FOLLOWING THE STORY…… Smart Readers with interest in English medieval history have travelled withme to the first half of the fourteenth century, where we were Internet eyewitnessesof the feud between king Edward II and his cousin Thomas, Second Earlof Lancaster, which resulted in an open war, lost by……. Read the former chapters
SO!Now you know who won and who lost But was it a real victory? I’ll deal with that in a next chapter BUT FIRST THE SAD CONTINUATION OF CHAPTER SEVEN: CHAPTER EIGHT
The travel Revenge of the King Reception Trial The others Last passage
””Now the king of Heaven give us mercy, for the earthly king has forsaken us!”
The long battle between Thomas and his cousin King Edward II was over. The way to the grisly end was about to begin:
An end, which was not about to bring the King and the [in january returned] Despensers much joy, but would cast a shadow on their lives and reign.
After the devastating end of the Battle of Boroughbridge, resulting in the horrible death of the Earl of Hereford , companion till the last of Thomas of Lancaster [and by the way, the brother in law of Edward II] , Thomas of Lancaster found himself prisoner of the King.
The humiliation could begin…….
Thomas was taken by water via York to Pontefract Castle. That was an intent torment and humiliation, since Pontefract Castle was his favourite residence. [His constable had surrendered to the King without a fight] That must have been very bitter for Thomas.
He was forced to wear garments of the striped cloth which the squires of his household wore, an intentional humiliation of a man of high birth and rank. 
But that was not enough:
On the way to York, a crowd of people threw snowballs at him, called him a traitor, and shouted “Now shall you have the reward that long time you have deserved!”  Interesting though that there must have been among them people, who later revered him……
At the meantime other adherents of Thomas of Lancaster were taken prisoner, who would share his fate, as the story will show.
REVENGE OF THE KING
The King had tried to make it as humiliating as possible for his cousin and long time adversary Thomas. He ”received” his cousin at his own favourite Castle of Pontefract, accompanied by his favourites the Despensers, who must have thought, that it was their moment of joy. Quod non [Latin for: that is not the case]  as will the story reveal later [See Chapter 10, Aftermath]
But although sad for Thomas, the satisfaction the King’ undoubtedly felt, now his powerful cousin was at his mercy, is in a way understandable.
It was not only the 10 year long resistance of Thomas, complete with jeering at the King [in 1317 and 1320], and blocking his way with armed guards , probably the King’s most important feeling was revenge for the death of Piers Gaveston, since Thomas was one of the responsibles for his [Gaveston’s] murder , a cruel and illegal act against a man, who was vain, avaricious and insulting [to the Lords] , but further didn’t do the Lords any wrong.
And Edward II had made no secret of his need for revenge! During the siege of Berwick in 1319  in which Thomas had cooperated with Edward , he [Edward] made clear what was on his mind by declaring “When this wretched business is over, we will turn our hands to other matters. For I have not forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers.”  That threat was obviously aimed at Thomas, who left Berwick later [and right he was!]. 
And as I have said before, when it came to revenge, Edward II was true to his word.
On 21 march, Thomas of Lancaster arrived at his Castle of Pontefract. And what was to be expected, the Despensers couldn’t resist to show their satisfaction in humiliating Lancaster. Thomas was ”contemptuously insulted……to his face with malicious and arrogant words” by the king and the recently returned Despensers”  Nice reception in your own castle……
Now rumour had it that Thomas of Lancaster had built a tower in which to hold the king captive for the rest of his life. And, surprise, surprise…… In that very [supposed for imprisonment of the King] tower Thomas was kept prisoner…..  The day after Thomas’ arrival, 22 march 1322, his ”trial” took place. I say ”trial” because it didn’t deserve the name at the least.
It was a mock trial, that took place in the hall of Lancaster’s own castle [how bitter…..] and the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Thomas was not allowed to speak in his own defence as his crimes were deemed ‘notorious’ 
According to sources he was said to have exclaimed: ” “This is a powerful court, and great in authority, where no answer is heard nor any excuse admitted,”  And right he was! The fact that Thomas didn’t grant Piers Gaveston a fair trial too [yet apart from the fact that he had no right to give him a trial anyway], doesn’t excuse his ”judges” to do the same with him.
And there were ”judges”, who undoubtedly would later regret their own injustice…………
See Chapter 10 ”Aftermath”
The composition of those socalled ”judges” was a laughing stock anyway, were it not so grave an affair, since they consisted of either his enemies, or staunch adherents of the King [or a combination of those two]
The ”judges” were:
Thomas’ first cousin, King Edward II
The Despensers [father and son]
The Earl of Pembroke [Thomas’ first cousin once removed. Originally one of the besiegers of Piers Gaveston in 1312, now he was a staunch adherer of the King, since he was against his will, forced to break his word against Piers Gaveston, who was in his custody and in Pembroke’s absence abducted by the 10th Earl of Warwick, which lead to Gaveston’s execution. His presence at this mock trial was a pity, I have mentioned him several times as a man of honour, who repeatedly tried to reconcile Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster, but perhaps he was forced to become part of this show trial] 
The Earl of Kent [halfbrother of King Edward II, and first cousin to Thomas of Lancaster] 
The Earl of Richmond [first cousin to King Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster] 
The Earl of Arundel [choose the King’s side after the murder of Gaveston, whom he had executed after a mock trial together with Thomas of Lancaster, the 10th Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Hereford, who died at the Battle of Boroughbridge] 
The Earl of Surrey , [originally one of the besiegers of Piers Gaveston in 1312 and later a mortal enemy of Thomas. Under his responsibility Thomas’ estranged wife Alice de Lacy was abducted, which lead to a private war between Surrey and Thomas] 
The [Scottish] Earls of Atholl and Angus, who had once served in the retinue of Thomas of Lancaster. 
The royal justice Robert Malberthorpe, who spoke out the charges against him. 
Striking is, that three of the ”judges” [Edward II, the Earl of Kent, the Earl of Richmond] were first cousins of Thomas of Lancaster  and one, the Earl of Pembroke, his first cousin removed. 
Thomas was charged [of course] for treason, as he and other Contrariants had invited several of Robert Bruce’s liegemen to England in 1322 to ride with them against their king. 
But that was not all:
The list of charges comprised the many grievances Edward managed to dredge up against his cousin, going back to Thomas’s seizure of his possessions at Tynemouth in 1312 [when Lancaster and the other barons were pursuing the King and his favourite Piers Gaveston, after his return from permanent exile. The charge however was unjust, since Lancaster had given the possessions back in 1313]  and including Thomas’s jeering at him from the Pontefract battlements in 1317,  and Lancaster’s blocking of the roads in an attempt to prevent Edward’s travelling through Yorkshire. 
Verdict: A fourtheenth century scandal
One need not to be surprised about the verdict:
Of course Thomas was found guilty, since this was a show trial, containing ”judges”, who were extremely hostile to him.
But to be fair: Even if it WERE a fair trial, the exchanged letters and dealings with the Scots  were reason enough to condemn him.
Therefore it was not the CONDEMNATION that was shocking, and caused a scandal, but the fact, that Thomas was condemned to death, which was a break with the convention of the time, not only because of his close kinship to the King [first cousin, Lancaster’s father was the younger brother of King Edward I], but especially because since Waltheof, the Earl of Northumbria was executed in 1076 on the orders of William the Conqueror , no English Earl was ever executed.  In cases, comparable with Lancaster, an Earl had to suffer ”only” life imprisonment or exile. 
I think, that the King perhaps had shown mercy [I mean, not imposing the death penalty], were it not for Lancaster’s involvement in the murder of King’s favourite Piers Gaveston, which was not one of the charges, but the underlying reason for the King’s need for revenge. 
But there was more: Not only the death penalty was pronounced, Thomas was condemned to the worst form, the traitor’s death: In other words: to be hanged, drawn and quartered…..
But the King was not totally crazy: Executing a [royal] Earl was already a scandal, but to be hanged, drawn and quartered…… Besides, whatever had happened between them, Thomas was the King’s first cousin and of royal blood Therefore the King commuted this verdict to ”merely” beheading……
However, some sources mention, that the King commuted the ”hanged, drawn and quarted” verdict to beheading “for the love of Quene Isabell,”, which possibly means, that the King commuted the verdict to beheading as a result of intercession of Queen Isabella , who was with King Edward at Pontefract [brrrrrr, horrifying, to accompany one’s husband at the eve of an execution….yet when she really intervened, it was a good thing that she came…..]  Queen Isabella was, you remember still,,,, Thomas’ niece, since he was the halfbrother of her mother, Queen Joan I of Navarre] 
Of course the phrase “for the love of Quene Isabell” can also
mean, that the beheading verdict was the King”s own decision, but that he considered his and Queen Isabella’s relationship with Thomas of Lancaster……
Before we follow Thomas on his last passage, there is a lot to tell about his adherents, who were captured together with him or on other locations around the same time: I mention six knights, who were hanged at Pontefract around or at the same time as Thomas were executed: William Cheyne or Cheney, Warin Lisle, Henry Bradbourne, William Fitzwilliam, Thomas Mauduit and William Tuchet 
According to the Flores Historiarum , such a lack of humanity was shown, that Thomas had to face their execution before he himself was executed [although the Flores Historiarum mentioned nine of his knights, while other sources give six] 
Anyway, Edward II was not satisfied with seven executions [Thomas and the six knights], as a whole at least between 19 and 22 lords and knights were executed and one, Lord Badlesmere [from the Siege of Leeds, see Chapter 7] suffered the traitor’s death.  Many were imprisoned, even the wives and children of the rebels [see also Chapter 10, Aftermath]  A bloody project of a vengeful King, undoubtedly stimulated by the [with right mentioned so by the rebels!] evil councillors, the Despensers. 
It was on the morning of 22 march, that Thomas of Lancaster heard his verdict, condemned in the Hall of his own Favourite Castle in Pontefract. The same morning, on a cold, snowy day, Thomas was executed. The King, apparently making a holiday of his cousin’s trial and execution, had arrived there on 19 march, together with Queen Isabella and spent there until 25 march….. [strong nerves they must have had…….]
However, rather than have him executed in the castle bailey, Edward II had a painful ”surprise” for Thomas of Lancaster, which showed his desire for revenge on the execution of his favourite, Piers Gaveston: In fact, he arranged a ”parody” on the execution of Piers Gaveston [who was executed on a hill, called ”Blacklow Hill” and also beheaded] 
Thomas was taken outside to a small hill, outside of the walls of his favourite Castle Pontefract, mirroring Piers’ 1312 death on Blacklow Hill. He was forced to ride “some worthless mule” and “an old chaplet, rent and torn, that was not worth a half-penny,” was set on his head. A crowd of spectators again threw snowballs at him. Apparently at the king’s order, Thomas was forced to kneel facing towards Scotland, in a pointed reminder of his correspondence with Robert Bruce [which of course had been treason] 
Then Thomas uttered the words:
“Now the king of Heaven give us mercy, for the earthly king has forsaken us!” 
Two or three strokes of the axe and he was beheaded.
Thomas of Lancaster, Earl of Lancaster, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Salisbury, long time adversary of his cousin Edward II and the last to defend the Ordinances  was no more………
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II, from warlord to Saint/Chapter Eight
I BOLDLY STATE, THAT IF THOMAS OF LANCASTER, THE MARCHER LORDS AND THEIR ATTACHING ALLIES HAD JOINED TOGETHER EFFECTIVELY, FORGOTTEN UNDERLYING FEUDS AND IGNORED THE DIVIDE AND RULE GAME OF THE KING, THEY COULD HAVE WON.
Preview For the readers, who failed to read Chapter six:
What happened in Despenser war, first phase?
After the Treaty of Leake in 1318 [reconciliation between the King and his overmighty cousin Thomas of Lancaster, with whom he the King feuded endlessly] and the banishment of the three favourites of the King [what Lancaster had demanded], a new favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger rose [who took his father along with him in his enjoyment of favouritism]. The King’s excessive favouritism towards Despenser, and Despenser’s abnormal avariciousness, drove the Marcher Lords into rebellion and they made an alliance with Thomas of Lancaster, who loathed those favourites of the King. The Marcher Lords marched on London in 1321 [later supported by Lancaster] and forced the King to send the Despensers in exile.
B Queen Isabella’s Pilgrimage to Canterbury and
her reception at Leeds Castle
C Hell breaks loose:
The Siege of Leeds Castle The Siege of Leeds: Aftermath King’s military victory/Political consequences
D Fight to the death
Edward II’s war with the Marcher Lords Events in november, december and begin of january
E Fight to the death The Marcher Lords and Thomas of Lancaster Edward II’s war with the Marcher Lords Swan Song
F Fight to the death Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster Last dance
After the Marcher Lords’ ”March on London” late july 1321 , in august backed
by Thomas of Lancaster  and eventually forcing the King to banish the Despensers, tensions grew high in the country, both sides mobilising their forces. And of course the King sought for an opportunity, to bring back his favourite Despensers as soon as possible. Then in the autumn of 1321, Something took place, which would change the course of events for the King, the Despensers and the opposing rebels.
QUEEN ISABELLA’S PILMGRIMAGE TO CANTERBURY AND HER RECEPTION AT LEEDS CASTLE
It happened in october 1321, that Queen Isabella went on pilgrimage to Canterbury, and, not taking the usual route headed for Leeds Castle, where Lord Badlesmere was appointed as governor.  And this Lord Badlesmere was at first loyal to the King, being the King’s household steward , but later switched sides and became a Contrariant, thus an ally of the Marcher Lords and Thomas of Lancaster.  At the moment of the Queen’s arrival, Lord Badlesmere was at a Contrariant’s meeting at Oxford and whether on instructions of her husband or not , his wife, Lady Badlesmere, refused the Queen entrance to the Castle, which, of course, was a gross insult. Queen Isabella, probably furious, ordered her escort to force an entry into the castle, and the garrison of Lady Badlesmere opened up a volley of arrows at them, killing six men of the Queen. Isabella was left outside and had to find other lodgings..,. Of course the King was furious. He avenged the insult to the Queen, by besieging the Castle of Leeds. 
Coincidence or deliberate?
Now it is possible, that Queen Isabella for some innocent reason had taken another route than usual, but according to some historians, she did so to create a casus belli.  With other words: Her heading for Leeds Castle was deliberate and on the orders of the King, in the hope that Lady Badlesmere [what she did, indeed] as the wife of a Contrariant rebel, would refuse the Queen entrance to the Castle, giving the King the excuse to revenge his wife’s insult, starting the war again.  And not only that: Because of the insult of the Queen, many moderate barons, who didn’t take sides yet, would join the royal army.
It also gave the King opportunity to a policy of ”divide et impera” [Latin for ”divide and rule], since Thomas of Lancaster loathed Lord Badlesmere and would probably not come to Lady Badlesmere’s assistance, when the castle were besieged. 
And Thomas of Lancaster fell right into the trap [poor Lord Thomas, not very smart and dishonourable, the Lady was in need…..] and indeed didn’t help , even ordered the Marcher Lords not to ….. Lord Badlesmere himself assembled an army and tried to help his wife and break the siege of the castle, but was not able to do so, since Thomas of Lancaster and the Marcher Lords didn’t come to his aid …
This strategic failure of Lancaster led to a major strengthening of the position of the King:
Because of the insult to the Queen and King’s readiness to go á royal ”fist to fist, toe to toe on this, many barons and volunteers indeed rallied to his assistance ……
AND his victory would lead to his regaining control of South-East England….. Another ”great” thing happened Edward II felt his position strong enough to revoke the banishment order of the Despensers in december 1321….. So the same mess started over again……
THAT’S WHY I STATED, THAT ONE OF THE CAUSES OF THE DEFEAT OF THE CONTRARIANTS WAS UNDERLYING FEUDS [as between Thomas of Lancaster and Lord Badlesmere] AND THE DEVIOUS DIVIDE ET IMPERA POLICY OF THE KING…
But to the honour of Lord Badlesmere [who did get a bad press in history, whether it is uncertain, if it is deserved]  must be said, that he fought side by side with Thomas of Lancaster in his last battle against the King, the Battle of Boroughbridge, in spite of the fact, that Thomas didn’t come to the assistance of his wife, when besieged, nor help him [Badlesmere] to break the siege….
