King Edward II, the tragic King

 

 

 

 

 

A man in half figure with short, curly hair and a hint of beard is facing left. He wears a coronet and holds a sceptre in his right hand. He has a blue robe over a red tunic, and his hands are covered by white, embroidered gloves. His left hand seems to be pointing left, to something outside the picture.

Portrait in Westminster Abbey, thought to be of Edward I
EDWARD I OF ENGLAND, ”LONGSHANKS”
THE ”HAMMER” OF THE SCOTS
KING EDWARD II, THE TRAGIC KING
Edward II - detail of tomb.jpg
EFFIGY OF KING EDWARD II IN GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL

Initial from the charter granting Gaveston the earldom of Cornwall, showing the arms of England at top, and Gaveston’s coat of arms impaledwith those of de Clare below.

INITIAL FROM THE CHARTER GRANTING GAVESTON THE EARLDOM OF CORNWALL
Guy de Beauchamp.jpg

Guy de Beauchamp standing over the decapitated body of Piers Gaveston. From the 15th-century Rous Rolls.[1]
A MACABER SCENE
THE DECAPACITATED BODY OF PIERS GAVESTON,
EXECUTED BY HIS TWO MAJOR ENEMIES, THOMAS,
2N DUKE OF LANCASTER AND GUY DE BEAUCHAMP,
10TH EARL OF WARWICK
GUY DE BEAUCHAMP IS STANDING OVER HIS
DECAPACITATED BODY
Guy de Beauchamp.jpg

Guy de Beauchamp standing over the decapitated body of Piers Gaveston. From the 15th-century Rous Rolls.[1]
GUY DE BEAUCHAMP, 10TH EARL OF WARWICK, GREAT ENEMY
OF PIERS OF GAVESTON, FAVOURITE OF EDWARD II
TOGETHER WITH THOMAS, 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER,
THE EARL OF WARWICK HAD PIERS GAVESTON EXECUTED
AFTER ABDUCTING HIM
HERE IS GUY DE BEAUCHAMP IN A MACABER SCENE, STANDING
STANDING OVER THE DECAPITATED BODY OF PIERS GAVESTON
Thomas of Lancaster Executed

EXECUTION OF THOMAS, 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER, THE
GREAT ENEMY OF PIERS GAVESTON AND LATER, THE DESPENSERS

Seal of Henry of Lancaster from the Barons’ Letter, 1301, which he signed as Henricus de Lancastre, Dominus de Munemue (Henry of Lancaster, Lord of Monmouth). His shield couche shows the armorial of Plantagenet differenced by a bend azure (see below)

SEAL OF HENRY, 3RD EARL OF LANCASTER,
BROTHER TO THOMAS, 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER
BOTH SONS OF EDMUND CROUCHBACK, BROTHER TO
KING EDWARD I AND UNCLE TO EDWARD II
MOST LIKELY OUT OF REVENGE FOR THE EXEXUTION
OF HIS BROTHER THOMAS [SEE IMAGE ABOVE]
 BY THE DESPENSERS AND THE KING, HENRY
SIDED WITH QUEEN ISABELLA AND ROGER MORTIMER
AGAINST KING EDWARD II AND THE DESPENSERS
HENRY IS THE ANCESTOR OF BLANCHE OF LANCASTER
[HIS GRANDDAUGHER], WHO MARRIED JOHN OF GAUNT
[THIRD SON TO EDWARD III]
JOHN OF GAUNT BECAME THE 1ST DUKE OF LANCASTER
SO HENRY WAS THE ANCESTOR OF THE HOUSE
OF LANCASTER
Isabella of France.jpg

A 15th-century depiction of Isabella
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
HISTORICAL IMAGE

QUEEN ISABELLA OF FRANCE, DAUGHTER TO THE FRENCH KING
PHILIPS IV [LE BEL]
HISTORICAL FICTION
Image result for roger mortimer
ROGER MORTIMER, 1ST EARL OF MARCH, PARTNER
IN CRIME AND MOST LIKELY LOVER OF QUEEN ISABELLA
OF FRANCE
Isabella and Roger Mortimer.jpg

15th-century manuscript illustration depicting Roger Mortimer and Queen Isabella in the foreground
ROGER MORTIMER AND QUEEN ISABELLA ON THE FOREGROUND
15TH CENTURY HISTORICAL  IMAGE

HISTORICAL IMAGE
HUGH LE DESPENSER THE YOUNGER, [ALONG WITH HIS
FATHER, THE ELDER] FAVOURITE TO KING EDWARD II,
WHO DIED A HORRIBLE DEATH AT THE ORDERS OF
QUEEN ISABELLA AND [MOST LIKELY] LOVER
ROGER MORTIMER AFTER THE INVASION OF
ISABELLA AND MORTIMER, WHICH LED TO THE DOWNFALL
AND FINAL DEATH OF KING EDWARD II
Edward III of England (Order of the Garter).jpg

Edward III as head of the Order of the Garter, drawing c.1430–40 in the Bruges Garter Book
KING EDWARD III
HISTORICAL IMAGE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Readers
This time my travel to the past goes to some hundred years
before the Wars of the Roses, to the reign of King Edward II [1]
Recently I posted some articles   from Kathryn Warner”s interesting
weblog ”EdwardthesecondBlogspot”  about the reign of King
Edward II , a very tragic king. [2]
Why?
Because of his clear preference to his own sex, which was
a great taboo in the time wherein he lived and died, the Middle Ages.
This was one of the main causes for civil war in England  and his final downfall
and death [3]
Enter the world of this complicated and fascinating king,
a fascinating time, with fascinating characters.

