One of my graduate professors said this in reference to Africa (and I in no way mean to absolve the US of what IT has to answer for, and acknowledging that historically I am as much English as Welsh), but I think of it now whenever I think of Edward I.
Because I’m a Welshophile.
At the same time, history should not judge the man by 21st century standards. That said, Edward I should be remembered for the following, both ‘good’ and bad’:
1239: born 17 June
1254: married Eleanor of Castille (he was 15, she 9)
1265: Defeated Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham
1270: Joined the 9th crusade to the Holy Land
1274: Returned to England to take up the throne (Henry III, his father, had died in 1272)
1275-1290: Codified existing statues into a more cohesive system of law, some of which was based in the Magna Carta.
1277-1282: War against the Welsh
The official web site of the British monarchy says: “Llywelyn maintained that the rights of his principality were ‘entirely separate from the rights’ of England; he did not attend Edward’s coronation and refused to do homage. Finally, in 1277 Edward decided to fight Llywelyn ‘as a rebel and disturber of the peace’, and quickly defeated him. War broke out again in 1282 when Llywelyn joined his brother David in rebellion.
Edward’s determination, military experience and skilful use of ships brought from England for deployment along the North Welsh coast, drove Llywelyn back into the mountains of North Wales. The death of Llywelyn in a chance battle in 1282 and the subsequent execution of his brother David effectively ended attempts at Welsh independence.” Ha.
1283: Hanged, drew, and quartered Prince Dafydd ap Gruffydd in Shrewsbury, first man of standing to die in such a fashion, thus ending all hopes of an independent Wales (see above).
1290: Expelled the Jews from England (http://www.sarahwoodbury.com/its-all-about-money/)
1296: Began war with Scotland
1305: Hanged, drew, and quartered William Wallace in London
1307: Died 7 July
Another pro-Edward page says: “Edward’s character found accurate evaluation by Sir Richard Baker, in A Chronicle of the Kings of England: He had in him the two wisdoms, not often found in any, single; both together, seldom or never: an ability of judgement in himself, and a readiness to hear the judgement of others. He was not easily provoked into passion, but once in passion, not easily appeased, as was seen by his dealing with the Scots; towards whom he showed at first patience, and at last severity. If he be censured for his many taxations, he may be justified by his well bestowing them; for never prince laid out his money to more honour of himself, or good of his kingdom.” http://www.britannia.com/history/monarchs/mon30.html