Now about the coincidence or deliberate act regarding Queen Isabella heading for Leeds Castle: Assuming that it was a deliberate trap of the King, it was very clever strategy. What poses the question, whether the King had thought this out for himself, since he had, to put it mildly, no great strategic talents: Therefore some historians think, that he was in contact with [and likely had met] the banished Hugh Despenser the Younger, who perhaps was the mastermind behind the casus belli….
And concerning the clever ”divide and rule” policy of the KIng:
Edward [and possibly Hugh Despenser, when it was true that they had met and were together in this] must have known that the earl of Lancaster detested Badlesmere, and gambled that the he would not help him.  And he gambled right, alas for Thomas of Lancaster, the other Contrariants and Lord and Lady Badlesmere themselves, as the story will tell….
But again: It was no clever strategy of Lord Thomas either, not to help a man, who was his ally, just because he didn’t like him. In a rebellion, you can’t always choose your friends, my lord of Lancaster…..
HELL BROKE LOOSE THE SIEGE OF LEEDS CASTLE
THE SIEGE AND AFTERMATH
Edward II mobilised his forces and placed Leeds Castle under siege, giving Queen Isabella the Great Seal and control of the Royal Chancery.  The assault on the Castle persisted for more than five days and on 31 october 1321 Lady Badlesmere surrendered. 
Now any siege of a city or a Castle is a nasty business, but especially Edward II’s siege of Castle Leeds: It was a siege of a Castle, held by a woman, who was totally outnumbered by the forces of the King  and got no help whatsoever from the Contrariants [as I from now on will call the rebels against the King, the Marcher Lords, the Earl of Lancaster and their forces and allies] , despite of her husband Lord Badlesmere begging them to come to the aid of his wife.  Of course there was a problem here, in this case for the Marcher Lords. Destroying the Despenser lands is one thing, using your forces in a direct battle against the King is another and openly, treason. Besides, their ally the Earl of Lancaster had ordered them, not to come to the aid of Badlesmere [which included his wife], since he had a great personal dislike of him [Badlesmere] 
A nasty business, as I said. The King, with on his side the Earls of Kent and Norfolk [his two halfbrothers] and the Earls of Surrey, Arundel, Pembroke and Richmond
 The King even brought his nearly nine year old son, the Earl of Chester [the later Edward III] 
I can’t see this siege , even if the King wanted to revenge the insult to his Queen, as utter cowardly. But to be fair: Also is the behaviour of the Contrariants, not to come to the aid of the wife of one of their allies.
Siege of Leeds Aftermath:
The aftermath was gruesome: Thirteen members of the garrison were drawn and hanged
after the end of the siege, even in those cruel times unusual, since men had never been executed within for holding a castle against the king………. Lady Badlesmere pleaded for mercy, but was arrested and with her children, sent to the Tower of London.  She therefore became the first recorded woman, imprisoned in the Tower.  She was released in november 1322, seven months after the horrible execution of her husband in april 1322 [hanged, drawn and quartered, the ”traitors’ death] , after his fighting in the Battle of Boroughbridge, where Lancaster was defeated by the royal forces. 
King’s military victory Political consequences:
The Siege of Leeds [casus belli or coincidence…] where the Contrariants failed to help Lady Badlesmere, led to an enormous strenghtening of the position of the King in the South-East  and a demoralisation of the Contrariants, who must have realized, too late, that they fell into the trap of the King’s game of divide and rule….
And not only his military position was strengthened, also his political, with the increasement of loyal barons [caused by the King’s readiness to avenge the insult to the Queen] and the come back of the Despensers, revoked out of banishment.
But now the fight between the King, his cousin Thomas of Lancaster and his allies the Marcher Lords [together the Contrariants] was about to begin in earnest.
FIGHT TO THE DEATH EDWARD II’S WAR WITH THE MARCHER LORDS EVENTS IN NOVEMBER, DECEMBER AND BEGIN JANUARY
As been said, Edward II’s succesful besiegement of Leeds Castle led to his control over South-East England again. A setback for the Contrariants, and Marcher Lords Roger Mortimer and the Earl of Hereford [brother in law of the King], travelled North to discuss the situation with Thomas of Lancaster, who in thed meantime and as a reaction on Edward II’s regained control of South-East England, had mobilised his forces in the North. 
They met on 29 november [Edward II had prohibited the meeting, to no avail], probably in Pontefract Castle [other sources call Doncaster] and they were sworn together a second time to maintain that which they had commenced. 
Battle with words: Amusing: Doncaster petition Thomas of Lancaster’s high opinion about himself…..
As shows the story [as has shown already], the Despenser war and its aftermath was an extremely bloody mess, complete with executions [including the ”traitor’s death], pillaging lands, robbing and extortioning innocent people, hard imprisonment of wives and children of the Contrariants [as we shall see]. Yet there was not only fighting with weapons, but also with words: Famous example is the ”’Doncaster Petition’, drewn up by Thomas of Lancaster and his allies, which said that Hugh Despenser the Younger, amusingly called Sire Huge throughout, had been exiled “for diverse reasonable reasons” with the consent of the king himself and all the magnates in parliament. It accused Edward of placing Despenser under the care of the men of the Cinque Ports  [which proved to be right] and supporting him in his piracy and various other crimes and included the usual references to Edward’s ‘evil counsellors’ [which was certainly true in the case of the Despensers] See for the sample text of the petition note 385
Now the amusing thing is not only their accusation of their own Lord the King of accomplicity with some crimes of Hugh Despenser [which by the way was probably not nonsense at all] , but the fact that the petition showed how highly Thomas of Lancaster thought about himself. That because the petitioners [Thomas and his allies] asked Edward to respond to the petition by 20 December….
Understandably, the King was not amused by this and informed Lancaster, that imposing a deadline on him on to reform the affairs of his kingdom gave the impression that he was the earl’s subject, not vice versa……
This ”deadline” was not the first time for Thomas to do such an act, which proved his arrogance and high opinion about himself:
Apart from the jeering at the King from the walls of Thomas’ Castle of Pontefract [1317 and 1320] and blocking the King’s way [in 1317] , Thomas had done another shocking thing, considering the fact, that he was Edward II’s subject and not vice versa:
In February 1311, his father-in-law Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, died, and Thomas inherited his lands by right of his wife Alice. He had to perform homage to Edward II for the lands, but Edward was then on campaign in Scotland. Thomas refused to cross the Tweed to meet the king; Edward refused to return to England Edward II was right: WHO THE HELL WAS THE KING HERE It was absurd, for the King to come to a subject! At the end, Edward gave in, met Thomas on the English side of the river Tweed. And there Thomas payed homage…..
Back to the Marcher Lords:
THE MARCHER LORDS/RETURN TO WALES/ATTACKS MAFFIA STYLE AND UPRISING After the meeting with the earl of Lancaster at Pontefract in november where they renewed their allegiance against the King [Edward II had forbidden the meeting, to no avail] , the Marcher lords returned to the west of England and Wales with a great armed force  and were playing the same tricks, maffia style again, as they did before: Stealing, extorting and assualting mostly innocent people under the pretext of attacking Despener lands 
This happened in november and december
Back in the Welsh borders, the Marcher Lords had firstly to pay attention to an uprising of the local peasantry  Making use of the problems of the Marcher Lords, in december the Edward II marched to Cirencester to invade the Welsh borders. 
MEANWHILE IN THE NORTH/THOMAS OF LANCASTER
Meanwhile in the North, Thomas of Lancaster had tried to win the support of the northern barons, his usual allies, but they stayed loyal to the king. 
Worse was, that Thomas to be already engaged in some negociations with the Scots, to get their support, supposedly to prevent the King to retake South Wales from the Marcher Lords.  How it came to light, that Thomas was engaged to parley with the Scots, the national enemy? [but I am on their side, because they fought for their freedom….] 
It will be revealed in this article [or book, HAHAHAHAHA] in this very chapter [seven]
Those military things took place in december 1321 and begin january 1322.
E FIGHT TO THE DEATH END DECEMBER 1321 AND JANUARY 1322 EDWARD II’S WAR WITH THE MARCHER LORDS SWAN SONG
As been said, the Contrariants [The Marcher Lords and Thomas of Lancaster, and allies] could have won, were it not for underlying feuds and the divide and rule policy of the King. Added to that, a fatal strategic error of Thomas of Lancaster and lack of good cooperation between the Marcher Lords themselves…… Tragic for them
EDWARD II’S WAR WITH THE MARCHER LORDS
December 1321/January 1322 Edward II’s war with the Marcher Lords
Edward marched to Cirencester in December 1321, preparing to invade the
Welsh borders,  ordering the arrest of some main Contrariants, like his former steward Bartholomew Badlesmere [the man from ”The Siege of Leeds Castle”, see above], and his [Edward’s] former Favourite, Roger Damory [first main enemy of Thomas of Lancaster, now his ally, alienated from the King by the Despenser avariciousness]  Meanwhile, the Marcher Lords seized Gloucester, twenty miles from Cirencester, and thus controlled the bridge over the river Severn. 
”Strategy” of the Marcher Lords: Don’t fight the King, run off from him…..
Now the strangest thing happened: In stead of confronting the King in open war [when Edward approached Gloucester], the Marcher Lords failed to do that and simply….fled…… Not without playing their old maffia tricks of robbing and assaulting innocent people again [probably out of frustration not engaging the King in battle] 
But there is a good explanation for their not engaging the King in battle [although their forces were allegedly almost four times bigger than the King’s]
Attacking Despenser lands and raging and pillaging innocent people [who only happened to live on or near Despenser lands] is one thing, openly engaging the King in battle is treason…….
But the Marcher Lords were not totally crazy and hold the bridge over the Severn against the King, so that he could not cross it. 
And that was the last clever thing they did:
Fatal strategic errors of the Marcher Lords: Not engaging the King in battle Splitting up Pillaging again
THEY SPLIT UP! Damory remained at Worcester [a city, he at least took for the Contrariants], others headed north, while the earl of Hereford started plundering again [had The Marcher Lords
never got enough of those criminal games…….] and now for a change not from innocent people, but their old goal: Despenser property: this time Despenser the Younger’s younger Worcestershire castles of Hanley and Elmley. 
Instead of staying together as a group, engaging the King in battle, they fled, split up and started pillaging again.
When they saw, that their military position started weaker and weaker, they desperately hoped for Thomas of Lancaster to come to their aid.
The aid of Thomas was extremely necessary, since Edward II had arrived at Shrewsbury at 14 january and managed to cross over the river Severn and Roger Mortimer of Wigmore and his uncle Roger Mortimer of Chirk were in a desperate position: They were running out of money, their men were deserting them and they were squeezed between two forces, Edward’s on the east side of the Severn and his allies on the west side, and their lands being occupied and burnt [yes, the Marcher Lords received a taste of their own medicine, poor people, who lived on their lands…..] 
Thomas of Lancaster’s fatal strategic error:
I don’t know, whether Thomas of Lancaster knew exactly, how desperate the position of the Marcher Lords was, but he certainly knew that they were losing the game in Wales.
And in stead of coming to the rescue of the besieged Mortimers, he wasted his time and forces to besiege Edward II’s Castle at Tickhill [near Doncaster]….. 
Had he ridden out to the rescue of the Mortimers, together they would have good chance to defeat the forces of the King [Lancaster had a big army]
But he did not.
The end was predictable Running out of money and men and without the help of Thomas of Lancaster, who could not have come to their aid anymore, anyway, since his two castles of Holt and Bromfield were later seized by Edward’s forces ,
the both Mortimers had no choice but surrender to Edward II….. This happened on 22 january 1322 at Shrewsbury. 
The last Contrariants surrendered on 6 february 1322 at Hereford [at the border of Wales] 
Their fight with the King was over, but there was still hope for victory: Thomas of Lancaster in the North.
So finally, the remaining Contrariants fled towards Yorkshire to seek refuge with the earl of Lancaster, their last hope for fulfilling their cause…….
F FIGHT TO THE DEATH I EDWARD II AND THOMAS OF LANCASTER II LAST DANCE
EDWARD II AND THOMAS OF LANCASTER
Now the Marcher Lords were dedeated, Edward could finally give his attention to his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster.
HENRY OF LANCASTER, THE MYSTERY MAN
But before telling this dramatic story, first the readers attention for a mystery man I mentioned occasionaly in this story: Henry of Lancaster, younger brother of Thomas of Lancaster and the great ancestor of the House of Lancaster  To say it like it is: Where the hell was he in this fight to the death of his brother? Oddly perhaps [since rebels mostly were joined and supported by their brothers ] Henry spent most of the years between 1318-1322 in France, where he in 1317 had inherited the lands of his younger brother John, who died childless.  During the life of his brother Thomas, he seemed to have been loyal to the King and took part, on the orders of the King, in dealing with an uprising in Wales in 1316.  So he was made from quite other stuff than his brother…. However, in 1320/begin 1321, he was one of the Lords who formed a coalition against the Despensers and stood [at that time], shoulder to shoulder with the Rogers Mortimer, the former favourites of the King and others.  Doubtless his brother Thomas [who would soon join the club] appreciated that. But Henry was an interesting ”come and go” guy: He suddenly seemed to have disappeared to France, in each case untill january 1322  [and so kept out of trouble], when the Despenser war reached its finale, which turned out dramatically for Henry personally. So clearly he did not participate in his brother’s rebellion and opposition against the King [except for his initial opposition against the Despensers, Henry was by the way married with the half sister of Hugh Despenser the Younger, by his mother’s side]
But as we shall see later, Henry was a man to settle old scores…… We’ll meet him again.
LETTERS, ROYAL WARNINGS:
Back to Thomas and his last fight with his cousin, the King:
Oddly enough, after the surrender of the Marcher Lords, there was no immediate fight between the King and his not so dear cousin Thomas, as would be expected. At first the King ”warned” Thomas. On 8 February 1322 Edward II wrote to him, stating that he “wished to continue and augment his affection to the earl” and ordering him not to adhere to the Contrariants, who “have publicly boasted that they were going to the earl, and that they would draw him to them in the aforesaid excesses, and that they were sure of this.” Edward pointed out that joining the Contrariants would render Thomas guilty of treason 
To put it mildly: This was a strange letter, since Edward knew very well, that Thomas and the Marcher Lords were ”thick as thieves” [HAHAHA]  Also the King knew [of course!] that since 10 january, Thomas held his Castle Tickhill under siege. 
The answer of Thomas on the letter of the King [but to be fair: he could hardly be honest, criminalising himself as a traitor] was still stranger, since he pretended not to have anything to do with rebels.  YEAH RIGHT………
FIGHTING THE CAPTURE OF CASTLES
But then the to be expected fight broke out:
And for the direct cause, the King certainly was not to blame. He was right: Because, besiegement of a royal Castle [Thomas had put Edward II’s Tickhill Castle under siege] is a gross provocation and downright treason. And on 13 february, Edward announced his intention of going to raise the siege. He asked his brother-in-law Charles IV of France – Thomas’s nephew, son of his half sister Joan I of Navarre, who was also the mother of Queen Isabella of France – to send men to help him fight Thomas and the Contrariants, and also asked his nephews the duke of Brabant and the count of Bar, his kinsmen the counts of Eu, St Pol, Aumale and Beaumont, Charles IV and Isabella’s uncle the count of Valois, and the count of Hainault to send horsemen and footmen, and ordered Amaury de Craon, steward of Gascony, to come to him with armed men and advice. 
