Edward I of England

Edward I of England

Overview
Edward I also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War
Second Barons' War
The Second Barons' War was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort, against the Royalist forces led by Prince Edward , in the name of Henry III.-Causes:...

.
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Timeline

1272   Following Henry III of England's death on November 16, his son Prince Edward becomes King of England.

1290   King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B'Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.

1291   Scottish nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England.

1295   The first elected representatives from Lancashire are called to Westminster by King Edward I to attend what later became known as "The Model Parliament".

1296   Edward I sacks Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England.

1296   Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated by Edward I of England.

1305   William Wallace, Scottish patriot, is executed for high treason by Edward I of England.

 
Encyclopedia
Edward I also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. The first son of Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he briefly sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War
Second Barons' War
The Second Barons' War was a civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort, against the Royalist forces led by Prince Edward , in the name of Henry III.-Causes:...

. After the Battle of Lewes
Battle of Lewes
The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264...

, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and joined the fight against Simon de Montfort
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

. Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham
Battle of Evesham
The Battle of Evesham was one of the two main battles of 13th century England's Second Barons' War. It marked the defeat of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and the rebellious barons by Prince Edward – later King Edward I – who led the forces of his father, King Henry III...

 in 1265, and within two years the rebellion was extinguished. With England pacified, Edward left on a crusade
Ninth Crusade
The Ninth Crusade, which is sometimes grouped with the Eighth Crusade, is commonly considered to be the last major medieval Crusade to the Holy Land. It took place in 1271–1272....

 to the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

. The crusade accomplished little, and Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died. Making a slow return, he reached England in 1274 and he was crowned king at Westminster on 19 August.

Edward's reign had two main phases. He spent the first years reforming royal administration. Through an extensive legal inquiry, Edward investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statute
Statute
A statute is a formal written enactment of a legislative authority that governs a state, city, or county. Typically, statutes command or prohibit something, or declare policy. The word is often used to distinguish law made by legislative bodies from case law, decided by courts, and regulations...

s regulating criminal and property law. Increasingly, however, Edward's attention was drawn towards 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 war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Edward subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with Englishmen. Next, his efforts were directed towards Scotland. Initially invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 over the kingdom. In the war that followed, the Scots
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 persevered, even though the English seemed victorious at several points. At the same time there were problems at home. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, and Edward met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition. These crises were initially averted, but issues remained unsettled. When the king died in 1307, he left to his son, Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, an ongoing war with Scotland and many financial and political problems.

Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname "Longshanks". He was temperamental, and this, along with his 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 have been more divided on their assessment of the king; while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude to his nobility. Currently, 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 criticised for other actions, such as his brutal conduct towards the Scots, and issuing the Edict of Expulsion
Edict of Expulsion
In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. Lasting for the rest of the Middle Ages, it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656...

 in 1290, by which the Jews were expelled from England. The Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, and it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656.

Childhood and marriage


Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
The Palace of Westminster, also known as the Houses of Parliament or Westminster Palace, is the meeting place of the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom—the House of Lords and the House of Commons...

 on the night of 17–18 June 1239, to King Henry III
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 and Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence
Eleanor of Provence was Queen consort of England as the spouse of King Henry III of England from 1236 until his death in 1272....

. Although the young prince was seriously ill on several occasions, in 1246, 1247, and 1251, he grew up to be strong and healthy. Edward was in the care of Hugh Giffard father of the future Chancellor
Chancellor of the Exchequer
The Chancellor of the Exchequer is the title held by the British Cabinet minister who is responsible for all economic and financial matters. Often simply called the Chancellor, the office-holder controls HM Treasury and plays a role akin to the posts of Minister of Finance or Secretary of the...

 Godfrey Giffard
Godfrey Giffard
Godfrey Giffard was Chancellor of the Exchequer of England, Lord Chancellor of England and Bishop of Worcester.-Early life:Giffard was the son of Hugh Giffard of Boyton in Wiltshire, a royal justice, and of his wife Sibyl, daughter and co-heiress of Walter de Cormeilles...

until Bartholomew Pecche took over at Giffard's death in 1246. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Henry of Almain
Henry of Almain
Henry of Almain , so called because of his father's German connections as King of the Romans , was the son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall and Isabel Marshal.As a nephew of both Henry III and Simon de Montfort, he wavered between the two at the beginning of the Barons' War, but...

, son of King Henry's brother Richard of Cornwall
Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
Richard of Cornwall was Count of Poitou , 1st Earl of Cornwall and German King...

. Henry of Almain would remain a close companion of the prince, both through the civil war that followed, and later during the crusade.

In 1254, English fears of a Castilian
Castile (historical region)
A former kingdom, Castile gradually merged with its neighbours to become the Crown of Castile and later the Kingdom of Spain when united with the Crown of Aragon and the Kingdom of Navarre...

 invasion of the English province of Gascony
Gascony
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; sometimes they are considered to overlap, and sometimes Gascony is considered a...

 induced Edward's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his fourteen-year-old son and Eleanor
Eleanor of Castile
Eleanor of Castile was the first queen consort of Edward I of England. She was also Countess of Ponthieu in her own right from 1279 until her death in 1290, succeeding her mother and ruling together with her husband.-Birth:...

, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X was a Castilian monarch who ruled as the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 1252 until his death...

. Eleanor and Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile. As part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks
Mark (money)
Mark was a measure of weight mainly for gold and silver, commonly used throughout western Europe and often equivalent to 8 ounces. Considerable variations, however, occurred throughout the Middle Ages Mark (from a merging of three Teutonic/Germanic languages words, Latinized in 9th century...

 a year. Though the endowments King Henry made were sizeable, they offered Edward little independence. He had already received Gascony as early as 1249, but Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester
Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, 1st Earl of Chester , sometimes referred to as Simon V de Montfort to distinguish him from other Simon de Montforts, was an Anglo-Norman nobleman. He led the barons' rebellion against King Henry III of England during the Second Barons' War of 1263-4, and...

, had been appointed as royal lieutenant the year before and, consequently, drew its income, so in practice Edward derived neither authority nor revenue from this province. The grant he received in 1254 included most of Ireland, and much land in Wales and England, including the earldom of Chester
Earl of Chester
The Earldom of Chester was one of the most powerful earldoms in medieval England. Since 1301 the title has generally been granted to heirs-apparent to the English throne, and from the late 14th century it has been given only in conjunction with that of Prince of Wales.- Honour of Chester :The...

, but the king retained much control over the land in question, particularly in Ireland, so Edward's power was limited there as well, and the king derived most of the income from those lands.

From 1254 to 1257, Edward was under the influence of his mother's relatives, known as the Savoyards, the most notable of whom was Peter of Savoy, the queen's uncle. After 1257, Edward increasingly fell in with the Poitevin or Lusignan
Lusignan
The Lusignan family originated in Poitou near Lusignan in western France in the early 10th century. By the end of the 11th century, they had risen to become the most prominent petty lords in the region from their castle at Lusignan...

 faction the half-brothers of his father Henry III led by such men as William de Valence
William de Valence, 1st Earl of Pembroke
William de Valence, 1st Earl of Wexford and 1st Earl of Pembroke , born Guillaume de Lusignan or de Valence, was a French nobleman and Knight, who became important in English politics due to his relationship to Henry III...

. This association was significant, because the two groups of privileged foreigners were resented by the established English aristocracy, and they would be at the centre of the ensuing years' baronial reform movement. There were tales of unruly and violent conduct by Edward and his Lusignan kinsmen, which raised questions about the royal heir's personal qualities. The next years would be formative on Edward's character.

Early ambitions


Edward had shown independence in political matters as early as 1255, when he sided with the Soler family in Gascony, in the ongoing conflict between the Soler and Colomb families. This ran contrary to his father's policy of mediation between the local factions. In May 1258, a group of magnate
Magnate
Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...

s drew up a document for reform of the king’s government the so-called Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

largely directed against the Lusignans. Edward stood by his political allies and strongly opposed the Provisions. The reform movement succeeded in limiting the Lusignan influence, however, and gradually Edward’s attitude started to change. In March 1259, he entered into a formal alliance with one of the main reformers, Richard de Clare, Earl of Gloucester. Then, on 15 October 1259, he announced that he supported the barons' goals, and their leader, Simon de Montfort.

The motive behind Edward's change of heart could have been purely pragmatic; Montfort was in a good position to support his cause in Gascony. When the king left for France in November, Edward's behaviour turned into pure insubordination. He made several appointments to advance the cause of the reformers, causing his father to believe that his son was considering a coup d'état. When the king returned from France, he initially refused to see his son, but through the mediation of the Earl of Cornwall
Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall
Richard of Cornwall was Count of Poitou , 1st Earl of Cornwall and German King...

 and the archbishop of Canterbury, the two were eventually reconciled. Edward was sent abroad, and in November 1260 he again united with the Lusignans, who had been exiled to France.

Back in England, early in 1262, Edward fell out with some of his former Lusignan allies over financial matters. The next year, King Henry sent him on a campaign in Wales against Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, with only limited results. Around the same time, Simon de Montfort, who had been out of the country since 1261, returned to England and reignited the baronial reform movement. It was at this pivotal moment, as the king seemed ready to resign to the barons' demands, that Edward began to take control of the situation. Whereas he had so far been unpredictable and equivocating, from this point on he remained firmly devoted to protecting his father's royal rights. He reunited with some of the men he had alienated the year before among them his childhood friend, Henry of Almain
Henry of Almain
Henry of Almain , so called because of his father's German connections as King of the Romans , was the son of Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall and Isabel Marshal.As a nephew of both Henry III and Simon de Montfort, he wavered between the two at the beginning of the Barons' War, but...

, and John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey and retook Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is a medieval castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it...

 from the rebels. Through the arbitration of King Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

, an agreement was made between the two parties. This so-called Mise of Amiens
Mise of Amiens
The Mise of Amiens was a settlement given by King Louis IX of France on 23 January 1264 in the conflict between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. Louis' one-sided decision for King Henry led directly to the hostilities of the Barons' War...

 was largely favourable to the royalist side, and laid the seeds for further conflict.

