21st May, 2018
Born on 25th April, 1248 at Caernarfon Castle, Wales, Edward II was the fourth son of King Edward of England. He was titled as the ‘Prince of Wales’ when he was seventeen. After the death of his elder brother, Prince Alphonso, Edward II became the heir of the great King Edward’s throne.
1.Relation with Piers Gaveston
The tall and handsome youth, Edward II was often claimed to be homo-sexual due to his excessive devotion towards an English nobleman of Gascon origin, Piers Gaveston. King Edward I banished Gaveston during his reign but after his death, King Edward II re-called him. He was even given precious jewels by Edward II which he received as presents when he married, Isabella of France. Later, Gaveston was made the Earl of Cornwall by the king.
2.Queen Isabella’s rebellion Although married to the ‘she-wolf of France’ Edward II maintained his addiction towards homo sexual favourites. Later, Queen Isabella was sent to France on a homage mission for England’s French possessions. She then along with her lover, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, plotted against her husband. The couple was sent to Hainault by French King on agreement of marriage between Isabella’s son, Edward III and Count of Hainault’s daughter Phillipa in exchange of armed support from Hainault for Queen’s rebellion. On September 24th 1326, Isabella, invaded England and was joined by many dissatisfied nobles of the country.
3.The Battle of Bannockburn
The encounter between Edward II and Scottish king Robert the Bruce was one of the most resounding defeats in British history. The English army was hemmed in to a tight space in between the River Forth and the Bannockburn. The Scots bore down on them and routed Edward's army, inflicting a devastating defeat. King Edward himself vanished from the battlefield and took shelter in Dunbar from where he went back to England using a boat.
4.The Death of the king
The King was imprisoned at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in January 1327. He was kept in a dungeon with rotting animals with the hope that he would be infused with some disease and hence die. However, Edward II was an extremely fit man and doggedly survived the treatment. Some theories state that Edward was murdered on the orders of Isabella. The murder was bestial and left no outward marks on the king’s body. However, this theory of the death of Edward is not officially proven and is still an unsolved mystery.