Tagarchief: Roger Mortimer 1st Earl of March

[EdwardthesecondBlogspot]/The charges against Hugh Despenser the Younger, november 1326

 

This is my translation of the charges against Hugh Despenser the Younger at his trial in Hereford on 24 November 1326, which are printed in the original Anglo-Norman in G. A. Holmes’ ‘Judgement on the Younger Despenser, 1326’ (English Historical Review, 70, 1955). Investigating the accuracy of the charges would be a major undertaking, and although some of them are certainly true, some are utterly ludicrous. May McKisack (The Fourteenth Century 1307-1399) calls the charges “an ingenious tissue of fact and fiction,” while Roy Martin Haines (in his biography King Edward II) points out that “it is an ingenious document, another piece of propaganda that puts the blame for all the ills of the reign on one man and his father,” ignoring – for the time being, at least – Edward II’s own manifold failings and that the earl of Lancaster and his followers were in armed rebellion against their king in 1322, and in treasonous correspondence with Robert Bruce to boot. The original text begins Hughe le despenser en parlement nostre seignur le Roi Edward qui ore est tenu a Westmonstre Lan de son regne xvme

 

 

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[Lady Despenser’s Scribery]/Who was Despenser the Younger? In a (very large) nutshell

 

The Early Years

The exact date of Hugh’s birth is not known but it was most likely between 1286 and 1290. He was the eldest son of Hugh Despenser (the elder) who was the son of another Hugh (the even elder) who fought alongside Simon de Montfort against Henry III during the Baron’s war of 1265. He was killed by Roger de Mortimer (grandfather of the Roger de Mortimer who became Queen Isabella’s lover and deposed Edward III) at the Battle of Evesham, thereby starting a feud between the Despensers and the Mortimers which was to have deadly echoes decades later. His mother was Isabelle de Beauchamp, the daughter and sister of two of the Earls of Warwick, so he was certainly well connected.

 

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[EdwardthesecondBlogspot]/Announcement of the birth of Edward III

 

 

 

Isabella, by the grace of God, Queen of England, Lady of Ireland, and Duchess of Aquitaine, to our well-beloved the Mayor and aldermen and the commonalty of London, greeting. Forasmuch as we believe that you would willingly hear good tidings of us, we do make known to you that our Lord, of His grace, has delivered us of a son, on the 13th day of November, with safety to ourselves, and to the child. May our Lord preserve you.

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King Edward II, the tragic King

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

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[Lady Despenser’s Scribery]/The flight and capture of Hugh Despenser and Edward II

 

Invasion

When Isabella, Edward’s estranged queen, and his foremost enemy, Roger de Mortimer landed on British soil near to the manor of Walton in Suffolk on 24th September 1326, Edward was taken by surprise. Not so much by the invasion itself, as he had been preparing for such an event for the past couple of months – but that the force they brought with them was so small. It consisted of about 1500 soldiers (exiled Contrariants and Hainault mercenaries) – hardly enough to constitute a great threat. However, if Edward thought his wife and Mortimer’s rebellion a pathetic gesture, he was soon forced to think again.

 

 

 

 

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[EdwardthesecondBlogspot]/Piers Gaveston’s second exile

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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[EdwardthesecondBlogspot]/Edward II’s Coronation oath, 25 February 1308

 

 

Sire, volez vous graunter, è garder, &, par vostre serment, confermer au poeple d’Engleterre les leys, & les custumes, à eux grauntees par les auntiens Rois d’Engleterre, voz predecessours droitures & devotz a DIEU; & nomement les lois, les custumes, & les fraunchises, grantez au clerge, è au poeple par le glorieus Roi seint Edward, vostre predecessour? Jeo les grante & promette. Sire, garderez vous à DIEU, & seinte eglise, & au clerge, & au poeple paes, & acord en DIEU entierment, solonc vostre poer? Jeo les garderai. Sire, freez vous faire, en touz voz jugementz, ovele & droit justice & discretion, en misericorde & verite, à vostre poer? Jeo le frai. 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? Jeo les graunte & promette.

