On This Day

Edward I

King of England Edward I

Profession: King of England


Biography: Reigning from 1272 until 1307, Edward was known by many names - Edward Longshanks for one, reflecting his 6'2" size and intimidating presence - and Hammer of the Scots, launching war with the northern kingdom, and also pacifying Wales during his reign. Edward was known for his temperamental personality and despite periods of unpopularity was respected by his subjects as the embodiment of a medieval king and a man of faith.

Edward was participating in the failed Ninth Crusade when he was told that his father, Henry III, had died and that he was now King of England. He took two years to return to his land, being crowned on August 19, 1274. After launching many administrative and legal reforms, Edward was involved with war in Scotland, and he fought against William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Though he was largely victorious in the war, and had Wallace brutally executed, the war continued after his death. His conquest of Wales was completed in 1283 after a rebellion in the territory.

He also found himself at war with France, after the French King Philip IV confiscated the Duchy of Acquitane, and Edward managed to recover it. The cost of these wars put pressure on Edward domestically, with opposition from ecclesiastical and lay elements, though he managed to avert a full-blown rebellion.

Edward reformed the kingdom's administration and established Parliament as a permanent institution. He has been criticized throughout history for his harsh punishment of the Scots and the Welsh, as well as expelling all Jews in an edict in 1290, which remained in effect for 350 years. His son, Edward II, inherited many of the king's financial and military concerns when Edward I died in 1307.

Born: June 17, 1239
Birthplace: London, Kingdom of England
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: July 7, 1307 (aged 68)
Cause of Death: Dystenery

Historical Events

  • 1272-11-20 Edward I proclaimed King of England after death of his father, Henry III. He would take two years to return to England from the Ninth Crusade.
  • 1274-08-19 Edward I is crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey after returning from the Ninth Crusade
  • 1275-05-23 King Edward I of England orders cessation of persecution of French Jews
  • 1290-04-20 Round Table tournament held near Winchester, England, in imitation of King Arthur, to commemorate betrothal of daughter of Edward I, and attended by the king
  • 1290-07-18 King Edward I orders expulsion of Jews from England, this edict will remain in place for 350 years
  • 1290-10-09 Last of 16,000 Jews expelled by King Edward I leave England
  • 1291-05-10 Scottish nobles recognize authority of English King Edward I
  • 1291-11-28 Eleanor of Castile, wife of King Edward I of England, dies in Northamptonshire. Crosses are erected where her body rests on the way to London.
  • 1295-11-27 English King Edward I calls what later became known as "The Model Parliament" extending the authorities of its representatives
  • 1296-03-30 Edward I sacks Berwick-upon-Tweed, during armed conflict between Scotland and England
  • 1296-04-27 Battle of Dunbar: The Scots are defeated by Edward I of England
  • 1304-07-20 Wars of Scottish Independence: Fall of Stirling Castle - King Edward I of England takes the last rebel stronghold of the war
  • 1305-08-23 Scottish patriot William Wallace is executed for high treason by Edward I of England at Smithfield, London

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