Biography of King of Inglaterra Eduardo I (1239-1307)

King of England born in Westminster, London, in June 1239 and died the 7 July 1307. Nicknamed stilts long because of their great height and weight, is perhaps the English monarch in medieval times was more successful, since it went down in history for having conquered Wales and Scotland kept under English domination.

Biographical synthesis

He was the eldest son of King Henry III, the first representative of the Plantagenet dynasty, and of Eleanor of Provence, great defenders and lovers of art and culture, and they received a very disciplined education, learned latin, French, art, music and science. Eduardo I was married twice. In 1254 he/she married agreed with Leonor of Castile, daughter of Fernando III of Castile and Leon, to who deeply loved until his death. The ceremony was held at the Spanish monastery of las Huelgas, and he/she only had ten years. From this first marriage, Eduardo had 16 children. When his first wife died, King felt it so much that he/she erected in his honor Las Cruces of Leonor: monuments in stone in each of the 12 sites in which the funeral procession of his wife made night on their way from Harby, Lincolnshire, to Westminster Abbey. His second wife was Margaret, daughter of King Felipe III of France, and with her had three other children. Just before his marriage, King Henry gave him the Duchy of Gascony (one of the possessions that are still conserved of the once extensive French properties of the angioini English Kings), to which accompanied certain territories of Irlanday the lands of the King in Wales. Proclaimed King at his father's death in 1272, he/she was crowned two years later. Subdued Wales (1284) and decreed the expulsion of the Jews from England (1290). Eduardo I carried out a long campaign to subdue Scotland, but died before seeing their goals fulfilled.

His remains were brought to the Abbey of Westminster and in his grave, years later, would be recorded the words "Scottorum malleus" and "Pactum serva". Richard Baker, in a chronicle of the Kings of England, would tell him that "had two wisdoms, not easy to find even by separate (...): ability of judgment itself and the decision to hear the judgment of others." It is not loved easily, but once it did, did not stop him easily "

The Prince Eduardo

Henry III plunged the country into ruin because of a costly intervention in Sicily, which had been moved by the offer that the Pope urban IV to the Crown of Sicily made him for his youngest son, Edmund. Henry soon became a pupil of the Holy See, which had no scruples in profiting from a privileged situation, at least in the eyes of much of the clergy and barons. The nobility, which was already unhappy with the management of the monarch, headed by own brother-in-law Henry, Simón de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, flew into a rage. The King, threatened by bankruptcy and the excommunication, was forced to accept a series of reforms that greatly limited his powers: a Council of 24, which was largely appointed by the own barons, assumed the functions of the Royal Council. It is what is known as the provisions of Oxford, 1258.

When in 1261, before new attempts to Montfort extend real concessions, Enrique III repudiated the provisions, supported by the French King Luis IX, Eduardo was for a time part of the nobility. But at the outbreak of the war, always with the support of France, the Prince spent beside his father (1263) and became the worst enemy of Montfort. He/She fought for the King at the battle of Lewes (1264) and defeated Simon de Montfort definitely in the violent battle of Evesham in 1265. Unlike his father, Eduardo had a warlike character. Soon made many military progress, and attempted to rebels in wild form in Evesham. Simon's body was mutilated, and his head cut off and displayed by all the country as a warning of what was happening to those who rebelled against the King. Even after the end of the war, he/she pursued relentlessly to the survivors of the family of Montfort, who were his own cousins. However, he/she knew how to engage in the political scene, and at the end of the contest sought and succeeded to social peace and political reconciliation between his father, who restored the structure of the Constitution and with it their traditional powers, and the rebels.

First years of reign

Eduardo I was proclaimed King at the age of thirty-three years, in 1272 to the death of Enrique III. In those moments, he/she was fighting in the crusade; the Prince had left England in 1270 to meet Luis IX in the crusade unleashed by the conquest in 1263 by the Mamluk sultan Baibars IV, Nazareth and its advance towards Acre. But the French monarch died in Tunisia before his arrival. While the French troops decided then to leave the campaign, Eduardo preferred to continue and arrived in Acre in 1271. However, his forces were very limited, since was accompanied by only 1,000 men between the international force of the Christian cross, and it was forced to accept a truce with Baibars IV. When in June 1272 he/she escaped an assassination attempt, abandoned the crusade and never again returned to one.After the death of his father, the 16 November 1272, Eduardo was proclaimed King of England without opposition, and even the barons swore loyalty, so when Eduardo came to London in August, he/she was crowned at the age of 35.

