A King Under Heel: The Ordinances, 1311

In early March 1310, another highly volatile parliament was underway in England in which the king, Edward II, clashed vehemently with the majority of his magnates. His cousin, Thomas of Lancaster, six years his senior and now the figurehead of noble opposition to the crown’s perceived overindulgences, began proceedings by reading out a barbed petition, … More A King Under Heel: The Ordinances, 1311

Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part Two)

[Following on from ‘Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)‘, below is the concluding part to what happened next]. ~ As the Christmas court broke up in early January 1321, the Marcher lords, which now included Roger Mortimer of Wigmore, recently returned from Ireland, retired to their estates and began … More Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part Two)

Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)

Hugh Despenser the Younger had risen in both position and power since his marriage to Edward II’s niece, Eleanor de Clare, in 1306. Although the marriage arranged by Edward I was a great match and an acknowledgement of his father’s loyalty to the late king, it did not come with great tranches of land or … More Ancient Customs & Conflict: Edward II & the Contrariant Rebels (Part One)

The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

The murder of Piers Gaveston, lover and confidant of Edward II on 19 June 1312 is well known to many. The story of his rise to the earldom of Cornwall, and subsequent clash with the mainstay of England’s nobility is also well documented.[Click here for:- Piers Gaveston: Life, Love & Death (An Overview)]┬áBut one of … More The Murder of Piers Gaveston: A Fourteenth Century Account

Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have many defining features, yet one in particular stands out for its political significance. Unlike the preceding centuries, politics in England became increasingly violent, especially among the nobility – the earls and baronial class. While rebellions had occurred at key times during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – notably with … More Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

A Solemn Affair: The Funeral of Piers Gaveston, 2 January 1315

On this day, 2 January 1315, Edward II, most likely highly emotional, finally buried his longtime favourite and lover Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, who had been murdered some two-and-a-half years earlier in June 1312. Gaveston, his boon companion since 1300, had risen sharply in status since Edward’s accession in July 1307 and had remained … More A Solemn Affair: The Funeral of Piers Gaveston, 2 January 1315

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

Aymer de Valence is not a name that leaps out of the annals of history. Many would be hard pressed to place him, let alone have a sense of his many achievements. But his achievements were great, and he had an impressive pedigree; his great-grandfather being William Marshall, one of Christendom’s greatest knights. His career … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part One)

A Royal Traitor: The Life & Execution of Thomas of Lancaster

Thomas of Lancaster, a man of royal birth and immense wealth, power and position, met a grisly end on this day, 22 March 1322; 695 years ago. He was not killed in battle, died of plague or old age, but rather on the order of his cousin King Edward II, Thomas was executed outside the … More A Royal Traitor: The Life & Execution of Thomas of Lancaster

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)

Piers Gaveston: Life, Love & Death (An Overview)

Edward II is so often remembered because of his close male favourites. The one that history records with the greatest of infamy is Piers Gaveston. His twelve years spent at the side of the king, beginning when Edward was┬ástill heir to the throne and ending with Gaveston’s untimely and dramatic death in 1312, is marked … More Piers Gaveston: Life, Love & Death (An Overview)