I don’t know if they all send military aid to Edward, but certain was, that Edward firmly wanted to confront his cousin in battle. On 19 february, Edward captured Thomas’s great Warwickshire stronghold of Kenilworth. 
But on 1 march 1322, Something would come to light, what would lead, directly to the dramatic end of the story…….
NEVER PUT YOUR TREASON ON PAPER/ THOMAS AND THE SCOTS ANOTHER FATAL ERROR: THE LETTERS ”KING ARTHUR”
I mentioned the fatal error Thomas had made, not to come to the aid of the besieged Rogers Mortimer, but instead of that, besieging the royal Castle of Tickhill. 
But what directly would seal his fate was writing treason down! The first lesson in the criminal’s handbook: NEVER WRITE DOWN SOMETHING ON PAPER!
AND WHEN YOU WRITE TREASON LETTERS OR RECEIVE ANSWER, BURN THEM!
That was the fatal error he made.
Poor Thomas. Proud and a high, an extremely well connected royal Lord, but not capable to see the danger of the written word….
What was the case here:
As I wrote before, when Edward marched on Cirencester in december 1321 to invade the Welsh border, Thomas had apparently asked the Scots to come to his [and the Contrariants] help, to prevent Edward to retake control over South Wales.  Now of course he could have done such a request only when he was already parleying with the Scots….. 
Now he was, apparently, earlier suspected of dealing with the Scots: Because: It was noticed that when the Scottish forces raided the north of England, they left his lands alone 
Now this is, obviously, circumstancial evidence , since you can’t accuse someone of treason for NOT being attacked by the national enemy, but what raised understandable suspicion [although not yet serious evidence] was the fact that although Thomas had a great army at Pontefract, he seemed not to have attempted to pursue the Scottish raiders……. 
Alas, for Thomas personally, real evidence DID show iself:
THE FATAL 1 MARCH
1 March was a fatal date for Thomas, because then, William Melton, archbishop of York, came into possession [I don’t know how] of letters, that had been exchanged between the Scottish Sir James Douglas [The Black Douglas]  and a mysterious ”King Arthur” In one of those letters, ”King Arthur” informed Douglas that the earl of Hereford, Roger Damory, Hugh Audley, Roger Clifford, Henry Tyes, Thomas Mauduit, John Wilington and Bartholomew Badlesmere [See the Siege of Leeds Castle] had come to ”King Arthur” They were prepared to treat with the Scots, as long as the Scots did what had previously been discussed: “to come to our aid, and to go with us in England and Wales” and “live and die with us in our quarrel.” 
HOW STUPID! Using a pseudonym  but naming the men by their own name, all adherents to Thomas of Lancaster! And to make matters worse: Thomas Randolph, earl of Moray and another close ally of Bruce, granted safe-conducts on 16 February 1322 for Roger Clifford, John Mowbray and forty horsemen to travel to Scotland.
Needless to say: John Mombray and Roger Clifford were diehard homies  of Thomas of Lancaster. By the way Mowbray was [not that the others were peaches, but this went far] a bad guy anyway. When going on the rampage in one of those Marcher Lords pillaging projects [somewhere in august or september 1321] he not only stole livestock, goods and chattels from the villagers of Laughton-en-le-Morthern in Yorkshire, but even robbed the church! 
Back to the stupidity of putting treason on paper:
How is it possible that a high Lord, a political animal as Thomas of Lancaster, who ruled de facto England for four years [although not very cleverly, forlorn in feudism with Edward II], could have fallen in the trap to put his treason ON PAPER……,while he could have sent trusted men, with a verbal message, then there was no evidence whatsoever……. Unbelievable
Yet it happened
I think: The arrogance of power.
Anyway, the discovery of the letters proved to be disastrous for Thomas.
I don’t know, whether the King already suspected Thomas of possible parleying with the Scots, but it must have been a great shock to him anyway. In each case, he gave orders, to make the letters public, which was, of course, a great moral setback for Thomas, because the support he still enjoyed , just scrumbled away. After all, getting along with Thomas of Lancaster now didn’t mean merely resistance against the destructive influence of the Despensers on the King and subsequently [since the King was so closely tied with those Despenser guys] against the King [which was treason], but also conspiring with the national enemy, the Scots…….
And he felt it instantly. Not only he had absolutely no hope to gain others for his cause anymore [remember he wanted the Despensers out of the throne’s influence and the Ordinances to be executed] his allies were deserting him. Sir Robert Holland, one of his most faithful men, deserted him, when he needed him most , something his brother, Henry of Lancaster [our ”mystery man”, who did not take part in his brother’s rebellion] would not forget nor forgive. 
And others would soon follow. 
Battle of Burton-on-Trent:
Thomas and the earl of Hereford and their allies left Pontefract on 1 March, broke the siege of Tickhill, and took up position at Burton-on-Trent near Tutbury Castle in Staffordshire, which belonged to Thomas.
In the meantime, Edward had pronounced Thomas, Roger Damory, Hugh Audley, Hereford, Lords Clifford and Mowbray and others to be traitors, and ordered all the sheriffs of England, the justice of Chester and the bishop of Durham to arrest them, saying that they “inflicted evil against the king’s servants, conducting war against the king with banners displayed.”  To cut a long story short: Thomas tried to hold the stronghold at Burton on Trent, but when Edward II’s forces came and Thomas saw, that he was outnumbered, he and his adherents withdrew  [smart, when you see you can’t make it]. According to some sources, “they turned their backs, set fire to the town, and fled.” 
They retreated to Pontefract , where a heated debate took place about what to do now. Some wanted to flee to Dunstanburgh, yet another of Thomas’s great castles on the Northumbrian coast, but Thomas didn”t want that, since it would seem as fleeing towards the Scots [you remember: Scottish raids were succesfully held in North England].  Strange way of reasoning, since Thomas’ correspondence with the Scots had already been revealed……
At the end,Thomas was ”persuaded” [yeah, with Lord Clifford’s sword waving in Thomas face….]  and they fled North anyway. At least, they tried……
They did not get far. On 16 march, as the King’s army continued to move up from the North, Thomas of Lancaster, the Earl of Hereford, Lord Clifford and others were suddenly halted at Boroughbridge by the arrival of Edward’s second army of approximately 4000 men under the command of Sir Andrew Harclay , sheriff of Cumberland and a former adherent of Thomas of Lancaster , who already had secured the bridge against the rebels.  Commanders at the side of the rebels were:
Thomas of Lancaster his faithful companion [and also a Marcher Lord] the Earl of Hereford [who had Piers Gaveston executed, together with Thomas of Lancaster, the Earl of Arundel and the 10th Earl of Warwick] And Roger, 2nd Baron de Clifford [son of Robert de Clifford, one of the besiegers of Piers Gaveston and died at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314] 
The Royal Commander was:
Andrew Harclay, 1st Earl of Carlisle 
To cut a long, dramatic story short:
Thomas and his men were forced to battle, the Earl of Hereford and others, attempting to walk across the bridge to break through Harclay’s lines, didn’t succeed and Hereford died horribly. 
So they lost the Battle of Boroughbridge, which took place on 16 march 1322. 
And Thomas, the great Earl of Lancaster, saw himself made prisoner…….
The long battle between him and his cousin King Edward II was over.
But Thomas’ humiliation and suffering was about to begin…….
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II, from warlord to Saint/Chapter Seven
But not only Earl Thomas was a warlord, but also was proclaimed asa Saint after his death, which I find fascinatingFor how becomes a warlord a Saint? Read all about that! AND NOW DEAR READERS, CHAPTER SIX!
CHAPTER SIX OPEN WAR
DESPENSER WAR/FIRST PHASE [February-August 1321]
This ”book” [this article is so long, beginning to show like a book really, patience readers] is about Thomas of Lancaster, but since so many other players play a part in this magnificent story, they have to be described too. Especially to point out the complicated situation and all those changements of alliances….. I will mention the events of the war, but probably not all details, I am sorry Would I have done that, it would fill a university paper… For more reading, just look to the notes below…….
The reader must realize also, that in the first phase of the Despenser war, the role of Thomas of Lancaster is important, but limited. The biggest role is played by his allies the Marcher Lords. You will see, that in fact, they started the war, which was, in short, due to the Kings excessive favouritism of his friends the Despensers. The first phase of the war ends with the coerced banishment of the Despensers.
A Prelude B United against the King’s favourites/ Despenser war/Unlikely allies C The storm breaks out/Despenser war/ started/Sworn Oaths/Fist to fist/Toe to toe/I [First phase february-august 1321]
In chapter five I wrote, that Thomas of Lancaster cooperated well with the King in the unsuccesful siege of Berwick [in the war against the Scots] But as I wrote earlier, the fragile co operation between the two most powerful men, was ruined by the following remark of the King ””When this wretched business is over, we will turn our hands to other matters. For I have not forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers.”  That despite the earlier pardons for the murder of Piers Gaveston, the King had issued in 1313  and the extended pardons to Lancaster and his allies, given at the Treaty of Leake.  To say it again: A king must rise above his personal feelings and must be true to his word. Edward II couldn’t or wouldn’t do that……
That being said: Understandably Thomas of Lancaster, knowing that the King’s remark about Piers Gaveston was directly aimed against him, said ”Hasta la vista” and left Berwick.  And from that moment, relations between the two men deterioriated again.
But not only the unpredictability of the King was to blame for the deteriation between the two men, also the rising of a new star favourite, more dangerous than all the others had been: You’ve met him already: Hugh Despenser the Younger  and with his coming, things would never be the same again….
To be fair, Thomas himself was certainly NOT innocent either [not to speak about the murder of Gaveston], because of his repeated provocations of the King. I wrote about it in chapter five Jeering at the King from his [Thomas’] castle Pontefract, in 1317 [that jeering would be repeated in 1320 with the Queen accompanying the King]  Once blocking the King’s path…. 
That could be considered as treason, and not without reason! In each case it was to be expected, that the King would not consider those insults lightly as will appear in this story….. 
UNITED AGAINST THE KING’S FAVOURITES DESPENSER WAR/UNLIKELY ALLIES
Thomas of Lancaster and his allies The Marcher Lords and allies Two former royal favourites
The last ”fight to the death” between Thomas and his cousin, King Edward II, was actually a fight against the influence of a new, far more dangerous favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger  and his father, Hugh Despenser, 1st Earl of Winchester[ Despenser the Elder].  Who were in this fight and why? Thomas of Lancaster of course, being the leader of the baronial opposition against the King, the ”Marcher Lords” , Roger Mortimer and his uncle, Roger Mortimer de Chirk  and their allies. And, painfully for Edward II, his two former favourites, Roger Damory and Hugh Audley.  Once deadly enemies of Thomas of Lancaster, now allies……
In the last battle Lancaster would fight against his king, the battle of Boroughbridge , Hugh Audley would even fight at his side….. While Sir Robert Holland, his [Thomas’] close and die hard ally, would abandon him in his hour of need…  Something Thomas’ brother Henry of Lancaster [who by the way NOT participated in any of his brother”s rebellions, although he seemed to be involved in the anti Despenser coalition]  , would not forget or forgive…..
This anti Despenser fight [and subsequently against the King] was called the ”Despenser war”, with the aim to crush the Despenser’s influence over the King, which would eventually result in avariciousness and tyranny.  But that’s for later.
What thar Despenser influence really meant?
For the Marcher Lords, to be robbed of their lands and privileges, as the revival of an old feud.
The former favourites of the King held a grudge against Hugh Despenser the Younger regarding his land grabbing as the ”Gloucester inheritance case”[see below]
And for Thomas of Lancaster it was threefold: A personal matter [he seemed to have loathed Despenser the Elder, the reason why I don’t know] A wish to curb royal power through the Ordinances  [which included no avaricious favourites]. And of course [let’s not make an idealist of Thomas, hahaha] a personal need for power.
COMEBACK OF THOMAS OF LANCASTER, LEADER OF THE BARONIAL OPPOSITION AGAINST THE KING, BUT TEMPORARILY POLITICALLY ISOLATED
As written in chapter four, after the death of his father in law in 1311, the 3rd Earl of Lincoln [called ”Burst Belly” by vain and tragic Piers Gaveston], Thomas became very powerful [inherited from his father in law the Earldoms Lincoln and Salisbury, already in the possession of Lancaster, Leicester and Derby, inherited from his own father, Edmund Crouchback, brother of King Edward I]. So he became the ”natural” leader of the opposition against Edward II and his favourite Piers Gaveston. After the battle of Bannockburn in 1314, which ended so destastrous for England, Edward II was at the mercy of Thomas, in name King, while Thomas was the real king, de facto. See chapter five He became gradually politically isolated  [not attending parliaments, personal conflicts/feuds with other barons, no wise political insight, lack of governmental talents, unable to protect the borders against the Scottish raids, etc], but was yet too powerful to be ignored, because of his five Earldoms and,not to forget, his royal birth [being first cousin of Edward II]
However, when the resistance against the Despensers grew, The Marcher Lords and others looked up to Thomas as a leader of the resistance again, since he was the most constant factor in the struggle against King’s favourites [and the King]….. 
Together, they would go ”fist to fist’, toe to toe” in this rebellion……
THE MARCHER LORDS
Let’s say it like it is. The Despensers, father and son, were a bunch of thieves and criminals, who went into length to aggrandise their power and wealth, with less [or not at all] scrupules. From noble birth, admitted and married into the royal family , but nevertheless, thieves. Whether Hugh Despenser the Younger [favourite of the King] was really attached to Edward II is food for Medieval historians [although even they can’t look into the royal bedchamber, supposedly Hugh was the ”husband” of Edward II, as Queen Isabella would write later . In each case, he was a shameless royal adventurer [funny side was, not for his victims of course, that he was a pirate during his exile, hahahahaha  And one thing was sure: Edward II was really very attached to him. 
Appointed as chamberlain of the King in 1318, Hugh moved himself into the affections of the King , replaced the former royal favourites [Roger Damory, Hugh Audley and William Montecute] and the Piers Gaveston story [but this time a far more dangerous player] started all over again. But this time worse, given the greed and avariciousness of the Despensers, their excessive ambition and need for political power. They didn’t allow anyone access to Edward unless at least one of them was present. Even Queen Isabella couldn’t see her husband alone!  Such a crazy situation existed….
Back to the avariciousness of the Despensers:
In the Middle Ages, land was power and that was just the thing the Despensers wanted. They wanted to build a huge ‘empire’ in South Wales and that was the very territory where the Marcher Lords [keepers of the borders with Wales] had lands. They feared their lands to be taken over, with consent of the King [who was infatuated with our Hugh Despenser..]
Their fears were proved to be right. In october 1320 Edward II ordered the peninsula of Gower in South Wales to be taken into his own hands, apparently to give it to Hugh Despenser. See for the whole, complicated story, note 308 Roger Mortimer , his uncle Roger Mortimer of Chirk and the other Marcher Lords were furious, considering this as a deprivation of their rights  Hugh Despenser was granted also other lands in the Marches [Welsh territory]’, which was taken fromRoger Mortimer and other Marcher Lords 
Not only unfair, but also foolish of Edward, since most of the Marcher Lords, especially Roger Mortimer and his uncle, were, until Edward’s clear favouritism of Despenser, at the cost of them and the other Marcher Lords, were loyal to the throne. 
