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The Scottish Nation
Wallace


WALLACE, a surname, the most illustrious in the annals of Scotland, originally variously written Walence or Waleys. The progenitor of all the families of the name of Wallace in this country is said to have been Eimerus Galeius, so called on account of his having been, according to Sir James Dalrymple, a native of Wales. Those of this name are, however, of Anglo-Norman extraction. Eimerus, a witness of the foundation charter of the abbacy of Kelso by David I. about 1128, is supposed to have been the father of Richard Walense, who obtained from the high-steward of Scotland a considerable portion of the district of Kyle in Ayrshire, and was one of the witnesses to the charter of the Abbey of Paisley, founded in 1160 by Walter the high-steward. His lands in Ayrshire he named Richardton after himself, now Riccarton, the name of a village and parish in that county. He was the most powerful vassal of the Stewarts in Kyle. His elder son, also named Richard, was contemporary with Alan, the high-steward, who died about 1204. This second Richard was the first who spelled his name Walays, and on his death, his younger brother, Henry Walays, succeeded to the family estates. Early in the 13th century Henry acquired some lands under the Stewarts in Renfrewshire. These lands were inherited by Adam Walays, said to have been living in 1259. This Adam Walays had two sons, namely, Adam, who succeeded to the Ayrshire estate of Riccarton, and Sir Malcolm, who received the lands of Elderslie and Auchinbothie in Renfrewshire, and was the father of Scotland’s great hero, Sir William Wallace.

Sir Malcolm married Margaret, or Jean, daughter of Sir Raynauld, or Sir Hugh Crawford of Loundoun, sheriff of Ayr. Some writers assert that by a previous marriage he had two daughters one of whom was married to a Thomas Halliday of Annandale, while others maintain that he had only two sons. Malcolm; or, according to Fordoun, Andrew; and William, the former by the first marriage, and the latter by the daughter of Sir Raynauld Crawford. The elder son appears to have succeeded to his father’s estates. He is said to have fallen in a skirmish with the English. In 1291, when Edward I. of England issued an order for the barons of Scotland to swear fealty to him, the family of Elderslie absolutely refused to take an oath so subversive of the independence of their country. With his elder son, Sir Malcolm took refuge in the fastnesses of the Lennox, while the younger son, William, retired with his mother to the Carse of Gowrie, to seek the protection of a powerful relative at Kilspindlie. Thence he was sent to receive his education at the seminary attached to the cathedral of Dundee.

A note to the account of the Elderslie family in Carrick’s ‘Life of Sir William Wallace,’ states, that a family of the name of Waleis existed in England, some of whom appear to have attained the highest civic honours in the city of London. It continues: “We are informed by Stowe, that in 1299, when part of the palace of Westminster, and the public buildings of the adjoining monastery, were destroyed by fire, a parliament was held by Edward in the house of Henry Waleis, mayor of London, at Stebenheth. Henry Waleis was also mayor in 1300, and a person of the same name is mentioned as having contributed largely to the building of ‘St. Martyn’s church, in the vicinity of London;’ he is also said to have filled the office of mayor, during which time he built a prison, called the Tun, in Cornhill, for night-walkers. In 1296, when Edward granted the citizens of London the right of electing their chief magistrate, one William Waleis was called by the public voice to the civic chair.”

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The Wallaces of Craigie, Ayrshire, are descended from Sir Richard Wallace of Riccarton, uncle of the celebrated Sir William Wallace. Sir Richard’s grandson, John Wallace of Riccarton, married Margaret, daughter and heiress of Sir John Lindsay of Craigie, whose arms were quartered with his own. His son, Adam Wallace, was designed of Craigie, and from him lineally descend Hugh Wallace, Esq. of Craigie, who in 1669 was created a baronet of Nova Scotia, with remainder to his heirs general. Sir Hugh married Esther Kerr, daughter of the laird of Littledean, and had a son who was of imbecile mind.