Civil war



The years 1264–1267 saw the conflict known as the Second Barons' War, in which baronial forces led by Simon de Montfort fought against those who remained loyal to the king. The first scene of battle was the city of Gloucester
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

, which Edward managed to retake from the enemy. When Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby
Robert de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby
Robert III de Ferrers, 6th Earl of Derby was an English nobleman.He was born at Tutbury Castle in Derbyshire, England, the son of William de Ferrers, 5th Earl of Derby and the Earl's 2nd wife Margaret de Quincy , daughter of Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester and Helen of Galloway.-Early...

, came to the assistance of the rebels, Edward negotiated a truce with the earl, the terms of which he later broke. Edward then captured Northampton
Northampton
Northampton is a large market town and local government district in the East Midlands region of England. Situated about north-west of London and around south-east of Birmingham, Northampton lies on the River Nene and is the county town of Northamptonshire. The demonym of Northampton is...

 from Montfort's son Simon
Simon VI de Montfort
Simon de Montfort "the younger" or Simon VI de Montfort was the second son of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and Eleanor of England....

, before embarking on a retaliatory campaign against Derby's lands. The baronial and royalist forces finally met at the Battle of Lewes
Battle of Lewes
The Battle of Lewes was one of two main battles of the conflict known as the Second Barons' War. It took place at Lewes in Sussex, on 14 May 1264...

, on 14 May 1264. Edward, commanding the right wing, performed well, and soon defeated the London contingent of Montfort's forces. Unwisely, however, he followed the scattered enemy in pursuit, and on his return found the rest of the royal army defeated. By the agreement known as the Mise of Lewes
Mise of Lewes
The Mise of Lewes was a settlement made on 14 May 1264 between King Henry III of England and his rebellious barons, led by Simon de Montfort. The settlement was made on the day of the Battle of Lewes, one of the two major battles of the Second Barons' War...

, Edward and his cousin Henry of Almain were given up as prisoners to Montfort.


Edward remained in captivity until March, and even after his release he was kept under strict surveillance. Then, on 28 May, he managed to escape his custodians and joined up with the Earl of Gloucester, who had recently defected to the king's side. Montfort's support was now dwindling, and Edward retook Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

 and Gloucester with relatively little effort. Meanwhile, Montfort had made an alliance with Llywelyn and started moving east to join forces with his son Simon. Edward managed to make a surprise attack at Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle
Kenilworth Castle is located in the town of the same name in Warwickshire, England. Constructed from Norman through to Tudor times, the castle has been described by architectural historian Anthony Emery as "the finest surviving example of a semi-royal palace of the later middle ages, significant...

, where the younger Montfort was quartered, before moving on to cut off the earl of Leicester. The two forces then met at the second great encounter of the Barons' War the Battle of Evesham
Battle of Evesham
The Battle of Evesham was one of the two main battles of 13th century England's Second Barons' War. It marked the defeat of Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, and the rebellious barons by Prince Edward – later King Edward I – who led the forces of his father, King Henry III...

, on 4 August 1265. Montfort stood little chance against the superior royal forces, and after his defeat he was killed and mutilated on the field.

Through such episodes as the deception of Derby at Gloucester, Edward acquired a reputation as untrustworthy. During the summer campaign, though, he began to learn from his mistakes, and acted in a way that gained the respect and admiration of his contemporaries. The war did not end with Montfort's death, and Edward participated in the continued campaigning. At Christmas, he came to terms with the younger Simon de Montfort and his associates at the Isle of Axholme
Isle of Axholme
The Isle of Axholme is part of North Lincolnshire, England. It is the only part of Lincolnshire west of the River Trent. It is between the three towns of Doncaster, Scunthorpe and Gainsborough.- Description:...

 in Lincolnshire, and in March he led a successful assault on the Cinque Ports
Cinque Ports
The Confederation of Cinque Ports is a historic series of coastal towns in Kent and Sussex. It was originally formed for military and trade purposes, but is now entirely ceremonial. It lies at the eastern end of the English Channel, where the crossing to the continent is narrowest...

. A contingent of rebels held out in the virtually impregnable Kenilworth Castle and did not surrender until the drafting of the conciliatory Dictum of Kenilworth
Dictum of Kenilworth
The Dictum of Kenilworth, issued 31 October 1266, was a pronouncement designed to reconcile the rebels of the Barons' War with the royal government of England. After the baronial victory at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Simon de Montfort took control of royal government, but at the Battle of Evesham...

. In April it seemed as if Gloucester would take up the cause of the reform movement, and civil war would resume, but after a renegotiation of the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth, the parties came f. Edward, however, was little involved in the settlement negotiations following the wars; at this point his main focus was on planning his upcoming crusade.

Crusade and accession



Edward took the crusader's cross in an elaborate ceremony on 24 June 1268, with his brother Edmund
Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster
Edmund of Crouchback, 1st Earl of Leicester and Lancaster , was the second surviving son of King Henry III of England and Eleanor of Provence. In his childhood he had a claim on the Kingdom of Sicily. His nickname refers to his participation in the Ninth Crusade.-Childhood:Edmund was born in London...

 and cousin Henry of Almain. Among others who committed themselves to the Ninth Crusade were Edward's former adversaries—like the earl of Gloucester, though the earl did not ultimately participate. With the country pacified, the greatest impediment to the project was providing sufficient finances. King Louis IX of France, who was the leader of the crusade, provided a loan of about £17,500. This, however, was not enough; the rest had to be raised through a tax on the laity
Laity
In religious organizations, the laity comprises all people who are not in the clergy. A person who is a member of a religious order who is not ordained legitimate clergy is considered as a member of the laity, even though they are members of a religious order .In the past in Christian cultures, the...

, which had not been levied since 1237. In May 1270, Parliament granted a tax of a twentieth, in exchange for which the king agreed to reconfirm Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

, and to impose restrictions on Jewish money lending. On 20 August Edward sailed from Dover
Dover
Dover is a town and major ferry port in the home county of Kent, in South East England. It faces France across the narrowest part of the English Channel, and lies south-east of Canterbury; east of Kent's administrative capital Maidstone; and north-east along the coastline from Dungeness and Hastings...

 for France. Historians have not determined the size of the force with any certainty, but Edward probably brought with him around 225 knights and all together less than 1000 men.

Originally, the Crusaders intended to relieve the beleaguered Christian stronghold of Acre, but Louis had been diverted to Tunis
Tunis
Tunis is the capital of both the Tunisian Republic and the Tunis Governorate. It is Tunisia's largest city, with a population of 728,453 as of 2004; the greater metropolitan area holds some 2,412,500 inhabitants....

. The French king and his brother Charles of Anjou, who had made himself king of Sicily, decided to attack the emirate to establish a stronghold in North Africa. The plans failed when the French forces were struck by an epidemic which, on 25 August, took the life of King Louis himself. By the time Edward arrived at Tunis, Charles had already signed a treaty with the emir, and there was little else to do but return to Sicily
Sicily
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...

. The crusade was postponed until next spring, but a devastating storm off the coast of Sicily dissuaded Charles of Anjou and Louis's successor Philip III
Philip III of France
Philip III , called the Bold , was the King of France, succeeding his father, Louis IX, and reigning from 1270 to 1285. He was a member of the House of Capet.-Biography:...

 from any further campaigning. Edward decided to continue alone, and on 9 May 1271 he finally landed at Acre.


By then, the situation in the Holy Land
Holy Land
The Holy Land is a term which in Judaism refers to the Kingdom of Israel as defined in the Tanakh. For Jews, the Land's identifiction of being Holy is defined in Judaism by its differentiation from other lands by virtue of the practice of Judaism often possible only in the Land of Israel...

 was a precarious one. Jerusalem had fallen in 1244, and Acre was now the centre of the Christian state
Kingdom of Jerusalem
The Kingdom of Jerusalem was a Catholic kingdom established in the Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods....

. The Muslim states were on the offensive under the Mamluk
Bahri dynasty
The Bahri dynasty or Bahriyya Mamluks was a Mamluk dynasty of mostly Kipchak Turkic origin that ruled Egypt from 1250 to 1382 when they were succeeded by the Burji dynasty, another group of Mamluks...

 leadership of Baibars
Baibars
Baibars or Baybars , nicknamed Abu l-Futuh , was a Mamluk Sultan of Egypt. He was one of the commanders of the forces which inflicted a devastating defeat on the Seventh Crusade of King Louis IX of France and he led the vanguard of the Egyptian army at the Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, which marked...

, and were now threatening Acre itself. Though Edward's men were an important addition to the garrison, they stood little chance against Baibars' superior forces, and an initial raid at nearby St Georges-de-Lebeyne in June was largely futile. An embassy to the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 helped bring about an attack on Aleppo
Aleppo
Aleppo is the largest city in Syria and the capital of Aleppo Governorate, the most populous Syrian governorate. With an official population of 2,301,570 , expanding to over 2.5 million in the metropolitan area, it is also one of the largest cities in the Levant...

 in the north, which helped to distract Baibar's forces. In November, Edward led a raid on Qaqun
Qaqun
Qaqun was a Palestinian Arab village located northwest of the city of Tulkarm at the only entrance to Mount Nablus from the coastal Sharon plain....

, which could have served as a bridgehead to Jerusalem, but both the Mongol invasion and the attack on Qaqun failed. Things now seemed increasingly desperate, and in May 1272 Hugh III of Cyprus
Hugh III of Cyprus
Hugh III of Cyprus , born Hughues de Poitiers, later Hughues de Lusignan , called the Great, was the King of Cyprus from 1267 and King of Jerusalem from 1268 . He was the son of Henry of Antioch and Isabella of Cyprus, the daughter of Hugh I...

, who was the nominal king of Jerusalem
Kings of Jerusalem
This is a list of kings of Jerusalem, from 1099 to 1291, as well as claimants to the title up to the present day.-Kings of Jerusalem :...

, signed a ten–year truce with Baibars. Edward was initially defiant, but an attack by a Muslim assassin
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 in June forced him to abandon any further campaigning. Although he managed to kill the assassin, he was struck in the arm by a dagger feared to be poisoned, and became severely weakened over the following months.

It was not until 24 September that Edward left Acre. Arriving in Sicily, he was met with the news that his father had died on 16 November. Edward was deeply saddened by this news, but rather than hurrying home at once, he made a leisurely journey northwards. This was partly due to his health still being poor, but also due to a lack of urgency. The political situation in England was stable after the mid-century upheavals, and Edward was proclaimed king at his father's death, rather than at his own coronation, as had until then been customary. In Edward's absence, the country was governed by a royal council, led by Robert Burnell
Robert Burnell
Robert Burnell was an English bishop who served as Lord Chancellor of England from 1274 to 1292. A native of Shropshire, he served as a minor royal official before entering into the service of Prince Edward, the future King Edward I of England...

