I shudder at the memory. William Stanley: Is that the novel with 'passion' in the title that has you being 'noisily buggered' by Piers, Edward? That description is about as erotic as cholera. Thomas Becket: Good evening, my fellow maligned men and women. Can someone explain to me why writers of the 20th and 21st century, always seem to want to explain everything with sex?
My friend Henry was no prude, but even he would think it ridiculous. I took a vow of chastity in my youth and kept it, and no one in my own time doubted it. This has not stopped novelists from insisting I sexually desired Henry, and only stood up for the rights of the church as ploy for revenge because he rejected me. Because somehow, that's not far-fetched or ridiculous at all, while the idea that I stood up for ideals that were widely shared during my lifetime because I actually believed in them is considered unlikely.
I don't expect I will ever understand this. Francis Lovell: Hello, everyone, Anne Lovell's husband here. I'm King Richard III's annoying stupid friend whom he lets tag along, so it appears, and I'm always sleeping with every available woman, up to and including Margaret of York, only not with my wife.
I'm not very intelligent but I exude misplaced confidence. Or I could introduce myself as simply Francis, Viscount Lovell, but I doubt if anyone would even recognise me without these novel tropes. All of which are naturally untrue, but that's what novels have drummed into people's heads I was. Edward II: I don't understand it either, Thomas, and Francis, sorry to hear you've also been a victim of everything being reduced to sex.
What gets me as well is the novelist who moaned on social media and blogs about how horribly over-sexualised modern historical fiction is, while writing a series of novels where my dad tries to seduce the young girl who is, in this bizarre fictional universe, his own half-sister. Because my great-aunt's husband Simon de Montfort had an affair with my grandmother, supposedly, and was the real father of my father.
Simon was hundreds of miles from my grandmother when she and King Henry conceived my father, but hey, let's not let that minor detail spoil the story. When films can make William Wallace the real father of my son even though he'd been dead for seven years, and when novels and social media can make Roger Mortimer the real father of my son even though he was in Ireland at the time, anything is possible.
Right, that's all we've got time for today, folks! Hope you've found this venting session cathartic and helpful. Until the next time! Her mother was Maud of Lancaster c. Elizabeth's father was William de Burgh, earl of Ulster b. Septemberwhose mother Elizabeth de Clare b.
Elizabeth de Burgh's grandmother was, therefore, a much older first cousin of Edward III, making Elizabeth the king's first cousin twice removed as well as his second cousin. As the daughter of Maud of Lancaster, Elizabeth had a large number of relatives among the higher English nobility: her first cousins included the great heiress Blanche, duchess of Lancaster, the Percy earls of Northumberland and Worcester, the earl of Arundel, the countesses of Kent and Hereford, and Lords Mowbray and Beaumont, and her younger half-sister was the countess of Oxford.
William's father, Elizabeth's grandfather John de Burgh, died in when William was a baby, and he succeeded his grandfather Richard de Burgh as earl of Ulster after Richard's death in July William's marriage had been granted to Maud's father on 3 February Elizabeth de Burgh was just eleven months old when her twenty-year-old father was murdered near Belfast on 6 Juneand she was his sole heir and, ultimately, also the sole heir of her grandmother Elizabeth de Clare, who lived until November As for her mother, Maud of Lancaster remained a widow for ten years and married her second husband, the earl of Suffolk's younger brother Sir Ralph Ufford, in or before August After she was widowed from Ralph Ufford inMaud of Lancaster became a canoness in Suffolk for the remaining thirty years of her life.
The Buckinghamshire jurors gave her exact date of birth, whereas all the other jurors, in England and Ireland, merely estimated that she was a year old, or a year and a half, or even wrongly two years old. This might, emphasis on the mightmean that she was born in Buckinghamshire or at least spent time there in infancy. On 16 Julythere is a reference on the Patent Roll to 'Isabella, daughter and heir of William, late earl of Ulster'.