At Sir Hugh’s death his grand-nephew, the grandson of his brother, the Rev. William Wallace, minister of Falford, became second baronet. This gentleman, Sir Thomas Wallace, was lord-justice clerk. He had two sons and four daughters. The elder son, Sir William, third baronet, leaving an only daughter, was succeeded by his brother, Sir Thomas, fourth baronet, who married Rachel, daughter of Sir Hew Wallace of Wolmet. His eldest son, Sir Thomas, fifth baronet, married Eleanor, daughter of Colonel Agnew, of Loch Ryan, and with one son, a captain in the guards, who predeceased him without issue, had an only daughter, Frances Anne Wallace. This lady became the heiress of Craigie, and married John Dunlop, Esq. of Dunlop. She is celebrated as the friend of Burns.. She had five sons and five daughters. The eldest son, Sir John Dunlop, succeeded his maternal grandfather as sixth baronet, and assumed the name of Wallace after his patronymic. The second son, Andrew, inherited Dunlop, and was a brigadier-general in the army. The third son, Lieutenant-general James Dunlop, was father of Sir John Dunlop of Dunlop, who was created a baronet in 1838. Sir Thomas Dunlop Wallace died in 1835. By his first wife, Eglinton, daughter of Sir William Maxwell of Monreith, baronet, sister of the fourth duchess of Gordon, he had a son, Sir John Alexander Dunlop Agnew Wallace, seventh baronet. Sir John, born in 1775, entered the army in 1787, and served with distinction in India, and was present in three general actions before he was 15 years of age. He afterwards served under sir Ralph Abercromby in Egypt, and subsequently commanded the Connaught rangers in the Peninsula. For his services at Busaco, Fuentes d’Onore, and Salamanca, he received a medal and two clasps. He was appointed colonel of the 88th regiment in 1831, and became a lieutenant-general in 1837, and a general in 1854. He served in the army on full pay for seventy years. He married, June 23, 1829, Janet, daughter of William Rodger, Esq., and had five sons and one daughter. He died Feb. 10, 1857.

His eldest son, Sir William Thomas Francis Agnew Wallace, born May 27, 1830, lieutenant-colonel grenadier guards, succeeded as eighth baronet. His brother, Robert Agnew, born in 1834, married the eldest daughter of John Bell, Esq. of Enterkine, Ayrshire.

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From the Riccarton family also descended the Wallace of Kelly, Renfrewshire.

Of this latter family Robert Wallace, Esq. of Kelly, was the most distinguished. He was the son of John Wallace, Esq. of Cessnock, Ayrshire, a West India merchant in Glasgow, who, in 1792, purchased the estate of Kelly, having previously sold Cessnock. Robert became a partner of the extensive West India firm of Wallace, Hunter, and Co., Greenock, and in 1805 he succeeded his father in the estate of Kelly. In 1833 he was elected M.P. for Greenock, being the first member for that town in the reformed parliament, and for four successive elections he was returned for the same place free of expense. After thirteen years’ faithful and laborious service in the House of Commons, he quitted parliament in 1845. From the outset he exerted himself in attempting to put an end to the monopoly of the ministers of the crown, who had till then reserved to themselves the privilege of introducing public measures into parliament. He was among the first to attack the errors in our Scotch judicial system, and the first to urge the reform of post-office abuses, and it was while doing so that Mr. Rowland Hill stepped in with his scheme of penny postage. That gentleman frankly admitted that it was Mr. Wallace’s exposures that led him to take up the subject at all; and that it was his indomitable and persevering energy in and out of parliament which obtained the inestimable measure of penny postage to the country. Mr. Hill wrote; “By four years of incessant attacks Mr. Wallace destroyed the prestige once enjoyed by the post-office, and exposed it to the wholesome influence of public opinion.”

Mr. Wallace’s great services to the country, in connection with post-office reform, were universally appreciated. He received the freedom of the city of Glasgow, of Aberdeen, of Paisley, Perth, Dingwall, Inverness and Dornoch. He was presented with an address by the inhabitants of Kilmarnock, and beautifully written communication from the postmaster-general of France. His quitting parliament in 1845 was the result of certain reverses of fortune when his political and personal friends came forward to his assistance. A public testimonial realized between three and four thousand pounds, which sum was invested in the purchase of an annuity of about £500 a-year. Mr. Wallace died 31st March 1855, aged 82. He used to boast of his descent from Sir William Wallace, a name which, he said, he was proud of, and which he hoped he had never done anything to sully. His brother, Sir James Maxwell Wallace, K.H., a Waterloo officer, attained the rank of lieutenant-general in the army in 1855.

Sir William Wallace had no legitimate issue, but is said to have left a natural daughter, who, according to tradition, married Sir William Baillie of Stoprig, “a squire of the Baliol blood,” as he is called by Blair, progenitor of the Baillies of Lamington, an estate which previously belonged to a family of the name of Braidfoot.