. The new king embarked on an overland journey through Italy and France, where among other things he visited the pope in Rome and suppressed a rebellion in Gascony. Only on 2 August 1274 did he return to England, and was crowned on 19 August.

Administration and the law



Upon returning home, Edward immediately embarked on the administrative business of the nation, and his major concern was restoring order and re-establishing royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father. To accomplish this, he immediately ordered an extensive change of administrative personnel. The most important of these was the appointment of Robert Burnell as chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

, a man who would remain in the post until 1292 as one of the king's closest associates. Edward then replaced most local officials, such as the escheat
Escheat
Escheat is a common law doctrine which transfers the property of a person who dies without heirs to the crown or state. It serves to ensure that property is not left in limbo without recognised ownership...

ors and sheriffs
High Sheriff
A high sheriff is, or was, a law enforcement officer in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.In England and Wales, the office is unpaid and partly ceremonial, appointed by the Crown through a warrant from the Privy Council. In Cornwall, the High Sheriff is appointed by the Duke of...

. This last measure was done in preparation for an extensive inquest covering all of England, that would hear complaints about abuse of power
Abuse of Power
Abuse of Power is a novel written by radio talk show host Michael Savage.- Plot :Jack Hatfield is a hardened former war correspondent who rose to national prominence for his insightful, provocative commentary...

 by royal officers. The inquest produced the set of so-called Hundred Rolls
Hundred Rolls
The Hundred Rolls are a census of England and parts of what is now Wales taken in the late thirteenth century. Often considered an attempt to produce a second Domesday Book, they are named for the hundreds by which most returns were recorded....

, from the administrative subdivision of the hundred.

The second purpose of the inquest was to establish what land and rights the crown had lost during the reign of Henry III.

The Hundred Rolls formed the basis for the later legal inquiries called the Quo warranto
Quo warranto
Quo warranto is a prerogative writ requiring the person to whom it is directed to show what authority they have for exercising some right or power they claim to hold.-History:...

 proceedings. The purpose of these inquiries was to establish by what warrant various liberties
Liberty (division)
Originating in the Middle Ages, a liberty was traditionally defined as an area in which regalian rights were revoked and where land was held by a mesne lord...

 were held. If the defendant could not produce a royal licence to prove the grant of the liberty, then it was the crown's opinion based on the writings of the influential thirteenth-century legal scholar Bracton
Henry de Bracton
Henry of Bracton, also Henry de Bracton, also Henrici Bracton, or Henry Bratton also Henry Bretton was an English jurist....

that the liberty should revert to the king.

By enacting the Statute of Gloucester
Statute of Gloucester
Statute of Gloucester is one of the most important pieces of legislation enacted in the Parliament of England during the reign of Edward I. The Statute, proclaimed at Gloucester in August 1278, was crucial to the development of English law....

 in 1278 the king challenged baronial rights through a revival of the system of general eyres (royal justices to go on tour throughout the land) and through a significant increase in the number of pleas of quo warranto to be heard by such eyres.

This caused great consternation among the aristocracy, who insisted that long use in itself constituted license
License
The verb license or grant licence means to give permission. The noun license or licence refers to that permission as well as to the document recording that permission.A license may be granted by a party to another party as an element of an agreement...

. A compromise was eventually reached in 1290, whereby a liberty was considered legitimate as long as it could be shown to have been exercised since the coronation of King Richard I
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy, Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period...

, in 1189. Royal gains from the Quo warranto proceedings were insignificant; few liberties were returned to the king. Edward had nevertheless won a significant victory, in clearly establishing the principle that all liberties essentially emanated from the crown.

The 1290 statute of Quo warranto was only one part of a wider legislative effort, which was one of the most important contributions of Edward I's reign. This era of legislative action had started already at the time of the baronial reform movement; the Statute of Marlborough
Statute of Marlborough
The Statute of Marlborough was a set of laws passed by King Henry III of England in 1267. There were twenty-nine chapters, of which four are still in force...

 (1267) contained elements both of the Provisions of Oxford
Provisions of Oxford
The Provisions of Oxford are often regarded as England's first written constitution ....

 and the Dictum of Kenilworth
Dictum of Kenilworth
The Dictum of Kenilworth, issued 31 October 1266, was a pronouncement designed to reconcile the rebels of the Barons' War with the royal government of England. After the baronial victory at the Battle of Lewes in 1264, Simon de Montfort took control of royal government, but at the Battle of Evesham...

. The compilation of the Hundred Rolls was followed shortly after by the issue of Westminster I (1275), which asserted the royal prerogative
Royal Prerogative
The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognized in common law and, sometimes, in civil law jurisdictions possessing a monarchy as belonging to the sovereign alone. It is the means by which some of the executive powers of government, possessed by and...

 and outlined restrictions on liberties. In the Mortmain (1279), the issue was grants of land to the church. The first clause of Westminster II
Statute of Westminster 1285
The Statute of Westminster of 1285, like the Statute of Westminster 1275, is a code in itself, and contains the famous clause De donis conditionalibus , one of the fundamental institutes of the medieval land law of England...

 (1285), known as De donis conditionalibus
De donis conditionalibus
De donis conditionalibus is the chapter of the English Statutes of Westminster which originated the law of entail.Strictly speaking, a form of entail was known before the Norman feudal law had been domesticated in England...

, dealt with family settlement of land, and entails
Fee tail
At common law, fee tail or entail is an estate of inheritance in real property which cannot be sold, devised by will, or otherwise alienated by the owner, but which passes by operation of law to the owner's heirs upon his death...

. Merchants
Statute merchant
Statute merchant and statute staple; two old forms of security, long obsolete in English practice, though references to them still occur in some modern statutes....

 (1285) established firm rules for the recovery of debts, while Winchester (1285) dealt with peacekeeping on a local level. Quia emptores
Quia Emptores
Quia Emptores of 1290 was a statute passed by Edward I of England that prevented tenants from alienating their lands to others by subinfeudation, instead requiring all tenants wishing to alienate their land to do so by substitution...

 (1290) issued along with Quo warranto set out to remedy land ownership disputes resulting from alienation of land by subinfeudation
Subinfeudation
In English law, subinfeudation is the practice by which tenants, holding land under the king or other superior lord, carved out new and distinct tenures in their turn by sub-letting or alienating a part of their lands....

. The age of the great statutes largely ended with the death of Robert Burnell in 1292.

Welsh wars


Llywelyn ap Gruffudd enjoyed an advantageous situation in the aftermath of the Barons' War. Through the 1267 Treaty of Montgomery
Treaty of Montgomery
By means of the Treaty of Montgomery , Llywelyn ap Gruffydd was acknowledged as Prince of Wales by the English king Henry III, the only time in history that an English ruler would recognise the right of a ruler of Gwynedd over Wales...

, he officially obtained land he had conquered in the Four Cantrefs of Perfeddwlad and was recognised in his title of Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales
Prince of Wales is a title traditionally granted to the heir apparent to the reigning monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the 15 other independent Commonwealth realms...

. Armed conflicts nevertheless continued, in particular with certain dissatisfied Marcher Lords
Marcher Lords
A Marcher Lord was a strong and trusted noble appointed by the King of England to guard the border between England and Wales.A Marcher Lord is the English equivalent of a margrave...

, such as the earl of Gloucester, Roger Mortimer and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun , 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, was an English nobleman known primarily for his opposition to King Edward I over the Confirmatio Cartarum. He was also an active participant in the Welsh Wars and maintained for several years a private feud with the earl of Gloucester...

. Problems were exacerbated when Llywelyn's younger brother Dafydd
Dafydd ap Gruffydd
Dafydd ap Gruffydd was Prince of Wales from 11 December 1282 until his execution on 3 October 1283 by King Edward I of England...

 and Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn
Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn
Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn was a Welsh prince who was lord of the part of Powys known as Powys Wenwynwyn.Gruffydd was the son of Gwenwynwyn ab Owain and Margaret Corbet. He was still a child when his father, who had been driven out of his princedom by Llywelyn the Great, died in exile in 1216...

 of Powys, after failing in an assassination attempt against Llywelyn, defected to the English in 1274. Citing ongoing hostilities and the English king's harbouring of his enemies, Llywelyn refused to do homage to Edward. For Edward, a further provocation came from Llywelyn's planned marriage to Eleanor
Eleanor de Montfort
Eleanor de Montfort, Princess of Wales and Lady of Snowdon was a daughter of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester and Eleanor of England. She was also the first woman who can be shown to have used the title Princess of Wales....

, daughter of Simon de Montfort. In November 1276, war was declared. Initial operations were launched under the captaincy of Mortimer, Lancaster (Edward's brother Edmund) and William de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick
William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick
William de Beauchamp, 9th Earl of Warwick was an English nobleman and soldier, described as a “vigorous and innovative military commander”...

. Support for Llywelyn was weak among his own countrymen. In July 1277 Edward invaded with a force of 15,500 of whom 9,000 were Welshmen. The campaign never came to a major battle, and Llywelyn soon realised he had no choice but to surrender. By the Treaty of Aberconwy
Treaty of Aberconwy
The Treaty of Aberconwy was signed in 1277 by King Edward I of England and Llewelyn the Last of modern-day Wales, who had fought each other on and off for years over control of the Welsh countryside...

 in November 1277, he was left only with the land of Gwynedd
Kingdom of Gwynedd
Gwynedd was one petty kingdom of several Welsh successor states which emerged in 5th-century post-Roman Britain in the Early Middle Ages, and later evolved into a principality during the High Middle Ages. It was based on the former Brythonic tribal lands of the Ordovices, Gangani, and the...

, though he was allowed to retain the title of Prince of Wales.

When war broke out again in 1282, it was an entirely different undertaking. For the Welsh, this war was over national identity, enjoying wide support, provoked particularly by attempts to impose English law
English law
English law is the legal system of England and Wales, and is the basis of common law legal systems used in most Commonwealth countries and the United States except Louisiana...

 on Welsh subjects. For Edward, it became a war of conquest rather than simply a punitive expedition
Punitive expedition
A punitive expedition is a military journey undertaken to punish a state or any group of persons outside the borders of the punishing state. It is usually undertaken in response to perceived disobedient or morally wrong behavior, but may be also be a covered revenge...

