Kittric: Edward II of England  
King of England (1307-1327)
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Edward inherited the kingdom after Edward (Longshanks) I, one of the ablest Kings of England, to become the sixth King of England of the House of Plantagenet. He however allowed himself to be swayed by unworthy favourites. The barons of the realm who had respected and feared his father, attempted to control the country without King or Parliament. Eventually, it would be his wife, Isabella of France, who would lead a successful rebellion against him.

During the prince's youth, Edward I had banished Edward's homosexual favourite the Gascon Piers de Gaveston because of the influence he had on his son. One of Edward's first acts on the death of his father was to have Gaveston recalled to court. Edward created Piers de Gaveston the Earl of Cornwall and when the monarch left for France to marry Isabella of France, the daughter of King Philip IV, Gaveston was left with custody of the kingdom during the King's absence. Concerned at his growing influence, the barons requested of the King that Gaveston be banished. On Edward's refusal, the barons rebelled, catured Gaveston themselves in 1312 and had him murdered.

During Edward's absence in Scotland, the Earl of Lincoln (his Regent in England) died. He was replaced by his son-in-law Thomas, Earl of Lancaster who became the Earl of Lincoln and Salisbury, already holding the titles of Earl of Leicester and Derby. His vast holdings made Lancaster the most powerful baron of the time and his hatred of Gaveston was to become a major problem for the king.

Gaveston is reputed to have greeted the King and his new wife Isabella of France decked in more jewelry than the monarch himself - the greater part of it from Isabella's dowery.

Edward II, aged twenty-four, married Isabella of France, then only twelve years old and, although the royal couple had four children (two sons and two daughters), the King shunned his wife for the company of his homosexual favourites - first Gaveston, later Dispenser. This was to lead ultimately to Isabella's successful revolt against the King.

Edward's father had died in 1307 having assembled a huge host to invade Scotland and crush the rebellion of Robert Bruce. During the first six years of Edward's reign he had been too preoccupied by quarrels with his English barons to turn his attention north of the border with Scotland and Robert ousted the English from stronghold after stronghold in Scotland until none were left save for Stirling. Now he sought to rectify the matter and marched into Scotland with the largest English army to have ever gone into battle. Despite this, the English were utterly defeated at the battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and the independance of the Scots was trully established although the English did not concede the fact until the treaty of Northampton in 1329, fifteen years later and two years after Edward's death.

Edward's Scottish defeat at Bannockburn was followed by risings in Wales and Ireland - all to the ire of the barons. Edwrad found a new favourite in Hugh de Despenser and, with Despenser's help, arrested Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, the leader of the barons, and had him executed.


Isabella of France left Edward 1322 to live with her lover, Roger Mortimer, in France. They returned to England 1326 and, with the support of the barons, forced Edward II to abdicate in favour of his son, Edward

The outbreak of war between England and France in 1324 saw Queen Isabella and prince Edward despatched to France on a diplomatic mission to negotiate a peace with her brother, the King. While in France, Isabella met and conspired with Roger Mortimer, one of Edward II's barons who had been exciled, to overthrow her own husband. Edward II called her the 'She-Wolf of France '. The conspirators raised an army and invaded England in 1326 landing in Essex. Such was the unpopularity of the rule of the Dispensers that Isabella and Mortimer went unopposed forcing Edward II and the Despensers to flee London. The King was captured and imprisoned in Bristol Castle (the king had been held for a time at Corfe Castle in Dorset) and Hugh de Despenser executed.

Prince Edward succeeded his deposed father as Edward III but, being only sixteen years old, his mother Isabella and Roger Mortimer ruled England in his stead.

From Bristol, Edward was moved by dead of night to Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in April of 1327. While it was politically desirable to remove Edward II from the scene completely, the murder of a King under any circumstances was still the most serious of acts and his captors attempted to kill him without the use of violence. For a time the deposed king's goaler, Lord Maltravers, attempted to do him in by holding him in a waste pit with only putrid food and foul water but, despite this, he refused to die.

