Edward I of England Biography

Edward I was the King of England from 1272 to 1307, also known as ‘Edward Longshanks’ and the ‘Hammer of the Scots’. This biography of Edward I provides detailed information about his childhood, life, achievements, works & timeline

Quick Facts

Birthday: June 17, 1239

Nationality: British

Famous: Emperors & Kings British Men

Died At Age: 68

Sun Sign: Gemini

Also Known As: the Hammer of the Scots, Edward Longshanks

Born in: Westminster

Famous as: King of England


Spouse/Ex-: Eleanor of Castile, Margaret of France, Queen of England

father: Henry III of England

mother: Eleanor of Provence

siblings: Beatrice of England, Edmund Crouchback

children: 1st Earl of Kent, 1st Earl of Norfolk, Alphonso, Countess of Bar, Duchess of Brabant, Earl of Chester, Edmund of Woodstock, Edward II of England, Eleanor of England, Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Henry, Joan of Acre, Margaret of England, Mary of Woodstock, son of Edward I, Thomas of Brotherton

Died on: July 7, 1307

place of death: Burgh by Sands

City: London, England

Founder/Co-Founder: Cistercians

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Edward I was the King of England from 1272 to 1307, and was also known as ‘Edward Longshanks’ and the ‘Hammer of the Scots’. He was a successful king, a skilled military leader and fearsome warrior, who emerged as one of the greatest Plantagenet kings. Edward I was the eldest son of King Henry III; he inherited the fiery temper of his father. After getting married as a teenager to Eleanor of Castile as part of a political alliance, he acquired the lands of Gascony and spent a year there, studying its administration. Even though, Edward initially sided with the rebels, soon he returned to his father, took charge of the kingdom in his own hands and became Simon de Montfort's greatest enemy. After defeating Simon, he relentlessly pursued the surviving members of the de Montfort family, who were his cousins. Later, upon ascending the throne after his father’s death, he fought Llywelyn ap Gruffyd and his brother, quickly defeating them. He strengthened the crown and Parliament against the old feudal nobility. He subdued Wales, destroyed its autonomy and also made an unsuccessful attempt to conquer Scotland. His reign is particularly remembered for administrative efficiency and legal reform. He was an intimidating man who often instilled fear in his contemporaries and even though he earned the respect as a soldier and an administrator, many historians criticize him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility

Childhood & Early Life
Accession & Reign
  • In 1262, upon returning to England, Edward had some differences with his former Lusignan allies over financial matters. The following year, when Simon de Montfort reignited the baronial reform movement and the King seemed ready to resign to the demands of the barons, Edward took control of the situation.
  • Subsequently, he reunited with some of the men he had been estranged before and reconquered Windsor Castle from the rebels. In 1265, he displayed substantial military competence in defeating Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham and treating the insurgents with great barbarity.
  • When King Henry died in 1272, Edward succeeded him to the throne with his impressive track record in military service and his proven fortitude to give peace to the country.
  • In 1275, he imprisoned Eleanor de Montfort, Simon's daughter, who was to marry Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, prince of Gwynedd.
  • In 1282, Llywelyn's younger brother, Dafydd, unexpectedly started a rebellion but it proved to be a disaster as both the brothers were killed shortly afterwards in the battle.
  • Edward imposed taxes on the Jewish moneylenders to finance his war to conquer Wales. When the Jews were unable to pay them, he accused them of betrayal and over 300 Jews were executed at the Tower of London, while others were murdered in their homes. Finally in 1290, the King banished all Jews from the country.
  • Later, when Scottish nobles who were discontented with the successor Edward chose for their country, started a rebellion, an English army marched into Scotland in 1296, killing many of the inhabitants of Berwick upon Tweed.
  • The banner of the Scots was taken up by William Wallace, who was defeated by the king at the battle of Falkirk in 1298. Edward placed Scotland in the care of three regents. Later, when the opposition sprang up, Edward cruelly executed the focus of discontent, William Wallace, in 1305.
Personal Life & Legacy
  • In 1254, the 14-year old Edward married 13-year old Eleanor, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile to settle disputes about land in Gascony, a politically expedient marriage arranged by King Henry III.
  • They had several children, of whom five daughters survived into adulthood and only one boy outlived Edward, the future King Edward II. In November 1290, Eleanor died at the age of 49.
  • In 1299, at the age of 60, Edward I married Margaret of France, the 17-year-old daughter of King Phillip III of France. The couple had two sons—both of whom lived into adulthood—and a daughter, who died as a child.
  • In February 1307, on his way to reconquer Scotland, Edward developed dysentery and his condition declined. Edward died on July 7, 1307, at Burgh in Sands and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

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Edward I of England

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