75 Facts About King Edward I To learn About England's Monarch

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 25, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on May 18, 2022
Intriguing historical facts about King Edward I that you presumably did not know.

The history of the British monarchy can be traced to the Anglo-Saxon period of England.

The powers since then have been changed several times from the House of Blois, Plantagenets, and House of Lancaster to the current House of Windsor. King Edward I belonged to the Plantagenets that held the throne from 1154-1485.

King Edward I, who was widely known as the 'Hammer of Scots' and 'Edward Longshank' was the King of England and Edward's reign was from 1272-1307. He was the successor of King Henry III and was succeeded by his son Edward II.

King Edward is acknowledged for his notable works and reform movements. From a very early age, Edward decided to actively take part in political affairs.

Edward even fought in the civil war to defend his father against Simon de Montfort.

After the death of his father, he arrived at the court after two years and in Edward's absence, a declaration in his name was made. He succeeded the English throne without any opposition.

Edward I is widely praised for reforming the common law and royal administration of England with this royal authority. The proclaimed king who was once a young prince promoted uniform administration of righteousness to improve the economic condition.

Facts About King Edward I

Edward's power was not limited within the sphere of his kingdom as he subjugated Wales. More incredible facts about Edward I are stated below.

Edward I was born in June 1239 and had a primary role in restoring the power of the English throne.

He even attempted to subjugate Scotland but the quest remained unsuccessful.

Fueled by his ambition and leadership qualities Edward I fought in several wars including the civil war.

The king of England Henry III gave Edward the Duchy of Gascony where he spent almost one year studying its administration.

However, he could not obtain either revenue or authority due to the royal lieutenant. He was even captured and held as a hostage from where he fled.

Edward I was crowned king on August 19, 1274, days after he returned to England on August 2, 1274.

King Edward I formulated the Model Parliament according to which every year he summoned a cabinet where all the representatives of estates were to be present and this assembly would take place twice every year.

When Edward was released from captivity after the Second Baron's War, Edward retook Gloucester and Worcester.

Edward I successfully established his rule in Wales and from the Scottish king he safeguarded the commendation of his overlordship.

Some examples of Edward’s building program would be the interior and exterior of Caernarfon Castle, Beaumaris Castle, Harlech Castle, and also Cowny which had a vast defense.

He got married in 1254 in Spain.

Edward died in February 1307, due to dysentery and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

King Edward I's Reign

The reign of King Edward was for 35 years and within these years he strived toward placing England in a better place in every aspect be it administrative, military, or economic.

The reign of King Edward was from November 20, 1272 to July 7, 1307.

During these years Edward proved that he was perhaps one of the most relevant kings of England.

Edward might be considered a rightful king but there were major drawbacks of his reign that are discussed below.

To protect his interest in his absence Edward appointed Roger Mortimer, Walter Giffard, Archbishop of York, Robert Burnell, and Philip Basset.

Edward then removed the local officers and replaced them with sheriffs. He then made laws to stop the royal officers from abusing their power.

He speculated on both military and administrative affairs.

Although he was proclaimed King in 1272 it took the English prince two years to eventually rule as Edward embarked on a journey to France and Italy.

During his absence, the royal council governed the kingdom.

After his return, Edward made necessary changes to exempt his country from heavy debts.

The reign of King Edward can be estimated between 1272-1307.

The Welsh War occurred during his early reign (1276) establishing Edward I as a prominent figure and Llywelyn ap Gruffudd had no other choice but to surrender.

Soon after in 1284 Principality of Wales and Statute of Wales were brought under the administration of England. However, some laws regarding property remained unchanged.

Edward wanted English people to settle in Wales and thus he constructed new infrastructure that was secured by walls around it.

Before the reign of Edward I the coexistence of Scotland and England was harmonious but the dispute began after King Edward's reign.

In the latter half of his reign, he decided to burden his subjects by taxing them, particularly the Jewish to support the expense of warfare.

King Edward I's Family

King Edward I had numerous children but most of them did not live long and died soon. More about King Edward I’s family is discussed below.

The Plantagenet was a royal house with its origin in France. This house ruled England from 1154-1485.

Edward I was from the house of Plantagenet who ascended the throne after his deceased father who had five children with his wife Eleanor of Provence.