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The Wallaces of Cairnhill, an Ayrshire family, possessed that estate for more than two centuries. About the beginning of the 18th century, Thomas Wallace, father of John Wallace of Cessnock, above mentioned, acquired the lands of Cairnhill, and died in April 1748. His elder son, William Wallace, advocate, who died at Glasgow 16th November 1763, was the author of a song called ‘Strephon and Lydia.’ He was cousin of Wallace of Kelly.

Another William Wallace, advocate, the son of Robert Wallace of Holmston, Ayrshire, writer to the signet, was in December 1752 appointed professor of universal history in the university of Edinburgh. He was afterwards professor of Scots law, one of the assessors of the city, and sheriff-depute of Ayrshire, and died 28th November 1786.

WALLACE, SIR WILLIAM, the heroic defender of the liberties and independence of Scotland, was the second son of Sir Malcolm Wallace, knight of Elderslie and Auchinbothie, Renfrewshire, and his wife, the daughter of Sir Raynauld Crawford, sheriff of Ayr. His lineage is given above. He was born, it is conjectured, about the middle of the reign of Alexander III., or about 1276. His early years are said to have been passed under the superintendence of his uncle, a wealthy ecclesiastic, at Dunipace, in Stirlingshire, from whom he received the first rudiments of his education, and who was careful to instill into his youthful breast the strongest sentiments of patriotism and independence. After the subversion of the liberties of his country by Edward I. of England, he was sent to the seminary attached to the cathedral of Dundee, where he contracted a friendship with John Blair, a Benedictine monk, who afterwards became his chaplain. Being an eye-witness of most of the actions of Wallace, Blair, with the assistance of Thomas Gray, parson of Libberton, composed a history of them in Latin, and from that work, only a few fragments of which have been preserved, was derived much of the information contained in the celebrated poem of Blind Harry the Minstrel, where most of Wallace’s achievements have been commemorated.

The subjugation of his native country by the English, and the wanton outrages committed by the soldiery who were left to garrison the various castles and principal towns, roused Wallace’s indignation, and he formed an association among his felloe-students, for the purpose of defending themselves and punishing the aggressions of the intruders, whenever opportunities offered. Having been publicly insulted by a youth named Selby, the son of the governor of Dundee, he drew his dagger and struck him dead on the spot, and though immediately surrounded by the friends of the deceased, he luckily effected his escape, after killing two or three other Englishmen who attempted to intercept his flight. For this deed he was proclaimed a traitor, outlawed, and forced for some time to lurk among the woods and mountain fastnesses of the country. His extraordinary personal strength, undaunted courage, enterprising spirit, and dexterity, as well as his ardent attachment to his native country, with his inextinguishable hatred of its oppressors, rendered him peculiarly fitted to be the leader of a band of patriots burning to avenge the wrongs of their suffering father-land; and he soon attracted to his side a number of broken and desperate men, who, weary of the English yoke, resolved to join their fortunes with one who had so opportunely stood forth as the assertor of the national independence. For a long time they seem to have lived chiefly by plunder and the chase, attacking, whenever occasion offered, the convoys and foraging parties of the English, and retreating, when pursued, to the woods and secret recesses of the country.

At this period, Wallace, under various disguises, was in the habit of visiting the garrisoned towns, venturing boldly into the market-places, to ascertain the strength and condition of the enemy, on which occasions he had various personal encounters with English soldiers, frequently escaping with difficulty from their superiority of numbers. His exploits gradually brought a great accession to his partisans; and after the battle of Dunbar in 1296, in which the Scots were defeated with great slaughter, Wallace became conspicuously known, both to friend and foe, as the formidable commander of a little but increasing army of patriots, who were devotedly attached to their chief, and to the sacred cause of national liberty.

Among the first whom the fame of his successes brought to his standard were Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, Sir William Douglas, lord of Douglasdale, designated the Hardy, Sir Robert Boyd, Alexander Scrimgeour, Roger Kilpatrick, Alexander Auchinleck, Walter Newbigging, Hugh Dundas, Sir David Barclay, and Adam Curry; also, Sir John the Graham, who became his bosom friend and confidential companion. In the various reencounters which Wallace and his followers had with the English in different parts of the country, particularly in Ayrshire, Clydesdale, and the Lennox, he was uniformly victorious, while the lord of Douglas was no less successful in recovering the castles of Durrisdeer and Sanquhar from the enemy.

