Biography of Edward I


Edward I. King of England. Born 1239, succeeded his father, Henry III, in 1272. Imbued with high notions of feudal sovereignty, he sought to establish his supremacy throughout the island of Britain. His expeditions against Llewellyn-ap-Gruffydd, Prince of Wales (1282), and his brother, David (1283), resulted in the reduction of the principality, the government of which he settled by the statute of Wales (1284). The struggle between John Baliol and Robert Bruce for the throne of Scotland gave him a pretext for interfering in that country (1290). After vainly endeavoring to maintain Baliol as his vassal, he set to work to conquer Scotland for himself, sending the Earl of Warenne thither as viceroy, but was forced to contend with a succession of claimants, and died near Carlisle, whilst marching against Robert Bruce. A man of strictly legal, but somewhat narrow mind, he secured order and good government by the Statutes of Winchester and Westminster and other enactments, and carried on Simon de Montfort's work of molding the English Parliament (1295), though at the same time, somewhat inclined to strain the royal prerogative. His personal character was extremely high. Died 1307.