Scotlands History

The Death of Edward I

Edward I was one of England’s most formidable kings. At the age of 68, on his way north to once again deal with the troublesome Scots, Edward fell ill. He died at Burgh upon Sands in Cumberland on 7 July 1307.

When Edward’s beloved Queen, Eleanor of Castile, died of fever in 1290 Edward had a series of elaborate carved stone crosses built to mark the route her body took from Lincoln to Westminster Abbey in London. Charing Cross in named for one of the ‘Eleanor Crosses’.

Edward had fathered 17 children, including the heir to the throne Edward II, and was twice married. He had little faith in his son’s ability to quell the Scots so decided to lead his army out against Bruce himself. On the way to the Scottish border Edward fell ill with dysentery.

It is said that as Edward I lay dying he asked for his heart to be taken to the Holy Land and for the flesh to be boiled from his body so his bones could lead the English army in battle against the Scots. Neither request was carried out.

Edward’s body was buried in royal purple robes in Westminster Abbey. The Latin inscription on his tomb, reads ‘Edwardus Primus Scottorum Malleus hic est, 1308. Pactum Serva’ – ‘Here is Edward I, Hammer of the Scots, 1308. Keep Faith.’

  • Painting of an old king with a long white beard

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Listen to Jean Froissart describing the Death of King Edward I of England.