 

 

 

 

 

PIERS GAVESTON, HIS FAVOURITE
We see his favourite Piers Gaveston, for whom he felt a great
friendship  and most likely a tragic love. [4]
His neglected and disloyal wife Queen Isabella, although
she was not disloyal from day one. [5]
THOMAS 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER, HIS DISLOYAL FIRST  COUSIN
Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, first loyal to the King
,later rose two times in rebellion against Edward II, first by
hunting down the King and Piers Gaveston, which led
to Gaveston’s tragic death and secondly in the Despenser
War, which led to Thomas’ own tragic death. [6]
HENRY 3RD EARL OF LANCASTER,  BROTHER TO THOMAS,
LOYAL FIRST, DISLOYAL LATER AND AT THE END, LOYAL AGAIN
Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster  and ancestor
of the House of Lancaster,  was the brother of Thomas,
2nd Earl of Lancaster. [7]
At first he was loyal to the King, not participating
to his brother’s rebellions against  Edward, but then sided
with Queen Isabella and her very likely] lover Roger Mortimer,
1st Earl of March, one of the ancestors of Richard,
Duke of York [8].
Henry of Lancaster sided with the Queen and Mortimer
very likely out of revenge for the Despensers and also
the King, who were responsible for the execution
of his brother Thomas. [9]
THE DESPENSERS
After Piers Gaveston’s death the new favourites
of Edward II, were the Despensers, who caused much
fury among the other nobles because Edward’s favouritism
towards them, which lead to civil war, promoted by
especially Thomas of Lancaster and Roger Mortimer
, who later became Queen Isabella’s lover and
partner in crime. [10]
By the way:
Difference between Piers Gaveston and the Despensers.
Piers Gaveston didn’t seek political power, but only
wealth and prestige, while Hugh le Despenser [as his
father] went for political power. [11]
Back to the events:
The King and the Despensers won the war, causing the
execution of Thomas of Lancaster and then established
themselves firmly as the new regime, characterized by greed
[of the Despensers], ruthlessness and corruption. [12]
A bitter enmity broke out  between Queen Isabella and especially Despenser the Younger] and ultimately an invasion from France of
Queen Isabella and her lover Mortimer deposed the King and made an
end to the Despenser power, leading to the executions of both
father and son. [13]
After an undoubtedly unfair trial with charges of treason,
Despenser the Younger was executed horribly, the socalled traitor’s death. [14]
King Edward II was imprisoned and died in 1327, most likely
murdered. [15]
In each case it is striking, that Sir Thomas Gurney, Maltravers and
William Ockley, who were suspected of involvement in
the death of Edward II,  fled later. [16]
How Edward II was treated during his imprisonment, is not
certain: the record show luxury goods brought on his behalf,
but that doesn’t proof he actually got them. [17]
Some chroniclers suggest, that he was often mistreated. [18]
There is a document ”The Lament of Edward II”, which was once
thought to have been written by Edward himself during his imprisonment, but
modern scholarship has cast doubt on this. [19]
It is doubted also, whether he really was mistreated. [20]
EDWARD III, THE UTTER LOYAL SON OF HIS FATHER
Edward III, the utter loyal son of the King put
an end to the Isabella and Mortimer regime
and finally had  his vengence on Mortimer in 1330.
Mortimer was executed for deposing and murdering
his father, Edward II [21]
Yet in a way, Edward III was merciful.
Mortimer didn’t have to face the horrible traitor’s death which
he had imposed on his Despenser enemy, but was ”only” hanged
at Tyburn. [22]
 Isabella was forgiven and remained extremely wealthy. [23]
After all, she was the King’s mother.
Edward III was the King who started the Hundred Years War with France,
claiming his right to the French throne from maternal side,
since his mother Isabella was the daughter of the late King Philips IV, Le Bel. [24]
Background:
Philip IV’s heirs, his sons, were all dead and because of the infedility
of their wives, the paternity of their offspring was unsure.
The later King Philips VI, who claimed the throne after
the death of Charles IV, [the last son of Philip IV.
was only the nephew of Philip IV, son of his brother. [25]
Edward III however, was the grandson of Philip IV, son
of his daughter Isabella.
Complicating factor however was when Edward III claimed
the throne, the Salic Law was introduced in France. [26]
EDWARD II AND HIS EARLS/A PROBLEMATIC RELATIONSHIP
For a Medieval King it was impossible to rule without his nobility.
Problem was that there was always a battle about who controlled
the country.
A ”strong” King or his lords.
So it was of the greatest importance to be authorative and yet
keeping a good relationship with the Earls.
Edward II however, was neither authorative, nor could
he go along with his Lords.
His favouritism, first of his loved friend Piers Gaveston and
later of the Despensers alienated loyal lords from him, which eventually
lead to civil war and his own downfall. [27]
The very proof of his lack of authority was the hunting down of him and
his favourite Piers Gaveston through England by his powerful cousin and
enemy Thomas of Lancaster, not to settle scores with
the King, but with Gaveston. [28]
However, this would not have happened with a King
with authority.
Anyway, it was clear, that Edward II had many headaches over his Earls,
and many lost their lives during his reign.  [29]
EDWARD II/SOME QUESTIONS
Those were some important players in the drama I call the Edward II tragedy.
