King Edward II Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1284 - 1327 *** Full Name: Edward of Caernarfon *** Occupation: King of England *** Date of Birth: King Edward II was born on April 25th 1284 *** Place of Birth: King Edward II was born in Caernarfon Castle, Gwynedd in Wales *** Family background: His father was King Edward I and his mother was Eleanor of Castile. His parents had nine children, Eleanor, Joan, Alphonso, Margaret, Mary, Elizabeth and Edward *** Early life and childhood: Having had three older brothers, the first two died in infancy and the third, Alphonso died a couple of months after Edward’s birth making Edward heir apparent *** Education: He was educated by the Dominican friars *** He died on September 21, 1327
King Edward II Fact 1: King Edward II was born on April 25th 1284 and during the 13th century period in history when after Oxford was founded forty years before, Cambridge was founded in this century. Voyages of exploration are taking place and closer to home England began dominating Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
King Edward II Fact 2: Not interested in the usual noble past times of falconry or hunting he would much rather be hedging or ditching and associating with his laborers was not beneath him, he was also well known for his generosity towards his own household servants.
King Edward II Fact 3: During 1290 his father had betrothed him to Margaret of Norway when he was just six years of age. However young Margaret died in the same year.
King Edward II Fact 4: He would be heartbroken that same year as his mother died also and his father was devastated.
King Edward II Fact 5: Two more brides would be considered and abandoned, one to try and secure peace with France but war erupted, the second was to the Count of Flanders daughter but would be blocked by King Philip IV of France.
King Edward II Fact 6: Peace would eventually be found between King Philip and King Edward when Edward agreed to marry Philip’s sister Margaret and agreed that young Edward would marry his daughter Isabella when she was old enough, at the time she was only two years old.
King Edward II Fact 7: In 1301 he was declared Prince of Wales. After securing Wales father and son turned their attention to Scotland.
King Edward II Fact 8: By 1307 as another Scottish campaign got under way news reached Edward of his father’s death and he travelled from London to Burgh by Sands where his father died and where he would be proclaimed King on July 20th.
King Edward II Fact 9: The following year in 1308 Edward married Isabella as had been previously arranged.
King Edward II Fact 10: In 1314 Edward would lose many of the castles he had held in Scotland to Robert the Bruce which caused Edward to start planning a major military counterattack.
King Edward II Fact 11: The upcoming campaign would not go in Edwards favor, in fact it was a devastating loss for Edward.
King Edward II Fact 12: With such huge losses suffered at the Battle of Bannockburn, courage was on Robert the Bruce’s side and he began raiding northern England.
King Edward II Fact 13: Edward’s rule in England had not been an easy one and he was not a particularly popular King. By 1321 Civil War, long threatened, finally broke out.
King Edward II Fact 14: He soon brought the situation back under his control and punished those who had been against him.
King Edward II Fact 15: Once peace was restored again in England he again turned his attentions to Scotland.
King Edward II Fact 16: Unbeknownst to Edward Andrew Harclay, the Earl of Carlisle began negotiating with Robert the Bruce and had an agreement whereby Edward would recognize Robert as King of Scotland and Robert would stop interfering in England. When Harclay brought this to the King, so incensed was Edward, Harclay was immediately executed for his interference. However a truce would be agreed eventually.
King Edward II Fact 17: His next big problem came in the guise of Charles IV of France, Isabella’s brother and King of France. He was insisting that Edward attend him in Paris to pay homage for Gascony. Edward was not minded to attend the French King and it was eventually decided to send his wife and son, Isabella and Prince Edward to smooth matters. Charles eventually acquiesced and gained conditions largely in his favor but still wanted Edward to attend him in France for Gascony. Edward side stepped this issue by giving young Prince Edward Gascony and thus Prince Edward paid homage for Gascony.
King Edward II Fact 18: With matters finally settled in Scotland and in France, Edward awaited the return of his wife from France. She did not return. It became apparent that although their marriage had been a happy one up until his agreement with Robert the Bruce meant many of Isabella’s friends with lands and estates in Scotland fared badly under the new arrangement and when trouble began with Charles, Edward seized Isabella’s lands, she was not happy. While in France she met Roger Mortimer and it is said they began a relationship and she wanted to see Edward removed from the English throne.
King Edward II Fact 19: Prince Edward had also not returned home. Isabella and Mortimer approached the Count of Hainaut, William and proposed a marriage between Prince Edward and his daughter, Philippa for his assistance in invading England. Terms were agreed.
King Edward II Fact 20: Prince Edward, Isabella and Mortimer landed at Orwell with no resistance. The King could garner no support from his subjects and so fled London heading for Wales and ultimately Ireland, where he hoped to raise an army to repel the invaders.
King Edward II Fact 21: His party made it no further than Caerphilly Castle where he was betrayed to a search party and taken first to Monmouth Castle and on to England.
King Edward II Fact 22: Technically Isabella was still married to the King of England and although her revenge had been sough amongst those nobles of the former regime, the question as to what to do about the King was a difficult one.King Edward II Fact 23: There were no precedence’s as to what should happen in an instance such as this. Those in power felt the best solution was to replace the father with the son as it was felt Edward II had not been strong leader. It was put to the King that he abdicate willingly and the crown would pass to his son, if he did not agree, Edward would be disinherited.
King Edward II Fact 24: Edward, distraught beyond words, agreed and his son’s coronation took place on February 2nd 1327 at Westminster Abbey.
King Edward II Fact 25: Edward of Caernarvon was kept in custody by Mortimer as, although there were few that backed the old King, he still had some loyal subjects that would try to free him. It was felt he was not very well looked after but there is no absolute proof of this.
King Edward II Fact 26: Edward II died on September 21, 1327 at Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire, England aged forty three years. Whether he died or whether he was murdered remains unclear. His body was laid to rest on October 21st at Gloucester Abbey, the delay it is suggested so that Edward III could attend his father’s funeral.
Influence & Legacy: Edward III and Mortimer's relationship would deteriorate until such time as Edward III had Mortimer arrested and was charged on fourteen counts of treason, he was found guilty and executed.
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