Sir William de Hazelrig, or Heslope, the English sheriff of Lanark, having caused Wallace’s sweetheart, the heiress of Lamington, to be put to death, Wallace, with thirty of his followers, came to Lanark at midnight, burst into Hazelrig’s apartment, and took signal vengeance on him for his villany. The town’s people aiding Wallace’s party, the English garrison was driven with much slaughter from the town, and the great numbers that now flocked to his banners enabled him, with a formidable force, to defeat a considerable body of the English, in a regular engagement in the neighbourhood of Biggar. In revenge for the base murder of his uncle, Sir Raynauld Crawford, and others of the Scots gentry, by the governor of Ayr, who had invited them to a friendly conference in that town, Wallace, with fifty of his confederates, having hastened to the spot, surrounded “the Barns of yr,” where the English to the number of 500 were cantoned, set them on fire, and either killed or forced back to perish in the flames all who attempted to escape. After taking Glasgow, and expelling Bishop Bek, an English ecclesiastic, from the recovered city, by a rapid march upon Scone in May 1297, he surprised Ormsby the English justiciary, dispersed his force, and took a rich booty, but Ormsby escaped by flight into England.

Wallace now passed into the Western Highlands, and his progress was marked by victory wherever he appeared. At this time he was joined by a number of the nobility, among whom were the Steward of Scotland, with his brother, Sir John Stewart of Bonkil, Alexander de Lindesay, Sir Richard Lundin, and Robert Wiseheart, bishop of Glasgow. Even the young Robert de Bruce, grandson of the Competitor, deceiving the vigilance of the English, renounced the allegiance he had sworn to Edward, embraced the cause of freedom, and drew his sword with Wallace.

The intelligence of these events reached Edward while engaged in preparations for an expedition to Flanders, and he dispatched orders to the earl of Surrey to adopt immediate measures for the suppression of the insurrection. A force of 40,000 foot and 300 horse was sent into Scotland, under the command of Surrey’s nephew, Sir Henry Percy, and Sir Robert Clifford, and July 9, 1297, they came up with the Scots army advantageously posted on a hill near the town of Irvine. Dissensions had, however, broken out among the leaders of the Scots; the feudal barons, from paltry feelings of pride and jealousy, scorned to be commanded by one whom they deemed so inferior to them in rank as Wallace, and, in the midst of their discussions, Sir Richard Lundin deserted with his followers to the enemy. His example was in part quickly imitated by Bruce, the Steward, and his brother, Lindesay, and Douglas, who by means of Wiseheart, bishop of Glasgow, entered into negotiations with Percy, which ended in their submission to Edward. Sir Andrew Moray of Bothwell, and Sir John the Graham, were the only men of rank who remained with Wallace, and with their and his own adherents he retired indignantly to the north. Believing that they had put an end to the revolt, Percy and Clifford withdrew their troops and returned to England; but Wallace and Moray, dividing their forces, carried on their operations against the English with so much vigour, that in a short time all the strongholds north of the Forth, except the castle of Dundee, were retaken from the English. Wallace had just laid siege to that fortress, when he was apprised of the advance of an English army under William de Warenne, earl of Surrey, and Cressingham the treasurer. Relinquishing the siege of the castle of Dundee, to be continued by the townsmen themselves, by a forced march he hastened to oppose the progress of the enemy, and when the English army came on to cross the Forth by Stirling bridge, they beheld the intrepid defenders of Scottish freedom posted on a rising ground, near the Abbey of Cambuskenneth, prepared and eager to dispute their passage. The Scottish army consisted of 40,000 foot and 180 cavalry, while that of the English amounted to 50,000 foot and 1,000 heavy-armed horse. Warenne at first had recourse to the arts of negotiation, but Wallace tauntingly sent him back a message that they came not there to negotiate but to fight, and to show them that Scotland was free. The English, under Cressingham, advanced to cross the river, and when nearly one-half had passed the bridge, they were attacked by the Scots with an impetuosity which they could not withstand, and after a terrific slaughter, Wallace gained a complete victory. Those on the other side of the river, seeing the day irretrievably lost, burnt their tents, abandoned their baggage and standards, and hastened back in disorderly flight to Berwick, wither their commander, Warenne, had found his way, but Cressingham was left among the slain. This memorable battle, fought September 11, 1297, was followed by the surrender of the castles of Dumbarton and Dundee, and the expulsion of the English from the kingdom.

