EDWARD I, called Longshanks
EDWARD I, called Longshanks (1239-1307), King of England (20th November 1272 to 7th July 1307) (House of Anjou)
He was born in Westminster on June 17, 1239, the eldest son of King Henry III, and at 15 married Eleanor of Castile. In the struggles of the barons against the Crown for constitutional and ecclesiastical reforms, Edward took a vacillating course. When warfare broke out between the Crown and the nobility, Edward fought on the side of the king, winning the decisive Battle of Evesham in 1265. Five years later he left England to join the Seventh Crusade. Following his father's death in 1272, and while he was still abroad, Edward was recognized as king by the English barons; in 1273, on his return to England, he was crowned.
The first years of Edward's reign were a period of the consolidation of his power. He suppressed corruption in the administration of justice, restricted the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts to church affairs, and eliminated the papacy's overlordship over England. On the refusal of Llewelyn ab Gruffydd, ruler of Wales, to submit to the English Crown, Edward began the military conflict that resulted, in 1284, in the annexation of Llewelyn's principality to the English Crown. In 1290 Edward expelled all Jews from England. War between England and France broke out in 1293 as a result of the efforts of France to curb Edward's power in Gascony. Edward lost Gascony in 1293 and did not again come into possession of the duchy until 1303. About the same year in which he lost Gascony, the Welsh rose in rebellion.
Greater than either of these problems was the disaffection of the people of Scotland. In agreeing to arbitrate among the claimants to the Scottish throne, Edward, in 1291, had exacted as a prior condition the recognition by all concerned of his overlordship of Scotland. The Scots later repudiated him and made an alliance with France against England. To meet the critical situations in Wales and Scotland, Edward summoned a parliament, called the Model Parliament by historians because it was a representative body and in that respect was the forerunner of all future parliaments. Assured by Parliament of support at home, Edward took the field and suppressed the Welsh insurrection. In 1296, after invading and conquering Scotland, he declared himself king of that realm. In 1298 he again invaded Scotland to suppress the revolt led by Sir William Wallace. In winning the Battle of Falkirk in 1298, Edward achieved the greatest military triumph of his career, but he failed to crush Scottish opposition.
The conquest of Scotland became the ruling passion of his life. He was, however, compelled by the nobles, clergy, and commons to desist in his attempts to raise by arbitrary taxes the funds he needed for campaigns. In 1299 Edward made peace with France and married Margaret, sister of King Philip III of France. Thus freed of war, he again undertook the conquest of Scotland in 1303. Wallace was captured and executed in 1305. No sooner had Edward established his government in Scotland, however, than a new revolt broke out and culminated in the coronation of Robert Bruce as King of Scotland. In 1307 Edward set out for the third time to subdue the Scots, but he died on the way near Carlisle on July 7, 1307.