Sir John Menteith (c. 1275 - c. 1323) was a Scottish nobleman.

He was born John Stewart in Ruskie, Stirling, Scotland.

His father was Walter "Bailloch" Stewart, 5th Earl of Menteith, and mother Mary was the 4th Countess of Menteith.

Unlike his older brother, Alexander Stewart, 6th Earl of Menteith, he replaced his paternal Stewart surname in favour of Menteith, which earned him the nickname Fause (False) Menteith!
He was Governor of Dumbarton Castle, an appointment made by Edward I who was keen to secure the fortification as a major access route into Scotland by sea.

Tradition has it that Menteith betrayed Sir William Wallace to English soldiers, which led to Wallace's death.
Much has been written about the nature of Menteith's relationship with Wallace, and his precise role in Wallace's capture. It is unlikely that it will ever be settled beyond doubt.

Some argue that no reliable evidence for the betrayal exists. Lord Hailes and Sheriff Mark Napier, a descendant of Sir John Menteith, argue that tradition and Blind Harry's allegation are the only pieces of evidence supporting the charge of betrayal. John Hill Burton, Historiographer-Royal for Scotland, contends that the betrayal story is merely "part of the romance of Wallace's career that he was betrayed by a fellow countryman and an old companion in arms." Even if the betrayal story is true, Burton says that Menteith would be excused as he was Governor of Dumbarton Castle.

On the other hand, others argue that the documented evidence has merit. Sir William Fraser, author of Red Book of Menteith, claims to have examined many of the documents concerning the subject and is of the opinion that the accusation that Menteith betrayed Wallace rests upon insufficient evidence. The documents which Fraser examined suggests the following:

1.Sir John Menteith fought on the patriotic side at the Battle of Dunbar in 1296, where he and his older brother were taken prisoner.

2.Menteith made peace with Edward I and pledged support.

3.Menteith returned to the patriotic party.

4.Menteith resubmitted to the English king, and obtained from him the sheriffdom of Dumbarton and the custody of the castle to which Wallace was conveyed after his capture.

5.Menteith obtained a share of the reward that Edward promised to the captors of William Wallace.

The extent of the friendship between Wallace and Menteith is unknown, but there can be no doubt that they must have had "intercourse and familiarity". In the "Relationes Arnaldi Blair", it is mentioned that in August 1298, Wallace, Governor of Scotland, with John Graham and John Menteith, and Alexander Scrymegour, Constable of Dundee and Standard-bearer of Scotland, fought together in Galloway against the rebels who adhered to the party of Scotland and the Comyns.

In the "Chronicle of Lancaster", written in the 13th century, it is stated that "William Wallace was taken by a Scotsman, namely, Sir John Menteith, and carried to London, where he was drawn, hanged, and beheaded." In the account of the capture and execution of Wallace contained in the Arundel manuscript, written about the year 1320, it is stated that "William Wallace was seized in the house of Ralph Rae by Sir John Menteith, and carried to London by Sir John de Segrave, where he was judged." Fordun, who lived in the reign of King Robert I of Scotland (Robert the Bruce), when the memory of the exploits of Wallace must have been quite fresh, says: "The noble William Wallace was, by Sir John Menteith, at Glasgow, while suspecting no evil, fraudulently betrayed and seized, delivered to the King of England, dismembered at London, and his quarters hung up in the towns of the most public places in England and Scotland, in opprobium of the Scots." Wyntoun, whose "Metrical Chronicle" was written in 1418, says:

"Schyre Jhon of Menteith in tha days

Tuk in Glasgow William Walays;

And sent hym until Ingland sune,

There was he quartayrd and undone."

The English chronicler Piers Langtoft states that Menteith discovered the retreat of Wallace through the treacherous information of Jack Short, his servant, and that he came under cover of night and seized him in bed. A passage in the Scala Chronica, quoted by Leland, says, "William Walleys was taken of the Counte of Menteith, about Glasgow, and sent to King Edward, and after was hanged, drawn, and quartered at London." But the most conclusive evidence of all that Menteith took a prominent part in the betrayal and capture of Wallace is afforded by the fact that while liberal rewards were given to all the persons concerned in this infamous affair, by far the largest share fell to Menteith: he received land to the value of one hundred pounds.

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The Society of William Wallace is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registration number SC045959