A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

Aymer de Valence, by the close of 1312, had regained the king’s confidence. The murder of Piers Gaveston at the hands of the Blacklow earls as they became known had shocked contemporaries. The earl of Pembroke would from this moment do everything in his power to serve Edward II, but in doing so, provided a … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

Chepstow Castle: A Bastion of Medieval Craftsmanship

Located on a limestone promontory overlooking the River Wye, Chepstow Castle, even today, dominates the landscape and takes the breath away. It’s both magnificent in its medieval might as it is in its beauty and attention to medieval craftsmanship. Built initially by William fitz Osborn and later William the Conqueror himself, Chepstow saw a succession … More Chepstow Castle: A Bastion of Medieval Craftsmanship

Isabella: Wife, Queen, Rebel (Part Three)

Isabella’s protestations at the French court in Paris in 1325 sent out a wave of sympathy across Europe. Those that had been increasingly alienated by the Despensers and their control over the king, who seemed to protect his favourites at all costs, suddenly made Isabella a figurehead¬†for the discontented. Within weeks, disgruntled members of the … More Isabella: Wife, Queen, Rebel (Part Three)

Isabella: Wife, Queen, Rebel (Part Two)

Until 1321 Isabella’s marriage to Edward II had proved successful. They had been married for thirteen years, produced four children and worked in a mutual partnership which appeared affectionate and productive. Isabella’s powers of queenly intercession were used in a conventional way and she had the support of her husband in influencing policy where she … More Isabella: Wife, Queen, Rebel (Part Two)

All the King’s Men: The Forgotten Royal Favourites (Part Two)

By the dawn of 1318, Edward II’s royal favourites, Roger Damory, Hugh Audley the Younger and William Montacute still dominated at court. Thomas of Lancaster, the king’s cousin, remained in the north, isolated from his peers and repeatedly refusing to attend upon the king because of his suspicions of Edward’s motives for revenge for the … More All the King’s Men: The Forgotten Royal Favourites (Part Two)

All the King’s Men: The Forgotten Royal Favourites (Part One)

Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser the Younger are two names that are synonymous with Edward II. The first, the royal favourite and lover who was brutally murdered for his control of royal patronage and in consequence of his dramatic elevation to the highest ranks of medieval fourteenth century English society, still dominates the popular imagination. … More All the King’s Men: The Forgotten Royal Favourites (Part One)