But some questions still rise, from which I will not mention all
of them, but some, which are interesting to me and perhaps
a source for further historical research
There are also funny questions, as you will see.
HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS WIFE, ISABELLA
HOW WAS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISABELLA AND
EDWARD II OR OTHERWISE SAID
WHEN AND WHERE  IT WENT WRONG?
According to Dr Helen Castor in her documentary ”She Wolves, England’s
Early Queens, Isabella and Margaret”, to be listened on Youtube, the marriage was a disaster
from the beginning and that however Isabella did her best to perform
the duties of a Medieval Queen and consort, it was rebuked by her
husband’s choice of favourites. [30]
Kathryn Warner, writer of the book ”Edward II, the Unconventional
King” however suggests in her Blogsport article ”Isabella of France
and her relationship with Edward II” , that the marriage was loving,
 even when Edward II was already in prison, since she continued to send him
gifts and letters. (31)
However I ask myself whether those tokens of affection were
serious or, as the luxury goods, sent to the prison on Edward´s behalf
. a show for the world, because I can’t imagine
a wife deposing her husband of his power and sending him
to prison and simultaneously having an affection for him.
Therefore I doubt Kathryn Warner´´s allegations of the still
ongoing affection of Isabella for her husband, not only
because you don´t imprison somedone you are attached to.
But also because of Edward´s yearlong
neglection [which I call it when a man so obviously chooses
for favourites, not only politically, but also emotionally].
And despite that, Isabella´s affection would remain?
Hard to believe.
And don’t forget it was a purely arranged, political marriage.
But historians can always speculate about this.
WHAT WAS THE CAUSE OF THE EXTREME HATRED OF QUEEN ISABELLA
FOR HUGH LE DESPENSER THE YOUNGER/RAPE?
I have always wondered, what were the deeper causes
behind  the bitterness Margaret of Anjou, wife to pious
and gentle King Henry VI and one of the major
players in the Wars of the Roses, towards Richard, Duke
of York , since merely a dynastic quarrel doesn’t explain everything to me. [32]
This enmity is much mentioned by historians and historical novel
writers, whether they were sympathetic to Margaret or not, but without
a thtourough explanation of the source of the bitterness, which stemmed,
according to me, mainly from Margaret.
However, historians did a better job for Queen Isabella:
Historian Alison Weir, writer of ” Isabella, She Wolf of France,
Queen of England”, tried to explain the intense dislike of
Queen Isabella, for especially Hugh Despenser the Younger
by the allegation, that he raped her once. [33]
A Medieval Queen, daughter to the French King, raped by a common nobleman, however high his position and favouritism by the King?
I find that hard to believe.
My opinion, that Isabella has not been raped by Hugh Le Despenser
 is shared by another distinguished historian, Kathryn Warner and
author of the book ”Edward II, The Unconventional King”.
On her Blog  ”Edwardthe scecondBlogspot” she wrote an article
about this alleged rape. [34]
She argues, that it is very unlikely, Despenser the Younger should have raped
Isabella, strengthening her opinion, that Alison Weir based on one source
and gives her own interpretation, without any proved historical
sources. [35]
So if not the rape story, where did the hate stem from?
To involve the bitterness of Margaret of Anjou towards the Duke of
York again:
At least York showed formal respect to Margaret.
That can’t be said from Hugh le Despenser [who of course
had a total different position, being favourite to the King, but that
aside], towards Queen Isabella.
He and his father  treated Isabella with the utmost disrespect,
, she was for example not allowed to see her husband alone, since
apparently one of the Despensers had to be present. [36]
Such was a great insult to a Medieval Queen, daughter to a King.
When Queen Isabella was in France negociating a peace treaty between
her husband and brother King Charles IV, Hugh le Despenser
supposedly tried to bribe French courtiers to assassinate Isabella [37]
When this is true or at least was believed by Isabella, it can explain
 the hatred she felt for especially Despenser the Younger.
But however the causes, her hatred and bitterness went very deep, since not only
Despenser the Younger was executed on a horrible way, also  his
wife and children paid a price. [38]
Eleanor de Clare, his wife, Edward´s favourite niece, was imprisoned  and
in january, 1327,Queen Isabella  issued an order that
three daughters of Hugh Le Despenser the Younger,  should be veiled as
a nun ´´without delay´´(39)
The only reason Despenser´s eldest and youngest daughter escaped
the nunnery, were because the eldest was already married and the
youngest just an infant.
And although Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer spared the
life of the eldest son of Hugh Le Despenser, he was imprisoned
for the rest of their regime, without committing any crime. (40)
WAS EDWARD II REALLY KILLED
Another striking question is the way Edward II met his death,
which is to divided in two themes.
Was he murdered or not?
And when he was murdered, was he
murdered on the horrible way which
is common narrative? [41]
It is generally accepted, that after the invasion of Isabella
and Mortimer in England, the capture of Edward and Hugh
Despenser the Younger, Edward’s imprisonment and the
execution of both Despenser father and son, Edward was finally
murdered on the orders of Isabella and Mortimer. [42]
 
