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Fascinating Facts: Edward II

This is a king I’m very familiar with, and so will be anyone who has read my book, Alina, The White Lady of Oystermouth. Edward II is the king that caused all the trouble for Alina, by being so weak and allowing Hugh le Despenser to wrap him round his little finger.

Fascinating Facts: Edward II [1307-1327]

  • He was a tall, strapping young man, handsome and intelligent.
  • His father despised him and was disappointed with his indolent ways.
  • His intimate companion was Piers Gaveston.
  • He married Isabella of France, sister of the French king.
  • He was an appallingly inept king, preferring farming and horse breeding, swimming and boating, to matters of state.
  • Gaveston was kidnapped, convicted of treason, and executed.
  • When Edward’s army was defeated at Bannockburn by the much smaller Scots army, he ran away, not stopping for fifty miles.
  • Hugh Despenser the Younger became his next intimate companion and Chamberlain.
  • In 1322, at the Battle of Boroughbridge, King Edward won his first and only victory against rebel barons.
  • Queen Isabella escaped to France and sent for her son, Prince Edward. She fell in love with Roger Mortimer and the two conspired to raise an army against Edward.
  • When the army landed in England the barons, who had had enough of Edward, joined Isabella, and Edward and Hugh fled westward. They were captured in Wales.
  • Hugh was executed and Edward was persuaded to abdicate and was never seen again.