, like the former campaign. The war started with a rebellion by Dafydd, who was discontented with the reward he had received from Edward in 1277. Llywelyn and other Welsh chieftains soon joined in, and initially the Welsh experienced military success. In June, Gloucester was defeated at the Battle of Llandeilo Fawr. On 6 November, while John Peckham
John Peckham
John Peckham was Archbishop of Canterbury in the years 1279–1292. He was a native of Sussex who was educated at Lewes Priory and became a Franciscan friar about 1250. He studied at Paris under Bonaventure, where he later taught theology. From his teaching, he came into conflict with Thomas...

, archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

, was conducting peace negotiations, Edward's commander of Anglesey
Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

, Luke de Tany
Luke de Tany
Luke de Tany was a high-ranking Norman lord. He was once the Seneschal of Gascony. He served Edward I of England during the 1282 Welsh war by successfully capturing Anglesey. From Anglesey, de Tany sent a strong force over the Menai Strait where they were defeated at the Battle of Moel-y-don. Luke...

, decided to carry out a surprise attack. A pontoon bridge
Pontoon bridge
A pontoon bridge or floating bridge is a bridge that floats on water and in which barge- or boat-like pontoons support the bridge deck and its dynamic loads. While pontoon bridges are usually temporary structures, some are used for long periods of time...

 had been built to the mainland, but shortly after Tany and his men crossed over, they were ambushed by the Welsh and suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Moel-y-don. The Welsh advances ended on 11 December, however, when Llywelyn was lured into a trap and killed at the Battle of Orewin Bridge
Battle of Orewin Bridge
The Battle of Orewin Bridge was fought between English and Welsh armies on December 11, 1282 near Builth Wells in mid-Wales...

. The conquest of Gwynedd was complete with the capture in June 1283 of Dafydd, who was taken to Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

 and executed as a traitor the following autumn.


Further rebellions occurred in 1287–8 and, more seriously, in 1294with five under Madog ap Llywelyn
Madog ap Llywelyn
Madog ap Llywelyn, or Prince Madoc, was from a junior branch of the House of Aberffraw and a distant relation of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, the last recognised native Prince of Wales.-Lineage:...

, a distant relative of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd. This last conflict demanded the king's own attention, but in both cases the rebellions were put down. By the 1284 Statute of Rhuddlan
Statute of Rhuddlan
The Statute of Rhuddlan , also known as the Statutes of Wales or as the Statute of Wales provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of North Wales from 1284 until 1536...

, the Principality of Wales
Principality of Wales
The Principality of Wales existed between 1216 and 1542, encompassing two-thirds of modern Wales.It was formally founded in 1216 at the Council of Aberdyfi, and later recognised by the 1218 Treaty of Worcester between Llywelyn the Great of Wales and Henry III of England...

 was incorporated into England and was given an administrative system like the English, with counties policed by sheriffs. English law was introduced in criminal cases, though the Welsh were allowed to maintain their own customary laws in some cases of property disputes. After 1277, and increasingly after 1283, Edward embarked on a full-scale project of English settlement of Wales, creating new towns like Flint
Flint, Flintshire
Flint is a town in Flintshire, North Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Dee. It was the county town of the historic county of Flintshire and today is the third largest town in Flintshire. According to the 2001 Census the population of the community of Flint was 12,804...

, Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth
Aberystwyth is a historic market town, administrative centre and holiday resort within Ceredigion, Wales. Often colloquially known as Aber, it is located at the confluence of the rivers Ystwyth and Rheidol....

, and Rhuddlan
Rhuddlan
Rhuddlan is a town and community in the county of Denbighshire , in north Wales. It is situated to the south of the coastal town of Rhyl and overlooks the River Clwyd. The town gave its name to the Welsh district of Rhuddlan from 1974 to 1996...

. An extensive project of castle-building
Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd
The Castles and Town Walls of King Edward in Gwynedd refers to a UNESCO-designated site of patrimony located in Gwynedd, Wales.In 1986, four castles related to the reign of King Edward I of England were proclaimed collectively as a World Heritage Site, as outstanding examples of fortifications and...

 was also initiated. The assignment was given to Master James of Saint George, a prestigious architect whom Edward had met in Savoy
Savoy
Savoy is a region of France. It comprises roughly the territory of the Western Alps situated between Lake Geneva in the north and Monaco and the Mediterranean coast in the south....

 on his return from the crusade. Among the major buildings were the castles of Beaumaris
Beaumaris Castle
Beaumaris Castle, located in the town of the same name on the Isle of Anglesey in Wales, was built as part of King Edward I's campaign to conquer the north of Wales. It was designed by James of St. George and was begun in 1295, but never completed...

, Caernarfon
Caernarfon Castle
Caernarfon Castle is a medieval building in Gwynedd, north-west Wales. There was a motte-and-bailey castle in the town of Caernarfon from the late 11th century until 1283 when King Edward I of England began replacing it with the current stone structure...

, Conwy
Conwy Castle
Conwy Castle is a castle in Conwy, on the north coast of Wales.It was built between 1283 and 1289 during King Edward I's second campaign in North Wales....

 and Harlech
Harlech Castle
Harlech Castle, located in Harlech, Gwynedd, Wales, is a concentric castle, constructed atop a cliff close to the Irish Sea. Architecturally, it is particularly notable for its massive gatehouse....

. His programme of castle building in Wales heralded the introduction of the widespread use of arrowslits in castle walls across Europe, drawing on Eastern influences. Also a product of the Crusades was the introduction of the concentric castle
Concentric castle
A concentric castle is a castle with two or more concentric curtain walls, such that the outer wall is lower than the inner and can be defended from it. The word concentric does not imply that these castles were circular; in fact if taken too literally the term "concentric" is quite misleading...

, and four of the eight castles Edward founded in Wales followed this design. In 1284, King Edward's son Edward the later Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

was born at Caernarfon Castle. In 1301 at Lincoln, the young Edward became the first English prince to be invested with the title of Prince of Wales.

Diplomacy and war on the Continent



Edward never again went on crusade after his return to England in 1274, but he maintained an intention to do so, and took the cross again in 1287. This intention guided much of his foreign policy, until at least 1291. To stage a European-wide crusade, it was essential to prevent conflict between the greater princes on the continent. A major obstacle to this was represented by the conflict between the French House of Anjou
Capetian House of Anjou
The Capetian House of Anjou, also known as the House of Anjou-Sicily and House of Anjou-Naples, was a royal house and cadet branch of the direct House of Capet. Founded by Charles I of Sicily, a son of Louis VIII of France, the Capetian king first ruled the Kingdom of Sicily during the 13th century...

 ruling southern Italy, and the kingdom of Aragon
Kingdom of Aragon
The Kingdom of Aragon was a medieval and early modern kingdom in the Iberian Peninsula, corresponding to the modern-day autonomous community of Aragon, in Spain...

 in Spain. In 1282, the citizens of Palermo rose up against Charles of Anjou and turned for help to Peter of Aragon
Peter III of Aragon
Peter the Great was the King of Aragon of Valencia , and Count of Barcelona from 1276 to his death. He conquered Sicily and became its king in 1282. He was one of the greatest of medieval Aragonese monarchs.-Youth and succession:Peter was the eldest son of James I of Aragon and his second wife...

, in what has become known as the Sicilian Vespers
Sicilian Vespers
The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to the successful rebellion on the island of Sicily that broke out on the Easter of 1282 against the rule of the French/Angevin king Charles I, who had ruled the Kingdom of Sicily since 1266. Within six weeks three thousand French men and women were slain by...

. In the war that followed, Charles of Anjou's son, Charles of Salerno
Charles II of Naples
Charles II, known as "the Lame" was King of Naples, King of Albania, Prince of Salerno, Prince of Achaea and Count of Anjou.-Biography:...

, was taken prisoner by the Aragonese. The French began planning an attack on Aragon, raising the prospect of a large-scale European war. To Edward, it was imperative that such a war be avoided, and in Paris in 1286 he brokered a truce between France and Aragon that helped secure Charles' release. As far as the crusades were concerned, however, Edward's efforts proved ineffective. A devastating blow to his plans came in 1291, when the Mamluks captured Acre
Siege of Acre (1291)
The Siege of Acre took place in 1291 and resulted in the loss of the Crusader-controlled city of Acre to the Muslims. It is considered one of the most important battles of the time period. Although the crusading movement continued for several more centuries, the capture of the city marked the end...

, the last Christian stronghold in the Holy Land.

After the fall of Acre, Edward's international role changed from that of a diplomat to an antagonist. He had long been deeply involved in the affairs of his own Duchy of Gascony. In 1278 he assigned an investigating commission to his trusted associates Otto de Grandson
Otton de Grandson
Otto de Grandson was a medieval Savoyard knight long in the service of the English crown under Edward I. He was the closest personal friend of Edward, his exact contemporary, and shared the king's many interests....

 and the chancellor Robert Burnell, which caused the replacement of the seneschal Luke de Tany
Luke de Tany
Luke de Tany was a high-ranking Norman lord. He was once the Seneschal of Gascony. He served Edward I of England during the 1282 Welsh war by successfully capturing Anglesey. From Anglesey, de Tany sent a strong force over the Menai Strait where they were defeated at the Battle of Moel-y-don. Luke...

. In 1286, Edward visited the region himself and stayed for almost three years. The perennial problem, however, was the status of Gascony within the kingdom of France, and Edward's role as the French king's vassal. On his diplomatic mission in 1286, Edward had paid homage to the new king, Philip IV
Philip IV of France
Philip the Fair was, as Philip IV, King of France from 1285 until his death. He was the husband of Joan I of Navarre, by virtue of which he was, as Philip I, King of Navarre and Count of Champagne from 1284 to 1305.-Youth:A member of the House of Capet, Philip was born at the Palace of...

, but in 1294 Philip declared Gascony forfeit when Edward refused to appear before him in Paris to discuss the recent conflict between English, Gascon, and French sailors (that had resulted in several French ships being captured, along with the sacking of the French port of La Rochelle
La Rochelle
La Rochelle is a city in western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. It is the capital of the Charente-Maritime department.The city is connected to the Île de Ré by a bridge completed on 19 May 1988...

