“Samuel told all the words of the LORD to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “This is what the king who will reign over you will do: He will take your sons and make them serve with his chariots and horses, and they will run in front of his chariots.” —I Samuel 8:1
Edward I Invades Scotland, April 27, 1296
dward towered over his contemporaries at 6’2”. He thus received the nickname of “Longshanks,” by which history has since known him. He also got the sobriquet, “The Hammer of the Scots,” from later historians. Americans, other than historians of English history, know him only from the Hollywood film Braveheart as the antagonist and executioner of the Scottish bandit and nationalist hero William Wallace. However he is known today, Edward took his place in English history as the transformer of the common law and conqueror of Wales and Scotland.
A statue of King Edward I “Longshanks” (1239-1307), near the place of his death
His father, Henry III, reigned for fifty-six years, which was the longest rule of any English monarch before him, and not exceeded until King George III. Henry married fifteen-year-old Edward to thirteen-year-old Eleanor of Castile as a political expedient in 1254, during a period of fear of invasion of English Gascony by the Spanish. Edward, however, did not benefit financially or with any political power from the dowry, his father and another English noble siphoning off the inherited emoluments due Edward. He fathered about sixteen children with Eleanor, to whom he was faithful, and grieved deeply upon her death.
Edward I and his queen, Eleanor of Castile (1241-1290) shared a loyal bond rare among royals, having about sixteen children together and often traveling together as well