Edward I

(Edward I of England, Longshanks)


Edward I
Edward the First was one of the most important and influential kings of England. He was the first Plantagenet King to have a Saxon name (Edward), and the first to use English, rather than French, in much of his administration. He did a great deal to reform the English government and establish many of the laws and parliamentary procedures advocated by Simon de Montfort during the reign of his father. He is often considered a great law-giver, because he made so many laws that restricted the abuse of power by his own officers, and checked the power of the churches as well as the feudal lords. He was a capable administrator and commanded respect and obedience from his barons which, in general, was a positive development for the common people, and as a result he was widely popular within England. Although he could be very harsh in dealing with rebels, or his enemies, he was known to be fair, and commanded nearly universal respect.

Edward is also well known for bringing Wales under the dominion of England, and attempting to also bring Scotland under his control. He believed that the Celtic Barons, like his own English lords, should obey his laws, and that England would be stronger as a unified nation. While he succeeded in his efforts in subduing Wales, Scotland was ever prone to rebellion even after it had supposedly been pacified. For many years, his nemesis was William Wallace, whom he defeated at the Battle of Falkirk, but could not capture for many years later. Then Robert the Bruce rose to lead the Scottish opposition against England. Edward, however was quite old by this time, and died while campaigning.

Key events during the life of Edward I of England:

Birth of Edward I to Henry III
Marriage to Eleanor of Castile
Barons War, kills Montfort at the Battle of Evensham.
Participates in the Eighth crusade with Louis IX of France.
Ascends to the throne of England
Conquers Wales
Puts down a rebellion in Wales
Establishes Balliol on the throne of Scotland, and forces him to pay homage.
Besieges Scottish castle at Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Defeats William Wallace at the Battle of Falkirk.
Dies while campaigning against Robert the Bruce.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Richard's Predecessors  in  Richard II  by  Jacob Abbott
Story of Prince Edward  in  Stories from English History  by  Alfred J. Church
First Two Edwards  in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
Simon of Montfort  in  Patriots and Tyrants  by  Marion Florence Lansing
Kings and Queens  in  Back Matter  by  books/lord/westminster/_back.html
Henry III—The Story of the Poisoned Dagger  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
Edward I—The Little War of Chalons  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall

Image Links

The First Prince of Wales
 in  The Story of the English
Edward I
Edward I
 in Back Matter

Slowly, with the king's litter in the centre of a column, the march was made
 in The Story of Robert Bruce

Edward's Escape
 in Great Englishmen

Edward I
 in European Hero Stories

Short Biography
Eleanor of Castile Wife of Edward I and mother of Edward II.
William Wallace Commoner who led resistance to Edward I's conquest of Scotland.
Robert the Bruce Scottish nobleman who claimed the crown and led resistance to England at Bannockburn.
Simon de Montfort French nobleman who led resistance to Henry III and laid foundations of English Parliament.
John Balliol Appointed King of Scotland by Edward I on the condition that he surrender Scotland's independence.
William Rufus Son of William the Conqueror. A bad and brutal king. Killed in the New Forest.
Louis IX Crusading king. Canonized as a saint for his concern and compassion for the poor.
Matthew Paris Benedictine monk, and thirteenth century historian and artist. Associated with St. Albans.