He was the formidable foe of Robert the Bruce. He was a great military strategist and despite his reputation as ruthless, he was one of England’s great kings and noted for many reforms, including the introduction of parliament. His great love was war and he possessed a relentless determination to win. His self-proclaimed mission was to unite the island, and this meant subduing both the Welsh and the Scots. Wales fell after a number of battles and Edward named his son the first Prince of Wales. He acquired the name of Longshanks, not through any important military effort, but because his long legs gave him a strong grip of the saddle. Yet, the name added to his reputation as a forceful warrior. He overcame one of Scotland’s most imposing patriots in William Wallace but met his match in Robert the Bruce, who became King Robert I of Scotland. Still, despite the successes of Robert the Bruce, Edward never gave up and he died leading another expedition to Scotland to take up battle once again.
The inscription on his tomb at Westminster is “Here lies Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots.”