Edward I of England Biography

(King of England from 1272 to 1307)

Birthday: June 1, 1239 (Gemini)

Born In: London, England

Edward I was the king of England from 1272 to 1307. He was also known as ‘Edward Longshanks’ and the ‘Hammer of the Scots.’ He was a successful king, a skilled military leader, and fearsome warrior. He 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 to Eleanor of Castile, as part of a political alliance, he acquired the lands of Gascony where he spent a year, studying its administration. Even though Edward initially sided with the rebels, he soon returned to his father, took charge of the kingdom, 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 the 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. Even though he earned respect as a soldier and an administrator, many historians criticize him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In June

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

Died At Age: 68


Spouse/Ex-: Eleanor of Castile, Margaret of France, Queen of England, Eleanor of Castile (m. 1254 – 1290), Queen of England (m. 1299 – 1307)

father: Henry III of England

mother: Eleanor of Provence

siblings: Beatrice of England, Edmund Crouchback

children: 1st Earl of Kent, 1st Earl of Norfolk, Alice of England, Alphonso, Alphonso - Earl of Chester, Beatrice of England, Berengaria of England, Blanche of England, Countess of Bar, Duchess of Brabant, Earl of Chester, Edmund of Woodstock, Edmund of Woodstock - 1st Earl of Kent, Edward i of england jean d'angleterre, Edward II, Edward II of England, Eleanor of England, Eleanor of England - Countess of Bar, Eleanor Plantagenet, Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, Henry, Henry - son of Edward I, Isabella of England, Joan of Acre, Joan of England, John of England Edward I of England, Juliana of England, Margaret of England, Margaret of England - Duchess of Brabant, Mary of Woodstock, son of Edward I, Thomas of Brotherton, Thomas of Brotherton - 1st Earl of Norfolk

Born Country: England

Emperors & Kings British Men

Died on: July 7, 1307

place of death: Burgh by Sands, Cumberland, England

City: London, England

Cause of Death: Dysentery

Founder/Co-Founder: Cistercians

Childhood & Early Life

Edward I was born on June 17, 1239, at the Palace of Westminster, London, England, to King Henry III and his wife Eleanor of Provence.

Edward I was raised under the care of Hugh Giffard until Bartholomew Pecche took over after Giffard's death in 1246.

He received a disciplined education and was taught to read and write in Latin and French. He also obtained training in arts, sciences, and music.

In 1254, after getting married at the age of 14, he was given lands in Wales, Ireland, and the Channel Islands by his father as King Henry III wanted Edward to experience power.

In 1258, when a group of barons called for the restructuring of the king’s government, Edward supported his political allies and later announced his support for the barons, and their leader Simon de Montfort.

Subsequently, Edward's actions to advance the cause of the reformers led King Henry III to believe that his son was considering a coup d'état.

But the father-son duo eventually reconciled, keeping their differences aside, and Edward was sent abroad. In November 1260, he once again united with the Lusignans, who had been exiled to France.

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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, Edward took control of the situation as the king seemed ready to resign as per the demands of the barons.

Subsequently, he reunited with some of the men, with whom he was estranged before, and reconquered Windsor Castle from the rebels. In 1265, he displayed substantial military competence by 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. As the king, he was expected to maintain peace in 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 wars to conquer Wales. When the Jews were unable to pay the taxes, 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 the Scottish nobles 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 under the care of three regents. Later, when opposition sprang up, Edward executed William Wallace in 1305.

Personal Life & Legacy

In 1254, a 14-year-old Edward married a 13-year-old Eleanor, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile. The marriage was arranged by King Henry III to settle the disputes of the lands in Gascony.

Edward and Eleanor had several children, of whom five daughters survived into adulthood. Only one of their sons, the future King Edward II, outlived Edward. 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 survived into adulthood—and a daughter who died young.

In February 1307, on his way to reconquer Scotland, Edward developed dysentery and his health declined. Edward died on July 7, 1307, at Burgh in Sands. His mortal remains were buried at Westminster Abbey. His son Edward II took over the throne.

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