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Edward I. Born June 17, 1239, in London; died July 7, 1307, near Carlisle. King from 1272. Member of the Plantagenet dynasty.
During the reign of Edward I, the estate monarchy took shape in England as the regular convocation of Parliament became an established practice. In his domestic policy Edward I strove to maintain the equilibrium that had arisen within the class of feudal lords as a result of the civil war of the 1260’s and sought to strengthen the alliance of the royal power with the knights and the cities; at the same time he waged a cautious offensive against the secular and clerical aristocracy, especially through the Statutes of Westminster. Because of the great dissatisfaction with rising taxes felt by the knights and the burghers, who were supported by the barons, Edward I was forced in 1297 to recognize officially Parliament’s right to sanction state taxes. Under his rule, Wales was forcibly annexed by England between 1282 and 1284. Edward I attempted to conquer Scotland beginning in 1286, but his efforts met with the stubborn resistance of the Scottish people.
Edward III. Born Nov. 13, 1312, in Windsor; died June 21, 1377, in Sheen, now Richmond. King from 1327. Member of the Plantagenet dynasty.
Edward III ruled independently from 1330. A grandson of the French king Philip IV the Fair on his mother’s side, Edward III took advantage of the extinction of the Capetian dynasty in France to lay claim to the French throne; he declared war on France in 1337, thereby beginning the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). After the plague of 1348 (the Black Death), which gave rise to a lack of manpower and to an increase in wages, Edward III promulgated several laws in the interests of the feudal lords that compelled laborers to work at pay rates that had existed before the plague. In an attempt to subordinate the English church to the royal power, he prohibited in 1353 the transfer of cases involving English subjects to the papal curia, and he refused to provide certain traditional cash payments to the pope. In 1371, the decrepit king virtually handed over the conduct of state affairs to his son John of Gaunt.
Edward IV. Born Apr. 28, 1442, in Rouen; died Apr. 9, 1483, in London. King from 1461 to 1483, with an interruption from October 1470 to April 1471. First king of the York dynasty.
Edward IV seized the throne during the Wars of the Roses by deposing Henry VI of Lancaster. His attempts to reduce the political power of the feudal aristocracy led his followers among the barons, headed by the Earl of Warwick, to join the Lancastrians. Edward IV was deposed in October 1470. He regained the throne in April 1471 by defeating the Lancastrians at Barnet; in May 1471 he defeated them again at Tewkesbury. The stability of the royal treasury, which was formed from “voluntary” gifts by the population, compulsory loans from cities, and customs duties, enabled Edward IV generally to rule without convoking Parliament. Edward IV enacted measures promoting English industry, especially cloth manufacture, and trade.
Edward VI. Born Oct. 12, 1537, in Hampton Court; died July 6,1553, in Greenwich. King from 1547. Member of the Tudor dynasty.
Because of his youth and ill health, Edward VI played virtually no role in the conduct of state affairs.
Edward VII. Born Nov. 9,1841, in London; died May 5,1910, in Windsor. King from 1901. First king of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty (Windsor dynasty since 1917).
Edward VII took part in the formation of the Entente. At a meeting with the Austro-Hungarian emperor Francis Joseph in 1907, he tried unsuccessfully to make Austria-Hungary break its alliance with Germany. Edward VII did not play a significant role in domestic policy.
Edward VIII. Born June 23, 1894, in Richmond; died May 28, 1972, in Paris. King from January to December 1936.
Edward VIII’s attempts to take part in political affairs and his intention to enter into a marriage that was contrary to the traditions of dynastic marriage caused sharp dissatisfaction among certain elements in the ruling circles of Great Britain. A palace crisis ensued, and he abdicated in favor of his younger brother, who became King George VI. On his abdication, Edward VIII was given the title of duke of Windsor. During World War II he was governor of the Bahamas. Edward spent the last years of his life in France.
a lake in East Africa, in the Nile basin, on the border between Zaire and Uganda. Lake Edward became known as Lake Idi Amin Dada in 1973. The lake has an area of 2,150 sq km and a maximum depth of 111 m. It is located in a tectonic basin at an elevation of 912 m. The Semliki River flows out of Lake Edward and empties into Lake Albert (Lake Mobutu Sese Seko). Lake Edward is fished commercially.