Edward II


Edward II,



25 April 1284, son of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile, at Caernarfon Castle, Wales


25 February 1308 at Westminster Abbey, London


24 January 1327 (forcibly)


22 September 1327, murdered at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire


Gloucester Cathedral


25 January 1308 Isabella of France, at Boulogne, France

Succeeded by:

Edward III (son)

t the age of 17, Edward was named England’s first Prince of Wales. His subsequent career was a grave disappointment.

A man of little judgment, he was far too easily influenced by unsuitable companions. The first, the flamboyant Piers Gaveston, completely overshadowed Edward’s bride Isabella. Piers’ pernicious meddling also encroached on the prerogatives of the barons. They rebelled, limiting Edward’s power and exiling Piers.

With Piers gone, Edward and Isabella grew closer. When Piers returned a year later, only to be executed by the barons, Isabella was pregnant with her first child. Three more children were eventually born.

Now feeling himself truly a king, Edward tried to follow in his father’s heroic footsteps. Renewing the campaign against the Scots, he was soundly defeated by Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn.

Edward then came under the sway of a more sinister set of favorites, the greedy and unscrupulous Despensers, father and son. With Edward’s acquiescence, the Despensers alienated the nobles and deeply humiliated the queen. Their enemies grew in number and power.

When Edward was needed in France to negotiate with Isabella’s brother Charles IV, it presented a true dilemma. Afraid to leave England lest, in his absence, his favorites be overthrown (or worse!), Edward sent Isabella to Paris as his representative. Six months later, he sent his oldest son and heir to join her.

Edward could never have imagined that his ignored and abused queen would take a dramatic revenge. Isabella formed a personal alliance with Roger Mortimer (Edward’s most implacable enemy), raised an army and, with her son by her side, invaded her husband’s kingdom.

The country rallied round the young heir and Edward II was forced to abdicate. Imprisoned in Berkeley Castle and with his son crowned as Edward III, he was murdered, presumably on the orders of his Queen and her lover.

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