You Know Him As:
King Edward I was the evil king in Braveheart. You know, the foul-tempered English prick who marched into Scotland and let his soldiers just start kicking all the Scottish peasants around, until William Wallace finally came and... well, got killed, but he still managed to teach Longshanks a thing or two. Oh, and that son of his? What a total ponce.
But in Reality:
For starters, Longshanks didn't just storm into Scotland because he felt like taking over; he went in to mediate a matter which was on the verge of causing civil war. "So?" you may well ask, "Who asked him to butt into Scotland's business?"...um, Scotland. Scotland asked.
That's right, Scotland more or less begged Longshanks to come over and start meddling in their affairs. Here's a compressed version of how it all went down:
Scotland: Help us, Edward Longshanks, you're our only hope!
Longshanks: Sure, I'll be glad to help. But first, I'll be needing Scotland.
Scotland: You'll be needing Scotland to do what?
Longshanks: To belong to England. I'll be needing you to give me Scotland.
Scotland: Oh. Er. Hm. OK, you can have our country, as long as you give it back when you're done.
Longshanks: ...Sure. I'll give it back. (rolls eyes)
Scotland: Huzzah! I don't see how this could possibly go wrong!
Seriously, Scotland? Had you even met England before? Sure, Edward broke his word, but in the history of hostile takeovers, this one ranks just about highest in "They were fucking asking for it."
Anyway, the whole Scotland fiasco was just the very end bit of Edward's reign. He spent the first 20 years or so at home writing a crapload of laws that revolutionized England forever. Most of them are pretty abstract to the lay person, but for example, did you know he helped implement several statutes which essentially made up England's first constitution? Wow! Or that he eased debt with a series of stringent anti-usury laws? Holy balls!
Braveheart fans, consider this--which is the more noble sacrifice to make for your country: leading your people in battle against an unbeatable enemy, inevitably dying in a blaze of glory? Or being the fucking King of England, and using that insane godlike power to spend decades drafting complex legislation so that the people can enjoy stable governance after you're dead? Yeah, we thought so.
For more from the realm of bad guy retardedness, check out 7 Badass Cartoon Villains Who Lost to Retarded Heroes and The 6 Most Pointlessly Elaborate Movie Murder Plots.
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