Soon after, at a meeting of the Scottish nobles, held in the Forest-Kirk, Selkirkshire, Wallace was elected regent of Scotland in name of John Baliol, then a captive in England. The late wars and the neglect of agriculture, caused by the disorganized state of the country, having spread famine and pestilence over the kingdom, Wallace resolved on an expedition into England. With a large force he proceeded as far as Newcastle, and after ravaging the northern counties with fire and sword, sparing neither age nor sex, he returned with a large and valuable booty to Scotland. Edward in the meantime hastened from Flanders, and as soon as he had completed his preparations for a new invasion of the country, he entered Scotland at the head of a formidable army of nearly 100,000 foot and 8,000 horsemen. Wallace, unable to cope with such a force, retired before him as he advanced, wasting the country in his route, and removing the people with their cattle and provisions along with him. The English troops, in consequence, soon began to feel all the effects of want, and Edward was under the necessity of ordering an inglorious retreat. At this critical juncture, when the military skill of Wallace seemed abut to be crowned with complete success, his plans were rendered abortive by the treachery of two Scottish nobles, Patrick, earl of Dunbar, and Umfraville, earl of Angus, who found means to communicate to the bishop of Durham the position of the Scottish army, with Wallace’s intention to surprise the English by a night attack, and afterwards to hand upon their rear, and harass them in their retreat. Edward instantly ordered his army to advance, and by a rapid march came in sight of the Scottish forces as they were taking up their positions for battle at Falkirk. The Scots army, commanded by Wallace, Sir John Stewart of Bonkil, and Comyn, lord of Badenoch, did not exceed 30,000 men, and being compelled to fight at a disadvantage, no sooner were they attacked by the English than Comyn, with the division under his command, treacherously turned their banners and marched off the field. The English, in consequence, gained a complete victory, July 22, 1298. Among the Scots slain were Stewart, brother to the steward of the kingdom, Macduff, uncle to the earl of Fife, and the faithful Sir John the Graham, who was sorely lamented by Wallace. That great man himself, when he saw every hope lost, rallied the broken remains of his army, and, by a masterly retreat, conducted them in safety beyond the Forth, by the way of Stirling, which they burnt, at the same time laying waste all the surrounding districts. Soon after, the impoverished state of the country compelled Edward, with his army, to return to England.

Finding that the nobles were combined against him, and seeing it impossible, in the then circumstances of the country, to contend singly with the power of Edward, Wallace resigned the regency, and it is supposed, for this period of his history is involved in much obscurity, proceeded to France, in the hope of obtaining assistance from Philip, the French king. In this, however, he was disappointed, although he is said to have been held in high favour with that monarch, and to have enhanced his reputation for personal prowess by his successes against the pirates who then infested the European seas. In 1303 we find him returned to Scotland, and pursuing an active and harassing system of predatory warfare against the English, at the head of a few of his faithful friends and veteran soldiers.

For the complete subjugation of the country Edward had, within a few years, led five successive armies across the borders, and after several memorable defeats sustained by the English, he at last succeeded in subduing for the time the spirit of the Scottish people. Most of the nobles now submitted to him, and even the governors of the kingdom, Comyn and Bruce, entered into a stipulation for the preservation of their lives, liberties, and lands. From the capitulation agreed to on this occasion, Edward specially excepted certain persons, whom he reserved for various degrees of punishment. But to the heroic and still unconquered Wallace he would offer no terms but those of fall and unconditional surrender; and, besides setting a reward of 300 merks on his head. He issued strict orders to his captains and governors in Scotland, to use every endeavour to secure him, and send him in chains to England. By the treachery of one of his servants, named Jack Short, Wallace was at length, August 5, 1305, betrayed, according to tradition, into the hands of Sir John Menteith, a Scottish baron, who captured him at night in bed in the house of one Ralph Rae, at Robroyston, in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, for which service he received from the English privy council a grant of land of the annual value of £100.

Wallace was first conveyed to Dumbarton castle, of which Menteith was now governor for Edward, and afterwards carried to London heavily manacled, and guarded by a powerful escort. On reaching London, he was on Monday, August 23, 1305, conducted to Westminster Hall, accompanied by the grand marshal, the recorder, the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen of the city, and there formally arraigned of treason. A crown of laurel was in mockery placed on his head, because, as was alleged, he had aspired to the Scottish crown. The king’s justice, Sir Peter Mallorie, then impeached him as a traitor to Edward, and as having burned villages, stormed castles, and slain many subjects of England. “To Edward,” said Wallace, “I cannot 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 any soldiers, have plundered or done injury to the houses or to the ministers of religion, I repent me of my sin; but it is not of Edward of England that I shall ask pardon.” In accordance with the predetermined resolution of Edward, he was found guilty, and condemned to death, and the sentence was executed the same day, with every refinement of cruelty. He was dragged at the tails of horses through the streets of London to a gallows erected at the Elms in Smithfield, where, after being hanged a short time, he was taken down yet breathing, and his bowels torn out and burned. His head was then struck off, and his body divided into quarters. His head was placed on a pole on London Bridge, and his right arm above the bridge at Newcastle; his left arm was sent to Berwick, his right foot and limb to Perth, and his left quarter to Aberdeen. He bore his fate with a magnanimity that secured the admiration even of his enemies, and his name will be held in everlasting honour by the true-hearted friends of freedom in every age and country. At the time of his execution it is conjectured that he was not above thirty-five years of age.

