King Edward I Of England 3 4
- Born: 17 Jun 1239, Westminster Palace, Middlesex, England 1
- Christened: 21 Jun 1239, Westminster, London, Middlesex, England
- Marriage (1): Princess Leonor on 18 Oct 1254 in Burgos, Burgos, , Castilla y León, Spain 1
- Marriage (2): UNKNOWN
- Marriage (3): Margaret of France between 8 Sep 1299 and 10 Sep 1299 in Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, England 2
- Marriage (4): Marguerite Princess Of France on 8 Sep 1299 1
- Died: 7 Jul 1307, Burgh-On-The-Sands, Cumberland, England at age 68 1
- Buried: 28 Oct 1307, Westminster Abbey, Westminster, Middlesex, England
Other names for Edward were Lawgiver and Longshanks.
Ancestral File Number: 8WKN-4B.
[Source: Who's Who in the Middle Ages, John Fines, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1995]
Edward I was born at Westminster in 1239, and was named for his father Henry III's favourite saint, Edward the Confessor. He was heir to wide domains and many troubles, and had an early taste of both. In 1252 he was given charge of the troublesome but lucrative Gascon territories. Two years later he was married to Eleanor of Castile---a political marriage, but one that was to turn into a love-match.
There was little time to enjoy it at first, for Edward was now pitched into the discords of the English baronial revolt. His father was neither a good leader of men, nor a good soldier, so the burden was thrust upon his young son. The barons' leader, Simon de Montfort, was Edward's uncle, and there is no doubt that the prince was both attracted to his uncle's ideas of government, and also deeply influenced by his military tactics. But after the defeat at Lewes, and a humiliating imprisonment, his admiration turned to hostility, which was only sated with the rout of Evesham in 1265.
In the next few years he acted as a moderating influence on his father's vindictive wrath, and saw to it that the settlement with the baronial opposition should not in itself provoke a further uprising.
In 1270 he was at last able to go off on crusade, when he brought relief to Acre. His military reputation now soared, and in 1272 he suffered an attack from an assassin, in which he was grazed by a poisoned dagger in the scuffle. He recovered, and was able to negotiate a ten-year truce before returning home, covered with honour.
On landing in Sicily he heard of his father's death, but he did not hurry to get back to England, spending a whole year settling his affairs in Gascony first. It was 1274 before England saw him. Once properly seated on the throne, however, he gave every evidence of his vigour and determination to rule. Within two months of the coronation, commissioners were scouring the land completing a survey as large and efficient as any that had been understaken since Domesday. The commissioners enquired into encroachments upon royal rights, and into injustices committed by the king's servants; their detailed reports are know to historians as the Hundred Rolls, based as they were on the administrative unit of the hundred.
The evidence of the Hundred Rolls was to be the basis of Edward's legislative reforms. A long series of statutes, enacted at the enlarged parliaments introduced by Simon de Montfort, aimed at the improvement of justice at the local as well as the national level, and also tried to rationalise the bewildering array of jurisdictions, known as liberties, the feudal government had seen grow up. Edward had a genuine concern to see justice done, which gained for him the deep admiration of his subjects. He was also very well informed about the localities, for he was constantly on the move, covering distances of about 2,000 miles a year, with a court of perhaps a thousand horses lumbering behind him on the muddy and dangerous medieval roads.
Much larger groups travelled with him when he went to war, and Wales was the first to see his unwelcome visitation. Llewellyn, Prince of Wales, had rather foolishly refused to do homage for his lands at Edward's coronation, and in 1277 the King attacked and reduced his dominions by half. Five years later the Prince's brother David rose in rebellion, and Llewellyn was forced to join him, only to be killed in a petty foray. With no great leader left to them, the Welsh submitted to annexation, and saw gigantic castles rise in key-points such as Conway, Caernarvon and Harlech, castles that would prevent future revolt. Edward was an arrant colonist, and typically brought back from Wales the great cross of Neath to carry in procession to Westminster for the service of thanksgiving. The Abbey was to see many more proud trophies plundered for its decoration and distinction.
Edward was eager to be off to Palestine once more, but the European situation prevented a new crusade: France and Aragon struggled over the body of Sicily, and the Pope was hopelessly committed as a partisan. Edward now spent long months attempting to bring peace to Europe so that the Christian nations could unite in crusade.
