King Edward I – Longshanks | Reign 1272-1307

King Edward I ruled England from 1272 to 1307.

He was the first son of the Medieval King Henry III and belonged to the House of Plantagenet.

His mother’s name was Eleanor of Provence. Edward was also known as the ‘Edward Longshanks’ and the ‘Hammer of the Scots. He had to face an early rebellion by the English Barons and carried out military campaigns against the Welsh and Scots.

Medieval King Edward I Illustration Portrait

Edward Longshanks

King Edward I Timeline

  • King Edward I was born on 17th or 18th June 1239 at the Palace of Westminster, London, England. He married Eleanor of Castile in 1254.
  • King Edward I fought in the Second Barons’ War in the years 1264 to 1267.
  • He took the crusader’s cross in a ceremony held on 24th June 1268.
  • Edward Longshanks was the King of England from 16th November 1272 to 7th July 1307.
  • His coronation took place on 19th July 1274.

Medieval Knights Templar Shield

  • King Edward I suppressed a rebellion in Wales in the years 1276 & 1277.
  • He fought a full scale war of conquest of Wales in response to a second rebellion in the years 1282 & 1283.
  • King Edward I married Margaret of France in 1299.
  • Edward Longshanks died on 7th July 1307 at Burgh by Sands, Cumberland, England

King Edward I of England Name

King Edward I was known as Edward Longshanks and Hammer of the Scots. He was called Longshanks because he was the tall man of his era.

This medieval king was feared by his contemporaries due to his temperamental nature and height.

King Edward I is also known as the “The Hammer of The Scots” but this name was not known among his contemporaries but was given to him by the historians due to his vow to avenge the rebellion of Robert Bruce.

Robert the Bruce

Robert the Bruce

King Edward I Wives and Family

King Edward I married Eleanor of Castile in 1254. She was the daughter of Ferdinand III of Castile and Joan, Countess of Ponthieu. The couple loved each other and they remained married until Eleanor’s death in November 1290.

506 Castile 1210

They had fourteen to sixteen children. Out of these five daughters and one son, the future King Edward II, survived.

This medieval king’s other wife was Margret of France whom he married in 1299, after nine years of the death of his first wife.

She was Philip IV’s half-sister and the marriage took place as part of a peace accord between England and France. Together they had three children, two sons, and a daughter.


King Edward II Son of Edward Longshanks

What Kind of Ruler was King Edward I

King Edward I was a very able and ideal ruler of his era. He was a very brave and determined soldier.

Although this Medieval King had a very frightening temperament and wasn’t loved by his subjects but was respected and feared. He used to go to the chapel regularly and generously gave alms.

He ordered the expulsion of Jews from England by issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290. As a ruler Edward Longshanks spent much of this time reforming the common law and Royal administration.

What was King Edward I Famous for?

King Edward I was famous for his fierce temper and he was very intimidating. He was also very tall and most of his contemporaries feared him due to these characteristics.

It could be judged from one story, how the Dean of St. Paul’s died in the presence of Edward Longshanks while he was trying to confront him over high taxation.

There is another such famous incidence when this Medieval King erupted in anger and tore out a handful of his son’s hair when the earldom of his famous Gaveston was demanded by Edward of Caernarfon.

He is also known for establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and introducing ways for the collection of taxes.

Houses of Parliament

Houses of Parliament

King Edward I – Second Barons’ War

Second Barons’ War was fought from 1264 to 1267. It was the English civil war and was fought between the Baronial forces led by Simon de Montfort and Royalist forces led by Prince Edward, who later went on to become King Edward I, in the name of King Henry III of England. It was a long war and Edward fought bravely in it.

Medieval King Edward I 2nd Barons War

King Edward I – 2nd Barons War

During the war, Edward retook Gloucester from the enemies. He then captured Northampton from Simon, Montfort’s Son. Edward was defeated during the battle of Lewes.

He quickly learned from his mistakes and won the Battle of Evesham in 1265 in which de Montfort was killed on the battlefield. In 1267 the war ended, according to the terms of the Dictum of Kenilworth made between the rebels and King Henry III.

Medieval King Henry III

King Henry III

King Edward I – Crusade and accession

King Edward I, along with his brother Edmond and cousin Henry of Almain took the crusader’s cross on 24th June 1268. He joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land.

There was no significant achievement of this crusade, but on his way home in 1272 he received the news of his father’s death. He reached England in 1274 and was crowned on 19th August the same year.

The Crusades

King Edward I – The Great Cause

The Great Cause was the Scottish succession dispute that arose in the early 1290s. As Alexander III and his two sons and a daughter had already died it was agreed by the Treaty of Birgham that Margret, the daughter of Alexander III of Scotland should marry Edward of Carnarvon, King Edward I’s then 3-year-old son, and as a result, Scotland would remain free of English overlordship.

But she died on her way to Scotland in 1290. Many claimants to the throne came forth, but the main contest was between John Balliol and Robert de Brus. King Edward I was requested to resolve the dispute which Edward I did on the condition of accepting him as Scotland’s feudal overlord.

The decision was made in favour of John Balliol, but Edward Longshanks continued to assert his authority over Scotland until he demanded Scottish military service in his war against France which Scots refused and sided with France.

As a result, Edward invaded Scotland, took control, and installed Englishmen to govern the country.

Medieval King Edward I and Eleanor image

King Edward I and Eleanor

King Edward I – Welsh wars

From 1277 to 1283, King Edward I fought a series of wars for the Conquest of Wales. This Medieval King carried out two campaigns, one in 1277 and another in 1283.

Initially, he reduced the territory of the Principality of Wales and later completely overran it and annexed the remaining Welsh principalities.

wales gdd5402eb3 640

King Edward I – Second Barons’ War Death

King Edward I died due to dysentery that he developed when he was travelling towards the north. On July 6th he encamped on the South of the Scottish border, a place known as Burgh by Sands.

On 7th July he died in the arms of his servants when they lifted him so that he could eat. He was later buried at the Westminster Abbey, London, England.

King Edward I Summary

King Edward I was famous for his temperament. He reformed the royal administration and common law. He was an able military leader.

He was criticised for his brutality towards the Scots and for issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290 that expelled the Jews from England.