The story took on a new twist in September when Maltravers was joined by a knight named Gurney. On September 21st, the point was removed from a straight cow horn and this was inserted into Edward II's anus. Then a red hot iron was pushed through the cow horn and into his body to burn his entrails while leaving no external mark on the body and giving the appearance of a death from natural causes. The murder might, as had clearly been intended by the perpetrators, gone unnoticed save that it was carried out in an outbuilding from whence Edward II's screams could be heard throughout the village.

A seventeenth-century historian discovered papers which showed that Berkeley had indeed stayed at Bradley Court but not until a week after the murder of Edward II.

The murder of the deposed king was investigated and Thomas Berkeley claimed that illness at the time of the deed caused him to stay at Bradley Court, Wotton Under Edge five miles away and he was acquitted.

In the event, no-one was ever brought to answer for the murder of the king.

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The woollen industry was brought to its prominent position in the English economy by King Edward II (1307-1327) who encouraged Flemmish weavers, dyers and fullers to improve the quality of the product.

Edward was born in 1284, in Caernarfon, Wales, the son of Edward (Longshanks ) and Eleanor of Castille, his three brothers died before their father.

As part of his attempt to make Wales and Scotland part of his dominion, Edward I had murdered Llywelyn ap Gruffydd, the last Welsh Prince of Wales and conferred the title upon the seventeen-year-old prince Edward (he was also the Earl of Hereford and the Duke of Lancaster) - the first English heir-apparent to bear the title. In an attempt by his father to secure the throne of Scotland by marriage, Edward II was betrothed at a very early age to Maragret, the six-year-old heiress to Alexander III of Scotland and, thus, to the Scottish throne, but she died in a shipwreck while travelling to the wedding.

Having failed to unite the thrones of England and Scotland by the marriage of Edward II and Margaret, Edward I went on to do so by force.

Unlike his strong father, the young Edward preferred the company of his favourites by whom he was easily swayed and so worried was Edward I at the influence that the homosexual Piers Gaveston wrought on his son that he banished him. On his father's death in 1207, Edward II recalled Gaveston to court.

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1157Birth of the future king Richard I, the Lion-Heart to king Henry II (1154-1189)
1307Death of Edward I Longshanks. His son succeeds him as Edward II, king of England
1308.Jan.25Marriage of Edward II
1308.JunBanishment of Piers Gaveston
1310.SepEdawrd II campaigns in Scotland
1311Lancaster pays homage
1311Rise of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster
1311Edward II returns to England
1311.Sep.27Proclamation of the Ordinances
1311.Nov.03Departure of Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall
1312Rebel magnates capture and kill the Kings favourite Piers de Gaveston
1312Birth of the future Edward III to king Edward II (1307-1327) by Isabella of France
1312Edward II looks to Scotland for help
1st quarter
1312.MaySurrender of Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall
1312.Jun.19Beheading of the favourite of Edward II, Piers gaveston, Earl of Cornwall (c.1284-) by the barons
1313Bristol rebels against taxation
1314The English deafeated by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn thus ensuring Scotlands freedom (England did not concede the defeat until the Treaty of Northampton in 1329)
1314Burial of Piers gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, beheaded on June 19th, 1312
1315Bad weather causes total failure of the harvest in Cornwall
1316Bristol falls to Royalist forces
1319Edward\'s army defeated by Robert the Bruce of Scotland
1324Outbreak of war between England and France
by 1324De Praerogativa Regis (Royal Prerogative) provided for management of estates of incapacitated tenants to ensure their maintenance, with profits going to the crown
1326Isabella of France (Edward IIs wife) and Roger Mortimer landed in Essex and were unopposed; Edward II captured
1327Murder of King Edward II, his 14-year-old son Edward III becomes King of England
1358.Jan.25Death of Isabella of France, wife of King Edward II (1307-1327) of England

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Kidwelly and the lost treasure of Edward II by David Sutton
  re: Edward II's escape from London and capture
The Earls Warenne (a chronology)
Kings & Queens of England

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Edward I seized the alien priories in England on the outbreak of war with France as Edward I had done in 1285. This was again repeated by Edward III.

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