In the old Latin documents the term Wallensis, or Walenis, was used to designate the Welsh, but in Scotland it was used more particularly to designate the Britons of Strathclyde who were of the same Celtic stock. From this word the name Wallace is derived.

Richard Wallace, in the 12 century, obtained extensive lands in Ayrshire, in the district now known as Riccarton. His son Henry Walays acquired lands in Renfrewshire and his descendant Sir Malcolm Wallace of Elderslie was the father of Scotland's greatest patriot, Sir William Wallace, who was his second son.

Nisbet gives their crest badge, below, A dexter arm in armour, embowed, in hand a sword, all proper. Their motto: Pro libertate (for liberty). The Gaelic form of the name is Uallas. Origin of the name is from Volcae, a tribe in Northern Gaul.


In his early years Wallace and his mother had to take refuge near Dinipace from the English, for the Wallaces refused to do homage to Edward I. While still very young, Wallace became the leader of a company of patriots, and his harassing tactics against the English earned for him the support of many nobles. His reprisal against the garrison at Lanark for the murder of his sweetheart, and the burning of "the barns of Ayr" in revenge for the murder of his uncle and other gentlemen who had been invited to a conference, gained him still more supporters. His military genius made him hated and feared by Edward I, and his only defeats were brought about by the jealousies and treachery of nobles forming his own armies. By treachery he was captured at Robroyston, near Glasgow, and delivered to Edward I by Sir John Mentieth. Wallace was brutally executed in London in 1305, but his example kindled a spirit of independence in Scotland that was never extinguished.

The Wallaces of Craigie, of Cessnock, of Kelly, and of Cairnhill were all descended from the original family of Riccarton in Ayrshire.

Bain, Robert. The Clans and Tartans of Scotland. London, 1976.

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