King Edward I of England

King of England (1272-1307)

Died aged 68

Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1272 to 1307. Concurrently, he ruled the duchies of Aquitaine and Gascony as a vassal of the French king. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as the Lord Edward. The eldest son of Henry III, Edward was involved from an early age in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included a rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was held hostage by the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and defeated the baronial leader Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Within two years the rebellion was extinguished and, with England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land. He was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed of his father's death. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and was crowned at Westminster Abbey. Edward spent much of his reign reforming royal administration and common law. Through an extensive legal inquiry, he investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. However, Edward's attention was increasingly drawn toward military affairs. After suppressing a minor rebellion in Wales in 1276–77, Edward responded to a second rebellion in 1282–83 with a full-scale conquest. After a successful campaign, he subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with English people. Next, his efforts were directed towards the Kingdom of Scotland. Initially invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty over Scotland, with the ensuing war continuing after Edward's death. Simultaneously, Edward found himself at war with France (a Scottish ally) after King Philip IV confiscated the Duchy of Gascony, which until then had been held in personal union with the Kingdom of England. Although Edward recovered his duchy, this conflict relieved English military pressure against Scotland. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, and Edward met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition. When the King died in 1307, he left to his son Edward II an ongoing war with Scotland, along with other financial and political problems that had been left unanswered during his reign. Edward's temperamental nature and height made him an intimidating man, and he often instilled fear in his contemporaries. Nevertheless, he held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator, and a man of faith. Modern historians are divided on their assessment of Edward: while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility. Edward I is credited with many accomplishments during his reign, including restoring royal authority after the reign of Henry III, establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and thereby also a functional system for raising taxes, and reforming the law through statutes. At the same time, he is also often condemned for his militaristic campaigns against Scotland and for expelling the Jews from his kingdom in 1290.

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Commemorated on 3 plaques

Site of King Arthur's Tomb. In the year 1191 the bodies of King Arthur and his Queen were said to have been found on the south side of the lady chapel. On the 19th April 1278 their remains were removed in the presence of King Edward I and Queen Eleanor to a black marble tomb on this site. This tomb survived until the dissolution of the abbey in 1539

Glastonbury Abbey, Glastonbury, United Kingdom where they was (1278)

This station stands on the site of the Great Hall of Berwick Castle. Here on the 17th November 1292 the claim of Robert Bruce to the Crown of Scotland was declined and the decision in favour John Baliol was given by King Edward I before the full Parliament of England and a large gathering of the nobility and populace of both England and Scotland.

Berwick-upon-Tweed railway station, Railway Street, Berwick-upon-Tweed, United Kingdom where they was (1292)

This fragment is the remains of the building where King Edward I held his parliament A.D. 1283 in which was passed the statute of Rhuddlan securing to the principality of Wales its judicial rights and independence.

High Street, Rhuddlan, United Kingdom where they held a parliament (1283)