After his forced abdication in january 1327
in favour of his son, the later Edward III, he was first 
imprisoned in Kenilworth Castle under the care of his cousin
Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, who treated him with respect
and honour. [43]
It is possible, that this good treatment changed, when Edward was
transferred to  Berkeley Castle [where it is generally assumed that he died],
where his jailor was Thomas, Lord Berkeley, son in law of
Roger Mortimer. [44]
Lord Berkeley had been imprisoned for several years by Edward and his
father died during his imprisonment, so he could have taken revenge 
by not treating Edward well, although there is no proof he did. [45]
In each case Berkeley faced a trial as an accessory to the murder
of Edward II, but was acquitted. [46]
Whether Edward II really faced the horrible death that is
narrated isn’t sure at all.
Kathryn Warner, writer of” Edward II, an Unconventional
King”, finds the horror story hard to believe, although she assumes that he likely is being murdered. [47]
However, the writer Ian Mortimer assumes, that Edward was
not killed at all [68], but lived abroad, being  released after the
execution of Roger Mortimer. [48]
Interesting for historians to investigate further, but to me  it is
very likely, that Isabella and Mortimer, after deposing Edward
in favour of his son, would finally get rid of him.
Since there was no ”abdication” of Kings in the Middle
Ages, the situation of two anointed Kings  in England
[one deposed and one crowned, could easily
be a threat for Edward III and therefore for the
regime of Isabella and Mortimer, the de facto rulers, since
Edward was nearly a prisoner. [49]
COULD POSSIBLY SCOTTISH FREEDOM FIGHTER WILLIAM WALLACE
HAVE FATHERED EDWARD III
A JOKE AND A FAIRY TALE
The last question I want to mention here is simply
a joke, implying that Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace
could have been the father of Edward III. [50]
The story is told in the film ”Braveheart” , which I highly
value because of the coureageous resistance of the Scottish against
English domination. [51]
But however impressive, historical facts must be correct.
Although it would be highly unlikely [as presented in the film]
 that King Edward I would have sent his daughter in law,
wife to his heir and daughter to the French King, to ”negociate”
with the rebel Braveheart [unless he wanted war with France,
since the French King would not forgive this insult to his daughter,
let alone the danger for holding as a hostage, to which she was exposed],
the historical facts speak against this fairy tale since:
William Wallace was executed in 1305, while Edward III was born in
1312. [52]
When William Wallace was executed, the future Queen Isabella was
just nine years old and still at the Court of her father, King Philips IV. [53]
King Edward I and Isabella never met, since he died in 1307 and
Isabella came to England in 1308. [54]
And do you want to have a good laugh?
Even Roger Mortimer, later lover of Queen Isabella
and supposedly responsible for the death of Edward II
has been mentioned as the father of Edward III. [55]
Problem with that is, that Mortimer was physically
absent at the moment of the conception of Edward III,
since he was in Ireland, a country, Isabella never visited. [56]
Besides there is no proof or indication, that Isabella and Mortimer
had a relationship before late 1325. [57]
Funny stories.
No historical facts.
 
 
EPILOGUE AND AFTERMATH
 
 
Of course I don’t close my eyes for the less dramatical and more
political sides of Edward II’s period.
The political ill judgment and lack of military skill [unlike his
father King Edward I, as his dependance of favourites,thus
alienating his natural allies, the powerful nobility [represented
by his Earls. [58]
The obvious greed and arrogance of his favourite and likely
lover Piers Gaveston. [59]
The corruption and misuse of power during Edward’s alliance with
the Despensers and the mock trials,  they gave their enemies like
the 2nd Duke of Lancaster, although Edward II was merciful enough [likely
because of his close relationship with the Earl] not let him hanged,
drawn and quarted, but merely beheading [60]
And later, after Edward was stripped from power,
 the arrogance, misuse of power and personal
enrichment of the Isabella/Mortimer regime [61]
 
But here I have emphasized on the more personal, dramatic sides
of the reign of Edward II, especially the impossibility of following
his own sexual preference, and his love for Piers Gaveston,
with all the tragic events involved and the reaction of his environment.
 
Whether he was murdered or not [murder is the most likely]
he met a tragic end. [62]
This, as his complicated personality and his turbulent reign, is
much worth to pay attention to.
He had a tragic life.
Sometimes I wonder if Edward rather had died that fatal
day his beloved Piers Gaveston lost his life………….
 
Thanks for travelling with me to the past again.
 