).

In the war that followed, Edward planned for a two-pronged attack. While the English forces focused on Gascony, alliances were made with the princes of the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

, Germany, and Burgundy, who would attack France from the north. The alliances proved volatile, however, and Edward was facing trouble at home at the time, both in Wales and Scotland. It was not until August 1297 that he was finally able to sail for Flanders, at which time his allies there had already suffered defeat. The support from Germany never materialised, and Edward was forced to seek peace. His marriage to the French princess Margaret, Philip IV's half-sister and his own first cousin once removed, in 1299 ended the war, but the whole affair had proven both costly and fruitless for the English.

The Great Cause



The relationship between the nations of England and Scotland by the 1280s was one of relatively harmonious coexistence. The issue of homage did not reach the same level of controversy as it did in Wales; in 1278 King Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III of Scotland
Alexander III was King of Scots from 1249 to his death.-Life:...

 paid homage to Edward I, but apparently only for the lands he held of Edward in England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Problems arose only with the Scottish succession crisis of the early 1290s. In the years from 1281 to 1284, Alexander's two sons and one daughter died in quick succession. Then, in 1286, King Alexander died himself, leaving as heir to the throne of Scotland the three-year-old Margaret, the Maid of Norway
Margaret, Maid of Norway
Margaret , usually known as the Maid of Norway , sometimes known as Margaret of Scotland , was a Norwegian princess who was Queen of Scots from 1286 until her death...

, who was born in 1283 to Alexander's daughter Margaret and King Eric II of Norway. By the Treaty of Birgham
Treaty of Birgham
The Treaty of Birgham, also referred to as the Treaty of Salisbury, comprised two treaties intended to secure the independence of Scotland after Alexander III died without issue in 1286....

, it was agreed that Margaret should marry King Edward's then one-year-old son Edward of Carnarvon
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, though Scotland would remain free of English overlordship
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

.


Margaret, by now seven years of age, sailed from Norway for Scotland in the autumn of 1290, but fell ill on the way and died in Orkney. This left the country without an obvious heir, and led to the succession dispute known to history as the Great Cause
Competitors for the Crown of Scotland
With the death of Alexander III of Scotland in 1286 without a male heir, the throne of Scotland had become the possession of the three-year old Margaret, Maid of Norway, the granddaughter of the King...

. Even though as many as fourteen claimants put forward their claims to the title, the real contest was between John Balliol
John of Scotland
John Balliol , known to the Scots as Toom Tabard , was King of Scots from 1292 to 1296.-Early life:Little of John's early life is known. He was born between 1248 and 1250 at an unknown location, possibilities include Galloway, Picardy and Barnard Castle, County Durham...

 and Robert de Brus. The Scottish magnate
Magnate
Magnate, from the Late Latin magnas, a great man, itself from Latin magnus 'great', designates a noble or other man in a high social position, by birth, wealth or other qualities...

s made a request to Edward to arbitrate in the dispute. At Birgham, with the prospect of a personal union between the two realms, the question of suzerainty had not been of great importance to Edward. Now he insisted that, if he were to settle the contest, he had to be fully recognised as Scotland's feudal overlord. The Scots were reluctant to make such a concession, and replied that since the country had no king, no one had the authority to make this decision. This problem was circumvented when the competitors agreed that the realm would be handed over to Edward until a rightful heir had been found. After a lengthy hearing, a decision was made in favour of John Balliol on 17 November 1292.

Even after Balliol's accession, Edward still continued to assert his authority over Scotland. Against the objections of the Scots, he agreed to hear appeals on cases ruled on by the court of guardians that had governed Scotland during the interregnum. A further provocation came in a case brought by Macduff, son of Malcolm, Earl of Fife
Maol Choluim II, Earl of Fife
Máel Coluim II , was a 13th century Mormaer of Fife who ruled the mormaerdom or earldom of Fife between 1228 and 1266...

, in which Edward demanded that Balliol appear in person before the English Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 to answer the charges. This the Scottish king did, but the final straw was Edward's demand that the Scottish magnates provide military service in the war against France. This was unacceptable; the Scots instead formed an alliance
Auld Alliance
The Auld Alliance was an alliance between the kingdoms of Scotland and France. It played a significant role in the relations between Scotland, France and England from its beginning in 1295 until the 1560 Treaty of Edinburgh. The alliance was renewed by all the French and Scottish monarchs of that...

 with France and launched an unsuccessful attack on Carlisle. Edward responded by invading Scotland in 1296 and taking the town of Berwick
Berwick-upon-Tweed
Berwick-upon-Tweed or simply Berwick is a town in the county of Northumberland and is the northernmost town in England, on the east coast at the mouth of the River Tweed. It is situated 2.5 miles south of the Scottish border....

 in a particularly bloody attack. At the Battle of Dunbar
Battle of Dunbar (1296)
The Battle of Dunbar was the only significant field action in the campaign of 1296. King Edward I of England had invaded Scotland in 1296 to punish King John Balliol for his refusal to support English military action in France.-Background:...

, Scottish resistance was effectively crushed. Edward confiscated the Stone of Destiny
Stone of Scone
The Stone of Scone , also known as the Stone of Destiny and often referred to in England as The Coronation Stone, is an oblong block of red sandstone, used for centuries in the coronation of the monarchs of Scotland and later the monarchs of England, Great Britain and the United Kingdom...

  the Scottish coronation stone and brought it to Westminster, deposed Balliol and placed him in the Tower of London
Tower of London
Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the City of London by the open space...

, and installed Englishmen to govern the country. The campaign had been very successful, but the English triumph would only be temporary.

Finances, Parliament and the Expulsion of Jews


Edward I's frequent military campaigns put a great financial strain on the nation. There were several ways through which the king could raise money for war, including customs duties
Duty (economics)
In economics, a duty is a kind of tax, often associated with customs, a payment due to the revenue of a state, levied by force of law. It is a tax on certain items purchased abroad...

, money lending
Moneylender
A moneylender is a person or group who offers small personal loans at high rates of interest.-See also:* Microfinance - provision of financial services to low-income individuals....

 and lay subsidies. In 1275, Edward I negotiated an agreement with the domestic merchant community that secured a permanent duty on wool. In 1303, a similar agreement was reached with foreign merchants, in return for certain rights and privileges. The revenues from the customs duty were handled by the Riccardi, a group of bankers from Lucca
Lucca
Lucca is a city and comune in Tuscany, central Italy, situated on the river Serchio in a fertile plainnear the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Lucca...

 in Italy. This was in return for their service as money lenders to the crown, which helped finance the Welsh Wars. When the war with France broke out, the French king confiscated the Riccardi's assets, and the bank went bankrupt. After this, the Frescobaldi
Frescobaldi
The Frescobaldi are a prominent Florentine noble family that have been involved in the political, sociological, and economic history of Tuscany since the Middle Ages;. Originating in the Val di Pesa in the Chianti, they appear holding important posts in Florence in the twelfth century...

 of Florence
Florence
Florence is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Florence. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants, expanding to over 1.5 million in the metropolitan area....

 took over the role as money lenders to the English crown.


Another source of crown income was represented by England's Jews
History of the Jews in England
The history of the Jews in England goes back to the reign of William I. The first written record of Jewish settlement in England dates from 1070, although Jews may have lived there since Roman times...

. The Jews were the king's personal property, and he was free to tax them at will. By 1280, the Jews had been exploited to a level at which they were no longer of much financial use to the crown, but they could still be used in political bargaining. Their usury
Usury
Usury Originally, when the charging of interest was still banned by Christian churches, usury simply meant the charging of interest at any rate . In countries where the charging of interest became acceptable, the term came to be used for interest above the rate allowed by law...

 business a practice forbidden to Christians had made many people indebted to them and caused general popular resentment. In 1275, Edward had issued the Statute of the Jewry
Statute of the Jewry
The Statute of the Jewry was a statute issued by Edward I of England in 1275. It placed a number of restrictions on Jews of England, most notably outlawing the practice of usury.- Context :...

, which outlawed usury and encouraged the Jews to take up other professions; in 1279, in the context of a crack-down on coin-clippers
Coin clipping
Coin debasement is the act of decreasing the amount of precious metal in a coin, while continuing to circulate it at face value. This was frequently done by governments in order to inflate the amount of currency in circulation; typically, some of the precious metal was replaced by a cheaper metal...

, he arrested all the heads of Jewish households in England and had around 300 of them executed. In 1280, he ordered all Jews to attend special sermons, preached by Dominican friars, with the hope of persuading them to convert, but these exhortations were not followed. The final attack on the Jews in England came in the Edict of Expulsion
Edict of Expulsion
In 1290, King Edward I issued an edict expelling all Jews from England. Lasting for the rest of the Middle Ages, it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned in 1656...

 in 1290, whereby Edward formally expelled all Jews from England. This not only generated revenues through royal appropriation of Jewish loans and property, but it also gave Edward the political capital to negotiate a substantial lay subsidy in the 1290 Parliament. The expulsion, which was not reversed until 1656, followed a precedent set by other European territorial princes: Philip II of France
Philip II of France
Philip II Augustus was the King of France from 1180 until his death. A member of the House of Capet, Philip Augustus was born at Gonesse in the Val-d'Oise, the son of Louis VII and his third wife, Adela of Champagne...

 had expelled all Jews from his own lands in 1182; John I, Duke of Brittany
John I, Duke of Brittany
John I the Red , known as John the Red due to the colour of his beard, was Duke of Brittany, from 1237 to his death...

, drove them out of his duchy in 1239; and in the late 1240s Louis IX of France
Louis IX of France
Louis IX , commonly Saint Louis, was King of France from 1226 until his death. He was also styled Louis II, Count of Artois from 1226 to 1237. Born at Poissy, near Paris, he was an eighth-generation descendant of Hugh Capet, and thus a member of the House of Capet, and the son of Louis VIII and...

 had expelled the Jews from the royal demesne before his first passage to the East.

