Fact of the day: 7th July

On this day in 1307 Edward I of England (b. 1239) died.

Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname “Longshanks.”

 He was temperamental, and this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, and he often instilled fear in his contemporaries.

 Nevertheless, he held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator and a man of faith.

 Modern historians are divided on their assessment of the King: while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility.

 Currently, Edward I is credited with many accomplishments during his reign, including restoring royal authority after the reign of Henry III, establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and thereby also a functional system for raising taxes, and reforming the law through statutes.

At the same time, he is also often criticised for other actions, such as his brutal conduct towards the Scots, and issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, by which the Jews were expelled from England.

The Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, and it would be over 350 years until it was formally overturned under Oliver Cromwell in 1656.

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