Edward I may be bracketed with Henry II as among the greatest of England’s medieval kings. Indeed, there are many similarities between them. Both restored firm royal authority after a period in which it had been lacking, both presided over major developments in the law. Both ended their reigns in relative failure and disappointment. In Henry’s case, this was due to the rebellions of his sons, in Edward’s, his over-stretching the resources of his kingdom and the goodwill of his subjects in his wars in France and Scotland. Henry died before there was serious discord at home, but after 25 years on the throne, Edward faced a major domestic political crisis, which might well have threatened the security of a less formidable and less awe-inspiring monarch.