Edward I Monument

I recently called at a rather lonely monument located on the Solway, that bleak firth between the kingdoms of England and Scotland. It marks the spot where King Edward I died in 1307, while preparing yet another invasion of the north. He had been suffering from dysentery for some time, and died in his servants’ arms one morning while they roused him for breakfast. He could certainly see Scotland from his deathbed, but he was never to enter it again, much less conquer it.  

The inscription reads: “Edward I fought a long bitter campaign to conquer Scotland. Old and sick he made camp on these marshes whilst preparing to subdue his enemy Robert the Bruce. He died here on July 7 1307.” Though erected in 1685, it collapsed and was rebuilt in 1803, and again in 1876, then rescued another time in 2000 when it began to sink. The monument was like the man; strong-looking and ruthless, but a temporal feature of the world.

Whatever we want in life, we either shall not get, or cannot keep. Fame, riches, happiness: all will escape from us like sand through fingers. Only Jesus Christ is the prize worth getting and the only One worth keeping. Time will tell if Edward Plantagenet sought an even greater prize than Scotland.