King Edward I
"By the blood of God, though all my fellow soldiers and countrymen desert me, I will enter Acre and I will keep my word and my oath to the death"
1. Edward inherited and left a fractured realm where warfare was simply a political tool to enforce the will of whomever chose to wage it. In spite of this, Edward's military adventures had some unforeseen consequences that reinforced the role of Parliament and illustrated how a king still needed to foster the popular consent of the people. This was because Edward needed to pay off the enormous debts that his wars and castle building programs had cost. Edward created the model Parliament, where barons, bishops and landowners were represented as well as elected citizens from each city. It's purpose was to codify a tax system to pay off war debt but it also set the precedent that would become representation for the people.
2. A consequence of Edward's model parliament was that he became one of England's great legislators and broke down many of the feudal privileges that had existed up until the 13th century. These included legal codes such as The First Statute of Westminster which codified 51 existing laws, covering civil and criminal cases. Also the Quo Warranto which outlined a uniform system of justice for all at the expense of the old feudal system. Edward's use of the model parliament is all the more incredible when it is considered that he himself had defeated Simon de Montfort in the Second Barons War. De Montfort's demands had been driven by the desire to create a model parliament!
3. During the Ninth Crusade, Edward had been a target for the Shia Order of Assassins. During the attempt on his life, Edward overpowered his attacker and killed him instead. This event was particularly glorified upon his return to Europe in order to mask the fact that he had not inflicted the defeat upon the Muslims that would reclaim the Holy Land. Edward would be the last Crusader King to buy into the ideal of Mediaeval crusading.
4. Despite his little known abilities as a legislator, Edward had the ability to be clumsy and insensitive as a diplomat. The Scottish War of Independence illustrates how his quick temper and view of the 'right of kings' had led Edward to create as many problems as he solved.
5. Edward considered the Jewish communities in England to be his private property. After taxing them heavily on account of their practicing usuary, Edward had all Jews expelled from England with the Edict of Expulsion 1290. Jews remained banned from England until 1653 when Oliver Cromwell reversed the edict.