Edwardus Primus. Scottorum Malleus hic est
Latin inscription on Edward's tomb which means "This is Edward the First, Hammer of the Scots.".
Edward I (1272-1307) was king of England and son of Henry III
. He was named after England's royal saint, Edward the Confessor who was then thought to be The Paragon
of kingly perfection. He has been immortalised as the bad guy from Braveheart
He first came into prominence during the Baron Wars when radical elements of Parliament led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, tried to wrest power away from King Henry. The King was imprisoned but Prince Edward escaped and rallied royalist forces and defeated de Montfort.
After becoming King, Edward decided to settle old scores by conquering Wales—the Welsh had sided with the barons, and Llywelyn ab Gruffudd (the "Prince of Wales", at the time an actual leader) married de Montfort's daughter Eleanor. Henry incorporated Wales into his kingdom and named his son Edward of Caernarfon (who was actually born in Wales; Carenarfon is the site of one of Edward's major castles built to control the country) Prince of Wales when he came of age in 1301. The firstborn sons of English kings had been named Prince of Wales ever since.
Then Scotland thought it a good idea to have Edward judge who would be their next king. He gave his support to John Baliol who in turn acknowledged Edward's overlordship. But when war with France coincided with a Welsh rebellion, he exercised his overlordship and summoned the Scottish nobles to fight for him but they refused and sided with France. Edward would spend the rest of his life fighting Scotland.
Tropes related to Longshanks
- Antagonist in Mourning: He is reported as having wept after Evesham for the death of Simon De Montfort's son Henry, who had been his friend in childhood.
- A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: He was an ally and protege of Simon de Montfort for several years in his late teens, and he would later adopt many of his political ideas as king. As Edward's troops advanced on him at Evesham, Simon reportedly said "Look how skillfully they are advancing, he learned that from me."
- Assassin Outclassin': Once succeeded in killing a Mamluke would-be-assasin with the man's own blade.
- Authority Equals Asskicking: There are at least two accounts of him defeating rebel leaders in single combat. He also reportedly killed a Mamluke would-be-assasin with his own knife while on crusade.
- Big Bad: To the Welsh, the Scots and the Jews whom he expelled. It would be illegal to be Jewish in England until the days of Oliver Cromwell.
- Combat Pragmatist
- The Emperor - How he saw himself. He was wearing a purple robe when he was buried.
- Hero Killer: He defeated and/or killed most of the national heroes of Wales and Scotland that were unlucky enough to be his contemporaries, not to mention Simon De Montfort.
- Historical Villain Upgrade: Frequently a victim of this, most notably in Brave Heart.
- Inadequate Inheritor: Edward II.
- Large and in Charge: He was 6'2 (188 cm), towering over most of his contemporaries; that's why he got the nickname "Longshanks". His height, combined with his fierce temper made him a very intimidating man.
- Magnificent Bastard: Pretty definitively gained this status after his defeat of Simon De Montfort note , he would continue to add to his credentials throughout his life.
- Morality Chain: His queen, Eleanor of Castile.
- Moral Event Horizon: To modern eyes, his expulsion of the Jews. This being the Middle Ages of course, his contemporaries viewed this as a show of his goodness and piety and tended to take issue rather with his actions at Evesham.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: With his first wife, Eleanor of Castile.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Something of a trademark of his. He shocked the entire country with his actions at the Battle of Evesham in which he killed all of his noble prisoners (Killing nobles was taboo in English warfare and no Earl had been executed in England in over two centuries at the time), thus eliminating the enemy leadership and making it possible to end the civil war that had been dragging on and off for a decade. After this he was scrupulously merciful to rebels (within England that is) establishing a reputation for clemency and making it more likely that his enemies would surrender rather than fight on.
- Red Baron: The Leopard Prince and "Hammer of the Scots".
- The Butcher/ Stealth Insult: Referring to him as a Leopard rather than a Lion referred to the belief that a Leopard had the qualities of both a lion (Bravery, Ferocity, Strength) and a panther (Sneakiness, Dishonesty). He was given the title after the Battle of Evesham (also called "The Murder of Evesham") at which he used "dishonorable" tactics to achieve victory and rather unchivalrously killed most of his prisoners (the killing of noblemen was a taboo in England at the time). In the following years he took steps to reverse this reputation and the title had largely gone out of style by the time he came to power.
- Villainous Valour
- Warrior Prince
- Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Averted, he was infamous among his contemporaries for his ruthlessness with his enemies, even when the laws of chivalry dictated they be spared.