 
 
Astrid Essed
NOTES
[1]
EDWARDTHESECOND BLOGSPOT
WHO’S WHO IN EDWARD II’S ERA
[2]
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
EDWARDTHESECOND BLOGSPOT
ON MY WEBSITE:
KING EDWARD II/[EDWARD THE SECOND BLOGSPOT]/
WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE BARONS KILLED PIERS
GAVESTON
KING EDWARD II/[EDWARD THE SECOND BLOGSPOT]/ISABELLA
OF FRANCE AND HER RELATIONSHIP WITH EDWARD II
KING EDWARD II/[EDWARD THE SECOND BLOGSPOT]/
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN AND WHY NEITHER WILLIAM
WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
KING EDWARD II/[KATHRYN WARNERS’ EDWARD THE SECOND BLOGSPOT]
/HUGH, LORD DESPENSER (c.1309-1349)
[3]
SHE WOLVES/ENGLAND’S EARLY QUEENS/ISABELLA
AND MARGARET
DR HELEN CASTOR
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
[4]
WIKIPEDIA
PIERS GAVESTON, 1ST EARL OF CORNWALL
WIKIPEDIA
PIERS GAVESTON AND SEXUALITY
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
SHE WOLVES/ENGLAND’S EARLY QUEENS/ISABELLA
AND MARGARET
DR HELEN CASTOR
[5]
SHE WOLVES/ENGLAND’S EARLY QUEENS/ISABELLA
AND MARGARET
DR HELEN CASTOR
WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE/ROGER MORTIMER,1325-6
SOURCE
WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
[6]
LUMINARIUM ENCYCLOPEDIA PROJECT
THOMAS, EARL OF LANCASTER
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE ENGLISH EARLS IN THE REIGN OF EDWARD II
WIKIPEDIA
CONFLICT WITH EDWARD II AND DEATH
SHE WOLVES/ENGLAND’S EARLY QUEENS/ISABELLA
AND MARGARET
DR HELEN CASTOR
WIKIPEDIA
PIERS GAVESTON, 1ST EARL OF CORNWALL
RETURN AND DEATH
WIKIPEDIA
DESPENSER WAR\
[7]
WIKIPEDIA
HENRY, 3RD EARL OF LANCASTER
ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA
HOUSE OF LANCASTER
[8]
”Henry did not participate in his brother’s rebellions; he later petitioned for his brother’s lands and titles, and on 29 March 1324 he was invested as Earl of Leicester.”
WIKIPEDIA
HENRY,3RD EARL OF LANCASTER/PETITION FOR
SUCCESSION AND INHERITANCE
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
ROGER MORTIMER, 1ST EARL OF MARCH
 
 
 
THE WARS OF THE ROSES/RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK/
THED CLAIMS TO THE THRONE OF LANCASTER AND YORK
ASTRID ESSED
 
 
 
 
[9]
 
 
Lancaster was tried by a tribunal consisting of, among others, the two Despensers, Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel, and King Edward. Lancaster was not allowed to speak in his own defence, nor was he allowed to have anyone to speak for him. Because of their kinship and Lancaster’s royal blood, the King commuted the sentence to mere beheading (as opposed to being drawn, quartered, and beheaded) and Lancaster was convicted of treason and executed near Pontefract Castle.”
 
 
[10]
The long-threatened civil war finally broke out in England in 1321,[193] triggered by the tension between many of the barons and the royal favourites, the Despenser family.[194] Hugh Despenser the Elder had served both Edward and his father, while Hugh Despenser the Younger had married into the wealthy de Clare family, become the King’s chamberlain, and acquired Glamorgan in the Welsh Marches in 1317.[195] Hugh the Younger subsequently expanded his holdings and power across Wales, mainly at the expense of the other Marcher Lords.[196] The Earl of Lancaster and the Despensers were fierce enemies, and Lancaster’s antipathy was shared by most of the Despensers’ neighbours, including the Earl of Hereford, the Mortimer family and the recently elevated Hugh Audley and Roger Damory.[197]Edward, however, increasingly relied on the Despensers for advice and support, and he was particularly close to Hugh the Younger, whom one chronicler noted he “loved … dearly with all his heart and mind”.
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND/LATER REIGN (1321-1326)
 
 
Mortimer became disaffected with his king and joined the growing opposition to Edward II and the Despensers. After the younger Despenser was granted lands belonging to him, he and the Marchers began conducting devastating raids against Despenser property in Wales. He supported Humphrey de Bohun, 4th Earl of Hereford, in refusing to obey the king’s summons to appear before him in 1321. Mortimer led a march against London, his men wearing the Mortimer uniform which was green with a yellow sleeve.[8] He was prevented from entering the capital, although his forces put it under siege. These acts of insurrection compelled the Lords Ordainers led by Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, to order the king to banish the Despensers in August. When the king led a successful expedition in October againstMargaret de Clare, Baroness Badlesmere, after she had refused Queen Isabella admittance to Leeds Castle, he used his victory and new popularity among the moderate lords and the people to summon the Despensers back to England. Mortimer, in company with other Marcher Lords, led a rebellion against Edward, which is known as the Despenser War, at the end of the year”
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
ROGER MORTIMER, 1ST EARL OF MARCH
OPPOSITION TO EDWARD II
 
 
 
 
[11]
 