WALLACE, ROBERT, D.D., an eminent divine and statistical writer, was the only son of Matthew Wallace, minister of the parish of Kincardine, Perthshire, where he was born, January 7, 1697. He was educated at the grammar-school of Stirling and the university of Edinburgh. From his proficiency in mathematics, he was, in 1720, chosen assistant to Dr. Gregory, during his illness. Qualifying himself for the ministry, he was, in 1722, licensed to preach by the presbytery of Dunblane, and, in August 1723, was presented by the marquis of Annandale to the church and parish of Moffat.

In 1729 Dr. Wallace was elected moderator of the synod of Dumfries. A sermon which he preached before that body in the following October having been published, was shown to Queen Caroline, who recommended him to the earl of Islay, then chief manager of the affairs of Scotland. Wallace was, in consequence, in 1733, appointed one of the ministers of the Greyfriars’ church, Edinburgh. Three years afterwards, however, he forfeited the favour of Government, by refusing to read from his pulpit the act relative to the Porteous riot, but on the overthrow of the Walpole administration in 1742, he was intrusted by their successors in the ministry with the conduct of ecclesiastical affairs, so far as related to the crown presentations in Scotland, and for four years seems to have managed this delicate duty in such a way as to give satisfaction to all parties concerned. He took a principal share in the establishment of the Scottish Ministers’ Widows’ Fund, the idea of which was originally suggested by Mr. Mathieson, a minister of the High Church of Edinburgh. The plan, however, was chiefly matured by the exertions of Dr. Wallace and Dr. Webster. Dr. Wallace was moderator of the General Assembly in 1743, which sanctioned the scheme; and, in the ensuing November, he was commissioned, along with Mr. George Wishart, minister of the Tron church, to proceed to London to watch the proceedings in parliament regarding it. To his exertions, indeed, it was mainly owing that the sanction of the legislature was procured for this important and beneficial measure. Among the documents preserved in the office of the Trustees of the Ministers’ Widows’ Fund are, ‘Proposals in Dr. Wallace’s handwriting, for establishing a General Widows’ Scheme, supposed to be written before the Ministers’ Widows’ Fund was projected,’ and ‘Parcel of Original Calculations, previous to the first act of Parliament on the Ministers’ Widows’ Fund, holograph of Dr. Wallace.’ His portrait, presented by one of his relatives, graces the hall of the trustees, being placed opposite to that of Dr. Webster.

In 1744 Dr. Wallace was appointed one of the royal chaplains for Scotland. In 1753 he published his celebrated ‘Dissertation on the Numbers of Mankind, in Ancient and Modern Times,’ the original sketch of which he had previously read to the Philosophical Society of Edinburgh. To the work were appended some remarks on Mr. Hume’s Political Discourse of the Populousness of Ancient Nations. The work is remarkable, not only for the mass of curious statistical information which it contains, but for the many ingenious speculations of the author on the subject of population, to one of which the peculiar theories of Mr. Malthus owed their origin. It was translated into French, under the inspection of Montesquien; and a new edition appeared in 1809, with a Life of the author. He died July 19, 1771. – His works are:

A Sermon preached in the High Church of Edinburgh, Monday, January 6, 1746, upon occasion of the Anniversary Meeting of the Society in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge.
A Dissertation on the Numbers of Mankind in Ancient and Modern Times; with an Appendix, containing additional Observations on the same Subject, and some Remarks on Mr. Hume’s Political Discourse of the Populousness of Ancient Nations. Edin. 1753, 8vo. (Anon.) 2d edit. Edin. 1809, 8vo.
Characteristics of the Present State of Great Britain. London, 1758, 8vo.
Various Prospects of Mankind, Nature, and Providence. 1761.
He left behind him some manuscript specimens of his mathematical labours; and an Essay on Taste, which was prepared for the press by his son, Mr. George Wallace, advocate, but never published.
The latter was the author of a work on the ‘Nature and Descent of Ancient Peerages, connected with the State of Scotland,[ 1783; and of ‘A System of the Principles of the Law of Scotland,’ 1760. He wrote also a poem entitled ‘Prospects from Hills in Fife.’ Published at Edinburgh in 1800.

