King Edward I of England

Edward I, King of England, is remembered as the man who caused the Scottish Wars of Independence. He was seen as an strong leader and fierce soldier - but why did he invade Scotland?

Find out what King Edward I of England did during the Wars of Independence.

Why did Edward I invade Scotland?

In 1292, Alexander III, the King of Scotland, died.

Scotland's nobles turned to the Edward I to help them choose a new king.

Edward was seen as being friendly to Scotland. What could possibly go wrong?

When John Balliol became King of Scots, Edward demanded that Balliol recognise him as his superior! He expected John and Scotland to support him in a war against France.

The Scottish lords wanted John to stand up to Edward. So in 1295 John signed a treaty with France, the Auld Alliance.

In 1296 Edward raised a large army and invaded Scotland.

What happened next?

Edward defeated the Scots at the Battle of Dunbar but he faced more trouble when William Wallace and then Robert the Bruce started to fight back.

In 1306 Edward marched to Scotland with a large army to fight the new Scottish king, Robert the Bruce.

He got as far as the border of Scotland but then he got sick and died.

According to one story, his last wish was that his body should not be buried until Scotland had been conquered. That didn't happen, though, and Edward was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Edward I

A painting of Edward I, Westminster Abbey, London.

Edward facts

  • Edward was born in 1239
  • In 1264 Edward was held prisoner when English barons rebelled
  • In 1271 Edward joined a Christian Crusade to try and free Jerusalem from Muslim control
  • Edward fought a long campaign to conquer Wales
  • Edward built lots of castles in Wales such as Caernarfon, Conwy and Harlech castles
  • Edward had two nicknames - 'Longshanks' because he was so tall and the 'Hammer of the Scots' for obvious reasons

Caernarfon Castle

Caernarfon Castle in Wales was completed in 1283