 
By 1320, Hugh was as high in Edward’s favour as Gaveston had been, but far more dangerous. Far, far more dangerous. Gaveston had never been interested in political power, only in the money and prestige being the favourite of the king gave him. Hugh, on the other hand, was a highly intelligent and capable man who knew exactly what he wanted. And that was land, more land, more money, and power. Lots of power. He was ruthless, greedy and totally without scruple.”
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S OTHER GREAT FAVOURITE, HUGH
DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
 
 
[12]
”Lancaster was tried by a tribunal consisting of, among others, the two Despensers, Edmund FitzAlan, 9th Earl of Arundel, and King Edward. Lancaster was not allowed to speak in his own defence, nor was he allowed to have anyone to speak for him. Because of their kinship and Lancaster’s royal blood, the King commuted the sentence to mere beheading (as opposed to being drawn, quartered, and beheaded) and Lancaster was convicted of treason and executed near Pontefract Castle.”]
WIKIPEDIA
THOMAS, 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER/CONFLICT WITH
EDWARD II AND DEATH
 
 
By 1320 his greed was running free. Despenser seized the Welsh lands of his wife’s inheritance, ignoring the claims of his two brothers-in-law. He forced Alice de Lacy, Countess of Lincoln, to give up her lands, cheated his sister-in-law Elizabeth de Clare out of Gower and Usk, and allegedly had Lady Baret’s arms and legs broken until she went insane. He also supposedly vowed to be revenged on Roger Mortimer because Mortimer’s grandfather had killedHugh’s grandfather, and once stated (though probably in jest) that he regretted he could not control the wind. By 1321 he had earned many enemies in every stratum of society, from Queen Isabella to the barons to the common people.”
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
POLITICAL MANOEUVERINGS
 
 
 
 
ADDITION:
Historian Kathryn Warner, writer of
”Edward II, the Unconventional King”,
doubts the Despenser the Younger’s
 mistreatment of Lady Baret
See the article on her Blog Edwardthesecondblogspot
”THE CURIOUS CASE OF LADY BARET”
 
[13]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER/RELATIONSHIP
WITH EDWARD AND ISABELLA
 
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER/TRIAL AND
EXECUTION
 
 
 
 
 
The elder Despenser was hanged immediately in his armour at Bristol on 27 October 1326. He was then beheaded and his body cut into pieces for the dogs. His head was sent for display to Winchester, which had supported the king”
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH LE DESPENSER, 1ST EARL OF WINCHESTER
 
 
 
[14]
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE CHARGES AGAINST HUGH DESPENSER THE
YOUNGER, NOVEMBER 1326
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER/TRIAL AND
EXECUTION
 
 
 
 
A TRAITOR’S DEATH? THE IDENTITY OF A DRAWN, HANGED
AND QUARTERED MAN FROM HULTON ABBEY, STAFFORDSHIRE
MARY E LEWIS
 
 
 
 
 
[15]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
 
 
 
 
 
 
[16]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
 
 
 
 
[17]
” Once at the castle, Edward was kept in the custody of Mortimer’s brother-in-law, Thomas Berkeley, and John Maltravers, who were given £5 a day for Edward’s maintenance.[296] It is unclear how well cared for Edward was; the records show luxury goods being bought on his behalf, but some chroniclers suggest that he was often mistreated.”
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
 
ADDITION TO WIKIPEDIA EDWARD II
Thomas Berkeley, who is mentioned in the text above, is not the
brother in law of Roger Mortimer, but his son in law
 
See also
 
 
and
 
 
 
 
 
[18]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
 
 
[19]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
LAMENT OF EDWARD II
 
 
 
THE MODERN LANGUAGE REVIEW
CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS
This document contains also the lament of Edward II 
 
 
 
 
 
[20]
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD OF CAERNARFON AND ROTTING
ANIMAL CORPSES
 
 
 
 
 
[21]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
 
 
 
 
[22]
 
 
At least Edward III spared him the full horrors of the traitor’s death, and death came within a few minutes – a relief, as medieval hanging victims often took hours to die”
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE EXECUTION OF ROGER MORTIMER
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
[23]
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
 ISABELLA OF FRANCE
IN RETIREMENT
 
 
 
 
 
 
[24]
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA 
HUNDRED YEAR’S WAR
 
 
 
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD III OF ENGLAND
EARLY REIGN
 
 
 
 
 
King Edward III’s mother, Queen Isabella, was the daughter
of King Philips IV, Le Bel
 
WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
 
 
 
 
 
[25]
 
 
The Tours de Nesle Affair, scandal of the infedility
of the daughters in law of King Philips IV
 
WIKIPEDIA
TOURS DE NESLE AFFAIR
 
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
PHILIP VI OF FRANCE
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
CHARLES IV OF FRANCE
DEATH AND LEGACY
 
 
[26]
WIKIPEDIA
HUNDRED YEARS’  WAR
 
The principle, denying women succession to the throne was
the Salic Law
 
WIKIPEDIA
SALIC LAW
 
 
 
 
[27]
 