WALLACE, WILLIAM, an eminent mathematician, the son of a leather-manufacturer and shoemaker in Dysart, Fifeshire, and the eldest of a numerous family, was born in that burgh, 23d September 1768. His progenitors had been settled, for some generations, at the village of Kilconquhar, in the same county. His grandfather inherited a small property, the greater part of which he lost through mismanagement. He received the first rudiments of his education from an aged widow in his native town, who, besides keeping a school for children, had a shop for the retail of small wares. About the age of seven he was sent to a school of a higher class, where he made considerable proficiency in arithmetic, a knowledge of which he had previously obtained from his father. About the age of ten he was withdrawn from school, having learned only to read, write, and count, for the latter of which he had a natural liking.

In 1784 he was sent, in his sixteenth year, to Edinburgh, to learn the trade of a bookbinder, and during his apprenticeship he devoted all his leisure hours to reading. His father’s business, which had been at one time considerable, was ruined by the breaking out of the American war, and he had removed with his family to Edinburgh, and under his parents’ roof young Wallace had the advantage of their encouragement and moral superintendence. For the study of mathematics, to which he devoted himself with great ardour and enthusiasm, he had unusual facilities. Besides taking every opportunity of obtaining a knowledge of the contents of those scientific books which passed through his hands, he was enabled to acquire a few mathematical books of his own, and it was his constant practice to read during his meals as well as on his way to and from the workshop. By this assiduous application, before he reached the age of twenty, he had made himself master of Cunn’s Euclid, Ronayne’s Algebra, Wright’s Trigonometry, Wilson’s Navigation, Emerson’s Fluxions, Robertson’s Translation of La Hire’s Conic Sections, and Keill’s Astronomy.

On the expiry of his apprenticeship, an acquaintance of his, a carpenter by occupation, who was employed by the celebrated Dr. John Robison, the professor of natural philosophy in Edinburgh university, as an assistant in his class experiments, offered to introduce him to the professor, which he did by letter. Dr. Robison received him with great kindness, and after examining him, was much struck with his proficiency in mathematics. He gave him an invitation to attend his lectures gratuitously, and by encroaching with his work upon the hours of sleep, he was enabled to be present regularly at the class. Dr. Robison also introduced him to his colleague, Mr. Playfair, the professor of mathematics, who likewise offered him admission to h is lectures. From inability, however, to attend two classes in one day, he was under the necessity of declining this most desirable offer. Mr. Playfair ever after took a warm interest in his welfare, advised him with respect to his course of reading, and supplied him with books from his own library.

With the view of having more time at his own disposal then his occupation allowed, he was induced to accept the situation of warehouseman in a printing office. At this time Dr. Robison paid him a visit, and proposed to him to give private lessons in geometry to one of his pupils, a proposal which he eagerly availed himself of. He began the study of Latin, in which he was aided by a student, to whom he gave, in return, instruction in mathematics. As an instance of his manner of turning time and opportunity to account, it may be mentioned, that while engaged in the printing office, in the monotonous duty of collecting the successive sheets of a work from a series of heaps arranged around a circuit of tables, he fixed up upon the wall a Latin vocabulary, from which he committed to memory a certain number of works every time he passed it in making his round.

He next became shopman to one of the principal booksellers in Edinburgh, and he now found leisure both to pursue his favourite studies and to increase his stock of knowledge by general reading. Besides giving private lessons in mathematics in the evening, he took lessons in French, and thus obtained an acquaintance with the works of the continental mathematicians.

In 1793, while in his twenty-fifth year, he relinquished his shop employment, and began to support himself as a teacher of mathematics privately. He subsequently attended a course of lectures on mathematics in the university of Edinburgh, and also one on chemistry.

