37 Facts About King Edward I

1. King Edward I spent a good deal of his reign suppressing revolts in Wales and Scotland—he was the English king depicted in the 1995 Academy Award-winning film Braveheart—and died on his way to suppress a revolt in Scotland under Robert the Bruce.

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2. King Edward I commenced an expedition against him in 1307 but died before reaching the border.

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3. King Edward I defeated the Scottish rebels under William Wallace at Linlithgow Heath in 1298 and eventually executed Wallace in London.

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4. King Edward I was busily engaged in the first years of his reign in his attempts to control Wales.

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5. King Edward I was made the steward of England in 1268 as well as warden of the city and the Tower of London.

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6. King Edward I caused his father's defeat and his own capture at the Battle of Lewes.

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7. King Edward I was concerned with his son's failure to live up to expectations, and at one point exiled the prince's favourite Piers Gaveston.

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8. King Edward I continued to push his claim as overlord of Scotland.

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9. King Edward I started a big program of building castles, to keep the Welsh under control.

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10. King Edward I managed to make a surprise attack at Kenilworth Castle, before moving on to cut off the earl of Leicester.

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11. King Edward I enjoyed a good relationship with Pope Clement V, despite the King's repeated intervention in the operation of the English Church, including punishing bishops with whom he disagreed.

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12. King Edward I was responsible for implementing royal justice through his network of judges and officials.

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13. King Edward I retreated to Caerphilly Castle and attempted to rally his remaining forces.

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14. King Edward I's forces in Gascony were around 4,400 strong, but the French army, commanded by Charles of Valois, numbered 7,000.

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15. King Edward I stayed behind to fight, but it became obvious to the Earl of Pembroke that the battle was lost and he dragged the King away from the battlefield, hotly pursued by the Scottish forces.

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16. King Edward I sent assurances to the Pope that the conflict surrounding Gaveston's role was at an end.

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17. King Edward I had a normal upbringing for a member of a royal family.

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18. King Edward I had a close and controversial relationship with Piers Gaveston, who had joined his household in 1300.

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19. King Edward I married Eleanor at Las Huelgas in Spain and then traveled to Bordeaux to organize his scattered appanage.

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20. King Edward I responded with severe brutality against Bruce's allies and supporters.

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21. King Edward I was suffering ill health by this time, and instead of leading an expedition himself, he gave different military commands to Aymer de Valence and Henry Percy, while the main royal army was led by the Prince of Wales.

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22. King Edward I finally got his revenge on Winchelsey in 1305, when Clement V was elected pope.

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23. The King Edward I now had full backing for collecting lay subsidies from the entire population.

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24. King Edward I held Parliament on a reasonably regular basis throughout his reign.

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25. In some cases King Edward I appears to have used his interest in the Arthurian myths to serve his own political interests, including legitimising his rule in Wales and discrediting the Welsh belief that Arthur might return as their political saviour.

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26. King Edward I held "Round Table" events in 1284 and 1302, involving tournaments and feasting, and chroniclers compared him and the events at his court to Arthur.

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27. King Edward I had a reputation for a fierce temper, and he could be intimidating; one story tells of how the Dean of St Paul's, wishing to confront Edward over the high level of taxation in 1295, fell down and died once he was in the King's presence.

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28. King Edward I responded by invading Scotland in 1296 and taking the town of Berwick in a particularly bloody attack.

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29. King Edward I displayed his grief by erecting twelve so-called Eleanor crosses, one at each place where her funeral cortege stopped for the night.

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30. King Edward I had long been deeply involved in the affairs of his own Duchy of Gascony.

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31. King Edward I never again went on crusade after his return to England in 1274, but he maintained an intention to do so, and took the cross again in 1287.

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32. The King Edward I seems to have hoped that this would help in the pacification of the region, and that it would give his son more financial independence.

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33. King Edward I was deeply saddened by this news, but rather than hurrying home at once, he made a leisurely journey northwards.

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34. King Edward I managed to make a surprise attack at Kenilworth Castle, where the younger Montfort was quartered, before moving on to cut off the earl of Leicester.

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35. King Edward I stood by his political allies and strongly opposed the Provisions.

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36. King Edward I had shown independence in political matters as early as 1255, when he sided with the Soler family in Gascony, in the ongoing conflict between the Soler and Colomb families.

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37. King Edward I spent much of his reign reforming royal administration and common law.

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