Among the main achievements of the reign of Edward I were the reforms of the institution of the English Parliament
Parliament of England
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England. In 1066, William of Normandy introduced a feudal system, by which he sought the advice of a council of tenants-in-chief and ecclesiastics before making laws...

 and its transformation into a source for generating revenues. Edward held Parliament at a reasonably regular basis throughout his reign. In 1295, however, a significant change occurred. For this Parliament, in addition to the secular and ecclesiastical lords, two knights from each county and two representatives from each borough were summoned. The representation of commons in Parliament was nothing new; what was new was the authority under which these representatives were summoned. Whereas previously the commons had been expected simply to assent to decisions already made by the magnates, it was now proclaimed that they should meet with the full authority (plena potestas) of their communities, to give assent to decisions made in Parliament. The king now had full backing for collecting lay subsidies from the entire population. Lay subsidies were taxes collected at a certain fraction of the moveable property of all laymen. Whereas Henry III had only collected four of these in his reign, Edward I collected nine. This format eventually became the standard for later Parliaments, and historians have named the assembly the "Model Parliament".

Constitutional crisis


The incessant warfare of the 1290s put a great financial demand on Edward's subjects. Whereas the king had only levied three lay subsidies until 1294, four such taxes were granted in the years 1294–97, raising over £200,000. Along with this came the burden of prises (appropriation of food), seizure of wool and hides, and the unpopular additional duty on wool, dubbed the maltolt. The fiscal demands on the king's subjects caused resentment, and this resentment eventually led to serious political opposition. The initial resistance was not caused by the lay taxes, however, but by clerical subsidies. In 1294, Edward made a demand of a grant of one half of all clerical revenues. There was some resistance, but the king responded by threatening with outlaw
Outlaw
In historical legal systems, an outlaw is declared as outside the protection of the law. In pre-modern societies, this takes the burden of active prosecution of a criminal from the authorities. Instead, the criminal is withdrawn all legal protection, so that anyone is legally empowered to persecute...

ry, and the grant was eventually made. At the time, the archbishopric of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 was vacant, since Robert Winchelsey
Robert Winchelsey
Robert Winchelsey was an English Christian theologian and Archbishop of Canterbury. He studied at the universities of Paris and Oxford, and later taught at both. Influenced by Thomas Aquinas, he was a scholastic theologian...

 was in Italy to receive consecration. Winchelsey returned in January 1295 and had to consent to another grant in November of that year. In 1296, however, his position changed when he received the papal bull
Papal bull
A Papal bull is a particular type of letters patent or charter issued by a Pope of the Catholic Church. It is named after the bulla that was appended to the end in order to authenticate it....

 Clericis laicos
Clericis laicos
Clericis laicos was a Papal bull issued on February 5, 1296 by Pope Boniface VIII in an attempt to prevent the secular states of Europe, in particular France and England, from appropriating church revenues without the express prior permission of the pope...

. This bull prohibited the clergy from paying taxes to lay authorities without explicit consent from the Pope. When the clergy, with reference to the bull, refused to pay, Edward responded with outlawry. Winchelsey was presented with a dilemma between loyalty to the king and upholding the papal bull, and he responded by leaving it to every individual clergyman to pay as he saw fit. By the end of the year, a solution was offered by the new papal bull Etsi de statu
Etsi de statu
Etsi de statu was a papal bull issued by Pope Boniface VIII in July 1297. The bull was essentially a revocation of a bull issued the previous year, Clericis laicos...

, which allowed clerical taxation in cases of pressing urgency.
Opposition from the laity took longer to surface. This resistance focused on two things: the king's right to demand military service, and his right to levy taxes. At the Salisbury parliament of February 1297, Roger Bigod, Earl of Norfolk
Roger Bigod, 5th Earl of Norfolk
Roger Bigod was 5th Earl of Norfolk.He was the son of Hugh Bigod , and succeeded his uncle, Roger Bigod, 4th Earl of Norfolk as earl in 1270....

, in his capacity as Marshal of England
Earl Marshal
Earl Marshal is a hereditary royal officeholder and chivalric title under the sovereign of the United Kingdom used in England...

, objected to a royal summons of military service. Bigod argued that the military obligation only extended to service alongside the king; if the king intended to sail to Flanders, he could not send his subjects to Gascony. In July, Bigod and Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun, 3rd Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun , 3rd Earl of Hereford and 2nd Earl of Essex, was an English nobleman known primarily for his opposition to King Edward I over the Confirmatio Cartarum. He was also an active participant in the Welsh Wars and maintained for several years a private feud with the earl of Gloucester...

 and Constable of England
Lord High Constable of England
The Lord High Constable of England is the seventh of the Great Officers of State, ranking beneath the Lord Great Chamberlain and above the Earl Marshal. His office is now called out of abeyance only for coronations. The Lord High Constable was originally the commander of the royal armies and the...

, drew up a series of complaints known as the Remonstrances
Remonstrances
The Remonstrances were a set of complaints presented by a group of nobles in 1297, against the government of King Edward I of England...

, in which objections to the extortionate level of taxation were voiced. Undeterred, Edward requested another lay subsidy. This one was particularly provocative, because the king had sought consent only from a small group of magnates, rather than from representatives from the communities in parliament. While Edward was in Winchelsea
Winchelsea
Winchelsea is a small village in East Sussex, England, located between the High Weald and the Romney Marsh, approximately two miles south west of Rye and seven miles north east of Hastings...

, preparing for the campaign in Flanders, Bigod and Bohun turned up at the Exchequer to prevent the collection of the tax. As the king left the country with a greatly reduced force, the kingdom seemed to be on the verge of civil war. What resolved the situation was the English defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth.-The main...

. The renewed threat to the homeland gave king and magnates common cause. Edward signed the Confirmatio cartarum a confirmation of Magna Carta
Magna Carta
Magna Carta is an English charter, originally issued in the year 1215 and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions, which included the most direct challenges to the monarch's authority to date. The charter first passed into law in 1225...

 and its accompanying Charter of the Forest
Charter of the forest
The Charter of the Forest is a charter originally sealed in England by King Henry III. It was first issued in 1217 as a complementary charter to the Magna Carta from which it had evolved. It was reissued in 1225 with a number of minor changes to wording, and then was joined with Magna Carta in the...

and the nobility agreed to serve with the king on a campaign in Scotland.

Edward's problems with the opposition did not end with the Falkirk campaign. Over the following years he would be held up to the promises he had made, in particular that of upholding the Charter of the Forest. In the parliament of 1301, the king was forced to order an assessment of the royal forest
Royal forest
A royal forest is an area of land with different meanings in England, Wales and Scotland; the term forest does not mean forest as it is understood today, as an area of densely wooded land...

s, but in 1305 he obtained a papal bull that freed him from this concession. Ultimately, it was a failure in personnel that spelt the end of the opposition against Edward I. Bohun died late in 1298, after returning from the Falkirk campaign. As for Bigod, in 1302 he arrived at an agreement with the king that was beneficial for both: Bigod, who had no children, made Edward his heir, in return for a generous annual grant. Edward finally got his revenge on Winchelsey in 1305, when Clement V
Pope Clement V
Pope Clement V, born Raymond Bertrand de Got was Pope from 1305 to his death...

 was elected pope. Clement was a Gascon sympathetic to the king, and on Edward's instigation had Winchelsey suspended from office.

Final years: return to Scotland




The situation in Scotland had seemed resolved when Edward left the country in 1296, but resistance soon emerged under the leadership of the strategically gifted and charismatic William Wallace
William Wallace
Sir William Wallace was a Scottish knight and landowner who became one of the main leaders during the Wars of Scottish Independence....

. On 11 September 1297, a large English force under the leadership of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey, and Hugh de Cressingham
Hugh de Cressingham
Hugh de Cressingham was the treasurer of the English administration in Scotland during 1296-97. He was hated by the Scots and did not seem well liked even by the English. He was an advisor to John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey at the Battle of Stirling Bridge...

 was routed by a much smaller Scottish army led by Wallace and Andrew Moray
Andrew Moray
Andrew Moray , also known as Andrew de Moray, Andrew of Moray, or Andrew Murray, was a prominent military leader of patriotic forces during the Scottish Wars of Independence. He led the rising in northern Scotland in the summer of 1297 against the occupation by King Edward I of England,...

 at Stirling Bridge
Battle of Stirling Bridge
The Battle of Stirling Bridge was a battle of the First War of Scottish Independence. On 11 September 1297, the forces of Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated the combined English forces of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey and Hugh de Cressingham near Stirling, on the River Forth.-The main...

. The defeat sent shockwaves into England, and preparations for a retaliatory campaign started immediately. Soon after Edward returned from Flanders, he headed north. On 22 July 1298, in the only major battle he had fought since Evesham in 1265, Edward defeated Wallace's forces at the Battle of Falkirk
Battle of Falkirk (1298)
The Battle of Falkirk, which took place on 22 July 1298, was one of the major battles in the First War of Scottish Independence...

. Edward, however, was not able to take advantage of the momentum, and the next year the Scots managed to recapture Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle, located in Stirling, is one of the largest and most important castles, both historically and architecturally, in Scotland. The castle sits atop Castle Hill, an intrusive crag, which forms part of the Stirling Sill geological formation. It is surrounded on three sides by steep...

. Even though Edward campaigned in Scotland both in 1300 and 1301, the Scots refused to engage in open battle again, preferring instead to raid the English countryside in smaller groups. The English managed to subdue the country by other means, however. In 1303, a peace agreement was reached between England and France, effectively breaking up the Franco-Scottish alliance. Robert the Bruce
Robert I of Scotland
Robert I , popularly known as Robert the Bruce , was King of Scots from March 25, 1306, until his death in 1329.His paternal ancestors were of Scoto-Norman heritage , and...

, the grandson of the claimant to the crown in 1291, had sided with the English in the winter of 1301–02. By 1304, most of the other nobles of the country had also pledged their allegiance to Edward, and this year the English also managed to re-take Stirling Castle. A great propaganda victory was achieved in 1305 when Wallace was betrayed by Sir John de Menteith
John de Menteith
Sir John de Menteith was a Scottish nobleman.He was born to Mary, Countess of Menteith and her husband Walter "Bailloch" Stewart, Earl of Menteith jure uxoris. He and his older brother, Alexander, Earl of Menteith, replaced their paternal Stewart surname in favour of Menteith, which earned him the...

 and turned over to the English, who had him taken to London where he was publicly executed. With Scotland largely under English control, Edward installed Englishmen and collaborating Scots to govern the country.