It's entirely possible that this means Elizabeth, as Isabella was a variant form of the name Elizabeth and they were sometimes used interchangably, though by this stage they seem to have been considered separate names, and Elizabeth de Burgh was otherwise always called 'Elizabeth'. This means that if Maud did give birth to two more daughters, she must have been pregnant with twins when William was killed and the IPM jurors did not know of her pregnancy.
Possibly, though, 'Isabella' simply meant Elizabeth, and 'Margaret' was a clerical error and also referred to Elizabeth - and for some reason she did not marry into the county of Guelders. Lionel of Antwerp was the royal couple's third son after Edward of Woodstock b. June and William of Hatfield b. Januarybut was their second eldest surviving son, as William died shortly after his birth. Born on 29 NovemberLionel was nearly six and a half years Elizabeth's junior.
Their only child, named Philippa after her paternal grandmother and godmother Philippa of Hainault, queen of England, was born on 16 August thirty-seven weeks after Lionel's sixteenth birthday, and thirteen years almost exactly to the day after Elizabeth and Lionel's wedding.
She came into her grandmother's large inheritance when Elizabeth de Clare died at the age of sixty-five in latebut only outlived her by three years, and died in Ireland in December when she was only thirty-one years old, just over a year after Edward III celebrated his fiftieth birthday by making his second son duke of Clarence and his third son John of Gaunt duke of Lancaster.
Lionel held all her lands for the rest of his life - he himself died in October a few weeks before his thirtieth birthday - by the custom called the 'courtesy of England', and they then passed to Elizabeth and Lionel's only child Philippa of Clarence, countess of March and Ulster, and then to her son Roger Mortimer, earl of March Information about each episode is here ; you can see me in the fourth episode, 'Manchester', talking about Edward II for a few minutes.
For the rest of us, we'll just have to hope that it's broadcast somewhere where we can see it, soon! I think what Mark and Michael are doing is really important and I was thrilled to be a small part of it. Couple of stills of me from the 'Manchester' episode:. My new book is out now in the UK! It's a detailed account of the yearwith a chapter devoted to each calendar month.
I chose as it's such a dramatic year, when the queen of England invaded her husband's kingdom with an army, so there's quite a bit about what led up to the invasion, but it's far more focused on social history than my previous books are. I wanted to shine a light on the common people of England and how they lived and worked and died, how they dressed, what they earned, what their nicknames were, who they married, how much they paid for things.
My main source for the book was Edward II's extant last chamber account, which covers the period from 24 May to 31 October and is full of the most delicious details about contemporary life as well about Edward himselfand I also used chronicles, wills, the chancery rolls, petitions and other documents now in the National Archives, inquisitions post mortem, the London coroners' rolls and city letter-books, the London Assize of Nuisance, etc.
Here's the link. Here is the hardback edition of Living in Medieval England on Amazon; it's also available via Book Depository and from the publisher's website. In my last postI looked at the three daughters of Sir Edmund Arundel d. Here's a post dedicated to Philippa Arundel, the best-known of their daughters. Philippa was perhaps the second daughter of Edmund and Sybil, younger than Katherine and older than Elizabeth, though I'm not sure about that; she might have been the youngest. Given that she might have given birth as early as c.
Her father Edmund was apparently born inand her mother Sybil perhaps in the early s or thereabouts. Over the last few years and decades, there's been a lot of confusion about Philippa and her sisters, and a good few writers have followed the Complete Peerage in stating, erroneously, that the sisters or at least one or two of them were the daughters of Richard, earl of Arundel d.
Philippa's parentage is, however, made perfectly clear by this entry on the Close Roll CCRp. Edmund was made illegitimate on the annulment of his parents' marriage in late His date of birth isn't recorded, but according to the pope he was eighteen in late and twenty in earlyand would therefore seem to have been born before the end of when his parents were only at the start of their teens.
Edmund Arundel was the much older half-brother of Joan, countess of Hereford, Essex and Northampton d. It seems highly likely that Edmund Arundel and Sybil Montacute married before he was made illegitimate in latebecause after the annulment he was no longer his father's heir and would not inherit the earldom of Arundel and his father's lands.
