Monday, January 28, 2008

Edward I, King of England, et al

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After watching a BBC documentary on King Edward and reviewing the article on him in Wikepedia, I conclude that Edward I, King of England, Wales and Scotland (Reign 16 November 1272 to 7 July 1307) was a psychopath of the first order. My assessment may be uncharitable. See what you think

You will probably remember him from Braveheart. Edward was Longshanks "The Hammer of the Scots".

When King Edward decided to squeeze the Jews, some of whom had become rather wealthy and to whom much of the nobility was deeply in debt, the King made the Jews wear yellow badges, imprisoned 300 of their leaders in the Tower of London (HQ of English torture and death), confiscated all their property and expelled any who were left. Well, well. I thought only the Germans did things like that. But actually, King Edward treated the Jews rather humanely, compared to what he did to others. At least some of the Jews got away from him.

Looking at other British monarchs, one finds this common thread: many of them were vicious bastards, just like Edward. These people are not the most noble of the realm as we were taught in school. Quite the contrary. Following the Conquest of William Duke of Normandy in 1066, the "English" waged war on the "French" for the better part of a thousand years. Along with wars to subdue the Welsh, the Scots and the Irish at home, they took excursions to far off places like the Holy Land for more mischief. Is this cruelty and violence a trait of rulers of the British Isles, merely?

Probably not. But our own kings and queens are certainly no better than all those bad people we learned about in school — and they might be worse than those bad people.

While on Crusade, Edward — even before he became King — sought out and made an alliance against the Muslims with the Mongols, who were themselves no strangers to psychopathology and mass murder.

Yes, it's a part of the history that we can all be proud of, we who have been nobly spreading our civilization, peace and democracy around the world for almost a thousand years. And we are still doing it!

P.S.: Edward I, King of England, et al, should not be confused with Edward the Confessor who is a Saint and was a King of England before the Conquest.

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