His design for Europe was interrupted by troubles at home. In his prolonged absence corruption throve, and in 1289 the King was forced to conduct an enquiry which resulted, among other things, in the banishment of his chief justice. The same year he had to go north to convene the court that was to judge between the various 'competitors' for the throne of Scotland. The legalism fascinated him, but in the middle of this interesting judicial wrangle, his wife died. He was heartbroken, and as he accompanied the body from Lincolnshire to London, he ordered elaborate crosses to be set up wherever the cortège rested. The last was Charing Cross. A most beautiful monument was set up in Westminster Abbey, and those who view it can see something of Edward's loss.
Back in Scotland he finally adjudged John Balliol's claim for the crown to be the best, but forced him to accept vassal status as a quid pro quo. Years of trouble lay ahead: the French made war, the Welsh rebelled, and the Pope made life extrememly difficult for the hard-pressed English king. He continued to demand Edward's presence on crusade---which he would have dearly loved, but found impossible; his only contribution was the expulsion of Jews in 1290. Furthermore the Pope had suddenly issued a Bull declaring that the state had no right to tax the clergy, and Edward was desperately short of money for war on three fronts.
These diffficulties explain but do not excuse the viciousness of his actions in the next few years. Scotland had refused to accept him as overlord, and he annexed the land, deposed Balliol, and removed the Stone of Scone to Westminster Abbey in 1296. When Wallace rose as a leader in Scotland, Edward increased the fury of his attack; the rebels received no mercy.
Gradually the King seemed to be achieving his aims. France was satisfied by his marriage to the sister of the French king, and by 1304 Scotland seemed well under his heel, controlled by a policy of ruthless savagery. Edward could at last turn his attention back to English affairs, where disorder was rampant. New justices were sent round on the 'Trailbaston' commission to seek out the unsavoury Robin Hoods of the land, and gradually order returned.
Inagine then the fury of the aged king when, in 1306, Robert Bruce, who had been his man for the past four years, suddenly went north and was crowned King of Scots. Old, tired, and sick, Edward moved up country to deal with this fresh menace to peace, but was taken very ill on the way. He had to direct the campaign from his bed, and vitriolic letters showered on his commanders accusing them of inaction and failure.
In a last tremendous effort the King got up and gave his litter to Carlisle Cathedral---a typical gesture, again---and set off on horseback. The progress was desperately slow---some two miles a day---but even that was too fast for the sick king, who quickly succumbed and died in July 1307.
Son and father of weak and inefffectual kings, Edward I had many fine qualities which seem to make nonsence of heredity. He was tall and strong, a fine horseman and a doughty warrior. A great leader of men, he was also able to lead to success. He was interested in government and law in a very genuine way. As a personality he was pious, but easily provoked to rage and often vindictive. He was fond of games---so passionately did he love his hawks that when they were ill he sent money to shrines to pray for their recovery. He was generous to the poor, and often a gay companion: he played chess, and loved music and acrobats; once he bet his laundress Matilda that she couldn't ride his charger, and she won! Every Easter Monday he paid ransom to his maids if they found him in bed. He loved his two wives, and fussed over their health and that of his children with a pathetic concern---sometimes threatening the doctor with what would happen to him if his patient did not recover. His people feared, respected and remembered him.
Noted events in his life were:
• He has conflicting birth information of 18 Jun 1239. 2
• He worked as a King of England from 19 Aug 1274 to 7 Jul 1307 in England, United Kingdom.
• He worked as a Duke of Gascony From 1254. 2
• He worked as an Earl of Chester From 14 Feb 1254. 2
Edward married Princess Leonor, daughter of King Ferdinand III of Castile and Jeanne De Dammartin, on 18 Oct 1254 in Burgos, Burgos, , Castilla y León, Spain.1 (Princess Leonor was born in 1244 in Burgos, Burgos, , Castilla y León, Spain, died on 29 Nov 1290 in Herdeby, Lincolnshire, England 5 and was buried on 16 Dec 1290 in Westminster Abbey, Westminster, Middlesex, England.)
Abey of Las Huelgas, Burgos, Castile 2
Edward next married UNKNOWN. (UNKNOWN was born about 1242 in England, United Kingdom.)
Edward next married Margaret of France between 8 Sep 1299 and 10 Sep 1299 in Canterbury Cathedral, Canterbury, Kent, England.2 (Margaret of France died between 14 Feb 1317 and 14 Feb 1318 in Marlborough Castle, Wiltshire, England 2.)
Edward next married Marguerite Princess Of France, daughter of UNKNOWN and Unknown, on 8 Sep 1299.1 (Marguerite Princess Of France was born in 1279 in Paris, , , France and died on 14 Feb 1316-1317 in Marlborough Castle, England.)