."

 

 

 

 

 

1746 Battle

Monument - FoulisTomb - EdmondstonneSir Robert Munro of Foulis who in battle was laid to rest in a military ceremony attended by Bonnie Prince Charlie.

The tomb of William Edmondstonne, a government soldier was buried in the graveyard marked by a simple cross.

The present tombstone was erected by Robert Dollar.



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Falkirk Trinity Church

Manse Place

Falkirk

FK1 1JN

Tel: 01324 611017

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