 
Tensions between Edward and the barons remained high, and the earls opposed to the King kept their personal armies mobilised late into 1311.[136] By now Edward had become estranged from his cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, who held the earldoms of Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Salisbury and Derby, with an income of around £11,000 a year from his lands, almost double that of the next wealthiest baron.[137] Backed by the earls of ArundelGloucesterHerefordPembroke andWarwick, Lancaster led a powerful faction in England, but he was not personally interested in practical administration, nor was he a particularly imaginative or effective politician”
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
MID REIGN (1311-21)
 
 
 
 
 
The long-threatened civil war finally broke out in England in 1321,[193] triggered by the tension between many of the barons and the royal favourites, the Despenser family.[194] Hugh Despenser the Elder had served both Edward and his father, while Hugh Despenser the Younger had married into the wealthy de Clare family, become the King’s chamberlain, and acquired Glamorgan in the Welsh Marches in 1317.[195] Hugh the Younger subsequently expanded his holdings and power across Wales, mainly at the expense of the other Marcher Lords.[196] The Earl of Lancaster and the Despensers were fierce enemies, and Lancaster’s antipathy was shared by most of the Despensers’ neighbours, including the Earl of Hereford, the Mortimer family and the recently elevated Hugh Audley and Roger Damory.[197]Edward, however, increasingly relied on the Despensers for advice and support, and he was particularly close to Hugh the Younger, whom one chronicler noted he “loved … dearly with all his heart and mind”
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
LATER REIGN
(1321-26)
 
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
FALL FROM POWER (1326-27)
 
 
 
 
 
 
[28]
 
 
Edward responded to the baronial threat by revoking the Ordinances and recalling Gaveston to England, being reunited with him at York in January 1312.[139] The barons were furious and met in London, where Gaveston was excommunicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury and plans were put in place to capture Gaveston and prevent him from fleeing to Scotland.[140] Edward, Isabella and Gaveston left for Newcastle, pursued by Lancaster and his followers.”
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
MID REIGN (1311-21)
 
 
[29]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE ENGLISH EARLS IN THE REIGN OF
EDWARD II
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
LOT OF DEAD EARLS
 
 
 
 
[30]
 
 
SHE WOLVES
ENGLAND’S EARLY QUEENS, ISABELLA
AND MARGARET
DR HELEN CASTOR
 
 
[31]
”On the contrary, this unconventional way of referring to her husband as ‘sweet’ and her ‘friend’ implies that, despite her rebellion against him as a king, she still felt affection for him as her husband. When Edward was detained in custody in 1327 after his forced abdication in favour of his and Isabella’s son Edward III, Isabella continued to send him gifts and letters – something she had absolutely no reason to do unless she genuinely wanted to, which again implies that despite everything, Isabella still felt affection for the difficult, unpredictable, erratic, fiercely emotional man who had been her husband for nearly twenty years and whose existence had been a constant in her life since she was a toddler.”\
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
ISABELLA OF FRANCE AND HER RELATIONSHIP
WITH EDWARD II
[32]
WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
HENRY VI OF ENGLAND
 
 
 
 
THE WARS OF THE ROSES/MARGARET OF ANJOU
AND RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK, TWO MAJOR PLAYERS
ASTRID ESSED
 
 
 
WIKIPEDIA
MARGARET OF ANJOU
ENMITY BETWEEN MARGARET AND THE DUKE OF YORK
 
 
[33]
Queen Isabella had a special dislike for Hugh le Despenser the younger. (Froissart wrote that “he was a sodomite.”)[8] Alison Weir, in her 2005 book Queen Isabella: Treachery, Adultery, and Murder in Medieval England, speculates that he had raped Isabella and that was the source of her hatred.”
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
RELATIONSHIP WITH EDWARD AND ISABELLA
[34]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
DID HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER RAPE ISABELLA
OF FRANCE?
[35]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
DID HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER RAPE ISABELLA
OF FRANCE?
[36]
”They didn’t allow anyone access to Edward unless at least one of them was present – including, amazingly enough, Queen Isabella, who was not allowed to see her husband alone.”
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S OTHER GREAT FAVOURITE, HUGH
DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
[37]
”When her brother, King Charles IV of France, seized Edward’s French possessions in 1325, she returned to France, initially as a delegate of the King charged with negotiating a peace treaty between the two nations.”
WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
THE INVASION OF ENGLAND
 
 
Despenser supposedly tried to bribe French courtiers to assassinate Isabella, sending barrels of silver as payment”
WIKIPEDIA
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
RELATIONSHIP WITH EDWARD AND ISABELLA
 
 
 
 
 
[38]
HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
TRIAL AND EXECUTION
[39]

SUSAN HIGGINBOTHAM
HISTORY REFRESHED
THANKS UNCLE! GIFTS TO ELEANOR DE CLARE
FROM EDWARD II
WIKIPEDIA
ELEANOR DE CLARE
IMPRISONMENT
”Meanwhile, Isabella turned her attention to other members of the Despenser brood – and some of the most vulnerable. On 1st January 1327, she issued an order to the prior of Watton Priory in Yorkshire that Margaret Despenser, who was only about four or five at the time, was to be admitted to the convent and veiled ‘without delay, to remain for ever under the order’. In other words she was forced to become a nun.”
……
……
”A similar order was also issued for Eleanor Despenser, who was round about seven years old. ”
………….
………….
”An older sister, Joan (aged about 10), also became a nun around this time, although no order for her veiling can be found (as yet).”
…..
…….
”That she was veiled (most likely forcibly as with her sisters) in a southern nunnery also indicates that she was also probably living in another household – local to Shaftesbury or thereabouts.”
LADY DESPENSER’S SCRIBERY
EXECUTION AFTERMATH FOR THE DESPENSERS
SUSAN HIGGINBOTHAM
HISTORY REFRESHED
TWO (MAYBE THREE) LITTLE NUNS
[40]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
HUGH, LORD DESPENSER (1309-1349)
[41]

EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?
[42]
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
DEATH AND AFTERMATH
[43]
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
ABDICATION
”After Edward II’s forced abdication in January 1327, he was first ‘imprisoned’ at Kenilworth Castle, under the care of his cousin Henry of Lancaster, who treated him with respect and honour.”
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?
[44]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?
[45]
Thomas Berkeley’s father Maurice de Berkeley, died in prison, after rebelling against
King Edward II with Thomas 2nd Earl of Lancaster
See
” With the Earl of Lancaster, he rebelled against King Edward II, for which he was imprisoned in Wallingford Castle in Berkshire (now Oxfordshire), where he died on 31 May 1326 and was eventually buried at St Augustine’s Abbey in Bristol.”
WIKIPEDIA
MAURICE DE BERKELEY, 2ND BARON BERKELEY
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?
 
 
 
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD OF CEARNARFON AND ROTTING ANIMAL
CORPSES
 
 
 
 
 
[46]
”As an accessory to the murder of the deposed king, he was tried by a jury of 12 knights in the 4th year of King Edward III of England, but was honourably acquitted.”
WIKIPEDIA
THOMAS DE BERKELEY, 3RD BARON BERKELEY
 
The only charge on which Berkeley was convicted was for appointing Thomas Gurney and William Ockley to look after Edward. These two men were condemned as regicides. Technically, he wasn’t cleared of this – rather small – charge until 16 March 1337, when Parliament finally acquitted him.”
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
REGICIDE AND OTHER IGNOBLE EVENTS: THE PARTICIPANTS
 
 
 
 
 
[47]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?
[48]
A NOTE ON THE DEATHS OF EDWARD II
IAN MORTIMER
THE TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION
A RED-HOT POKER? IT WAS JUST A RED HERRING.
[49]
WIKIPEDIA
CORONATION
MIDDLE AGES
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD II OF ENGLAND
ABDICATION
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD III OF ENGLAND
EARLY LIFE
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
ISABELLA OF FRANCE AND HER RELATIONSHIP
WITH EDWARD II
[50]
WIKIPEDIA
WILLIAM WALLACE
[51]
WIKIPEDIA
BRAVEHEART
[52]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[53]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[54]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[55]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[56]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[57]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II AND HIS CHILDREN, AND WHY NEITHER
WILLIAM WALLACE NOR ROGER MORTIMER WAS THEIR FATHER
[58]
WIKIPEDIA
EDWARD I OF ENGLAND
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE ENGLISH EARLS IN THE REIGN OF EDWARD II
[59]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
PIERS GAVESTON’S SECOND EXILE
 
 
[60]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
THE ENGLISH EARLS IN THE REIGN OF
EDWARD II
Thomas of Lancaster, earl of Lancaster, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Salisbury, executed on 22 March 1322, officially for treason – or for killing Piers Gaveston ten years earlier, depending on your point of view.
…….
…….
”He was made to kneel facing Scotland, as he’d been accused of treacherously conspiring with the Scots, and beheaded, Edward having respited the punishments of hanging, drawing and quartering in consideration of his royal blood. He was about forty-three or forty-four.”
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
LOTS OF DEAD EARLS
 
 
 
[61]
”Isabella’s reign as regent lasted only four years, before the fragile political alliance that had brought her and Mortimer to power disintegrated. 1328 saw the marriage of Isabella’s son, Edward III to Philippa of Hainault, as agreed before the invasion of 1326; the lavish ceremony was held in London to popular acclaim.[107] Isabella and Mortimer had already begun a trend that continued over the next few years, in starting to accumulate huge wealth. With her lands restored to her, Isabella was already exceptionally rich, but she began to accumulate yet more. Within the first few weeks, Isabella had granted herself almost £12,000;[108] finding that Edward’s royal treasury contained £60,000, a rapid period of celebratory spending then ensued.[109] Isabella soon awarded herself another £20,000, allegedly to pay off foreign debts.[110] At Prince Edward’s coronation, Isabella then extended her land holdings from a value of £4,400 each year to the huge sum of £13,333, making her one of the largest landowners in the kingdom.[111] Isabella also refused to hand over her dower lands to Philippa after her marriage to Edward III, in contravention of usual custom.[112] Isabella’s lavish lifestyle matched her new incomes.[113]Mortimer, as her lover and effective first minister, after a restrained beginning, also began to accumulate lands and titles at a tremendous rate, particularly in the Marcher territories”
WIKIPEDIA
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
AS REGENT, 1326-30
[62]
EDWARDTHESECONDBLOGSPOT
EDWARD II’S DEATH?

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