Edward I (1239-1307), King of England (1272-1307), was the son of Henry III. In the latter part of his father's troubled reign, he led the Royalist forces in the baronial war and was captured at Lewes (1264), but he escaped and defeated de Montfort at Evesham in 1265. From then on he was the real ruler of the kingdom, restoring order so effectively that he was able to go on crusade in 1270. After he became king, Edward introduced legal reforms (he is sometimes called 'the Lawgiver'), mostly to strengthen the royal authority, and he made use of Parliament chiefly to grant him money .
In two campaigns of 1277 and 1282 he defeated Llywelyn II and conquered Wales, after which he built a chain of massive castles in the north to keep the Welsh in subjection. He next turned his attention to Scotland, when invited to settle the disputed succession; he chose John Balliol as king and was recognized as Scotland's overlord. However, his high-handed treatment of Balliol caused the Scots to rebel and, although Edward was victorious at Dunbar (1296) and Falkirk (1298), he was never to complete the country's conquest. He set out again on campaign in 1307 to deal with Robert Bruce but died before he reached Scotland.
Edward I was one of the ablest medieval kings, brave, devout, an efficient ruler and a good general. though hot-tempered and sometimes cruel. In 1290 he expelled all the Jews from England.
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