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Edward I,1239–1307, king of England (1272–1307), son of and successor to Henry IIIHenry III,
1207–72, king of England (1216–72), son and successor of King John. Reign
Henry became king under a regency; William Marshal, 1st earl of Pembroke, and later Pandulf acted as chief of government, while Peter des Roches
..... Click the link for more information. .
By his marriage (1254) to Eleanor of CastileEleanor of Castile
, d.1290, queen consort of Edward I of England and daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile. At her marriage (1254) she brought to Prince Edward the territories of Ponthieu and Montreuil and claims to Gascony.
..... Click the link for more information. Edward gained new claims in France and strengthened the English rights to Gascony. He received from his father the huge appanage of all outlying English dependencies, including Wales, Ireland, and the lands in France. After a brief alliance with Simon de MontfortMontfort, Simon de, earl of Leicester,
1208?–1265, leader of the baronial revolt against Henry III of England. Early Life
He was born in France, the son of Simon de Montfort, leader of the Albigensian Crusade.
..... Click the link for more information. , earl of Leicester, Edward supported his father in the Barons' WarBarons' War,
in English history, war of 1263–67 between King Henry III and his barons. In 1261, Henry III renounced the Provisions of Oxford (1258) and the Provisions of Westminster (1259), which had vested considerable power in a council of barons, and reasserted his
..... Click the link for more information. (1263–67) and, by revitalizing the royal party and its forces, was responsible for the crown's triumph. From this time on the young heir was the real ruler of the realm. He joined (1270) the Ninth Crusade and was on his return journey when he learned of his father's death. He did not reach England until 1274, when he was crowned.
Edward's vigorous reign was characterized by constant warfare. Trouble with Llywelyn ap GruffyddLlywelyn or Llewelyn ap Gruffydd
, d. 1282, Welsh prince, grandson of Llywelyn ap Iorwerth. He succeeded (1246) his uncle, David II, as ruler of North Wales and in 1247, with his brother Owen as coruler, did homage to
..... Click the link for more information. led to his successful conquest (1277–82) of Wales beyond the Welsh Marches, and in 1284 he extended the English administration to Wales. In France from 1286 to 1289 he improved the administration of Gascony.
After the death in 1290 of Margaret Maid of Norway, Edward asserted his claim to overlordship of Scotland, but John de BaliolBaliol, John de,
1249–1315, king of Scotland (1292–96), son of John de Baliol (d. 1269). He became head of the family after the death of his elder brothers in 1278.
..... Click the link for more information. (1249–1315), his choice for the throne, soon entered an alliance with Philip IV of France, with whom Edward was already on bad terms. Edward's long struggle to conquer Scotland began in 1296. His first campaign was successful; he deposed Baliol and humiliated Scotland by removing the Coronation Stone (see under coronationcoronation,
ceremony of crowning and anointing a sovereign on his or her accession to the throne. Although a public ceremony inaugurating a new king or chief had long existed, a new religious service was added when Europe became Christianized.
..... Click the link for more information. ) from Scone to Westminster. But while he was heading an expedition against France in 1297 the Scots found a new leader in Sir William WallaceWallace, Sir William,
1272?–1305, Scottish soldier and national hero. The first historical record of Wallace's activities concerns the burning of Lanark by Wallace and 30 men in May, 1297, and the slaying of the English sheriff, one of those whom Edward I of England had
..... Click the link for more information. , who defeated the English at Stirling Bridge.
Edward immediately concluded a truce with Philip IV, and the English claims to Gascony were finally settled favorably in the treaty of 1303. In the meantime Edward invaded Scotland again and won a brilliant but inconclusive victory at Falkirk (1298). Campaigns in the following years led to Wallace's defeat (1305) and execution, but a new leader, Robert IRobert I
or Robert the Bruce,
1274–1329, king of Scotland (1306–29). He belonged to the illustrious Bruce family and was the grandson of that Robert the Bruce who in 1290 was an unsuccessful claimant to the Scottish throne.
..... Click the link for more information. , arose as king of a still defiant Scotland. Edward commenced an expedition against him in 1307 but died before reaching the border.
Legal and Constitutional Developments
Even more important than Edward's military exploits were the legal and constitutional developments of his reign; Edward has been called the English Justinian. He asserted the judicial supremacy of the crown by his quo warranto proceedings (inquiries to determine "by what warrant" private jurisdictions were held), which culminated in the statutes of Gloucester (1278) and of Quo Warranto (1290). By his law of 1285, Circumspecte agatis, he forced church courts to confine themselves to ecclesiastical cases. His three statutes of Westminster (1275, 1285, 1290; see Westminster, Statutes ofWestminster, Statutes of,
in medieval English history, legislative promulgations made by Edward I in Parliament at Westminster. Westminster I (1275) practically constitutes a code of law; it covers a wide range, incorporating much unwritten law into the written code, and is a
..... Click the link for more information. ) formulated the advances of a century of common law and supplemented them.
By his Statute of Mortmain (1279), Edward prohibited grants of land to the church without the king's permission. In turn the English clergy, backed by Pope Boniface VIII's bull Clericis laicos (1296), refused in 1297 to contribute to Edward's campaign against the French until the king boldly denied protection to them and their goods and even threatened to confiscate all church property. This action was mainly prompted by his need for funds, as was his expulsion (1290) of the Jews from England (which enabled him to seize their property). His expensive wars also necessitated the frequent summoning of ParliamentParliament,
legislative assembly of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Over the centuries it has become more than a legislative body; it is the sovereign power of Great Britain, whereas the monarch remains sovereign in name only.
..... Click the link for more information. to grant taxes. The so-called Model Parliament of 1295 included representatives of the shires, boroughs, and lesser clergy, but the composition of Edward's parliaments varied.
The increasing resistance of the country to heavy taxation and the refusal of many barons to fight in France in 1297 forced Edward to issue a confirmation of the charters of liberties, including the Magna CartaMagna Carta
or Magna Charta
[Lat., = great charter], the most famous document of British constitutional history, issued by King John at Runnymede under compulsion from the barons and the church in June, 1215.
..... Click the link for more information. and those signed by Henry III. The king also promised that he would collect the nonfeudal forms of taxation only with the consent of Parliament. He did not keep this promise, however, and the last years of his reign were marked by increasing baronial opposition to the crown. This opposition and the war with Scotland proved to be a disastrous legacy for his son and successor, Edward II.
See biographies by T. F. Tout (1903, repr. 1988) and E. L. Stones (1968); E. Jenks, Edward Plantagenet, the English Justinian (1902, repr. 1969); F. M. Powicke, King Henry III and the Lord Edward (1947); T. F. T. Plucknett, Edward I and Criminal Law (1960).