Domestic policy: administrative reforms and growing debt

Throughout his reign, Eduardo I, although sometimes it was very aggressive, kept the concept of community, and acted for the welfare of his subjects. The Royal authority was supported by the law, and should always act for the public good, but the same Act provided protection to the real subjects. The level of interaction between the King and his subjects allowed Eduardo considerable freedom to achieve their goals.

Administratively, it extended the bureaucracy initiated by Enrique II in order to increase its efficiency as a King. The Administration divided into four main areas: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, finance, Interior and Council. The Foreign Ministry was investigating and created legal documents, while finance was responsible for the administration of money, researched and recorded accounts. These two departments functioned within the Royal authority, but regardless of his personal supervision. The Interior, on the other hand, was a mobile court of advisers traveling with the King, while the Council, which is the most active of the four bodies, was formed by a group of select individuals from various fields who were responsible for the issues of utmost importance for the Kingdom.

In order to get money, Eduardo convened Parliament. In 1295, need funds to pay for the war with France, called the most comprehensive of those who had known England, a model Parliament, which brought together representatives from various walks of life: barons, clergymen, Knights and people of the city. Until the end of his reign, parliaments were usually meet these same strata.

Eduardo I measures in the legal field favored the decline of feudal practices. The Statute of Gloucester (1278) to halt the expansion of large private groups, and established the principle that all private businesses had to be by delegation and under subordination of the Crown. Real institutions went to work as arbitrators in financial disputes, property or criminals, and another series of measures contributed to the preparation of the stage to turn Earth into an object of trade.

Another highlight of the interior Eduardo I policy was its public anti-Semitism. In the course of his campaign in Wales, it imposed strong imposed on the Jewish moneylenders, so that soon ended with its reserves. When these no longer could pay what is asked, increased xenophobic sentiment, and the Jews were accused of disloyalty. At the beginning the anti-Semitic measures were limited to forbid the rights of Jews to lend money, to go through later manifestations most accused of racism: first hampered their ability of movement and its activities; He/She decreed that all Jews should be distinctive in their clothing to be identified publicly; It carried out mass executions of Jews to, in 1290, enact the final expulsion of the Jews from England.

The aggressiveness of its foreign policy

In Wales

Foreign policy of Eduardo I was very aggressive, as the King was determined to enforce the rights of the English Kings in the British Isles. The first part of his reign was devoted to the control of Wales, which at the time consisted of a small, poignant number of principalities. The principalities of southern kept a complicated Alliance with Marcher Lords (feudal lords and barons under the Norman kings to protect the English border of Welsh attacks) while those in the North were dominated by Gwynedd, under the strong leadership of Prince Llywelyn ap Gruffyd. In 1247, Llywelyn agreed in the Treaty of Woodstock to pay tribute to the English King, though, he/she was taking advantage of the English civil wars to strengthen his power, and his title as Prince of Wales was confirmed in the peace of Montgomery (1267) and their achievements were recognized for.

Llywelyn held that the rights of his Principality were completely out of English law. He/She was not present at the coronation of Eduardo and refused to pay allegiance. Finally, in 1277 Eduardo I declared war as "rebel and disturbing the peace". In 1282 war broke out again when Llywelyn joined in rebellion to his brother David, but soon had to retreat in the mountains of North Wales, because of the determination of Eduardo, his military experience, excellent use of the English ships on the North coast of Wales and the action of one of the largest armed ever assembled by an English King. Llywelyn died on the battlefield the same year, and David was executed, thus ending the Welsh forward's independence.

Wales came within the legal framework of England (Wales, 1284 Statute). As a symbol of its military strength and its political authority, Eduardo spent close to 80,000 pounds in different constructions and castles in North Wales, which employed a workforce of more than 3,500 men from across England.