The situation changed again on 10 February 1306, when Robert the Bruce murdered his rival John Comyn
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch
John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Lord of Lochaber or John "the Red", also known simply as the Red Comyn was a Scottish nobleman who was an important figure in the Wars of Scottish Independence, and was Guardian of Scotland during the Second Interregnum 1296-1306...

 and a few weeks later, on 25 March, had himself crowned king of Scotland by Isobel, sister of the Earl of Buchan. Bruce now embarked on a campaign to restore Scottish independence, and this campaign took the English by surprise. Edward was suffering ill health by this time, and instead of leading an expedition himself, he gave different military commands to Aymer de Valence
Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke
Aymer de Valence, 2nd Earl of Pembroke was a Franco-English nobleman. Though primarily active in England, he also had strong connections with the French royal house. One of the wealthiest and most powerful men of his age, he was a central player in the conflicts between Edward II of England and...

 and Henry Percy
Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy
Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Alnwick was the son of Henry de Percy and Eleanor de Warenne, daughter of John de Warenne, Earl of Surrey and Alice de Lusignan, Countess of Surrey, half sister of Henry III....

, while the main royal army was led by the Prince of Wales. The English initially met with success; on 19 June, Aymer de Valence routed Bruce at the Battle of Methven
Battle of Methven
The Battle of Methven took place at Methven in Scotland in 1306, during the Wars of Scottish Independence.-Comyn's Death:In February 1306, Robert Bruce and a small party of his followers killed John Comyn, also known as the Red Comyn, before the high altar of the Greyfriars Church in Dumfries...

. Bruce was forced into hiding, while the English forces recaptured their lost territory and castles. Edward responded with severe brutality against Bruce's allies; it was clear that he now regarded the struggle not as a war between two nations, but as the suppression of a rebellion of disloyal subjects. This brutality, though, rather than helping to subdue the Scots, had the opposite effect, and rallied growing support for Bruce. In February Bruce reappeared and started gathering men, and in May he defeated Aymer de Valence at the Battle of Loudoun Hill
Battle of Loudoun Hill
The Battle of Loudoun Hill was fought in May 1307 between a Scots force led by Robert Bruce and the English commanded by Aymer de Valence. It took place beneath Loudoun Hill, in Ayrshire, and ended in a victory for Bruce...

. Edward, who had rallied somewhat, now moved north himself. On the way, however, he developed dysentery
Dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

, and his condition deteriorated. On 6 July he encamped at Burgh by Sands
Burgh by Sands
Burgh by Sands is a village and civil parish in the City of Carlisle district of Cumbria, England, situated near the Solway Firth. The parish includes the village of Burgh by Sands along with Longburgh, Dykesfield, Boustead Hill, Moorhouse and Thurstonfield....

, just south of the Scottish border. When his servants came the next morning to lift him up so that he could eat, he died in their arms.

Various stories emerged about Edward’s deathbed wishes; according to one tradition, he requested that his heart be carried to the Holy Land, along with an army to fight the infidels. A more dubious story tells of how he wished for his bones be carried along on future expeditions against the Scots. Another account of his deathbed scene is more credible; according to one chronicle, Edward gathered around him the earls of Lincoln
Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln
Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln was a confidant of Edward I of England.In 1272 on reaching the age of majority he became Earl of Lincoln...

 and Warwick
Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick
Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick was an English magnate, and one of the principal opponents of King Edward II and his favourite Piers Gaveston. Guy de Beauchamp was the son of William de Beauchamp, the first Beauchamp earl of Warwick, and succeeded his father in 1298...

, Aymer de Valence, and Robert Clifford
Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford
Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford, also 1st Lord of Skipton , was an English soldier who became first Lord Warden of the Marches, defending the English border with Scotland. He was born in Clifford Castle, Herefordshire, and was married there in 1295 to Maud de Clare, eldest daughter of...

, and charged them with looking after his son Edward. In particular they should make sure that Piers Gaveston
Piers Gaveston
Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall was an English nobleman of Gascon origin, and the favourite of King Edward II of England. At a young age he made a good impression on King Edward I of England, and was assigned to the household of the King's son, Edward of Carnarvon...

 was not allowed to return to the country. This wish, however, the son ignored, and had his favourite recalled from exile almost immediately. Edward I's body was brought south, and after a lengthy vigil he was buried in Westminster Abbey on 27 October. The new king, Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

, remained in the north until August, but then abandoned the campaign and headed south. He was crowned king on 25 February 1308.

Character and assessment


Physically, Edward was an imposing man; at 6 feet 2 inches he towered over most of his contemporaries, and hence perhaps his epithet "longshanks". He also had a reputation for a fierce temper, and he could be intimidating; one story tells of how the Dean of St Paul's, wishing to confront Edward over the high level of taxation in 1295, fell down and died once he was in the king's presence. When Edward of Caernarfon demanded an earldom for his favourite Gaveston, the king erupted in anger and supposedly tore out handfuls of his son's hair. Some of his contemporaries considered Edward frightening, particularly in his early days. The Song of Lewes in 1264 described him as a leopard, an animal regarded as particularly powerful and unpredictable. Despite these frightening character traits, however, Edward's contemporaries considered him an able, even an ideal, king. Though not loved by his subjects, he was feared and respected. He met contemporary expectations of kingship in his role as an able, determined soldier and in his embodiment of shared chivalric ideals. In religious observance he also fulfilled the expectations of his age: he attended chapel regularly and gave alms
Alms
Alms or almsgiving is a religious rite which, in general, involves giving materially to another as an act of religious virtue.It exists in a number of religions. In Philippine Regions, alms are given as charity to benefit the poor. In Buddhism, alms are given by lay people to monks and nuns to...

 generously.
Modern historians have been more divided in their view of Edward I. Bishop William Stubbs
William Stubbs
William Stubbs was an English historian and Bishop of Oxford.The son of William Morley Stubbs, a solicitor, he was born at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and was educated at Ripon Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1848, obtaining a first-class in classics and a third in...

, working in the whig
Whig history
Whig history is the approach to historiography which presents the past as an inevitable progression towards ever greater liberty and enlightenment, culminating in modern forms of liberal democracy and constitutional monarchy. In general, Whig historians stress the rise of constitutional government,...

 tradition of historical writing, praised Edward as a king deliberately working towards the goal of a constitutional government
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

. "...the self-regulating action of the body politic", according to Stubbs "was very much the work of Edward." Stubbs' student T. F. Tout
Thomas Frederick Tout
Thomas Frederick Tout, F.B.A. was a 19th- and 20th-century British historian of the medieval period.-Early life:...

 departed from this view. In Tout's opinion, "Even the parliamentary system grew up in obedience to the royal will. It was no yielding to a people crying for liberty, but the shrewd device of an autocrat, anxious to use the mass of the people as a check upon his hereditary foes among the greater baronage." F. M. Powicke
F. M. Powicke
Sir Frederick Maurice Powicke was an English medieval historian. He was a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford, delivered the Ford Lectures in 1927, and from 1929 was Regius Professor of History at Oxford. He was knighted in 1946....

 offered a more positive perspective in his extensive work on Edward I in King Henry III and the Lord Edward (1947) and The Thirteenth Century (1953). K. B. McFarlane
K. B. McFarlane
Kenneth Bruce McFarlane was one of the 20th century's most influential historians of late medieval England. He was born on 18 October 1903 and was the only child of A. McFarlane, OBE. His father was a civil servant in the Admiralty and the young McFarlane's childhood was an unhappy one. This may...

, on the other hand, criticised Edward's restrictive policy towards his earls, and concluded that "...he belonged less to the future than to the past."

In 1988, Michael Prestwich
Michael Prestwich
Michael Charles Prestwich OBE is an English historian, specialising on the history of medieval England, in particular the reign of Edward I. He is retired, having been Professor of History at Durham University, and Head of the Department of History until 2007.-Early life:Prestwich is the son of...

 released what has been called "...the first scholarly study devoted exclusively to the political career of Edward I." Prestwich's work, which is considered authoritative, tries to assess Edward by the standards of his own age, and concludes that his reign was a great one. His contributions to the development of the law, parliament and a functioning system of taxation, as well as his military exploits, stand out in particular. At the same time, he left a legacy of financial difficulties, political distrust and an unresolved situation in Scotland. The roots of the disasters of the reign of Edward II can be found in the reign of Edward I. Other contemporary writers have been more willing to criticise Edward for his failings, particularly his severe treatment of the Jews. There is also a great difference between English and Scottish historiography on King Edward. G. W. S. Barrow
G. W. S. Barrow
Geoffrey Wallis Steuart Barrow DLitt FBA FRSE is a British historian and academic. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Edinburgh, and arguably the most prominent Scottish medievalist of the last century....

, in his biography on Robert the Bruce, accused Edward of ruthlessly exploiting the leaderless state of Scotland to obtain a feudal superiority over the kingdom. This view of Edward is reflected in the popular perception of the king, as can be seen in the 1995 movie Braveheart
Braveheart
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical drama war film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. The film was written for the screen and then novelized by Randall Wallace...

s portrayal of the king as a hard-hearted tyrant.

Name and epithets


Edward
Edward
Edward is an English given name. It is derived from Old English words ead and weard...

, being an Anglo-Saxon name, was not a common name among the aristocracy of England after the Norman Conquest
Norman conquest of England
The Norman conquest of England began on 28 September 1066 with the invasion of England by William, Duke of Normandy. William became known as William the Conqueror after his victory at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066, defeating King Harold II of England...

. Henry III was devoted to the veneration
Veneration
Veneration , or veneration of saints, is a special act of honoring a saint: an angel, or a dead person who has been identified by a church committee as singular in the traditions of the religion. It is practiced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic, and Eastern Catholic Churches...

 of Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

, and for this reason decided to name his firstborn son after the saint. Though the first post-Conquest king to carry that name, Edward I was not the first English king named Edward; he was preceded by the Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 kings Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder
Edward the Elder was an English king. He became king in 899 upon the death of his father, Alfred the Great. His court was at Winchester, previously the capital of Wessex...

, Edward the Martyr
Edward the Martyr
Edward the Martyr was king of the English from 975 until he was murdered in 978. Edward was the eldest son of King Edgar, but not his father's acknowledged heir...