To make matters complicated, there also was an old feud between Marcher Lords Roger Mortimer [and his uncle, Roger Mortimer de Chirk] and the Despensers…. Read about that in note 312
TWO FORMER ROYAL FAVOURITES AND HUGH DESPENSER THE YOUNGER
Hugh Despenser the Younger [as his father] had a mastertalent to incite the fury and hatred from his colleague noblemen. He pushed the Marcher Lords to the edge with his avariciousness and unlimited ambition, and his avariciousness also led to a big conflict with two former favourites of Edward II, Roger Damory and Hugh Audley:
Not only Hugh Despenser replaced Damory and Audley as favourites[also Montecute, but he played no further role, died in 1319 in Gascony], he also claimed the best lands from the Gloucester inheritance. [Hugh Despenser, Hugh Audley and Roger Damory were married to the three sisters of the 8th Earl of Gloucester and when he died in the battle of Bannockburn childless, his sisters were his heirs] 
And to further enrage Damory and Audley: In october 1320 Edward II took the South Wales peninsula of Gower into his own hands prior to granting it to Hugh Despenser See for background information about that, note 314 Despenser also had taken the Welsh lands of Hugh Audley.  That Despenser really was a man, who knew how to make friends……[hahahahahaha] 
Is it wonder, that men like the Marcher Lords , who once were loyal to the throne, were driven into rebellion and that even sworn enemies as Thomas of Lancaster and the former favourites found each other and fought side by side?
THE STORM BREAKS OUT/DESPENSER WAR/SWORN OATHS/FIST TO FIST/TOE TO TOE I FIRST PHASE/FEBRUARY-AUGUST 1321
The Marcher Lords on the rampage/sworn oaths:
The MarcherLords must have thought: ”Attack is the best way of defence.”
Because the war started with them attacking the Despenser lands and properties in Wales.  Those calamities [sacking, looting, pillaging, with most of the victims of course the common people….] took place from may 1321. Stealing from the Despensers was one thing, far more worse was, that, as usual, the poor and defenseless people paid the highest price: Sacking, looting, pillaging, extorting money from poor villagers with the threath of burning their village.  It was degrading and cruel. Those same horrors the Marcher Lords would repeat in the second phase of the Despenser war, in november and december 1321. 
But before going on the rampage, the Marcher Lords had arranged for support in the back:
In february 1321, they held a meeting with Thomas of Lancaster [probably at his favourite Castle Pontefract] and there was decided to attack Despenser lands.  However, Thomas did not take part in the attack itself.
As a reaction on the Marcher Lords-Lancaster agreement [to attack Despenser lands], Edward II responded in March by mobilising his forces in Wales, demonstrating that he intended to make any attack on the Despensers an attack on the crown, and therefore treasonable 
That was no clever movement of the King, thereby confirming his onesided favouritism of the Despensers and making it nearly impossible for those who were hesitant to go into rebellion, to stay loyal to the crown. At the other hand, the King tried to placate the rebels [or resistance fighters against the Despenser avariciousness, it depends from how you see it], by calling them [the Marcher Lords] to convene with him [first in Gloucester, later in Bristol] to no avail. 
After attacking Despenser properties [lands, castles, etc] as much as they pleased, Roger Mortimer and Hereford [brother in law of Edward II and together with Thomas of Lancaster, the 10th Earl of Warwick and the 9th Earl of Arundel, the murderer of Piers Gaveston in 1312] marched North to join Lancaster at Pontefract.
In june the barons swore an alliance at Sherburn-in-Elmet, near Pontefract, calling their faction the ”Contrariants” and promised to remove the Despensers for good. Sadly for Thomas and his allies: An attempt to attract the northern Lords to their cause failed. They stayed loyal to the King. 
Lancaster and the Marcher Lords would swear an oath once more on 29 november 1321, in the second phase of the Despenser war ”to maintain what they had commenced” 
March on London ”We bow down to no man”………..
One thing you can say about the Marcher Lords” They DID have guts……..
Not only destroying, looting, pillaging, extortioning and terrorising as they pleased and not only the Despenser possessions [and innocent people, who were unlucky to live on Despenser lands] .
No, they went farther. Much farther…..
After making their alliance with Thomas of Lancaster at Sherburn-in-Elmet , the Marcher Lords marched [hahaha, but that was what they did] from Sherburn [near Pontefract, in Yorkshire] to…….London…. From all places, they had the audacity to march on the royal centre of power….
From Yorkshire to London they repeated the same atrocities as in Wales: Assault, extortion and terror: They seized victuals from local inhabitants and pillaged the countryside – not only Despenser manors – all the way from Yorkshire to London.  Four Marchers [John Mowbray, Stephen Baret, Jocelyn Deyville and Bogo Bayouse] even robbed the Church in Laughton-en-le-Morthen [in Yorkshire] 
Further they tried to buy people’s allegiance with money, and seized the property of those who refused to join them. 
Real maffia practices……
But that terrorising and pillaging was only a [bad] game: Their goal was London, to put pressure on the King in order to banish the Despensers for good.
When they arrived outside of London on july 1321, not really surprisingly [even without Internet and smartphone, bad news travels fast], the citizens of London refused to let them in. The King also refused to meet them or even to listen to their demands that the Despensers be perpetually exiled from England, and they and their heirs disinherited “as false and traitorous criminals and spies.” 
Then, to go a stadium further [in fact that was treason] , they placed themselves and their armies outside the city walls, at strategic locations, to prevent the king leaving……
Let us put this straight: THEY BESIEGED LONDON, ”IMPRISONING” THE KING IN HIS OWN CAPITAL!
They then sent two knights as envoys to Edward II, to tell him that they held both Hugh Despensers “enemies and traitors to you and to the kingdom, and for this they wish them to be removed from here.”  Not surprisingly, the King, again, refused to meet the envoys.
On 1 August the Marchers entered London, while their great ally, Thomas of Lancaster, arrived also in August to support them.  Meanwhile, Despenser the Younger threatening them from a ship on the River Thames, and the rebels [Contrariants] threatened to begin to destroy royal properties and lands outside London unless he desisted. 
To cut a long story short: the earls of Pembroke, Richmond, Surrey and Arundel finally brought the Marchers’ demands to Edward. If he refused to consent to the Despensers’ exile, he would be deposed. 
Even then the King refused.
QUEEN ISABELLA ON HER KNEES
And as in the chess play , where the Queen holds the most important playing position, the solution came from Queen Isabella:
Queen Isabella went down on her knees before her husband and begged him, for the good of his realm, to exile the Despensers. 
That had not only the desired effect, it gave the King the opportunity, to get out from this without losing his face, making it look like fulfilling his wife’s desire.
But it must have been very painful for Edward II, losing his friends, who meant that much to him…. I think we must consider that, besides his foolish and unfair favouritism at the cost of the other Lords.
AGAIN A MAN OF HONOUR THE EARL OF PEMBROKE, MEDIATOR
And with all that negociating, let’s not forget the important role of the Earl of Pembroke [the man of honour, who didn’t want to breach his oath against Piers Gaveston and after Gaveston’s death, diehard loyal to the King  , who continually had mediated between the Marcher Lords and the King and was behind the exile plea of Queen Isabella. 
And finally the King decided on the banishment of The Despensers, father and son [the favourite] At 14 August in the Great Hall of Westminster it was to be, in the presence, of course, of the King Charges: ”They were accused, among many other things, of “evil covetousness,” accroaching to themselves royal power, guiding and counselling the king evilly, only allowing the magnates to speak to Edward in their presence, “ousting the king from his duty,” removing good counsellors from their positions and replacing them “by other false and bad ministers of their conspiracy,” and “plotting to distance the affection of our lord the king from the peers of the land, to have sole government of the realm between the two of them.”  [They were also called ”evil councillors” by the Contrariants [The Marcher Lords, Thomas of Lancaster and allies] That was all true.  The judgement decreed that the Despensers “shall be disinherited for ever as disinheritors of the crown and enemies of the king and his people, and that they shall be exiled from the realm of England, without returning at any time,” saving only the consent of the king, prelates, earls and barons in parliament. They were convicted by notoriety, with no chance to speak in their own defence. 
Utterly unfair, that they had no chance to speak in their own defence, but what was ”fair trial” in that time?
The same reprehensible thing happened to so many other noblemen thereafter……
The departure date was set on 29 August, 1321. Despenser the Elder left England immediately, perhaps to one of Edward II’s French territories, Gascony or Ponthieu. However, his son, Despenser the Younger BECAME A PIRATE IN THE ENGLISH CHANNEL [HAHAHAHAHA] 
AGAIN, ”ROYAL PARDONS”……
Between 20 August and late September 1321, Edward II granted a pardon to more than 400 men for the murders, abductions, thefts and vandalism they had committed in the Despensers’ lands, which crimes the Marchers claimed were “a case of necessity, [and] ought not to be corrected or punished by the rigour of the law, nor could this happen without causing too much trouble.” 
Which of course was a hypocrite excuse and bagatellising of serious and undefensible crimes.
Edward later protested that he had done this unwillingly and that any pardon he had given under coercion was invalid and contravened his coronation oath. 
I must say, the King had a point here. The attentive reader remembers, that I wrote at the beginning of this chapter [chapter VI], that the King was not true to his word, issuing pardons and later to come back on them, 
But this case was different, because now the King was besieged in his own capital as threathened with deposition, if he didn’t consent with the Despensers exile. That’s clearly coercion. And treason.
PLANNING FOR REVENGE
The King was furious, of course and by the way [but the reader has already understood] never to consent with the permanent exile of his Despenser friends.
The following morning at breakfast, the king talked to his ally Hamo Hethe, bishop of Rochester, “anxious and sad.” He swore that he would “within half a year make such an amend that the whole world would hear of it and tremble,” 
And as we will see in the next chapter, he was true to his word…..
END OF THIS CHAPTER
SEE FOR NOTES
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II, from warlord to Saint/Chapter Six
In the chapters one, two, three and four we saw, how the initial loyalcousin of king Edward II, fell out with him in a feud/conflict, for political andpersonal reasons and we watched the tragic fate of king’s dear favourite,Piers Gaveston and Thomas of Lancaster’s deadly role in it.
For reasons you’ll read in Chapter Five, Thomas of Lancaster, England”s wealthiest and most powerful man after king Edward II, became the uncrowned king of England Read furthrer:
CHAPTER FIVE DANCE FOR POWER THOMAS OF LANCASTER, THE UNCROWNED KING 1314-1315
A Battle of Bannockburn  B The Great Famine [1315-1317] C Lincoln Parliament /Thomas triumphant D Three destructive favourites [1315-1318] E Thomas of Lancaster/Feud with Warenne F Thomas a peach?/Dangerous incidents G Pembroke, man of honour/Treaty of Leake  H Aftermath/The favourites I After the Treaty of Leake/New danger….
With his good friend and ally the [10th] Earl of Warwick gone, Thomas of Lancaster not only suffered a personal loss [they were close, since Warwick had named his son after Thomas , but also it was a political setback. Warwick was a skilled and clever ruler, while Lancaster, although tough and forceful in action, was as incompetent as his cousin Edward II, when it came to ruling, as the story will show…..
From the moment Piers Gaveston was murdered by Thomas and his accomplices, it was a dance to the death between him and Edward II, the two most powerful men in the land, yet apart’ from the struggle for power. For although Edward officially had pardoned Thomas [and others] for the murder of Gaveston , it was quite clear, that he would never forgive or forget his cousin’s role in the murder of a man, whom he lhad oved that much.
During the [unsuccesful] siege of Berwick [in which Thomas of Lancaster cooperated, for a change, with Edward II], in 1318, Edward was stated to have said:: ””When this wretched business is over, we will turn our hands to other matters. For I have not forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers.” 
So there was a situation in which two powerful men competed for the rule of England, both incompetent rulers, who could not put their own personal feelings above the general political problems, like the war with the Scots and internal questions [I’ll refer to the great Famine between 1315-1317 later] Disastrous for the country and eventually for themselves.
THE FUN WAS JUST ABOUT TO BEGIN:
BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN/1314
After a tense and dangerous year [since the murder of Gaveston in 1312], where civil war threatened in a moment and eventually there seemed some de escalation, tensions flew high, again. Presumably with the aim of strenghtening his position [a victory on the Scots would enlarge both Kings popularity as his royal position against the barons], Edward II decided to take a military campaign against the Scots, who were leaded by the formidable military commander and King, Robert the Bruce. 
And yes, Thomas of Lancaster reacted!
As to be expected, in June 1314, Thomas refused to accompany his cousin to Scotland for the Bannockburn campaign, and sent only four knights and four men-at-arms to fulfil his feudal obligations. 
The outcome was disastrous. England suffered one of the most humiliating defeats against the Scots, in the battle of Bannockburn  in which the King’s nephew [remember, Gaveston’s brother in law, who had refused to help him], the [8th] Earl of Gloucester, was killed in battle,  as Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford, one of the besiegers of Piers Gaveston at Scarbourough Castle. 
To the great credit of the King must be said, that although a bad military commander, he fought very bravely and eventually they practically had to drag him from the battlefield to prevent the greatest humiliation: to be captured, as would happen, years later [in 1356], to the French King John II during the Hundred Years War with England…. 
And figure: A perhaps yearlong regency for his 2 year old son [Edward, later Edward III, born in 1312…], under the leadership of….guess who? Likely, his cousin Thomas, Earl of Lancaster [King’s halfbrothers were still too young].
SO: THIS WAS THE GOLDEN CHANCE FOR THOMAS!
The battle of Bannockburn not only was a great personal humiliation for Edward II, it put him entirely at Thomas’ mercy. 
Had Edward been victorious, he would have gained a great prestige and popularity, as secure borders in the North. That would have strengthened his position towards Thomas of Lancaster and the other opposing barons enormously.
But the painful reality was a humiliating defeat [and for the Scots a great step in their freedom fight!]
So Edward needed his cousin Thomas: Without his help, the borders couldn’t be defended against the Scottish raids, that now ravaged English soil. 
A nasty position for a King, dependency on a subject, who was his most powerful nobleman and enemy.
1315/ THOMAS OF LANCASTER DE FACTO RULER
In name Edward was the King, but the de facto ruler was Thomas. Alas, he proved to be as incompetent ruler as his cousin Edward and although tough in military action, he nevertheless was incapable to defend England against the Scottish attacks.
Perhaps it is not fair to reproach him that: Robert the Bruce was an extraordinary skilled military leader and the Scots were very motivated to fight for their freedom [in the meantime ravaging North England….]
But it IS reproachable, that neither the King nor Thomas were capable to rise above personal matters to work together in the State interests.
It was said, that ””Whatever pleases the lord king, the earl’s servants try to upset; and whatever pleases the earl, the king’s servants call treachery…and their lords, by whom the land ought to be defended, are not allowed to rest in harmony.” 
THE GREAT FAMINE/1315/1317
This disaster lasted from 1315 till 1317:
The first duty of a Medieval Lord [and certainly a King] was to look to the welfare of the people. To take care of them. To feed the poor. To defend the weak. 
When Thomas of Lancaster had sold some of his precious belongings to feed the poor during that famine, he should have been a saint already during his life….
That’s a pure joke, of course Not ONE Lord in that time would mind about the need of the poor [the chivalric codes were merely theoretical] or would put it in his head to sell precious things for the poor. Besides that, the famine problem was not that simple, because it was not only merely a question of not HAVING food, but not capable to PRODUCE it.
The Great Famine started with bad weather in spring 1315. Crop failures lasted through 1316 until the summer harvest in 1317.
It rained heavily and constantly for much of the summer of 1314 and most of 1315 and 1316. This torrential rain, inevitably, caused flooding; crops rotted away and livestock drowned in the waterlogged fields. So the result was the Great Famine, which is estimated to have killed at least five per cent, and perhaps much more, of the population of England. The rest of northern Europe suffered a similar or higher death toll. 