The earl of Salisbury hardly seems likely to agree to one of his daughters marrying an illegitimate knight who would not inherit anything - though of course Salisbury was k illed jou sting in earlyand perhaps Sybil's marriage to Edmund was arranged after his death when he was no longer around to take care of her welfare.
I haven't been able to find the date of Sybil Montacute's death, even though she was the sister of the earl of Salisbury and the countess of March and hence was pretty well-connected. Edmund Arundel was still active in Februaryin his fifties, and appointed attorneys to act for him when he went to Gascony on a military expedition.
I assume that Katherine was named in honour of her maternal grandmother, Katherine Grandisson Montacute, countess of Salisbury; I assume Elizabeth was named in honour of her aunt, Lady Badlesmere and Despenser; and I assume Philippa was named either after her aunt the countess of March or after the queen, Philippa of Hainault. The three Arundel sisters were granddaughters of the earls of Salisbury and Arundel; their uncle was the long-lived earl of Salisbury who died in when he was close to seventy, and their other half- uncles included the earl of Arundel executed by Richard II in and the famous archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Arundel.
Although the three Arundel sisters married further down the social scale than their relatives because of their father's illegitimacy, o ne of Edmund and Sybil's granddaughters, Alice Sergeauxbecame countess of Oxford by her second marriage and was the mother of John de Vere, earl of Oxford It's difficult to ascertain the Arundel sisters' dates of birth or their birth order, but it seems that all three became mothers in the s.
Elizabeth married firstly Sir Leonard Carew, who was born in Stoke Fleming, Devon on 23 April and died on 9 Octoberand their son and heir Thomas Carew was either one or two years old in Apriltherefore was born sometime at the end of the s not long before his father's death.
The rights to Robert's marriage passed to John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, who gave them to his mistress Katherine Swynford to use for her daughter Blanche Swynford at the start of though for some reason Robert and Blanche never married. Philippa Arundel is the best known of the three daughters, and I'll discuss her and her children, and her two marriages, in the next post. Thomas Carew lived until and left a son and heir, Nicholas, and the line continued; t he Carews became earls of Totnes in the seventeenth century.
John Meriet Junior died on 26 Julyand it was found that his heir was his daughter Elizabeth, who had turned four around 13 December and hence was born in Decemberand despite her youth was already married to the oddly-named Urry Seymour. Elizabeth Arundel Carew Meriet was still alive in Michaelmas termand must have died before March when her widower John Meriet - with what seems like undue haste - conceived a daughter with his second wife Maud.
I'm not even sure whom Robert Deincourt ended up marrying after he failed to marry Blanche Swynford as planned, and when he died. Hugh was named after their grandfather Hugh Mortimer, who died shortly before 28 November leaving his son Robert, aged '22 and more', as his heir to several manors in Herefordshire, Shropshire and Worcestershire.
Robert and Joyce's elder son and heir Hugh was allowed to take possession of his inheritance on 10 December as he was now 'of full age', meaning that he was born before 10 Decemberprobably not too long before, around the time that his paternal grandfather and namesake died. The possibility that Edward had a sexual relationship with Gaveston or his later favourites has been extensively discussed by historians, complicated by the paucity of surviving evidence to determine for certain the details of their relationships.
The contemporary evidence supporting their homosexual relationship comes primarily from an anonymous chronicler in the s who described how Edward "felt such love" for Gaveston that "he entered into a covenant of constancy, and bound himself with him before all other mortals with a bond of indissoluble love, firmly drawn up and fastened with a knot". Alternatively, Edward and Gaveston may have simply been friends with a close working relationship.
A more recent theory, proposed by the historian Pierre Chaplaissuggests that Edward and Gaveston entered into a bond of adoptive brotherhood. Edward I mobilised another army for the Scottish campaign inwhich Prince Edward was due to join that summer, but the elderly king had been increasingly unwell and died on 7 July at Burgh by Sands. InEdward's marriage to Isabella of France proceeded.
The pair were married in Boulogne on 25 January. Isabella was only 12 years old at the time of her wedding, young by the standards of the period, and Edward probably had sexual relations with mistresses during their first few years together. Gaveston's return from exile in was initially accepted by the barons, but opposition quickly grew. Parliament met in February in a heated atmosphere. Edward called for a fresh military campaign for Scotland, but this idea was quietly abandoned, and instead the king and the barons met in August to discuss reform.