In 1794, on the recommendation of Professor Playfair, Mr. Wallace was appointed assistant teacher of mathematics in the academy of Perth. He now married, and began to write original mathematical papers for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, one of which, presented in 1796, was entitled ‘Geometrical Porisms, with Examples of their Applications to the Solution of Problems.’ He continued the article ‘Porism’ and various other papers to the third edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica. He was also a contributor to Leybourne’s Repository, the Gentleman’s Mathematical Companion, and other scientific publications in England, and so widely extended was his reputation as a mathematician of the highest order, that, in 1803, he received a letter, under a feigned name, intimating to him that an instructor in mathematics was wanted for the Royal Military College, then established at Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, and recommending him to become a candidate for the office. By the advice of his friend, Professor Playfair, he proceeded to Great Marlow, and after an examination, was declared the successful candidate over several competitors. This appointment he held for upwards of sixteen years, first at Great Marlow, and afterwards at Sandhurst, Berkshire, to which place the military college was removed. In 1818 the directors of the college resolved that a half-yearly course of lectures on practical astronomy should be given to the students, and Mr. Wallace was appointed lecturer. For the purpose of instructing them in the manner of making celestial observations, a small observatory was, under his superintendence, erected, and furnished with the necessary instruments.

In 1819, on the death of Professor Playfair, then professor of natural philosophy in the university of Edinburgh, Mr., afterwards Sir John Leslie succeeded him in that chair, and Mr. Wallace became a candidate for the chair of mathematics, vacated by the latter. After a very keen competition, he was elected by a large majority, and thereby obtained the great object of his ambition, a professorship in a Scottish university.

In 1838, on account of ill health, he was compelled to resign his chair, having been unable to perform his duties in person during the three previous sessions. On his resignation the degree of doctor of laws was conferred upon him by the senatus academicus, and at the same time he received a pension from the government, in consideration, as the warrant stated, of his attainments in science and literature, and his valuable services at the Royal Military College and the university.

When the fourth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was commenced, Dr. Wallace undertook the revision of all the mathematical papers he had contributed to the previous edition, as well as some of those which had been written by Dr. Robison; and several of the more important treatises, particularly on algebra, conic sections, and fluxions, were remodelled and almost entirely rewritten.

After five years of private life, Professor Wallace died at Edinburgh, 28th April, 1843, in his 75th year. He was mainly instrumental in the erection of the Observatory on the Calton Hill of that city, and he was the means of procuring a monument to be erected in Edinburgh to Napier, the celebrated inventor of the logarithms. He was one of the original nonresident members of the Royal Astronomical Society of London, and from a memoir of him which appeared in the quarterly fasciculus of that body, published February 9, 1844, the materials for this notice have chiefly been derived. He was also a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, a corresponding member of the Institution of civil Engineers, and an honorary member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society. A few weeks before his death he was elected an honorary member of the Royal Irish Academy. Having a turn for mechanics, he invented an instrument called the Eidograph, from two Greek words, signifying “a form,” and “to draw,” a description of which he presented to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In copying plans or other drawings it answers the same purpose as the common Pantograph, but is greatly superior to it, both in the extent of its application and the accuracy of its performance. He was also the inventor of the Chorograph, an instrument for describing on paper any triangle having one side and all its angles given, and also for constructing two similar triangles, on two given straight lines, having the angles given.

He does not seem to have published any separate work but the one first mentioned below. The subsequent seven papers are among those which he wrote for the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and published in their ‘Transactions.’

A New Book of Interest, containing Aliquot Tables, truly proportioned by any given rate. London, 1794, 8vo.
Geometrical Porisms, with Examples of their Applications to the Solution of Problems. 1796.
Development of a certain Algebraic Formula. 1805.
A new method of expressing the Co-efficients in the Development of the Formula that represents the mutual perturbation of two Planets; with an Appendix, giving a quickly converging series for the rectification of an Ellipse.
New Series for the Quadrature of the Conic Sections, and the Computation of Logarithms. 1808.
Investigation of Formulae for finding the Logarithms of Trigonometrical Quantities from one another. 1823.
Account of the Invention of the Pantograph; and a Description of the Eidograph. 1831.
Solution of a Functional Equation, with its application to the Parallelogram of Forces and the Curve of Equilibrium. 1839. Published in the 14th volume of the Society’s Transactions.
A paper, entitled ‘Two Elementary Solutions of Kepler’s Problem by the Angular Calculus,’ was contributed by him to the ‘Transactions’ of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1836.
To the ‘Transactions’ of the Cambridge Philosophical Society he contributed a paper, entitled ‘Geometrical Theorems and Formulae, particularly applicable to some Geodetical Problems.’
In 1838 he composed a work on the same subject, which he dedicated to his friend, Colonel Colby.

See a pdf file about William Wallace and his Crawford Relations


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