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
EFFIGY OF KING EDWARD II IN GLOUCESTER CATHEDRAL
INITIAL FROM THE CHARTER GRANTING GAVESTON THE EARLDOM OF CORNWALL
Guy de Beauchamp standing over the decapitated body of Piers Gaveston
. From the 15th-century Rous Rolls
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
Guy de Beauchamp standing over the decapitated body of Piers Gaveston
. From the 15th-century Rous Rolls
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
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
A 15th-century depiction of Isabella
ISABELLA OF FRANCE
QUEEN ISABELLA OF FRANCE, DAUGHTER TO THE FRENCH KING
PHILIPS IV [LE BEL]
ROGER MORTIMER, 1ST EARL OF MARCH, PARTNER
IN CRIME AND MOST LIKELY LOVER OF QUEEN ISABELLA
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
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
KING EDWARD III
THE REIGN OF EDWARD II/EDWARD II, THE TRAGIC KING
This time my travel to the past goes to some hundred years
before the Wars of the Roses, to
Recently I posted some articles
from Kathryn Warner”s interesting
Because of his clear preference to his own sex [See Dr Helen Castor
a great taboo in the time wherein he lived and died, the Middle Ages.
Enter the world of this complicated and fascinating king,
a fascinating time, with fascinating characters.
PIERS GAVESTON, HIS FAVOURITE
THOMAS 2ND EARL OF LANCASTER, HIS DISLOYAL FIRST COUSIN
, which led to Thomas’ own tragic death.
HENRY 3RD EARL OF LANCASTER, BROTHER TO THOMAS,
LOYAL FIRST, DISLOYAL LATER AND AT THE END, LOYAL AGAIN
2nd Earl of Lancaster.
Henry of Lancaster sided with the Queen and Mortimer
, who later became Queen Isabella’s lover and
partner in crime.
By the way:
Difference between Piers Gaveston and the Despensers.
Back to the events:
The King and the Despensers won the war, causing the
Queen Isabella and her lover Mortimer deposed the King and made an
end to the Despenser power, leading to the executions of both
father and son.
King Edward II was imprisoned and died in 1327, most likely
How Edward II was treated during his imprisonment, is not
but that doesn’t proof he actually got them.
thought to have been written by Edward during his imprisonment, but
modern scholarship has cast doubt on this.
EDWARD III, THE UTTER LOYAL SON OF HIS FATHER
Edward III, the utter loyal son of the King put
and had finally his vengence on Mortimer in 1330.
Yet in a way, Edward III was merciful.
Mortimer didn’t have to face the horrible traitor’s death which
After all, she was the King’s mother.
Philip IV’s heirs, his sons, were all dead and because of the infedility
the death of Charles IV
, [the last son of Philip IV]
Edward III however, was the grandson of Philip IV, son
of his daughter Isabella.
Complicating factor however was that when Edward III claimed
EDWARD II AND HIS EARLS/A PROBLEMATIC RELATIONSHIP
For a Medieval King it was impossible to rule without his nobility.
Problem was that there was always a battle about who controlled
A ”strong” King or his lords.
So it was of the greatest importance to be authorative and yet
keeping a good relationship with the Earls.
Edward II however, was neither authorative, nor could
he go along with his Lords.
His favouritism, first of his loved friend Piers Gaveston and
the King, but with Gaveston.
However, this would not have happened with a King
Anyway, it was clear, that Edward II had many headaches over his Earls
EDWARD II/SOME QUESTIONS
Those were some important players in the drama I call the Edward II tragedy.
But some questions still rise, from which I will not mention all
of them, but some, which are interesting to me and perhaps
a source for further historical research
There are also funny questions, as you will see.
HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH HIS WIFE, ISABELLA
HOW WAS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ISABELLA AND
EDWARD II OR OTHERWISE SAID
WHEN AND WHERE IT WENT WRONG?
from the beginning and that however Isabella did her best to perform
the duties of a Medieval Queen and consort, it was rebuked by her
husband’s choice of favourites.
Kathryn Warner, writer of the book ”Edward II, the Unconventional
even when Edward II was already in prison,
However I ask myself whether those tokens of affection were
, a show for the world, because I can’t imagine
a wife deposing her husband of his power and sending him
to prison and simultaneously having an affection for him.
