Edward I of England

King of England

Edward I (17/18 June 1239 – 7 July 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was commonly referred to as The Lord Edward.

Edward I


  • The laws the Irish use are detestable to God, and so contrary to all law that they ought not to be deemed law.
    • Speech (1277), quoted in Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain (2009), p. 220

Quotes about Edward I

  • Perhaps he will be rightly called a leopard. If we divide the name it becomes lion and pard; lion, because we saw that he was not slow to attack the strongest places, fearing the onslaught of none. ... A lion by pride and fierceness, he is by inconstancy and changeableness a pard, changing his word and promise, cloaking himself by pleasant speech.
    • The Song of Lewes (c. 1264), quoted in English Historical Documents, 1189–1327 (1975), p. 936
  • Edwardus Primus Scotorum Malleus hic est, 1308. Pactum Serva
    • Here is Edward the First, Hammer of the Scots, 1308. Keep the Vow.
    • Inscribed on his tomb in Westminster Abbey, quoted in Michael Prestwich, Edward I (1997), p. 566
  • The royal hero of this time was Edward I, a tall and relentless king who was said to be so fierce that he once literally scared a man to death. Under Edward's belligerent leadership, the English were finally induced to cease fighting one another and turn their attentions on their neighbours: Scotland and Wales. Edward I's brutal attempts to become the master not only of England but the whole of Britain are the subject of the 'Age of Arthur.' The popularity of Arthurian tales and relic-hunting increased as a new mythology of English kingship was explored. Edward cast himself as the inheritor of Arthur (originally a Welsh king) whos ought to reunite the British Isles and usher in a great new age of royal rule. Despite flurries of outrage form his barons, who began to organize political opposition through the nascent political body known as parliament, Edward very nearly succeeded in his goals, and his influence over England's relations with Scotland and Wales has never entirely waned.
    • Dan Jones, The Plantagenets: The Kings Who Made England (2012), p. xxxv
  • He was so handsome and great, so powerful in arms,
    That of him may one speak as long as the world lasts.
    For he had no equal as a knight in armour
    For vigour and valour, neither present nor future.
    • Peter Langtoft, quoted in The Chronicle of Pierre de Langtoft, in French Verse, from the Earliest Period to the Death of King Edward I, Vol. II, ed. Thomas Wright (1868), p. 381
  • On the 21st September [1274] Burnell was made Chancellor. From that date, and with the able assistance of that minister, began the series of legal reforms which have gained for Edward the title of the English Justinian; a title which, if it be meant to denote the importance and permanence of his legislation and the dignity of his position in legal history, no Englishman will dispute.
    • William Stubbs, The Constitutional History of England, Volume II (1875), p. 105
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