Edward II did his best to handle the crisis, but was not capable to solve the problem.  Perhaps Thomas of Lancaster took some measures too, I don’t know.
Of course the famine was a hugh problem, yet it is the task of rulers to handle wisely and competently. Both failed, King and cousin, to handle the problems and of course they didn’t cooperate together, which is more than just bad ruling. When famine is concerning, it is a crime against the poor population, which suffered the most.
However, to say to their defence, the situation WAS alarming and partly they were powerless: Even the King when visiting St Albans from 10 to 12 August 1315, had difficulties buying bread for himself and his household…….
It is a wonder, that there had been no uprisings or peasants revolt in that time….
The weather finally improved in 1317, and gradually the famine loosened its dread grip. 
Two big disasters and yet the most powerful men in the land couldn’t rise above personal matters and work together…..
A foreboding for all the mess, which was yet to come.
EDWARD II AND THOMAS OF LANCASTER/ TWO IRRESPONSIBLE FOOL RULERS
Just when there were such challenges and a need for strong leadership, Edward II and his cousin Thomas could do no better than thwarting each other, to the destruction of many, including themselves.
For example [to begin with Thomas]:
Although Thomas was chosen as one of the godfathers of Edward and Isabella of France’s second son John of Eltham , Thomas’s great-nephew, he failed to attend the boy’s christening, a gross insult to the king and queen. 
But honesty obliges me to say, that before the christening solemnity of the second son of the King, Thomas and the King seemed to have had a serious row in York…..
But yet, try to keep the peace, my Lord Lancaster…..
The King acted no better:
”In April 1318 the Scots took the English town of Berwick which led to a shaky reconciliation between Lancaster and his cousin Edward. The king, however, had not forgotten, or forgiven the death of Gaveston and was so ”wise” to have said: ”When this wretched business is over, we will turn our hands to other matters. For I have not forgotten the wrong that was done to my brother Piers”.
Well, the temporary ”peace” was over and Lancaster [Thomas] left.  Not strange, since the remark of the King was aimed directly against Lancaster, for his role in the murder of Gaveston.
But since the King had pardoned those involved in the murder of Gaveston in 1313,  he was obliged to his royal status to hold his word, whatever his personal feelings and how painful for him as a person.
That’s the honour of a King AND wise ruling. This remark but showed, that Lancaster was right, not to trust the King…..
Nor could the King trust Lancaster. And as will be revealed in the story, there were people around the king, trusted ”friends”, who played a dirty role to prevent any reconciliation between the King and cousin Thomas.
1316 LINCOLN PARLIAMENT/THOMAS TRIUMPHANT
The Lincoln parliament of early 1316 – at which Thomas of Lancaster attended, more than two weeks late – requested of the king’s “dear cousin” that “he might be pleased to be chief of his council, in all the great or weighty matters concerning him [Edward] and his realm,” and Thomas, “for the great love which he bears towards his said lord the king,” agreed. 
To cut this shortly Thomas was appointed to the ”chief place” in the Council [Chief Councillor].  Unfortunately, he seemed to take little part in government and preferred to stay at his favourite residence at Pontefract Castle [which he had inherited jure uxoris from his father in law, Henry de Lacy, the 3rd Earl of Lincoln]  That formed a problem, since Edward II and the Council had to communicate with him ”as though he were an independent potentate, or another King”  [Hahaha, there was no Internet then/Otherwise they could have mailed or Facebooked…….”’Dear Cousin”, ”Sire, my cousin……]
SURPRISE, SURPRISE/ROW WITH COUSIN KING EDWARD II
Edward and Thomas met in York in the summer of 1316 and had a furious row, apparently over Edward’s ongoing reluctance to accept the Ordinances , to which Thomas was devoted. 
Now I can imagine, that Thomas was irritated: After all Edward II had agreed with the ordinances in 1311, and although he was more or less coerced to, when a King gives his word, his subjects have a right to expect, that he holds it. I refer to the last passage from the coronation oath of the King [pronounced in French]
”Sire, graunte vous à tenir & garder les loys & les custumes droitureles, les quiels la communaute de vostre roiaume aura esleu, & les defendrez & afforcerez, al honour de DIEU, à vostre poer?” And his answer and promise ”Jeo les graunte & promette.”
[English translation: Sire, do you grant to be held and observed the just laws and customs that the community of your realm shall determine, and will you, so far as in you lies, defend and strengthen them to the honour of God?
Answer and promise of the King ” I grant and promise them.”] 
That means of course, that if the King grants the Ordinances, he has to hold word. And as a subject, Thomas of Lancaster had the right to hold the King accountable to his oath. 
On the other hand I can understand the King’s position too. He was more or less coerced to those Ordinances, which assaulted his royal position. Yet a King is bound to his ”promises”…..
But of course that was not the point here.
After the brutal murder on Gaveston, any conflict between Edward II and Thomas of Lancaster was in fact about the King’s need for revenge on his cousin. Maybe understandable being a private person, but a King must put the interests of the State first. And that Edward II was not willing or able to do.
That was the King’s tragedy, which would led to his downfall.
THREE DESTRUCTIVE FAVOURITES ROGER DAMORY, HUGH AUDLEY AND WILLIAM MONTECUTE, THREE DESTRUCTIVE FAVOURITES 1315/1318
To make matters worse, the next years [untill the ”reconciliation” treaty of Leake], three friends and favourites of Edward II, declared enemies of Thomas of Lancaster, would do their utmost to further arouse Edward’s hostility towards his cousin Thomas. Their names were Roger Damory, Hugh Audley and William Montecute [father of that William Montecute, close friend of Edward III, who helped him overthrow the regime of his mother Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer]  And I am not exaggerating, when saying, that their influence was destructive, doing everything to enlarge the tensions in the country.
Roger Damory/Favourite and first disturber of the peace
After having mourned Piers Gaveston for about three years, Edward II had a close companion again [I don’t speculate, whether their relationship was sexually intimate or not, let the reader form his or her own opinion] in Roger Damory, the most important of the three favourites [ancestor of Walt Disney, hahahaha]  That man was one of a kind:
First favourite of the King [about 1315-1319], later ally of the same Thomas of Lancaster he tried to destroy during the time he was favourite…… Joining the retinue of King’s nephew, the [8th] Earl of Gloucester [also brother in law of Piers Gaveston, whom Gloucester didn’t help, when he [Gaveston] was in the dungeons of Warwick Castle] , Damory fought bravely in the Battle of Bannockburn  and thus attracted the King’s attention. And so he made a quick career. , which especially seemed to have been characterized by seeking his own advantage and hinder all reconciliation attempts between Edward II and his] cousin Thomas of Lancaster.  Rightly Pope John XXII wrote to King Edward ” to “remove those friends whose youth and imprudence injure the affairs of the realm.”  By the way, Edward II married Roger Damory to his niece, Elizabeth de Clare, sister of the [8th] Earl of Gloucester. 
Hugh Audley/Favourite and second disturber of the peace [only favourite to survive the reign of Edward II and also rebel against the King and ally of Thomas of Lancaster and the Marcher Lords]
Hugh Audley rose in royal favour in 1315 and the relationship came that close, that Edward II married him to his niece Margaret de Clare, sister of the [8th] Earl of Gloucester and dowager countess of Cornwall, widow of Edward II’s beloved Piers Gaveston . That was a beautiful catch! Remember, Edward married Roger Damory to his other niece Elizabeth, sister of Margaret de Clare.
William Montecute/Favourite and third disturber of the peace
William Montecute, father of his namesake William, who was one of the closesr friends of Edward III , rose into royal favour after 1315 and was a good soldier. He was appointed steward of the royal household in 1317, which gave him direct access to the King, so a powerful position.  He had a reputation as a good soldier. 
Alas, he also was a great hindrance in bringing reconciliation between Edward II and his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster……
THE DESTRUCTIVE TRIUMVIRATE DANGEROUS THREAT TO THE PEACE IN THE COUNTRY
Roger Damory, Hugh Audley and William Montecute had a highly destructive and fatal influence on the King, intruiging against Thomas of Lancaster at any means necessary. The reason I condemn them so harshly is because this dangerous policy led to further destabilisation of the situation in the land, which was already torn apart by the continuing threat of civil war, because of the enmity between Edward and his cousin Thomas.
And as I see it, the destructive policy came mainly from those three favourites, not from Thomas of Lancaster [Thomas is no peach at all, but here he was certainly not the attacker], who had reason to feel himself threatened by those three.
For example [list is not complete]
At a meeting of the king’s council at Clarendon in the spring of 1317, the three openly called Thomas a traitor. 
That is a very serious accusation, dangerous too.
So understandably, Thomas protested. He sent letters to the King, to say that “he fears the deadly stratagems of certain persons who thrive under the protection of the royal court…they have already carried off the earl’s wife to his disgrace and shame.” [on the history of his wife I refer later]  That he subsequently [and repeatedly] asked the banishment from Court of Damory, Audley and Montecute, comes as no suprise either, since those gentlemen continued to sow discord and counselled the king to remain hostile to his cousin. 
Out of self interest of course, and highly damaging for the peace in the country.
Edward II, no great champion in knowledge of human nature, was misled by those three and wrote Thomas, as reaction of his letters with the request of banishment ””I will avenge the despite done to the earl when I can; I refuse to expel my household; for the abduction of his wife let him seek a remedy in law only.”  By this, the King made things worse.
And Thomas was not alone, but was supported by Pope John XXII, who wrote the King repeatedly in 1317 and 1318, warning the King not to allow any “backbiter or malicious flatterer” to bring about disunity between himself and Thomas, and to send away from court those men who offended the earl.  He advised the King to “remove those friends whose youth and imprudence injure the affairs of the realm.  He also warned Thomas to “separate himself” from those who displeased Edward and to reject “suggestions of whisperers and double-tongued men.”
The Pope was a real peacemaker! In addition to the King and his cousin Thomas, he also wrote to Thomas’ brother, Henry, [later] Earl of Lancaster several times in 1318 as a close kinsman of both the king and Thomas and “bound to pay them reverence and affection,” asking him to promote accord between them “so that the realm may be freed from disturbance” 
I don’t know whether Henry tried to mediate, since it is likely, that he spent the most of that period in France [perhaps because he wouldn’t be involved in his brothers’ feud with the King? } 
But the machinations of the three favourites were not done yet:
After several summons of the King to Thomas of Lancaster to attend council meetings, which he not attended [not suprisingly, since the three favourites attended, sometimes armed…], the King asked his household and friends for advice in this situation: ””You see how the earl of Lancaster has not come to parliament. You see how he scorns to obey our commands. How does it seem to you?”  Some advised to arrest or exile Thomas, others, more sensible, advised to negociate. After all, although politically isolated now, Thomas of Lancaster WAS a force of nature, since very powerful by the possession of his five Earldoms and not to be underestimated, his private army.
Be as it may, a very dangerous situation threatened:
To cut a long story short: At the instigation of two cardinalswho had recently arrived in the country – they were with the king at York in September 1318 – a date was finally set for a meeting between Edward and Thomas, although it was postponed. Edward agreed to take no hostile action against Thomas and his adherents, and Thomas agreed to attend the next parliament, due to be held at Lincoln in January 1318. 
At the beginning of October 1317, The King left York to return to London. Alas, despite his promise a few days earlier not to take action against his cousin, he commanded his men to take up arms and attack him.  Apparently one of Edward’s friends – most likely Roger Damory – had persuaded him that the earl posed a threat to Edward and that he should attack him first. Fortunately the King informed the earl of Pembroke beforehand what he was intending to do. He said “I have been told that the earl of Lancaster is lying in ambush, and is diligently preparing to catch us all by surprise.”  Pembroke fortunately managed to convince Edward that this was not in fact the case, and talked the King out of it…..
This unsound situation would continue from 1315 to 1318, when the man of honour [see the Piers Gaveston story], Lord Pembroke and the Middle Party intervened and managed to reach the Treaty of Leake.  But that’s for later
FEUD WITH WARENNE
Never a dull moment in the Edward II/Thomas of Lancaster times. Not only Edward and his cousin had become bitter enemies, which included enmity between Lancaster and the named destructive favourites, Thomas also had a bitter feud with John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey [one of the besiegers of Piers Gaveston in Scarbourough Castle]. What the original nature of the hatred of Warenne for Lancaster was, is not sure: Probably he blamed Lancaster for his [Warenne’s] inability to secure a divorce [he was unhappily married]. This may be because Lancaster had persuaded the Bishop of Chichester to prosecute Warenne for his adultery 
In each case, Warenne retaliated with the abduction of Lancaster’s wife, Alice de Lacy, with whom he [Lancaster] was unhappily married.  Whether the abduction took place with or without the consent of Lady Alice, is not clear. Lancaster, not a man to forgive an insult, retaliated again with seizing two castles from Warenne. 
At last the King intervened, which led to an uneasy peace between the two noblemen. 
WHAT A FUN!
However, Lancaster also thought, that the three favourites were behind the abduction , which made matters worse and worse…….
THOMAS OF LANCASTER A PEACH?/ FORGET IT/DANGEROUS INCIDENTS [Jeering at the King/1318/1320/Blocking his way….]
The attentive reader shall have noticed, that I defended Thomas of Lancaster several times: Against the unpredictable behaviour of the King [stating not to attack Lancaster and yet planning an attack, not holding his word and failing to obey the Ordinances of 1311]  Against his destructive favourites, who did everything in their power to prevent a reconciliation between the King and his cousin Thomas.
But was Thomas then, a peach, only intended to hold the King to his word? NOT AT ALL!
The reader has read about his [and others’] execution of poor and vain Piers Gaveston. That’s not ”peach” behaviour, but lawless and ruthless.
The King, on his part, was not ”true to his word”, stating at one moment not to attack Thomas, and the second moment attempting to attack him [Thanks to the Earl of Pembroke, nothing came from that] Stating to observe the ordinances and then not to hold his promise.
But to the defence of the King must be said, that Thomas did, also, his best to stir up the animosity”, which the King [understandably] harboured because of the tragic murder on Gaveston:
I already mentioned the absence of Thomas at the battle of Bannockburn, as his failing to attend the christening of the Kings second son, John of Eltham, although he was one of the godfathers. 
But it became worse:
BLOCKING THE PATH OF THE KING
During the time of high tension [when the three favourites accused Thomas of treason, his wife Alice had been abducted] Edward and Isabella left Nottingham and the failed council meeting on 7 August 1317 [where Thomas didn’t attend, not willing to meet the King, as long as the three destructive favourites were not expelled from Court]] , and travelled to York. The most direct route would have taken Edward right through the town, but Thomas had blocked his way by placing armed guards on the roads and bridges south of York, claiming he had the right to be informed about the movement of armed men as he was the hereditary Steward of England…..
Of course the King was furious that a subject had blocked his way!
MORE FUN/ JEERING AT THE KING
Next to blocking the King’s path in his own Kingdom, one of the worst things subjects can do is, make a joke of their King, by jeering at him. And that was precisely what Thomas of Lancaster did: 1317 ”Thomas made matters worse by leading his men out to the top of the castle ditch and jeering at Edward as he and his retinue travelled past. 
AND HE DID IT AGAIN! 1320 After the parliament in York ended [which Thomas failed to attend], Edward II and his wife Isabella of France travelled through Pontefract on their way to London, and Thomas’s retainers once again jeered at the king, and also the queen, from the safety of the castle. 