Therefore I doubt Kathryn Warner´´s allegations of the still
ongoing affection of Isabella for her husband, not only
because you don´t imprison somedone you are attached to.
But also because of Edward´s yearlong
neglection [which I call it when a man so obviously chooses
for favourites, not only politically, but also emotionally].
And despite that, Isabella´s affection would remain?
Hard to believe.
And don’t forget it was a purely arranged, political marriage.
But historians can always speculate about this.
WHAT WAS THE CAUSE OF THE EXTREME HATRED OF QUEEN ISABELLA
FOR HUGH LE DESPENSER THE YOUNGER/RAPE?
I have always wondered, what were the deeper causes
, since merely a dynastic quarrel doesn’t explain everything to me.
This enmity is much mentioned by historians and historical novel
writers, whether they were sympathetic to Margaret or not, but without
a thtourough explanation of the source of the bitterness, which stemmed,
according to me, mainly from Margaret.
However, historians did a better job for Queen Isabella:
Historian Alison Weir, writer of ” Isabella, She Wolf of France,
Queen of England”, tried to explain the intense dislike of
Queen Isabella, for especially Hugh Despenser the Younger
A Medieval Queen, daughter to the French King, raped by a common nobleman, however high his position and favouritism by the King?
I find that hard to believe.
My opinion, that Isabella has not been raped by Hugh Le Despenser
author of the book ”Edward II, The Unconventional King” .
about this alleged rape.
She argues, that it is very unlikely, Despenser the Younger should have raped
So if not the rape story, where did the hate stem from?
At least York showed formal respect to Margaret.
That can’t be said from Hugh le Despenser [who of course
had a total different position, being favourite to the King, but that
aside], towards Queen Isabella.
When this is true or at least was believed by Isabella, it can explain
the hatred she felt for especially Despenser the Younger.
But however the causes, her hatred and bitterness went very deep, since not only
wife and children also paid a price.
in january, 1327,Queen Isabella issued an order
The only reason Despenser´s eldest and youngest daughter escaped
the nunnery, were because the eldest was already married and the
youngest just an infant.
And although Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer spared the
WAS EDWARD II REALLY KILLED
Another striking question is the way Edward II met his death,
which is to divided in two themes.
Was he murdered or not?
And when he was murdered,
Kathryn Warner, writer of Edward II, ”an Unconventional
Interesting for historians to investigate further, but to me it is
very likely, that Isabella and Mortimer, after deposing Edward
in favour of his son, would finally get rid of him.
Since there was no ”abdication” of Kings in the Middle
be a threat for Edward III and therefore for the
regime of Isabella and Mortimer, the de facto rulers,
COULD POSSIBLY SCOTTISH FREEDOM FIGHTER WILLIAM WALLACE
HAVE FATHERED EDWARD III
A JOKE AND A FAIRY TALE
The last question I want to mention here is simply
could have been the father of Edward III.
value because of the coureageous resistance of the Scottish against
But however impressive, historical facts must be correct.
Although it would be highly unlikely [as presented in the film]
wife to his heir and daughter to the French King, to ”negociate”
with the rebel Braveheart [unless he wanted war with France,
since the French King would not forgive this insult to his daughter,
let alone the danger for holding as a hostage, to which she was exposed]
the historical facts speak against this fairy tale since:
And do you want to have a good laugh?
Even Roger Mortimer, later lover of Queen Isabella
and supposedly responsible for the death of Edward II
No historical facts.
EPILOGUE AND AFTERMATH
Of course I don’t close my eyes for the less dramatical and more
political sides of Edward’s period:
The political ill judgment and lack of military skill [unlike his
alienating his natural allies, the powerful nobility, represented
The corruption and misuse of power during Edward’s alliance with
the Despensers and the mock trials they gave their enemies like
the 2nd Duke of Lancaster, although Edward II was merciful enough [likely
because of his close relationship with the Earl] not let him hanged,
And later, when Edward was stripped from power,
But here I have emphasized on the more personal, dramatic sides
of the reign of Edward II, especially the impossibility of following
his own sexual preference, and his love for Piers Gaveston,
with all the tragic events involved and the reaction of his environment.
he met a tragic end.
This, as his complicated personality and his turbulent reign, is
much worth to pay attention to.
He had a tragic life.
Sometimes I wonder if Edward rather had died that fatal
day his beloved Piers Gaveston lost his life………….
Thanks for travelling with me to the past again.