Edward I (b.1239 r.1272-1307)
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Edward I (b.1239 r.1272-1307)

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Edward I preferred masterfulness to the acts of political management. In that sense he belonged less to the future than to the past.
K.B. McFarlane, Edward I.

Additional Information on
Edward I (b.1239 r.1272-1307)

Edward I was the son of Henry III. He was a fine warrior and a highly respected strong man who was exceptionally tall (for this period) hence his nickname 'Longshanks' because he stood head and shoulders above his fellow Englishmen. He could be devious and ruthless, and like many of the Plantagenet kings he had a violent temper - he once clouted a page at a royal wedding so hard that he had to agree to pay him damages.

Edward had helped his father govern since he was twelve, and had admired de Montfort's beliefs in a 'regulating parliament'. In 1295 Edward summoned a partly elected parliament of both the Lords and the Commons - the so called 'model parliament' - an early attempt at representative democracy. He also changed the legal system, reorganising the law courts and dismissing corrupt judges.

A renowned warrior, Edward is best remembered for his attempt to unite the kingdoms of England and Scotland under his own personal rule. He fought the Scots from 1296 until his death - earning himself the nickname 'Hammer of the Scots'. He defeated William Wallace in 1296 and 1298, but never managed to fully conquer Scotland. In 1282 Edward successfully defeated and killed the Welsh Prince Llewelyn (the last of the Welsh Royal line) incorporating the principality into the English kingdom in 1284, and officially declaring his own son as the 'Prince of Wales' in 1301.


I should not be a better king, however splendidly I was dressed.
- Himself.

Edward's posthumous career among scholars has not been as spectacular as that of the Conqueror, but it is not entirely unremarkable. During the last two centuries he has been turned from a strong ruler into a national King; from a national king into an aspiring tyrant; and now from an aspiring tyrant into a conventional, if competent, lord.
- G. Templeman, Edward I and the Historians.

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