, and Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor
Edward the Confessor also known as St. Edward the Confessor , son of Æthelred the Unready and Emma of Normandy, was one of the last Anglo-Saxon kings of England and is usually regarded as the last king of the House of Wessex, ruling from 1042 to 1066....

. Numerals, however, were not commonly used in Edward's time; the king was referred to simply as "King Edward", "King Edward, son of King Henry", or "King Edward, the first by that name after the Conquest". It was only after the succession of first his son and then his grandson both of whom bore the same name that "Edward I" came into common usage.
The epithet
Epithet
An epithet or byname is a descriptive term accompanying or occurring in place of a name and having entered common usage. It has various shades of meaning when applied to seemingly real or fictitious people, divinities, objects, and binomial nomenclature. It is also a descriptive title...

 under which Edward I is best known is probably "Longshanks" meaning "long legs" or "long shins" in reference to his tall stature. On 2 May 1774, the Society of Antiquaries
Society of Antiquaries of London
The Society of Antiquaries of London is a learned society "charged by its Royal Charter of 1751 with 'the encouragement, advancement and furtherance of the study and knowledge of the antiquities and history of this and other countries'." It is based at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London , and is...

 opened Edward's tomb in Westminster Abbey. They reported that his body had been well preserved over the preceding 467 years, and measured the king's body to be 6 feet 2 inches (188 cm). At this length, he would tower over most of his common contemporaries. Another epithet applied to Edward I is "Hammer of the Scots". This comes from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 inscription on his tomb, which reads Edwardus Primus Scottorum Malleus hic est, 1308. Pactum Serva ("Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, 1308. Keep the Vow"). This inscription, however, referring to his incessant campaigns against the Scots in the later years of his reign, is from a later date, probably the sixteenth century. The seventeenth-century lawyer Edward Coke
Edward Coke
Sir Edward Coke SL PC was an English barrister, judge and politician considered to be the greatest jurist of the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. Born into a middle class family, Coke was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge before leaving to study at the Inner Temple, where he was called to the...

 called Edward the "English Justinian". This was a way of highlighting the king's legislative accomplishments, by comparing him to the renowned Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 law-maker Justinian I
Justinian I
Justinian I ; , ; 483– 13 or 14 November 565), commonly known as Justinian the Great, was Byzantine Emperor from 527 to 565. During his reign, Justinian sought to revive the Empire's greatness and reconquer the lost western half of the classical Roman Empire.One of the most important figures of...

. Unlike Justinian, Edward did not codify the law, but as William Stubbs
William Stubbs
William Stubbs was an English historian and Bishop of Oxford.The son of William Morley Stubbs, a solicitor, he was born at Knaresborough, Yorkshire, and was educated at Ripon Grammar School and Christ Church, Oxford, where he graduated in 1848, obtaining a first-class in classics and a third in...

 pointed out, "if it be meant to denote the importance and permanence of his legislation and the dignity of his position in legal history", the comparison is still a valid one.

Issue



Eleanor of Castile
Eleanor of Castile
Eleanor of Castile was the first queen consort of Edward I of England. She was also Countess of Ponthieu in her own right from 1279 until her death in 1290, succeeding her mother and ruling together with her husband.-Birth:...

 died on 28 November 1290. Uncommon for such marriages of the period, the couple loved each other. Moreover like his father, Edward was very devoted to his queen and was faithful to her throughout their married lives—a rarity among monarchs of the time. He was deeply affected by her death. He displayed his grief by erecting twelve so-called Eleanor cross
Eleanor cross
The Eleanor crosses were twelve originally wooden, but later lavishly decorated stone, monuments of which three survive intact in a line down part of the east of England. King Edward I had the crosses erected between 1291 and 1294 in memory of his wife Eleanor of Castile, marking the nightly...

es, one at each place where her funeral cortège stopped for the night. As part of the peace accord between England and France in 1294, it was agreed that Edward should marry the French princess Margaret. The marriage took place in 1299.

Edward and Eleanor had at least fourteen children, perhaps as many as sixteen. Of these, five daughters survived into adulthood, but only one boy outlived Edward the future King Edward II
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

. Edward I was reportedly concerned with his son's failure to live up to the expectations of an heir to the crown, and at one point decided to exile the prince's favourite Piers Gaveston
Piers Gaveston
Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall was an English nobleman of Gascon origin, and the favourite of King Edward II of England. At a young age he made a good impression on King Edward I of England, and was assigned to the household of the King's son, Edward of Carnarvon...

. Edward may have been aware of his son's bisexual orientation even though he did not throw the prince's favourite from the castle battlements as depicted in Braveheart
Braveheart
Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical drama war film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. The film was written for the screen and then novelized by Randall Wallace...

.

By Margaret, Edward had two sons, both of whom lived into adulthood, and a daughter who died as a child. The Hailes Abbey
Hailes Abbey
Hailes Abbey is two miles northeast of Winchcombe, Gloucestershire, England.The abbey was founded in 1245 or 1246 by Richard, Earl of Cornwall, called "King of the Romans" and the younger brother of King Henry III of England. He was granted the manor of Hailes by Henry, and settled it with...

 chronicle indicates that John Botetourt may have been Edward's illegitimate son, however the claim is unsubstantiated.
Children by Eleanor of Castile
Name Birth Death Notes
Daughter 1255 1255 Stillborn or died shortly after birth
Katherine 1261/63 5 Sept. 1264 Buried at Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.
Joan Jan. 1265 Shortly bf.
7 Sept. 1265
Buried at Westminster Abbey.
John 13/14 July 1266 3 Aug. 1271 Died at Wallingford, while in the custody of his granduncle, Richard, Earl of Cornwall. Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Henry
Henry of England
Henry of England was the fifth child and second son of Edward I of England by his first wife Eleanor of Castile....

Shortly bf.
6 May 1268
14/16 Oct. 1274 Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Eleanor c. 18 June 1269 19 Aug. 1298 Married, in 1293, Henry III, Count of Bar
Henry III, Count of Bar
Henry III of Bar was Count of Bar from 1291 to 1302. He was son of Thibault II of Bar and Jeanne de Toucy.- Life :...

, by whom she had two children. Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Daughter 1271 1271 Born, and died, while Edward and Eleanor were in Acre
Acre, Israel
Acre , is a city in the Western Galilee region of northern Israel at the northern extremity of Haifa Bay. Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the country....

.
Joan
Joan of Acre
Joan of Acre was an English princess, a daughter of the King Edward I of England and queen Eleanor of Castile...

1272 23 Apr. 1307 Married (1) in 1290 Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Hertford, who died in 1295, and (2) in 1297 Ralph de Monthermer
Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer
Ralph de Monthermer, 1st Baron Monthermer, Earl of Hertford, Earl of Gloucester, Earl of Atholl -Biography:Ralph was a knight in the household of Joan of Acre, daughter of King Edward I of England. After the death of Joan's husband Gilbert de Clare, 6th Earl of Hertford in 1295, Ralph and Joan...

. She had four children by Clare, and three or four by Monthermer.
Alphonso
Alphonso, Earl of Chester
Alphonso was the ninth child of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile. During his lifetime, he was first in line to his father's throne of England and to his mother's county of Ponthieu in France....

23/24 Nov. 1273 19 Aug. 1284 Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Margaret Probably
15 Mar. 1275
After
11 Mar. 1333
Married John II of Brabant in 1290, with whom she had one son.
Berengaria 1 May 1276 6–27 June 1278 Buried at Westminster Abbey.
Daughter On or soon aft.
3 Jan. 1278
On or soon aft.
3 Jan. 1278
Little evidence exists for this child.
Mary
Mary of Woodstock
Mary of Woodstock , known anachronistically as Mary Plantagenet, was the seventh named daughter of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile.-Early life:...

11/12 Mar. 1279 29 May 1332 A Benedictine
Benedictine
Benedictine refers to the spirituality and consecrated life in accordance with the Rule of St Benedict, written by Benedict of Nursia in the sixth century for the cenobitic communities he founded in central Italy. The most notable of these is Monte Cassino, the first monastery founded by Benedict...

 nun in Amesbury
Amesbury
Amesbury is a town and civil parish in Wiltshire, England. It is most famous for the prehistoric monument of Stonehenge which is in its parish, and for the discovery of the Amesbury Archer—dubbed the King of Stonehenge in the press—in 2002...

, Wiltshire, where she was probably buried.
Son 1280/81 1280/81 Little evidence exists for this child.
Elizabeth
Elizabeth of Rhuddlan
Elizabeth of Rhuddlan was the eighth and youngest daughter of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile...

c. 7 Aug. 1282 5 May 1316 She married (1) in 1297 John I, Count of Holland
John I, Count of Holland
John I was Count of Holland and son of Count Floris V. John inherited the county in 1296 after the murder of his father....

, (2) in 1302 Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford
Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford was a member of a powerful Anglo-Norman family of the Welsh Marches and was one of the Ordainers who opposed Edward II's excesses.-Family background :...

. The first marriage was childless; by Bohun Elizabeth had ten children.
Edward
Edward II of England
Edward II , called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed by his wife Isabella in January 1327. He was the sixth Plantagenet king, in a line that began with the reign of Henry II...

25 Apr. 1284 21 Sept. 1327 Succeeded his father as king of England. In 1308 he married Isabella of France
Isabella of France
Isabella of France , sometimes described as the She-wolf of France, was Queen consort of England as the wife of Edward II of England. She was the youngest surviving child and only surviving daughter of Philip IV of France and Joan I of Navarre...

, with whom he had four children.
Children by Margaret of France
NameBirthDeathNotes
Thomas 1 June 1300 4 Aug. 1338 Buried in the abbey of Bury St Edmunds. Married (1) Alice Hales, with issue; (2) Mary Brewes, no issue.
Edmund
Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent
Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent was a member of the English Royal Family.-Early life:He was born at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, the son of Edward I Longshanks, King of England and his second wife, Margaret of France. He was 62 years younger than his father, who died when Edmund of Woodstock...

1 Aug. 1301 19 Mar. 1330 Married Margaret Wake
Margaret Wake, 3rd Baroness Wake of Liddell
Margaret Wake was the wife of Edmund of Woodstock, 1st Earl of Kent.-Biography:She was the daughter of John Wake, 1st Baron Wake of Liddell, and was descended directly from Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd. Her mother was Joan de Fiennes, making her a cousin of Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of...

 with issue.
Eleanor 6 May 1306 1310

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