NOT VERY CLEVER, MY LORD THOMAS Not very clever……
PEMBROKE, MAN OF HONOUR/THE MIDDLE PARTY AND THE TREATY OF LEAKE
Finally a reconciliation between the two most powerful men, Edward II and his cousin Thomas, was about to take place. With special compliments for the Earl of Pembroke, the man of honour, who had been offended by Gaveston’s abduction since he had given his word . The same man, who had talked Edward II out of his foolish and dangerous intention to attack Thomas of Lancaster at his stronghold at Pontefract 
With Pembroke playing an important role, since April 1318, a group of barons and prelates [the ”Middle Party]  had been negotiating with the earl of Lancaster, and trying to persuade Edward and his cousin to overcome their hostility to each other. On 8 June, they came to a preliminary agreement: Edward would uphold the Ordinances, govern by the counsel of his magnates, and conciliate Thomas, who was threatened with sanctions if he continued to hold armed assemblies [which he indeed had held, but also the King had permitted armed Lords to his councils]. 
On 7 August 1318 the two men exchanged the kiss of peace in a field between Loughborough and Leicester. Edward gave his cousin a fine palfrey “in recognition of his great love” of Thomas. (Hmmmm.) A formal agreement, the Treaty of Leake, was signed in the town of Leake near Loughborough two days later 
Thomas of Lancaster demanded [and right he was!] that Roger Damory, Hugh Audley and William Montacute be sent away from court, the King consented and off they went…..
GOOD RIDDANCE WORKS!
Finally the destructive influence of the King’s three favourites had come to an end!
How fared they?
From Kings friend to enemy
His influence was over, athough he seemed to have been in the favour of the king for a while. At last, he clashed with the new and most destructive favourite of the King, Hugh Despenser the Younger , joined the Marcher Lords [sworn enemies of the Despensers, father and son and allies of Thomas of Lancaster]  He fought with the Marcher Lords against the Kings army, was captured and tried [condemned to the traitor’s death, which was not executed, happily for him] and died at Tutbury Priory on 12 March 1322, presumably of wounds sustained fighting against the royal army…… 
As his co favourites Roger Damory and Hugh Audleu he had done everything to instigate further animosity between Edward II and his cousin Thomas of Lancaster. Therefore he was removed from his post as steward of the royal household and appointed steward of Gascony in november 1318. He died in Gascony in 1319. 
Hugh Audley also turned from the friend of the King to his enemy….. Hugh fought with the Marcher Lords against the King [and the Despensers] and later fought at the side of Thomas of Lancaster [the Marcher Lords were his ally] in the fatal Battle of Bouroughbridge . He was spared execution thanks to his wife Margaret de Clare’s pleas [she was the niece of Edward II and widow of his former lover Piers Gaveston], somehow survived the reign of Edward II and the regime of his wife Isabella of France and lover Roger Mortimer [see his life/273] and died peacefully in november 1347. 
He was the only one of Edward II’s favourite to survive those turbulent times.
AFTER THE TREATY OF LEAKE/NEW DANGER
By late 1318, the relationship between Edward II and the earl of Lancaster was relatively good and Pembroke and the other barons [as the other subjects of the King] doubtless sighed with relief, because civil war seemed to be at the end. And for those, who doubt Thomas: He actually co-operated with the king and took part in the siege of Berwick in 1319.  But as we shall see: Nothing lasts forever and the destructive favourites would soon be replaced by a far more dangerous man: Hugh Despenser the Younger , who would lead the King to his destruction and his own [Hugh’s]
More about the Despensers and Thomas of Lancaster’s role in the next chapter.
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II, from warlord to Saint/Chapter Five
AND NOW……CHAPTER FOUR!ENJOY AND WATCH CLOSELY, HOW THE DRAMA UNFOLDS……..
CHAPTER FOUR THOMAS OF LANCASTER AND KING EDWARD II OUTBURST OF THE CONFLICT/PIERS GAVESTON, THE ROYAL FAVOURITE
[This is a rather elaborated story about Piers Gaveston, since he played a large part in the enmity between Thomas and his cousin Edward II]
It was the tragedy of Piers Gaveston, who set a deep and nearly invincible enmity between King Edward and his cousin Thomas……
The first indication of tension between Edward II and his cousin Thomas was his abrupt leave of the Court in 1308, the fact that he, obviously, witnessed no charters after that day, until march 1310 AND that the constant flow of grants and favours to him from Edward also ceased.  I don’t know, what the cause of the conflict was. In each case, it didn’t seem to be referred to Gaveston, since Lancaster, at first, was on friendly terms with him and remained loyal, when the barons were pressing for Gaveston’s exile in the spring of 1308 , he later completely turned against Piers Gaveston.
Before going to that, something about Piers Gaveston [about whom I will write an article in the future, just wait and see] He was a fascinating man. Intelligent, witty, charming, with martial skills and later proved to be a skilled military administrator.
Alas…… Too arrogant and provocative, which eventually led to his downfall.
Piers Gaveston was an English nobleman from Gascon descent. His father was a Gascon knight, Arnaud de Gabaston, his mother was a noble woman, Claramonde de Marsan . Some sources suggest, that she is burned as a witch , but there is no proof for that. His father was in the service of King Edward I [Edward II’s father] and Piers [Gaveston] seems to have served King Edward likewise.  Anyway, King Edward I was apparently impressed by Gaveston’s conduct and martial skills, and wanted him to serve as a model for his son [the later Edward II], so he became a member of his household. 
To cut a long story short: Prince Edward and Piers Gaveston grew very fond of each other, probably too fond in the eyes of the King…..and fearing the apparent influence of Piers on the [then] Prince of Wales , Edward [II], Piers Gaveston was banished.  That was the first time. There were still two times to go…..
RETURN TO ENGLAND
Old King Edward I died on 7 july, 1307 and his son, Edward of Caernarfon [named after his Welsh birthplace] , was now King of England. One of his first acts was, surprise, surprise…..to recall his favourite Piers Gaveston from exile.
TROUBLES WITH THE BARONS/FAVOURS FROM THE KING AND PROVOCATIONS
Very soon this led to great displeasure, to say it mildly under the greatest part of the nobility, since Edward made him ”Earl of Cornwall” and this title was reserved for the members of the royal family.  So the great barons felt insulted, not only because of this title, as for the fact, that compared with them, Piers Gaveston was of relatively humble origins. ‘
And then that coronation business!
As I wrote, Thomas of Lancaster carried the sword ”Curtana” at the coronation of Edward II [and his wife Isabella of France], his brother Henry carried the royal rod, as were many other members of high nobility involved in the ceremony. 
BUT PIERS GAVESTON STOLE THE SHOW! While the Earls wore cloth-of-gold, as they were entitled to do in the king’s presence (cloth-of-gold is material shot through with gold thread), Gaveston wore royal purple, of silk, encrusted with jewels.  They were beaten by Piers Gaveston at the tournament at Wallingford in december 1307, what seemed to have aroused fury.  They were also insulted, that the King married Piers Gaveston off to his niece Margaret de Clare , daughter of Kings sister Joan of Acre [married Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester]  and sister of the powerful [8th] Earl of Gloucester. 
And then those nicknames!
Perhaps out of self-defence, or merely for the pleasure of provocation, Piers gave the Earls and barons all sort of insulting nicknames:
Henry de Lacy, [3rd] Earl of Lincoln, the father in law of Thomas of Lancaster, was called ”burst belly” [boule crevee], Thomas of Lancaster himself was called ”the churl” or ”the fiddler”, the [2nd] Earl of Pembroke  [a man of honour, which will show later] ”Joseph the Jew” and the [10th] Earl of Warwick , one of Piers” most bitter enemies, was called ”the Black Dog of Arden.”  Whether Piers really called his brother in law, the [7th] Earl of Gloucester ”whoreson”, is doubtful, since the lady in question, Gloucester’s mother [as the mother of Piers” wife] was the sister of the King….
Yet, although annoying [apart of course from that ”whoreson” what really was serious] , one should think, that some teasing, defeat at a tournament and arrogance would not trigger such a hatred, as especially Thomas of Lancaster and Guy de Beauchamp, 10th Earl of Warwick have had for the vain, witty and charming Piers, who did them, further [unlike the later favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, who was real powerseeking and dangerous  no harm.
But those were high Earls, most of them royal or else married with royalty and no men to forget insults, especially from a man, who was, in their eyes, of ”humble origin”  and considered to be an adventurer.
And the King did nothing to stop Piers” arrogance. On the contrary: He seemed the witty remarks of Piers ”funny”
Seen the King’s great love and emotional dependence of Piers Gaveston [as shows not only the numerous gifts and honours he bestowed at him, as his reaction on his banishments], some writers assumed they were lovers and others, not 
I can’t look into the Medieval royal bedchamber, of course, but given Edward’s great emotional need for Piers, that he swore vengeance after his death  as the fact that he never forgot him , it seems likely to me.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH/YOUR GRACE, BANISH THAT RASCAL! SECOND EXILE
No part to play for Thomas of Lancaster Not yet……..
Tensions rose between at one side the Earls and barons and at the other side Piers Gaveston [and subsequently, the King]
This led to the second [Piers was already banished firstly by Edward I, recalled by Edward II] banishment of Piers Gaveston in 1308
I already mentioned the arrogant behaviour of Piers, the insulting nicknames, the fact that the King married him off to a member of the royal family [his niece Margaret de Clare], Piers” showing off at the coronation of the King [and Isabella, his wife] , his beating of important members of the nobility at the tournament of Wallingford, the fact, that the King had made him regent during his absence [his marriage in France, with Isabella, daughter of King Philip IV] 
Reasons enough for the high and mighty Lords to hate Piers. What I DIDN’T mention [and do now], that the King refused to see any of his barons unless Piers was also present, and rudely ignored them, talking only to Piers. 
The Medieval chronicle Vita Edwardi Secundi [Latin: Life of Edward the Second] wrote about Piers” growing arrogance:’ ””scornfully rolling his upraised eyes in pride and in abuse, he looked down upon all with pompous and supercilious countenance…indeed the superciliousness which he affected would have been unbearable enough in a king’s son.”
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH, the Earls and barons must have said: He has to go!
Under pressure of nearly every member of the nobility, the King was forced to banish Gaveston. 
Another powerful influence came from the French King, Philip IV who, apparently offended by the Edward II’s favouritism of Gaveston and the [intended or not] neglect, at least at the coronation banquet  of his [Philip IV’s] daughter Isabella, and Edward’s wife, supported the barons. 
According some sources he said to have sent 40,000 livres to the earls of Lincoln [Thomas of Lancaster’s father in law] and Pembroke to encourage them to proceed against Gaveston. 
Strangely although, at that time Thomas of Lancaster was still supportive to the King, along with a small minority, and was not behind the banishment.  However, that would change, dramatically
Well, on 18 may  Edward consented to exile Piers, which he did grudgedly, but with no choice: Civil war was treathening [figure, ONE YEAR a King and already the nobility willing to rise against you…..] and although he was stripped from his lands [being Earl of Cornwall], but was allowed to hold the title. And he was not without an income! Edward granted Piers £2000 worth of lands in his homeland of Gascony, and another £2000 of English lands for him and his wife Margaret [who accompanied him in exiler, although she was not banished, being the granddaughter of King Edward I and the sister of the Earl of Gloucester. Edward also gave him a gift of 1180 marks, about 786 pounds, an enormous sum !
And he was not actually BANISHED from the realm, since he was appointed Lieutenant General in Ireland, where he showed [granted] a skilled military administrator and even beat down a rebellion. 
Meanwhile Edward did his utmost to bring Piers back. Through distribution of patronage and concessions to political demands, he won over several of the earls who had previously been of a hostile disposition.  Henry de Lacy [Earl of Lincoln, Thomas of Lancaster’s father in law], who was the leader of the baronial opposition due to his age and great wealth, was reconciled with Edward by late summer 1308. Even Warwick, who had been the most unyielding enemies, of Gaveston, was gradually mollified The excommunication with which Piers was threatened by the Archbishop of Canterbury should he come back, was nullified by Pope Clement V. . That was in april 1309.
So the way was free for Piers to return. Of course it had come with a price: At the parliament that met at Stamford in July, Edward had to agree to a series of political concessions, The so-called Statute of Stamford was based on a similar document Edward I had consented to in 1300, called the articuli super carta, which was in turn based on Magna Carta.
The ”Statute of Stamford” implied a promiose to redress baronial grievances. 
However: At 27 june 1309, Piers had returned to England. On 5 August 1309, Gaveston was reinstated with the earldom of Cornwall.
RETURN/AS ARROGANT AS EVER!
BUT SOME PEOPLE NEVER LEARN.
You would expect some modesty, some cautiousness.
But no, Piers Gaveston was as arrogant as ever, perhaps even worse and the King did nothing to stop him. He played the old game again, provocating the nobility and giving them insulting nicknames. 
Of course the Earls and barons were furious! They had enough of it.
The political climate became so hateful that in February 1310, a number of the earls refused to attend parliament as long as Gaveston was present. Gaveston was dismissed, and, when parliament convened, the disaffected barons presented a list of grievances they wanted addressed. On 16 March, the King was forced to appoint a group of men to ordain reforms of the royal household.[This group of so-called Lords Ordainers cons isted of eight earls, seven bishops and six barons.
Among them supporters of the King, like the Earl of Gloucester [his nephew and brother in law of Piers Gaveston], but also die hard opponents of Piers Gaveston [and subsequently the King], like the [10th] Earl of Warwick and Thomas of Lancaster, who was now neither a friend of the king, nor of Piers Gaveston. The natural leader of the Ordainers was ”burst belly” [nickname by Piers Gaveston….], Henry de Lacy, the [3rd] Earl of Lincoln and father in law of Thomas of Lancaster. Lincoln had a moderate influence, which, alas, would disappear…..
The meaning of the Ordinances, as eventually presented in 1311 , was twofold. The great Lords wanted to get rid of Piers Gaveston, surely, but I think, that even when there had been no Gaveston, such as the Ordinances would have been presented [since Edward II was not the strong leader his father was], aiming at limiting royal power.
To say it otherwise: The eternal struggle between centralization and decentralization, as I have described in part one.
Hatred against Piers Gaveston, the ”Gascon adventurer” and his influence over the King, combined with adesire for reforms, partly based on the ideas of Simon de Montfort  Partly [or mainly, as you see it] based on greater influence for the nobility and a weaker kingship.
With the King doting over Gaveston no difficult task…..
Anyway, to cut a long story short:
When the Lord Ordainers were working on reforms [consisting diminishing royal power], the King launched a military campaign against the Scots, but many barons refused to follow him. Except his nephew [and brother in law of Gaveston] Gloucester, Warenne  and of course, Piers Gaveston. It came to nothing, however, when the Scottish King and leader Robert the Bruce  refused to engage in open battle, or even get involved in negotiations. In February, Gaveston was sent with an army north from Roxburgh to Perth, but he failed to track down the Scottish army. 
EXIT ”BURST BELLY”/THE COMING OF THOMAS OF LANCASTER
In the meantime it went worse and going to a new tragedy for the King and Gaveston: ”Burst Belly”, Thomas of Lancaster’s father in law died on 6 february 1311, which meant the end of the moderate influence in the baronial opposition against the King.
Thomas of Lancaster, as his heir [now in the possession of five Earldoms, three from his father and two from his father in law] became the new leader of the Lords Ordainers and a hardliner!
With the Ordainers ready to present their programme of reform, Edward had to summon a parliament. In late July he appointed Gaveston Lieutenant of Scotland, and departed for London. The Bruce still evaded the English successfully, in early August even staging a raid into northern England, and shortly after this Gaveston withdrew to Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.
When parliament met on 16 August, the King was presented with a set of proposed reforms of the royal household, as well as specific attacks on individuals, including a demand for the renewed exile of Piers Gaveston. Edward initially offered to agree to the reforms as long as Gaveston was allowed to stay, but the Ordainers refused.
