Happy Sunday, Weekend Warriors! You’re relocating to London before long, so you ought to know more about the history of the British isles to really appreciate how this modern nation came to be. Last week, we saw Henry III‘s reign come to an end—not a particularly successful one, but instrumental in paving the way for England’s present-day government in which monarchy subsides to democracy.
We also had the opportunity to meet Henry’s son, Edward I. Edward I, or “Longshanks” as he’s nicknamed for his tall height, was responsible for restoring his father to the crown and, after that, had joined the Crusades in 1270. Upon his father’s death in 1272, however, he has returned to England to inherit the throne and seems to have a better grip on leadership than his dad did. He upholds a king’s right to rule, but recognizes that his subjects are likewise protected under that rule, so he makes the effort to keep their interests in mind as well as seek their consent. Beyond the Exchequer and Chancery, Edward I expands government with the addition of the Household and Council, both of which are comprised of advisers who follow him around—of the two, the Council is more elite and responsible for the most vital matters. His other reforms include the Statute of Gloucester in 1278, which subordinated large private holdings to government discretion.
Join me here next Sunday as we continue to follow Edward I and his impact on foreign policy. As a little teaser, we’ll be encountering a certain well-known Scotsman (hints: he has a major tie to the Smithfield area I recently wrote about, and his initials are W.W…No, Walt Whitman was American, silly…no, Wally World is a place, not a person…NO, we’re talking 13th-century, it’s not William Wordsworth or Woodrow Wilson! Sheesh, you’re really bad at this game.)