King Edward I Edward I (1272–1307) was a great legal reformer who dismissed corrupt judges, appointed the first Justices of the Peace, or magistrates, to hear local law cases, and gave people the responsibility to police their own communities. He also settled many disputes over who owned which lands. Edward also extended English power by conquering Wales and invading Scotland, for which he was known as the "Hammer of the Scots". A tall man (his nickname “Longshanks”, meant “long legs”), Edward had a reputation for a fierce temper. He was also an accomplished military leader, for which he commanded fear and respect from his subjects.
The son of Henry III, Edward was named after the last Anglo-Saxon king, Edward the Confessor. In 1254, he married Eleanor of Castile. Caught up in the power struggle between his father and rebel barons, Edward was himself held captive by the rebel leader Simon de Montfort. He escaped and led the royalist forces to victory at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, in which de Montfort was killed. Edward decided to England in 1270 to join the Eighth Crusade. But when his father died two years later, Edward returned to London. He arrived back in 1274 and was crowned king at Westminster Abbey that August.
Edward I was given the nickname “Longshanks”, meaning “long legs”, because of his great height, 6 ft 2 inches (1.88 m)—well above average for the time.
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