 

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[EdwardthesecondBlogspot]/25 February 1308:”Coronation of Edward II

 

On this day 700 years ago, Edward II and Isabella were crowned king and queen of England at Westminster Abbey. Edward was exactly twenty-three and ten months, Isabella just twelve.The coronation differed from its predecessors in several respects. Firstly, the wives of peers attended for the first time. Secondly, Edward took his oath in French, not Latin – a fact often used to condemn him as ‘stupid, lazy, ignorant and uneducated’ by historians of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, conveniently ignoring the fact that Edward, even if he was ignorant of Latin, which is most unlikely, could easily have learnt the short responses by heart, and that French was the native language of probably everyone attending the coronation.* Thirdly, a new clause was added to the coronation oath: “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?”More ink has been spilt on the meaning and intention of this clause than you could possibly imagine, but I’m not going to analyse it here because, frankly, the whole subject is tedious beyond belief. (The full text of Edward’s oath, in the French original and English, is in the sidebar on the left.)

 

 

 

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King Edward II/[Edward the second Blogspot]/Isabella of France and her relationship with Edward II

This is a post which I originally wrote a few months ago as a guest post on my lovely friend Sarah’s history blog, which is now sadly defunct, though she writes one about Edward II’s grandfather Henry III instead, yay.Isabella of France, queen consort of England, lady of Ireland, duchess of Aquitaine, countess of Chester and Ponthieu, had a remarkably illustrious lineage: she was the daughter of Philip IV, king of France and of Joan, queen of Navarre and countess of Brie, Bigorre and Champagne in her own right. Isabella was the sixth of Philip and Joan’s seven children. Her three older brothers all reigned as kings of France, Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV, her younger brother Robert died in 1308 aged about eleven, and she also had two older sisters, Marguerite and Blanche, who both died in early childhood in or shortly after 1294. Her paternal grandmother Isabel, queen of Philip III of France, after whom she was presumably named, was the daughter of King Jaime I ‘el Conquistador’ of Aragon and the granddaughter of King Andras II of Hungary; via the Hungarian line, Isabella of France was the seven greats granddaughter of Harold Godwinson, the king of England killed at Hastings in 1066.  She and her husband Edward II were related: her great-grandmother Marguerite of Provence, queen of France was the older sister of Edward’s paternal grandmother Eleanor of Provence, queen of England.  They were also related rather more distantly via the Castilian royal family, Edward’s great-grandmother Berenguela, queen of Castile and Leon, being the sister of Isabella’s great-great-grandmother Blanche of Castile, queen of France.

 

 

 

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King Edward II/[Edward the Second Blogspot]/Edward II and his children and why neither William Wallace nor Roger Mortimer was their father

 

This (long!) article was inspired by my huge irritation a) that so many people still think the Braveheart story of William Wallace fathering Isabella of France’s child is somehow factual – people hit this blog pretty well every day searching for it – and b) that the notion of Edward II not being the father of his own eldest child has so well and truly taken hold in the popular imagination.  For examples, if you can stomach them, seeherehereherehere and here, and the novels cited below.  Read them and weep.  I cannot adequately express my annoyance that a man with an Oxford doctorate on Isabella (Paul Doherty) wrote a novel (Death of a King) in which Edward III’s biological father is Roger Mortimer, which Doherty must know is absolute BS but chose to sex up his novel by including it anyway and thereby giving the notion spurious plausibility. Agh.
EDIT: Thanks to Susan Higginbotham for telling me about a very recent post claiming that Edward II may have been ‘cuckolded’ and not the father of his children, in the Yahoo group of the Richard III Society, no less.  Check out Susan’s excellent and elegant rebuttal.Braveheart features the future King Edward II as a fairly major character, with Edward – in real life, an enormously strong, athletic and handsome man – caricatured as a useless feeble court fop whose lover is thrown out of a window and whose wife cuckolds him with William Wallace.  There are countless historical inaccuracies in Braveheart, which have been well detailed elsewhere, and I won’t go into them here.  I just want to focus on one: the statement at the end of the film that Wallace is the real father of the baby Edward’s wife Isabella is carrying, who is, presumably, intended to be Isabella’s first-born child King Edward III.Let’s check some basic dates and facts here:

 

 

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