The King eventually had to agree to the Ordinances, which were published on 27 September. On 3 November, two days after the allotted deadline, Gaveston left England ………..
A triumph for the barons A deep, personal tragedy for the King.
DETORIATION OF THE RELATIONS BETWEEN THOMAS OF LANCASTER AND THE KING/ CLASHES
Before continuing with the Piers Gaveston tragedy, some examples of the detoriation of the relationship between the King and his cousin Thomas of Lancaster:
In February 1311, Thomas’ father-in-law Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, died, and Thomas inherited his lands by right of his wife Alice. He had to perform homage to Edward II for the lands, but Edward was then on campaign in Scotland. Thomas refused to cross the Tweed to meet the king; Edward refused to return to England. According to the Lanercost chronicle, Thomas threatened to forcibly enter his lands with a hundred knights, at which Edward gave in and met Thomas at Haggerston, on the English side of the river Tweed. Whatever they felt for each other by then, the men at least managed to conceal any hostility and “saluted each other amicably and exchanged frequent kisses.” 
This in fact was a declaraion of war against his King and is considered to be treason…..
But there is more:
”In June 1314, Thomas refused to accompany his cousin to Scotland for the Bannockburn campaign, and sent only four knights and four men-at-armsto fulfil his feudal obligations.” 
Of course the Gaveston tragedy….. 
And in 1316, when open war was imminent between those two most powerful men in England, the following:
Although Thomas was chosen as one of the godfathers of Edward and Isabella of France’s second son John of Eltham , Thomas’s great-nephew, he failed to attend the boy’s christening, a gross insult to the king and queen. 
But honesty obliges me to say, that before the christening solemnity of the second son of the King, Thomas and the King seemed to have had a serious row in York…..
Back to Gaveston:
RETURN TO ENGLAND PIERS GAVESTON GOES HOME……..
You noticed the hatred, the barons felt for Piers Gaveston Their attempts to get rid of him. Twice And this time, his exile was really meant forever……
And guess who’s coming to visit?
PIERS GAVESTON! Came back again.
Despite the fact the barons hated him. Despite the fact that he was to be excommunicated, whenever he set his foot on English soil again.
If the man was not playing a crazy and reckless game, his return must have had a pressing need: I think perhaps he came back for the birth of his child. And for him it must have been a wonderful thing, that at least he saw his child: At 12 january, Piers’ wife Margaret gave birth to a daughter, Joan. Edward seems to have met Piers at Knaresborough on 13 January, [I don’t know when Piers set foot on English soil] and the two men rushed the seventeen miles to York that same day, likely so Piers could see his wife and baby. 
Seen in the light of the tragic events, it’s good to know that he at least saw his child, before the tragedy befell him……
What then happened was no clever politics from the King: He publicly revoked Gaveston”s exile.  So the barons knew that he was back and were now preparing for civil war, with Thomas of Lancaster and The Earl of Warwick ahead! In march Gaveston was excommunicated  and soon he, the King and Queen Isabella were hunted down by the barons.
Thomas of Lancaster came after them with an army and Edward fled with his wife and Gaveston, pursued by his own cousin Thomas! 
WHAT A DEGRADING SITUATION! WHEN A KING MUST TAKE FLIGHT FOR HIS OWN, ARMED SUBJECTS, HIS RULE AND KINGSHIP IS BANKRUPT AND AT THAT MOMENT HE IS, AS A KING, A TOTAL FAILURE!
Edward should have been warned by this, that if he was not able to restore his authority in short time, this could be the beginning of the end!
And it was………
How powerful Thomas of Lancaster must have felt. As if HE were the King…….
It was a dramatic flight, with a dramatic end. Edward’s desperate attempts to keep Gaveston safe seem to have gone so far, that he offered Robert the Bruce [King of the Scots and the great leader of the rise against the English domination] to acknowledge him as King in exchange for the protection of Gaveston.  Which the Bruce refused, who seems to have exclaimed ””How shall the king of England keep faith with me, since he does not observe the sworn promises made to his liege men?…No trust can be put in such a fickle man; his promises will not deceive me.” 
I ask my readers: If the king wanted to go that far to save his favourite, Gaveston, were they just friends or lovers? I think, lovers……
SIEGE OF SCARBOROUGH
Meanwhile the barons, under the leadership of Thomas of Lancaster, were determined ”to get him” [Gaveston]
Thomas of Lancaster nearly captured the King and his favourite, when they were in Newcastle and the [2nd] Earl of Pembroke  and the [7th] Earl of Surrey, John de Warenne , were given the task to capture Gaveston. 
The King and Gaveston split up [probably the King wanted to get reinforcements to protect Gaveston] , the king and Queen went to York and Gaveston was in Scarbourough Castle. That was the last time, King Edward would ever see Gaveston…..
Soon Gaveston was besieged by Pembroke, Warenne, Henry de Percy [1st Baron Percy]  and Robert de Clifford [1st Baron de Clifford]
ONE MAN OF HONOUR…..
The rest of the story is gruesome, but one man should get the credits he deserved. Aymer de Valence, [2nd] Earl of Pembroke. As written, Gaveston was besieged in Scarborough by Pembroke, Warenne, with the help of Henry de Percy and Robert de Clifford.
Gaveston could not held the castle, so he surrendered to the besiegers. The terms of the surrender were that Pembroke, Warenne and Percy would take Gaveston to York, where the barons would negotiate with the king. If an agreement could not be reached by 1 August, Gaveston would be allowed to return to Scarborough. The three swore an oath to guarantee his safety.After an initial meeting with the King in York, Gaveston was left in the custody of Pembroke, who escorted him south for safekeeping.
Pembroke [who was the cousin of the late King Edward I, his father being the halfbrother of Edward I’s father, King Henry III]  did his utmost to behold his word. When leaving Gaveston in the rectory at Deddington in Oxfordshire to visit his wife, Gaveston’s bitter enemy and great ally of Thomas of Lancaster, the 10th Earl of Warwick, found out about Gaveston’s whereabouts, he immediately rode out to capture him. The next morning he appeared at the rectory, where he took Gaveston captive and brought him back to his castle at Warwick.
Pembroke, who was shocked, that he broke his word without his guilt and found therefore his honour affronted, did his utmost to bring Gaveston back: He appealed for justice both to Gaveston’s brother-in-law Gloucester and to the University of Oxford, but to no avail. 
SO, THAT’S A MAN OF HONOUR, AN MAN TRUE TO HIS WORD!
He [Pembroke] was so shocked about what happened thereafter, that he left the baronial opposition and sided from then with King Edward. 
AFTERMATH/PIERS GAVESTON GOES HOME….. DIRTY ROLE TO PLAY FOR THOMAS OF LANCASTER AND CO
What happened then was dishonourable and criminal:
After putting Gaveston in his dungeons, Warwick sent word to Thomas of Lancaster, the [4th] Earl of Hereford [married with the sister of King Edward….]  and the [9th] Earl of Arundel 
They came to Warwick Castle and in a show trial they condemned poor Gaveston to death [among else ”for having violated the Ordinances…] On 19 June, he was taken out on the road towards Kenilworth as far to a place, Blacklow Hill, which was on the Earl of Lancaster’s land.
There he was beheaded by two Welshmen….. 
They at least ”granted” him the ”honour” of beheading, the nobleman’s death, since he was the brother in law of the [8th] Earl of Gloucester, the King’s nephew. 
Poor Gaveston, who flew too high and was too vain and had a too sharp tongue…..
His daughter was just five months old. She never knew her father 
”MY BROTHER PIERS”/AFTERMATH
[My Brother Piers, that was the way King Edward II called Piers Gaveston…] 
If Thomas of Lancaster and [the 10th Earl of] Warwick had thought, that their unlawful killing of Piers Gaveston would end the threat of civil war, they were wrong. It only made things worse.
Not only the King who [understandably] was beside himself of grief and rage and swore revenge on Gaveston’s killers , many former adherents of Lancaster and Warwick were alienated from them, shocked by the illegality and brutality of the murder of a man, who was only too arrogant, witty and avarious, but posed no political threat. That would be totally different in the case of a later favourite, Hugh Despenser the Younger, who, with his father, also Hugh, 1st Earl of Winchester, would pose a real political threat, was powerseeking, greedy and dangerous in a way, Gaveston never was……. People would miss Gaveston en wish he were here, in place ofthe Despensers …………….
So the brutal killing of Gaveston had the effect of garnering support for the king and marginalising the rebellious barons.
So, many turned to the King again, also those directly involved with the fight against Gaveston, especially
the Earl of Pembroke, who reproached Warwick to have offended his honour by abducting Gaveston, when in his [Pembroke’s] custody [see above]  But also Warenne, the [7th] Earl of Surrey , with Pembroke, one of the bersiegers of Scarbourough Castle [where Gaveston was hiding] was pushed back into the kings’ camp, unhappy about Gaveston’s execution.  By the way: Later, Warenne would become a bitter enemy of Thomas of Lancaster, who accused him to have played a role in the abduction of his wife, Alice de Lacy, with whom he was married unhappily…. 
But there was more to it:
Since civil war was still on the move, Thomas of Lancaster and his gang [let’s bring some humour in this sordid story], the Earls of Warwick and Hereford [who was, remember, King’s brother in law] , brought their armies in Hertfordshire [immediately North of London]  and the King, moving from York [where he had heard the news of the death of Gaveston], headed for London.
He arrived in Westminster and on 14 July and stayed there for the rest of the month, and made an impassioned public speech at the house of the Dominicans asking the Londoners to defend the city against Piers Gaveston’s killers. London supported him and closed the gates of the city against the earls of Lancaster, Warwick and Hereford. 
What to do? That was the question. Piers Gaveston was brutally murdered, the King wanted revenge, he went to London, but the murderers of Gaveston also brought their armies to Hertfordshire [immediately North of London], although the Londoners closed the gates for them.
Civil war was close to begin, in earnest.
Something had to be done:
There were mediators between the King and the Earls [Thomas of Lancaster, Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick and the Earl of Hereford, brother in law of the King] I mention here:
The [8th] Earl of Gloucester, nephew of the King [who, by the way, had refused to help Gaveston when imprisoned in Warwick Castle  Lord Clifford [one of the besiegers of Scarbourough, but further loyal to the King] Louis, Count of Evreux , halfbrother of King Philip IV [father in law of Edward II], sent by him to mediate. The Pope [Pope Clement V] , sent two envoys, Arnaud d’Aux, bishop of Poitiers, and Cardinal Arnaud Nouvel. Another negotiator was Edward II’s first cousin John of Brittany, earl of Richmond, grandson of Henry III 
High profile mediators, thus.
Yet a military confrontation threatened throughout the summer and early autumn of 1312.
But, luckily, nothing came from that.
Meanwhile, Edward II must have been consolated in a way for the grief about Gaveston, when on 13 november 1312, his first son, the future King Edward III was born , which of course delighted his father [Edward II] and his mother, Queen Isabella. 
Anyway, a treaty was made and sealed in London on 20 December 1312, in the presence of Cardinal Arnaud Nouvel, Arnaud d’Aux, bishop of Poitiers, Louis, count of Evreux, and the earls of Gloucester and Richmond. It was agreed that the three earls and various barons would make obeisance to Edward II in his great hall at Westminster, “with great humility, on their knees” (oue graunte humilite as genuz/cum magna humilitate flexis genibus) and “humbly beg him to release them from his resentment and rancour, and receive them into his good will.” 
The precious goods, belonging to Edward II and Piers Gaveston, seized by Thomas of Lancaster , must be returned to the King.
On 16 December, four days before the treaty, Edward had granted Lancaster a safe-conduct and permission to use an escort of forty men-at-arms to bring him his possessions.
No action would be taken against Piers’ followers, and the three earls and all their own followers would be pardoned for anything they had done to Piers.
On 16 October 1313 at Westminster, Edward II pardoned the three earls, and more than 350 of their adherents, “of all causes of rancour, anger, distress, actions, obligations, quarrels and accusations, arisen in any manner on account of Piers Gaveston, from the time of our marriage with our dear companion, our very dear lady, Lady Isabella queen of England.” Over 350 men were pardoned. 
Of course this was only a show, because the King wanted to take his revenge, but was was not in the opportunity, since the power of the Earls was too strong.
The drama would continue.
And another dramatic addition:
When Piers Gaveston was murdered and the body [that was simply ”left behind” at the place of the execution and later found by a group of Dominican friars brought the body and embalmed the body], Piers Gaveston could not be buried in consecrated ground, since he was excommunicated. So the King had to wait, until he had secured a papal absolution for his favourite.  Eventually when the absolution was given, Piers Gaveston was burned at Langley Priory [founded by Edward II] at 2 or 3 january 1315…… 
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE KILLERS/BESIEGERS OF GAVESTON?
Readers, although the story writes itself, I think you want to know in advance, what happened to the killers of Piers Gaveston.
Guy de Beauchamp, the [10th] Earl of Warwick:
As been written, Guy de Beauchamp, that great ally of Thomas of Lancaster and bitter enemy of Piers Gaveston, had abducted him [Piers Gaveston] from the custody of the Earl of Pembroke, brought him to Warwick Castle, put him in one of his dungeons and awaited Thomas of Lancaster and the Earls of Hereford and Arundel. Gaveston was given a mock trial and put to death at Blacklow Hill. Warwick didn’t attend the murder, in contary with the other three Earls.
After Gaveston’s death, Warwick remained the enemy of the King [received pardon nevertheless] and refused to participate in the campaign of Edward II against the Scots, which resulted in the defeat at Bannockburn.  However, In mid-July Warwick had to withdraw from government to his estates, due to illness. He died on 12 August 1315.  There were rumours that Edward II had him poisoned, but there is no proof for that. 
In contrary with Thomas Lancaster, he was an intelligent and skilled politician and was undoubtedly greatly missed by him [:Lancaster]
HUMPHREY DE BOHUN, 4TH EARL OF HEREFORD
One of the killers of Piers Gaveston, who attended his murder was King’s the [4th] Earl of Hereford. He did fight in the battle of Bannockburn, was taken prisoner and although he was out of grace after the murder of Piers Gaveston, was ransomed by Edward II, obviously on the pleading of his [Edward’s] wife, Isabella.  Éventually, he joined the second rebellion of Thomas of Lancaster and was killed in the Battle of Bouroughbridge. 
EDMUND FITZALAN, [9TH] EARL OF ARUNDEL
Together with Thomas of Lancaster and the Earl of Hereford, the Earl of Arundel watched the murder of Piers Gaveston, after [with Warwick, Lancaster and Hereford] condemning him to death in a mock trial. However, he turned to the King again in 1313 [and married his son Richard to the daughter of Hugh Despenser the Younger, the Kings later favourite]. As result of his loyalty, he was executed in 1326, when Isabella of France and her [supposed] lover Roger Mortimer invaded England and deposed Edward II. 
AYMER DE VALENCE, 2ND EARL OF PEMBROKE
The Earl of Pembroke was one of the besiegers of Castle Scarbourough, where Piers Gaveston was hiding. And he was a man of honour, who gave Gaveston his word for his safety and was honestly shocked, when the Earl of Warwick abducted him. He tried to save Gaveston by appealing for justice at the University of Oxford and Gaveston’s brother in law, the Earl of Gloucester, but to no avail.  Being shocked at this violation of his honour, he sided with the King again , tried to prevent civil war by mediating between the King and Thomas of Lancaster. Eventually he came into trouble because the rise of the Despensers, was sent to an embassy in France and died there. 