In Scotland

The other issue that marked the reign of Eduardo I foreign policy is which is known as "The great cause": Scotland. By a Treaty of the year 1174, Guillermo lion of Scotland became a vassal of the English King Enrique II, but in 1189 Ricardo I released Guillermo of this duty, and for years, until the premature death of Alejandro III in 1286, kept the peace between the two countries thanks to marriages between their respective Royal families. Her granddaughter and heiress Margaret, the maid of Norway, which was destined to marry the then only surviving son of Eduardo, Eduardo of Caernavon, also died (the same year, on the other hand, that the very beloved wife of King, Leonor did).

In the absence of a clear heir to the Scottish throne, disunited Scottish landowners invited Eduardo to mediate in the dispute, who, in order to obtain the acceptance of its authority in the verdict, sought and won the recognition of the different candidates of his power over Scotland and their right to determine their claims. Thus, in 1294 Eduardo and his 104 advisers gave the Kingdom to John Balliol, who was the candidate closest to the real line, against Robert Bruce, (grandfather of which would be Robert I of Scotland). Balliol swore loyalty to Eduardo and was crowned at Scone.

Very soon, the position of Balliol was difficult. Against the wishes of Eduardo exercise Lord of Scotland and their continuous demands, as that which led him in 1294 to attend Westminster after receiving order of Eduardo, Balliol was losing authority between the Scottish magnates. The latter decided to seek allies in France, then at war with England by the Duchy of Gascony, and signed the Covenant of Allud, signed by the same Balliol in 1295. In March 1296, after failing through diplomatic channels, Eduardo swept the Scottish town of Berwick, which led to Balliol to formally renounce his allegiance to the English Crown in April of that same year.

The opposition was growing among the Scots, encouraged by the insensitive policy Eduardo I carried out with them (he even take the stone of Scone, which were traditionally crowned Scottish Kings, to the Chair of the coronation of the Westminster Abbey) and conflicts were becoming more difficult and prolific.

In 1297, Eduardo I was going through the most difficult moments of his reign. The continuous wars in which sailed to the country, Flanders, France, Wales, Scotland, you had ruined. Clerics refused to pay part of the costs and the Parliament doubted help faces and little successful military campaigns. In the end, Eduardo saw himself forced to accept certain concessions, including the reconfirmation of Magna Carta, to obtain the money needed.

Meanwhile, the Scottish rebels, led by the legendary sir William Wallace, were strong. Wallace, who already had participated previously in some campaigns against the invading British troops, he/she said definitely his leadership when one of the most important men in the country, sir Andrew de Moray, joined their cause in August 1297. That same month, the troops of both, always commanded by Wallace, went to besiege the castle of Stirling, a strategic enclave that had been easily taken by the troops of Eduardo in the first invasion wave. In this battle, which is known as the Stirling Bridge, the Scots gained a brilliant victory that served to increase the popularity of the rebels and their euphoria.

Eduardo and his advisers considered Wallace a simple Bandit, and relied on beat it easily at any time without suspecting of the great boldness of this character, who arrived in 1297 to invade England by Northumberland and Cumberland. The success of his campaign served to Wallace to reach the zenith of his popularity and win step NATO with the rest of the nobles; the King, who was forced to events to retire from the campaign that was going on at that time in France, to register account the great stature of its motivated adversary.

The 3 July 1298, Eduardo I, himself at the head of a large army, again invaded Scotland, and beating on 22 July at the battle of Falkirk also commanded troops, this time by Wallace, they tried to cope with the invasion. Wallace died in this battle. It seems that for several years he/she made several diplomatic attempts in Europe to get alliances against England, including Felipe the beautiful one of France. The foreign policy of the latter, however, shifted now towards peace with the British, since a treaty by which the French King returned to Eduardo the Duchy of Gascony was signed between the two countries in 1303.

In 1304, the English regained the Castillo de Stirling, made that led to the majority of the Scottish nobles to want to sign peace with England, but Eduardo, giving once more sample of vengeful character who already showed with Simon de Montfort, refused to accept until the own Wallace was not given. In 1305, the popular hero was captured, perhaps victim of a betrayal, taken to London, tried and executed with special cruelty to public warning. The previous year, the English Parliament had taken several provisions for the future of Scotland. A Council was established in the country which included Robert Bruce, but he/she rebelled in 1306 to assassinate another counselor and was crowned King of Scotland. Despite the precariousness of his health, Eduardo was determined to invade the country, again so it turned northward once more. However, died on the way from July 7, 1307 at the age of 68.


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