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The character of Edward I. presented a strong contrast to that of his father, being resolute, unbending, and cruel. His na
Arms of Edward I.
ture was evidently most tyrannical, and his conduct in general oppressive to his subjects, and unjust to neighbouring states. His talents, however, were great, both for war and government; he favoured commerce and municipal institutions, and remedied many abuses of the law; he withstood the exactions and demands of the pope, and thus secured the independence of his crown; he enlarged his domains by the conquest of Wales, and apparently he only failed in his design against Scotland from having there to contend with men as able as himself, and animated by the consciousness of a good
A.D. 1272. Edward is proclaimed king, Nov. 20°; Walter Giffard, archbishop of York, the earls of Cornwall and Gloucester, are appointed regents, and Walter de Merton chancellor.
A.D. 1273. Edward passes through Italy and France, and repairs to Gascony, which he reduces to obedience d. Edmund, earl of Lancaster, suppresses an attempt to raise a civil war in the north of England.
b He founded several towns in Gascony and some in Wales, which proved of great importance in prolonging the English rule in the former country. Some interesting particulars concerning the Gascon towns will be found in "The Domestic Architecture of the Middle Ages," vol. ii. pp. 169-173.
The years of his reign are computed from this day.
a Gaston de Bearn, one of the chief malcontents (see p. 320), escaped to France; he was, however, sent back to Edward, by whom he was long imprisoned.
A.D. 1274. Edward settles some commercial disputes with the countess of Flanders (Margaret II.) He then returns to England, lands at Dover Aug. 2, and is crowned, with his consort Eleanor, Aug. 19.
Edward repairs to Chester, in September, when Llewelyn declines to meet him; he is in consequence summoned to attend the next parliament at Westminster®.
Robert Burnell (afterwards bishop of Bath and Wells) is appointed chancellor.
A.D. 1275. A parliament held at Westminster, near the end of April, when several reformatory statutes are issued; especially one to restrain the usurious practices of the Jews. Llewelyn does not appear.
Eleanor de Montfort and her brother Almeric (formerly treasurer of York) are captured at sea, near Bristol, by one of the king's ships1.
A.D. 1276. Llewelyn is again summoned to the parliament; he instead sends messengers to offer a ransom for Eleanor and her brother; it is refused; he is declared by the parliament to have forfeited his lands, and a force ordered to be raised against him.
At the same parliament justices are appointed to hear
He was required to do homage, and also to answer some complaints which his brother David had made to the king as his liege lord.
f He held the office until his death, at Berwick, Oct. 25, 1292.
The expulsion of this hapless race was near at hand, "and," says Matthew of Westminster, "that they might be distinguished from the faithful, the king ordered them to wear on their outer garments a sign like a tablet, of the length of a palm."
h He positively refused to come, saying that he remembered the fate of his father Griffin. See p. 313.
Eleanor was affianced to Llewelyn, and on her way to marry him; she was, too, the king's cousin, and her seizure seems quite unworthy of the great prince that Edward is usually represented.
and determine suits of trespasses committed in the last twenty-five years; they have power to inflict fines, but are ordered to remit very grave cases to the king in parliament.
A.D. 1277. Edward removes the courts of law to Shrewsbury, and leads a large army against Llewelyn, whilst the Cinque Ports fleet ravage the Welsh coast.
Llewelyn retires to Snowdon, but at length submits to the king. He is carried to Westminster, and obliged to surrender all his territories except the district of Snowdon and the isle of Anglesey, Nov. 10. After a considerable delay he is allowed to return, "having been carefully instructed in his duty."
A.D. 1278. The king deprives several monasteries of extraordinary privileges, which they had obtained from his father, Henry III.k
The Statute of Gloucester [6 Edw. I. c. 1,] for the better administration of justice, enacted, Aug. 2.
Alexander III. of Scotland does homage in the parliament at Westminster, in October.
The Jews throughout England seized on one day (Nov. 12), being accused of clipping the coin; 280 are hanged shortly after in London alone, and "a very great multitude" in other places; a number of Christians,
He was to hold these by the annual payment of 1000 marks; he also agreed to pay 50,000 marks for the expenses of the war, but this was remitted, (probably it was impossible for him to raise it). His bride was delivered to him, and they were married Oct. 13, 1278. Almeric de Montfort was kept in prison until 1282, when his release was granted at the request of the pope (Martin IV.), whose chaplain he was.
He restored the charters of privilege to the church of Westminster, as he said, "because he had therein received the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and consecration."
"principally the rich citizens of London," charged as their confederates, are allowed to ransom themselves j.
A.D. 1279. The king goes to France, gives up all claim to Normandy, and obtains formal possession of Gascony.
The Statute of Mortmain [7 Edw. I. c. 2,] passed, Nov. 15. By this enactment all lands in future given into the " dead hands" of the Church without the king's special license were to be forfeited *.
A.D. 1281. The archbishop of Canterbury (John Peckham) holds a council of his province at Lambeth, in which sequestration is decreed against such religious houses as had neglected to send procurators to a former assembly; the abbots of St. Alban's and others appeal to the pope, and the sentence is not enforced.
A.D. 1282. The French expelled from Sicily, which they bad seized in virtue of a grant from the pope'.
The Jews seem to have been especially odious to the king; he even granted letters patent to his mother forbidding them to reside on any of her estates.
Matthew of Westminster complains that the makers of this statute "did not understand that the army of Amalek was overthrown rather by the prayers of Moses than by the swords of the children of Israel." In order to avoid the burden of military service it was not unusual to make feigned gifts of land to the Church; this practice is forbidden in Magna Charta, but it prevailed long after, as is shewn by numerous statutes directed against it.
1 Sicily had been granted by Pope Alexander IV. to Henry III., and on his failing to undertake its conquest, it had been seized by Charles of Anjou, brother of the French king, who defeated and killed Manfred, the natural son of the emperor Frederick II. The natives rose suddenly on the French, massacred great numbers of them (a butchery known as "the Sicilian Vespers," March 20), and being assisted by the princes of Arragon, shook off their yoke. The quarrel between the Arragonese and the French was at last adjusted by King Edward. See p. 349.
A.D. 1282. Llewelyn and his brother David are reconciled, and the Welsh attempt to recover their independence; they capture Hawarden, March 22; destroy the castles of Flint and Rhuddlan, and carry Roger de Clifford, one of the marchers, off prisoner.
The king removes the law courts to Shrewsbury; hires soldiers from Gascony, and marches into Wales.
The English sustain severe loss in endeavouring to cross the river Conway, Nov. 6; Llewelyn, encouraged thereby, descends into the plains, but is surprised and killed by the marchers, Dec. 11".
A.D. 1283. David, the brother of Llewelyn, surrenders himself; he is condemned during the sitting of parliament at Shrewsbury, and executed as a traitor, Sept. 20°.
All armed opposition having, for the present, been overcome, the king proceeded to settle the state of his new dominions. Accordingly a statute, called the Statute of Wales [12 Edw. I.] was enacted at Rhuddlan, March 19, 1284, which alleges that "Divine Providence has now removed all obstacles, and transferred wholly and entirely to the king's dominion the land of Wales and its inhabitants, heretofore subject to him in feudal right." At the prayer of his new subjects the king grants that their ancient laws may be preserved in ċivil
m He died in their hands.
His wife, the daughter of De Montfort, had died shortly before; their only child was carried into England, and became a nun at Sempringham.
. He had formerly been an exile in England, and had been favourably treated by Edward; he is said indeed to have received from him the earldom of Derby, but the fact is uncertain.