Edward II recalled Piers from the exile imposed on him by Edward I immediately after he heard the news that his father was dead, on 11 July 1307. Piers was back in England by early August, and Edward created him earl of Cornwall on 6 August, possibly without Piers’ prior knowledge – or so Edward would claim in letters to the Pope and the king of France the following year. (Edward can’t entirely be trusted here, however – he also claimed that he made Piers an earl at the urging of his barons – which was emphatically not the case!)Edward also arranged Piers’ marriage to his (Edward’s, not Piers’, obviously) niece Margaret de Clare, which took place on 1 November 1307, but which had been planned for months – the charter granting the earldom of Cornwall to Piers on 6 August was decorated with the de Clare arms as well as Piers’ own. Piers had an annual income of £4000, making him one of the richest men in the country.As though all this wasn’t bad enough – making the younger son of a minor Gascon noble a wealthy earl and a member of the royal family by marriage – Piers dominated Edward’s favour and attention. According to the contemporary Vita Edwardi Secundi, Piers “alone found favour in the king’s eyes and lorded it over them [the English barons] like a second king, to whom all were subject and none equal. Almost all the land hated him..his name was reviled far and wide…he was an object of mockery to almost everyone in the kingdom.” The comment that Piers was ‘like a second king’ is echoed in other chronicles – the (later) Meaux chronicle called him “almost a king” (quasi rex) and the canon of Bridlington claimed there were two kings in England.