Edward I: the dutiful conqueror

He has a reputation as a battle-hungry aggressor, determined to bend Scotland, Wales and France to his will. But, argues Andy King, it was Edward I’s deeply held belief in kingly duty, not innate bloodlust, that drove his appetite for war...

Edward I. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the December 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine

On 19 August 1274, Edward, son of King Henry III, was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey. According to one contemporary account, at the height of the ceremony, when the archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on his head, Edward at once took it off again, “proclaiming that it should never again sit on his head until he had got back the crown lands which his father had granted away”.

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