Edward sent assurances to the Pope that the conflict surrounding Gaveston's role was at an end. Following his return, Gaveston's relationship with the major barons became increasingly difficult. The king and parliament met again in Februaryand the proposed discussions of Scottish policy were replaced by debate of domestic problems.
By now the Ordainers had drawn up their Ordinances for reform and Edward had little political choice but to give way and accept them in October. Tensions between Edward and the barons remained high, and the earls opposed to the king kept their personal armies mobilised late into Edward responded to the baronial threat by revoking the Edward The Second and recalling Edward The Second to England, being reunited with him at York in January On the way back from the north, Pembroke stopped in the village of Deddington in the Midlands, putting Gaveston under guard there while he went to visit his wife.
Reactions to the death of Gaveston varied considerably. Meanwhile, the Earl of Pembroke had been negotiating with France to resolve the long-standing disagreements over the administration of Gascony, and as part of this Edward and Isabella agreed to travel to Paris in June to meet with Philip IV.
On his return from France, Edward found his political Edward The Second greatly strengthened. ByRobert the Bruce had recaptured most of the castles in Scotland once held by Edward, pushing raiding parties into northern England as far as Carlisle. The battle began on 23 June as the English army attempted to force its way across the high ground of the Bannock Burnwhich was surrounded by marshland.
Edward stayed behind to fight, but it became obvious to the Earl of Pembroke that the battle was lost and he dragged the king away from the battlefield, hotly pursued by the Scottish forces.
After the fiasco of Bannockburn, the earls of Lancaster and Warwick saw their political influence increase, and they pressured Edward to re-implement the Ordinances of This stymied any hopes for a fresh campaign into Scotland and raised fears of civil war. Edward's difficulties were exacerbated by prolonged problems in English agriculturepart of a wider phenomenon in northern Europe known as the Great Famine.
It began with torrential rains in latefollowed by a very cold winter and heavy rains the following spring that killed many sheep and cattle. The bad weather continued, almost unabated, intoresulting in a string of bad harvests. Meanwhile, Robert the Bruce exploited his victory at Bannockburn to raid northern England, initially attacking Carlisle and Berwick, and then reaching further south into Lancashire and Yorkshireeven threatening York itself.
Edward Bruce declared himself the King of Ireland. The famine and the Scottish policy were felt to be a punishment from God, and complaints about Edward multiplied, one contemporary poem describing the "Evil Times of Edward II".
Edward had managed to retain some of his previous advisers, despite attempts by the Ordainers to remove them, and divided the extensive de Clare inheritance among two of his new favourites, the former household knights Hugh Audley and Roger Damoryinstantly making them extremely rich.
The long-threatened civil war finally broke out in England in triggered by the tension between many of the barons and the royal favourites, the Despenser family. In earlyLancaster mobilised a coalition of the Despensers' enemies across the Marcher territories. Edward began to plan his revenge. In December, Edward led his army across the River Severn and advanced into the Welsh Marches, where the opposition forces had gathered.
Lancaster, outnumbered, retreated without a fight, fleeing north. Edward punished Lancaster's supporters through a system of special courts across the country, with the judges instructed in advance how to sentence the accused, who were not allowed to speak in their own defence. The English campaign against Scotland was planned on a massive scale, with a force of around 23, men, Edward The Second. Plans to resupply the campaign by sea failed, and the large army rapidly ran out of food.
Hugh Despenser the Younger lived and ruled Edward The Second grand style, playing a leading role in Edward's government, and executing policy through a wide network of family retainers. Miracles were reported around the late Earl of Lancaster's tomb, and at the gallows used to execute members of the opposition in Bristol. Charles mobilised his army and ordered the invasion of Gascony. Edward's forces in Gascony were around 4, strong, but the French army, commanded by Charles of Valoisnumbered 7, Isabella, with Edward's envoys, carried out negotiations with the French in late March.
