King Henry III demanded Eleanor as a bride for Edward to forge an alliance between the two countries. The same year as his marriage to Eleanor Prince Edward became the Duke of Gascony. The young couple did not live together until Eleanor was in her late teens. The marriage of convenience turned into a marriage of love. This was the time of the Crusades and Eleanor accompanied Prince Edward to the Holy Land and the 1270–1272 Crusade. Edward arrived in Acre in May 1271 with 1,000 knights. It is said that she saved his life after he had been wounded. King Henry III died in 1274 and at the age of 35 years of age Prince Edward became King of England. Eleanor and Edward were both crowned in Westminster Abbey on the 19th of August 1274. King Edward was a veteran warrior and referred to as "the best lance in all the world". He was strong , brave, hot tempered and ambitious - he intended to increase his lands and power.
Please visit the following website for more information about King Edward I and all the other Medieval Kings of the Middle Ages
King Edward I & the Welsh Medieval Castles
King Edward I & the Welsh Medieval Castles
- Edward I Biography - why plans to build Medieval Welsh Castles were important
- Welsh towns based on Burghs & Bastides
- Wales becomes incorporated into Britain
- Longshanks, the Hammer of the Scots - William Wallace and Robert the Bruce
King Edward I - Wars with Wales & Llywelyn ap Gruffyd
King Edward was determined to enforce the claims of the English kings to their supremacy in the British Isles - including Scotland and Wales. At this time Wales consisted of several separate kingdoms. King Edward had an alliance with the leaders in South Wales but North Wales was a problem. Llywelyn ap Gruffyd, was Prince of Gwynedd in North Wales. Welsh Battles with Edward's father had led to the Peace of Montgomery in 1267 in which Llywelyn ap Gruffyd was conferred the title as Prince of Wales. In return Llywelyn ap Gruffyd had agreed that he was subservient to the English King. However, Llywelyn reneged on the agreement. He refused to do homage to Edward and he did not attend Edward's coronation. In 1277 King Edward branded Llywelyn ap Gruffyd as "a rebel and disturber of the peace" and declared his lands forfeit. Edward I launched a massive invasion of Wales, re-conquering South Wales and defeating Llywelyn ap Gruffyd and North Wales. He was forced to accept the peace of Aberconwy 1278. Llywelyn ap Gruffyd could not accept defeat and in 1282 mounted a second Welsh rebellion with his brother David. Llywelyn ap Gruffyd was killed in battle and his brother David was captured and executed. Wales had been conquered by Edward I and became incorporated into England under the Statute of Rhuddlan ( also called the Statute of Wales ) in 1284.
King Edward I strategy of building the Welsh Medieval Castles
King Edward I was determined to to ensure his conquest of Wales and to to incorporate Wales with England. He knew that the Welsh would be difficult to subdue and that more Welsh rebellions were inevitable. He wanted to demonstrate the supremacy of the English and build power bases in Wales which would totally dominate the Welsh. The English King decided on a strategy of building elaborate fortresses and castles in Wales in order to crush and intimidate the Welsh population. His castle building strategy started in 1278, following the first Welsh rebellion. In 1278 Edward commissioned the building of four major castles in Wales - Flint, Rhuddlan, Builth and Aberystwyth. More medieval castles were built following the second rebellion of 1282 and the building of Caernarfon, Conwy, Harlech and Beaumaris castles were also commissioned. King Edward was correct in his view that the Welsh would be difficult to subdue. Less than 12 years after the Statute of Rhuddlan the Welsh mounted another rebellion. The Welsh rebellion of 1294 was led by Madog ap Llywelyn who over ran Caernarvon Castle. It was re-captured the next year. Not only did King Edward I build the Welsh Medieval castles he also integrated new townships at the same time. These fortified townships were based on the Burghs, or Burhs, of King Alfred the Great and the Bastides of Gascony. King Edward I was able to keep his tight reign over Wales due to his massive power bases provided by his Welsh Medieval Castles and his purpose-built Welsh Medieval Fortified Townships.