Edward I was the eldest son followed by Margaret of England, Beatrice of England, Edmund Crouchback, and Katherine of England.

Edward got married to Eleanor of Castile when he was fifteen and had 14-16 children with her.

Edward's second marriage was to Margaret of France and he had three children with her.

Edward's mother Eleanor of Provence, a French gentlewoman, and his father Henry III were both inclined towards art which is evident from Edward's guided education and interest in art.

Edward had to marry his first wife Eleanor of Castile as a part of a political agreement.

Eleanor of Castile died at 49 after multiple illnesses in 1290.

After her death, Edward married Margaret of France in 1299 who was the daughter of Maria of Brabant and Philip III of France.

Edward I was succeeded by Edward II or Edward of Caernarfon.

Edward II was the fourth son of Edward I but due to the death of Edward I's elder son Alfonso, Edward II became the next King.

Other children of Edward I include Katherine who died after two months after being born.

After Katherine, it was Joanna who didn't live long, then John who died in the custody of his granduncle.

The rapid death of children continued as the fifth child Henry of England died at the age of six.

However, Eleanor of England survived and later married Henry III of Bar.

Soon after Juliana was born and died soon after birth.

Another daughter Joan of Acre also survived but the next child who was Alfonso the Earl of Chester died and couldn't succeed his father.

Besides them, the children who survived were Margaret of England, Mary of Woodstock, Elizabeth of Rhuddlan, and Edward II.

There were other children as well who survived. However, there is little or no evidence of them.

With his second wife, he had three children two sons and one daughter.

His sons Thomas of Brotherton and Edmund of Woodstock lived while the daughter Eleanor died at the age of five.

Thus, it was Edward II who became the next king.

King Edward I's Characteristics

The characteristics of Edward as a King were controversial as he had all the qualities that were required but his subjects always lived in the shadow of his intimidation.

The characteristics of King Edward are debatable as by many people king Edward was considered the ideal king while to others he was extremely intimidating. There are instances to support these statements.

Nevertheless, Edward witnessed the failures of his father and learned plenty from his mistakes.

He studied the administrative structure of his country and strived to improve not only the infrastructure but also the economy and legislation.

It is believed that Edward was inspired by the tales of King Arthur.

Edward I was obeyed and feared by his subjects. Thus his characteristics were relatively complex.

King Edward did all the things that were required for his kingdom but he was brutal at times.

He was particularly violent towards his Jewish and Welsh subjects in England.

Edward taxed them heavily and in case they could not pay the amount they were executed.

Almost 300 Jewish people were executed by him at the Tower of London while many others were killed in their houses.

In 1290 he decided to expel all the Jewish subjects from England and they were not allowed to come back.

Another instance of him being brutal was the time when Edward I arranged a severe and disreputable execution for William Wallace, he was hung, then drawn and quartered.

His movement against Scotland also shows the unethical bent in his characteristics as he demanded the Scottish throne although there were successors to ascend the throne.

However, his apparent objective to improve the condition of England from what it was during his father's time cannot be ignored.

Edward was incredibly ambitious which is apparent from the Battle of Evesham and many others.

Although he was appreciated for his chivalry, there were attributes he failed to demonstrate such as sympathy towards people.

He was a great fighter but not a compassionate ruler.

It is documented that during campaigning against the Welsh, Edward I assembled one of the largest armies constituting over 15,000 soldiers.

Did You Know

King Henry III named his son Edward after the last Anglo Saxon crowned King Edward the Confessor who was also the favorite saint of Henry III.

One of the death-wishes that Edward I had was that he wanted his heart to be carried to the Holy land, with the royal army to combat the infidels.

Edward I was called 'Longshank' because of his height as he was 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) which was considered extraordinary.

He was known as 'Hammer of Scots' because of the brutality he conducted on Berwick in 1296.

After the death of his wife Eleanor of Castile, King Edward establish 12 crosses between Lincoln and London.

The concept of easter eggs was popularized by King Edward after he had 450 gold-leaf-covered easter eggs in 1290.

After Edward conquered the Scottish throne he took the Stone of Scone to Westminister and kept it under his chair.

The Stone of Scone later became a part of his coronation ceremony. However, in 1996 it was returned to Scotland.

Edward initiated the Scottish war that continued even after his death.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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