Edward was the son of King Henry III. He was one of the most successful of medieval English monarchs, reforming government and consolidating territory. He retained English possessions in France, despite a short war; but is best known for having conquered Wales, where he built lots of castles. He had less success in Ireland, but did introduce a parliament there. In Scotland, Edward claimed the right to choose a new King when little Queen Margaret died without an obvious heir. The Scots resisted and the English King instigated a full scale invasion. The Scottish leader, William Wallace, gained the upper hand for a while at the Battle of Sterling, but he was eventually captured and executed. Robert the Bruce (later King of Scots) then continued the fight. Edward’s ruthless treatment of those north of the border, brought him the title, ‘Hammer of the Scots’.
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