Moonday’s Heroic Hunk: King Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots

Our Heroic Hunk in History today had two sobriquets “Long Shanks” and “Hammer of the Scots.” But first, congrats to Sizzler Sayde Grace who is celebrating her first week as a published author with Riding Double. If you like cowboys and a hot read, check out Bo and Chet in Riding Double at The Wilder Rose Press.

King Edward I who was born in 1239 was probably one of the most successful of the medieval kings of England. He was feared and revered by his subjects as the ideal king. His temperamental nature and for then great size (6’ 2”) added to his reputation.

He restored royal authority after the reign of Henry III, established parliament as a permanent institution which created a functional system for raising taxes, and reformed England’s law through statutes. The Statute of Gloucester (1278) curbed the expansion of large private holdings and established the principle that all private franchises were delegated by, and subordinate to, the crown. This refinement of law and justice had important consequences in decreasing feudal practice. The nobles rebelled in the Baron’s War which was led by Simon Montfort (Rita’s note: a personal favorite of mine) who ended up cruelly butchered on the field at the Battle of Evesham in 1265. Edward also conquered Wales, ending forever its autonomy. One of the most shameful acts of his reign was the persecution and expulsion of the Jewish people from England.

When he was fourteen he married Eleanor of Castille who was twelve in 1254.   (Pictured together in contemporaneous tapestry and separately in an artist’s representation and by a reenactor) The following year she presented Edward with the first of their sixteen children, only six of whom lived to adulthood. When Eleanor died in 1290, his grief was so profound that he commissioned crosses (as in Charing Cross in London) to be built at each of the overnight stops her funeral procession made on its way to her burial in Westminster Abbey. He later contracted a political marriage with Margaret of France and had three more children with her.

Edward is probably best known for his war with Scotland. He involved himself in Scottish politics when the Scotland’s throne became vacant on the death of the Maid of Norway. He sided with John Balliol against Robert Bruce but attempted to make Scotland bow to English rule. During one of his attacks he captured the Stone of Destiny (the coronation stone for Scotland’s kings for centuries) and carried it to England. William Wallace (next week’s Heroic Hunk) was a hero of the rebellion against Edward. Robert Bruce (grandson of the Robert mentioned above) defeated Edward’s forces at Bannockburn in 1306 and became Kind of Scotland. Edward died in 1307 on his way to attack Bruce in Scotland. His only surviving son by Queen Eleanor, Edward II, was a disappointing successor—more on him next week or perhaps the week after. Until next Moonday, Rita VF


9 Responses

  1. Just the word, Longshanks, makes me think of men, in tight pants and knee boots, with hard thighs and that makes me swoon! Always has, always will. Thanks for a great start to the day!

  2. Rita–It’s fantastic how you describe the succession of power, as well as lay subtle steps leading to the basis for our current law and government.

    Beautifully and interestingly done. As Usual!! Looking forward to next Moonsday!

  3. I apologize for being late. I forgot it was Moonday. This one was easy to do because it’s a favorite period and I had pulled the pics last week. THEN, I hit PUBLISH before adding the pics, so I had to edit it. Not a good start to the week. RIraVF

    • Girl- I ALWAYS edit about 6 times! LOL!

      • After losing the whole post the first time I tried to ‘post at a certain time,” I always wirte in a Word doc with pics across the bottom and then cut and paste the text. I add the pics after that. But I never had any trainng with WordPress, so it’s kind of hit and miss. Rita

  4. I don’t know — after seeing Longshanks as he was portrayed in Braveheart, I have trouble with him as a hunk. I was all about Mel as William Wallace; too bad he has become such a jerk of late.

    As always, fascinating history — keep it coming, girl!!!

  5. Loved your post Rita, very enjoyable lovey..

  6. Thanks so much for this heroic hunk, one of my favorites. I’ve heard this hero and his wife were actually very happy together. Since they had 16 children….. I can only hope. Too bad their son, Edward II was such a disappointment.

  7. Thanks, Alllison. Your Heartsong that I enjoyed so much was in this general period. Can’t wait to read the sequel. Edward was tough but respected as the “ideal” monarch. Of course, the Welsh and Scots did not like him at all. Edward and Eleanor went on crusade together and were thought to be happy. THeir only surviving son, however, was a HUGE disappointment. More on him and Piers Gaveston in two weeks. RitaVF

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