JOHN DE WARENNE, 7TH EARL OF SURREY
With the Earl of Pembroke and others one of the besiegers of Castle Scarbourough. However, unhappy with the extrajudicial execution of Piers Gaveston, he sided with the King again. Later he had a long lasting feud with Thomas of Lancaster over his supposed role in the abduction of Lancaster’s wife. Together with the Earl of Arundel, they were the last Earls, who remained loyal to Edward II, when his wife Isabella of France and her [possible] lover Roger Mortimer invaded England. After the execution of Arundel, he went over to Isabella and Mortimer. Eventually he died peacefully in 1345, as one of the few Earls during the reign of Edward II. 
HENRY DE PERCY, 1ST BARON PERCY
Together with Thomas of Lancaster he had pusued the King and Gaveston on their way north. Later he was one of the besiegers of Castle Scarbourough, but as Pembroke and Warenne, not involved in the murder of Gaveston. Yet out of revenge and being less powerful than the Earls, complicitín the murder, the King confiscated his lands in 1312 and had him imprisoned. However: The earls made Percy’s release a priority in their dnegotiations with the king and he was freed in January 1313. and was formally pardoned,
with the others involved.  He didn’t participate in the Battle of Bannockburn, along with five of the earls and many other nobles refused summonses to this campaign because it had not been sanctioned by parliament, as required by the Ordinances. In the first half of October 1314 Henry Percy died, aged forty one, of unknown causes. 
ROBERT CLIFFORD, 1ST BARON DE CLIFFORD
As Henry Percy, baron de Clifford had pusued the King and Gaveston on their way North, under the leadership of Thomas of Lancaster. He also was one of the besiegers of Castle Scarbourough. And in contrary with Henry Percy, Thomas of Lancaster, the Earl of Warwick and many other nobles he DID fight in the Battle of Bannockburn and was killed. 
Who also was killed in the Battle of Bannockburn, was Gilbert de Clare, the [8th] Earl of Gloucester, the brother in law of Piers Gaveston, who neither pusued him or besieged him, but refused to help him when was asked by the Earl of Pembroke. 
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST/THOMAS, 2ND OF LANCASTER What happened to Thomas of Lancaster, how his illustrious life ended, is yet shrouded in mist……
The story will tell…….
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II/From warlord to Saint/Chapter Four
Today, chapter threeENJOY and travel with me to 14 century England……
CHAPTER THREE THOMAS OF LANCASTER/CONFLICT WITH HIS COUSIN, KING EDWARD II From day one?
No. Because of the bitter battle between King Edward II and his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster, there are people, who think, that they were enemies from the very beginning. However, that’s not the case.
Originally, Thomas was loyal to Edward and in good terms with him, also before his accession of King. For example: In 1305, Thomas was forced to apologise to Edward for being unable to come and attend him, as he was ill. Edward wrote back to say that he hoped to visit Thomas soon, “to see and to comfort you.” 
At Edward’s Edward’s coronation, on 25 february 1308, Thomas carried Curtana, the sword of St Edward the Confessor [one of the last Anglo Saxon Kings before William the Conqueror]  And when you read the rest of the story, it will come as a surprise to you, that according to some sources,Thomas was not after Kings’ favourite Piers Gaveston  from day one, but was initially rather on good terms with him.  He remained loyal to Edward, when in the spring of 1308, the majority of the barons were pressing for Piers Gaveston’s exile. 
However it seems, that in november 1308, Thomas suddenly left the Court, from reasons unknown. 
NOTES 1 -250
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II/From warlord to Saint/Chapter Three
Dear Readers Recently I sent you chapter one of my ”book” article ”Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II, from warlord to Saint”It is a travel to 14th century history of England and narrates the turbulent lifeof Earl Thomas of Lancaster, who was one of the mightiest man of his Time, ,nobleman, warlord and cousin of king Edward II.And the most fascinating question:How does a warlord become a Saint?Read further, then you’ll get the answer….. Because it is extended, I do you the favour of sending my major article to you in chapters Recently chapter one https://www.astridessed.nl/thomas-of-lancaster-rebel-cousin-of-king-edward-ii-from-warlord-to-saint-chapter-one/
Today, chapter twoENJOY and travel with me to 14 century England……
CHAPTER TWO BEGINNING OF HIS CAREER/SERVICE UNDER HIS UNCLE KING EDWARD I
In the beginning there seemed to be no trouble in paradise. Grandson of King Henry III, nephew of King Edward I, who probably arranged for him the splendid marriage with Alice de Lacy , daughter of Henry de Lacy, 3rd Earl of Lincoln  [by the death of his father in law, Henry de Lacy, Thomas was to inherit the Earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury, added to the Earldoms he inherited from his father, Edmund Crouchback  namely Lancaster, Leicester and Derby, which made him one of the richest nobles in the land] , what stood in the way of a splendid career?
And it all seemed going just fine:
On reaching On reaching full age he became hereditary Sheriff of Lancashire, but spent most of the next ten years fighting for Edward I in Scotland, leaving the shrievalty in the care of deputies. He served his uncle King Edward I, by participating in the battle of Falkirk in 1298. 
NOTES 1 – 250
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II/From warlord to Saint/Chapter Two
INTRODUCTION:Readers, This is a fascinating story about Thomas of Lancaster and the persons and events that played an important part in his life in a very turbulent time. But like all fascinating stories, it is not told in two minutes. It is a real longread.
To understand the political situation in the early fourteenth century, especially chapter one, four and five are important. Chapters six describes the outbreak of the war between Thomas and his cousin the King, the chapters seven and eight the dramatic end. Chapters nine and ten, what happened thereafter.
But to make it easily readable for my readers, who enjoy history like me, I’ll send itto you in different chapters, so for you it is more easy to read and newreaders can wonder, how the story goes on SO HERE COMES FIRSTCHAPTER ONEThe next chapters you’ll see in the next days ENJOY! BEFORE CHAPTER ONE ”When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ You_Win_or_You_Die How many warlords were proclaimed ”holy” after their death and were venerated as Saints? Not many, I presume….. Read further and experience the excitement of a turbulent time, with violent, lawless men, thirsty for power.Come with me…..Today I, your travel companion through the Middle Ages, introduce to you an extroardinary man, who was a warlord, England’s de facto ruler for certainly four years, fighting his cousin King Edward II for nearly ten years.His name was Thomas, the second Earl of Lancaster . No, NOT to be confused with his younger brother Henry, third Earl of Lancaster,  one of the ancestors of the House of Lancaster , that branch of the Plantagenet Royal House, which fought a battle to the death with another Plantagenet branch, the House of York  in the Wars of the Roses.  This was Thomas, second Earl of Lancaster, lesser known, but in his time, a man of power and absolutely not insignificant. That’s the reason I write about him, because I feel people should know more about him.Besides:He intrigues me Because as I said, not only he was the de facto ruler in England for certainly four years, fighting his cousin, King Edward II for many years and making his own laws.
How many warlords end up ”holy”, as a Saint?
Follow me, through the chapters of history, containing power,treason, ambition, passion deceit, cruelty, but also….chivalry…. CHAPTER ONE
IN GENERAL/ FAMILY TIES/HISTORICAL CONFLICTS BETWEEN KINGS AND BARONS/PERSONAL LIFE/POWER AND WEALTH
FAMILY TIES (1)
Thomas was the first cousin of King Edward II [King from 1307-1327] , since Thomas’ father, Edmund Crouchback, the first Earl of Lancaster , was the younger brother of King Edward I , ,father of Edward II. But he also was the uncle of Queen Isabella of France  [wife of Edward II and daughter of the French King, Philip IV, the Fair, the Hammer of the Templars] , since he was the half-brother of her mother, Joan I of Navarre [wife of King Philip IV] 
Yes my readers, so complicated were the family relations of the English nobility, not only because of internarriage with each other, but also with French nobility [also Spanish, Flemish and other, but often, French]
To give another example to ”tease” you a little and showing the complexity of noble family relations:
Edward II had two halfbrothers, Thomas, Earl of Norfolk  and Edmund, Earl of Kent , since his father Edward I remarried after the death of his first wife, Edward II’s mother, Eleanor of Castile. 
But the wife he remarried, was Margaret of France.  the sister of the French King, Philip IV [the Fair] , father of Isabella, future wife of Edward II [on the moment Edward I married the lady, Isabella was not yet married to Edward II]
SO: The Earls of Norfolk and Kent [halfbrothers of Edward II] were, of course, the brothers in law of Queen Isabella, but also her first cousins, since their mother, Queen Margaret of France , was also the sister of Isabella’s father, King Philip IV, the Fair. 
No wonder Papal Dispensation was often needed for noble marriages! 
CONFLICT SEEN IN A BROADER LIGHT/ABOUT CENTRALIZATION AND DECENTRALIZATION
Let’s go to Thomas’ interesting, but turbulent life, in a turbulent time, which led to the disaster of many, including the King. 
As shows the story, Thomas of Lancaster had a major conflict with the King, was four years long the uncrowned King and two times leader of oppositional barons against King’s power, leading two rebellions against the King. 
Now some sources called Thomas lawless, violent and powerseeking.  He may have been all that [I am not going to deny that, on the contrary], but it is shortsighted to see the conflict only from that personal point of view.
It’s more complicated:
Because this was not only a conflict between two powerful men, cousins, one the King and the other close to the throne. No: Moreover this conflict revealed the eternal struggle between centralization and decentralization. Between a King and his feudal lords about who should control the country.
When the King was a ”strong leader”, like Edward I , he held the nobles in order, when the authority was weaker, the nobles gained power. The causes of a weak authority may have differed, but fact was, that nobility, of course, took advantage of weak leadership.
EARLIER CONFLICTS BETWEEN KINGS AND THEIR BARONS 
KING JOHN [LACKLAND] AND HIS BARONS
As I wrote, apart from the specific circumstances [see below], the fight between Edward II and his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster has to be viewed in a broader light: The struggle between centralization [the Kings absolute power, ”divine majesty”]  and decentralization [increasing inluence of his feudal lords, the nobility].
Edward II was not the first King, who had serious conflicts with his barons
As well as his greatgrandfather John Lackland [John, King of England],  as his grandfather, King Henry III , clashed with their barons:
Because the times changed:
Were John Lackland’s father, King Henry II , as his brother, Richard I of England [The Lion Heart] , kings, who ruled on the basis, that the King was ”above the law” [divine majesty”] , in the time of John Lackland, there were contrary opinions expressed about the nature of kingship, and many contemporary writers believed that monarchs should rule in accordance with the custom and the law, and take counsel of the leading members of the realm. 
 Now John Lackland was, as a person, hard to deal with and increasing troubles were ahead:
He had a serious conflict with Pope Innocentius III , which resulted in an interdict of England  and John’s excommunication  King John was reported nearly to have converted to Islam in order to get support from Caliph Nasir, asking for help…..
He clashed [almost from the beginning of his reign] with his barons, wanting to hold on
his ”rights” and claimed an “almost imperial status” for himself as ruler. 
This resulted in a number of wars with the barons, leading to the Magna Charta in 1315, enlarging the power of the barons. 
KING HENRY III AND HIS BARONS/SIMON DE MONTFORT
During the reign of King Henry III , son of John Lackland and grandfather of Edward II, at first peace seemed to be restored with the barons. 
But…..nothing lasts forever!
Henry faced a true crisis with the barons, who rose against him under the leadership of Henry’s brother in law, Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester , who had [seen in the light of that time], radical reform ideas.  He was the de facto ruler of England for less than a year.  and is known to have established a Parliament, with not only the barons and the knights of the shires , but also burgesses  of the major towns.  This parliament is sometimes referred to as the first English parliament and Montfort himself is often termed the founder of the Commons.
At the end, he died in the battle of Evesham in 1265, beaten by the troops of prince Edward [eldest son of Henry III], the latter King Edward I 
In sofar there is a similarity with Thomas of Lancaster, who also ruled England [de facto] and seemed to have been influenced by Simon de Montfort’s ideas. 
That being said: Yet I think, that Thomas, far more than Simon de Montfort, had a personal power motive to wage war on his cousin Edward II.
Besides I don’t think, that Thomas of Lancaster was interested in more reforms than greater power for the barons.
THOMAS OF LANCASTER, DESCENT AND FAMILY TIES [EXTENDED] (2)
Thomas of Lancaster [c 1278-1322], who became the great adversary of his cousin King Edward II, was the eldest son of Edmund Crouchback, 1st Earl of Lancaster , who was the second son of King Henry III , and brother of King Edward I.  Thomas’ younger brother was Henry, [later the 3rd Earl of Lancaster] , ancestor of the House of Lancaster. 
SO: He was the cousin of King Edward II, since his father [Edmund Crouchback] was the brother of Edward II’s father, King Edward I.
Thomas’ mother was Blanche of Artois , daughter of Count Robert I of Artois , who was the son of the French King Louis VIII  and the brother of King Louis IX [also called ”Saint Louis”]  Which made Blanche the niece of King Louis [IX] ”Saint Louis”
SO: Thomas of Lancaster descended from both English and French royal Houses, being the grandson of King Henry III and the greatgrandson of the French King Louis VIII.
A good Medieval curriculum vitae!
But there was more to the story:
When his mother, Blanche of Artois, married his father, Edmund Crouchback, she was a Dowager Queen, having been married with King Henry I of Navarre.  From that marriage, a daughter was born, Joan I of Navarre. 
And this Joan I of Navarre was the mother of Isabella of France, the wife of King Edward II.
Thomas was, therefore, the cousin of King Edward II, and the uncle of Queen Isabella of France!
E THOMAS OF LANCASTER/PERSONAL LIFE
Thomas of Lancaster was married with Alice de Lacy , daughter and heiress of Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln . Jure uxoris [inheritance by the right of a wife]  Thomas had inherited in 1311 the lands of his father in law, for which he paid homage to King Edward II [quite a story! See below] , which made him rich and powerful, in combination with the lands he had inherited from his father.  The marriage is assumed to be unhappy  and they had no children together. Although, Thomas fathered, llegitimately, two sons with another woman. 
Alice was abducted in 1317 by Richard de St Martin, a knight in the service of John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey.  This incident caused a feud between Lancaster and Surrey; Lancaster divorced his wife and seized two of Surrey’s castles in retaliation. King Edward then intervened, and the two Earls came to an uneasy truce.
POWER AND WEALTH
Because of his royal position and the inherited lands of his father and father in law, Thomas was one of the richest and most powerful men in England. His annual income was a huge eleven thousand pounds. 
Of course it was easy for a that powerful man to raise an army, when the time was ripe…..
SEE YOU SOON, FOR CHAPTER TWO
NOTES 1 – 250
Reacties uitgeschakeld voor Thomas of Lancaster, rebel cousin of king Edward II/From warlord to Saint/Chapter One
THOMAS OF LANCASTER, REBEL COUSIN OF KING EDWARD II
/FROM WARLORD TO SAINT
This is a fascinating story about
Thomas of Lancaster and the persons
and events that played an important part in his
life in a very turbulent time.
all fascinating stories, it is not told
in two minutes. It is a real longread.
My advice to my you:
READ IT LIKE A BOOK!
Don’t read all chapters at one time,
because you will be overwhelmed, unless
you are totally fascinated.
Or when you are pressed with time, with time, read the Epilogue,
which gives my final opinion about Thomas of Lancaster and a
summary of this fascinating story….
To understand the political situation
in the early fourteenth century, especially
chapter one, four and five are important.
Chapters six describes the outbreak of the
war between Thomas and his cousin
the King, the chapters seven and eight the
Chapters nine and ten, what happened
And I end with the Epilogue, giving my final opinion
about the life and activitities of Thomas of Lancaster.
Read all the Chapters with care and attention and you
will enter the Medieval world…..