Edward now expected Isabella and their son to return to England, but instead she remained in France and showed no intention of making her way back. Finally, Edward had taken away her children and given custody of them to Hugh Despenser's wife. By Februaryit was clear that Isabella was involved in a relationship with an exiled Marcher Lord, Roger Mortimer.
Edward's opponents began to gather around Isabella and Mortimer in Paris, and Edward became increasingly anxious about the possibility that Mortimer might invade England. During August and SeptemberEdward mobilised his defences along the coasts of England to protect against the possibility of an invasion either by France or by Roger Mortimer.
Roger Mortimer, Isabella, and thirteen-year-old Prince Edward, accompanied by King Edward's half-brother Edmund of Woodstock, landed in Orwell on 24 September with a small force of men and met with no resistance. The city of London rose against his government, and on 2 October he left London, taking the Despensers with him. Edward continued west up the Thames Valleyreaching Gloucester between 9 and 12 October; he hoped to reach Wales and from there mobilise an army against the invaders.
Proclamations condemned the Despensers' recent regime. Day by day they gathered new supporters. Edward retreated to Caerphilly Castle and attempted to rally his remaining forces. Edward's authority collapsed in England where, in his absence, Isabella's faction took over the administration with the support of the Church. Isabella and Mortimer rapidly took revenge on the former regime. Hugh Despenser the Younger was put on trial, declared a traitor and sentenced to be disembowelled, castrated and quartered; he was duly executed on 24 November There was no established procedure for removing an English king.
On 12 January the leading barons and clergy agreed that Edward II should be removed and replaced by his son.
Shortly after this, a representative delegation of barons, clergy and knights was sent to Kenilworth to speak to the king. The coronation took place at Westminster Abbey on 2 February Those opposed to the new government began to make plans to free Edward, and Roger Mortimer decided to move him to the more secure location of Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershirewhere Edward arrived around 5 April Concerns continued to be raised over fresh plots to liberate Edward, some involving the Dominican order and former household knights, and one such attempt got at least as far as breaking into the prison within the castle.
The rule of Isabella and Mortimer did not last long after the announcement of Edward's death. They made peace with the Scots in the Treaty of Northamptonbut this move was highly unpopular.
Edward's body was embalmed at Berkeley Castle, where it was viewed by local leaders from Bristol and Gloucester. A temporary wooden effigy with a copper crown was made for the funeral; this is the first known use of a funeral effigy in England, and was probably necessary because of the condition of the King's body, as he had been dead for three months.
Edward II's tomb rapidly became a popular site for visitors, probably encouraged by the local monks, who lacked an existing pilgrimage attraction. Controversy rapidly surrounded Edward's death. Accounts that he had been killed by the insertion of a red-hot iron or poker into his anus slowly began to circulate, possibly as a result of deliberate propaganda; chroniclers in the mids and s spread this account further, supported in later years by Geoffrey le Baker's colourful account of the killing.
Another set of theories surround the possibility that Edward did not really die in These theories typically involve the " Fieschi Letter ", sent to Edward III by an Italian priest called Manuel Fieschi, who claimed that Edward escaped Berkeley Castle in with the help of a servant and ultimately retired to become a hermit in the Holy Roman Empire.
Paul C. Doherty questions the veracity of the letter and the identity of William the Welshman, but nonetheless has suspicions that Edward may have survived his imprisonment.
Edward was ultimately a failure as a king; the historian Michael Prestwich observes that he "was lazy and incompetent, liable to outbursts of temper over unimportant issues, yet indecisive when it came to major issues", echoed by Roy Haines' description of Edward as "incompetent and vicious", and as "no man of business". Edward was responsible for implementing royal justice through his network of judges and officials. Under Edward's rule, parliament's importance grew as a means of making political decisions and answering petitions, although as the historian Claire Valente notes, the gatherings were "still as much an event as an institution".
Edward's royal court was itinerant, travelling around the country with him. Music and minstrels were very popular at Edward's court, but hunting appears to have been a much less important activity, and there was little emphasis on chivalric events. Edward's approach to religion was normal for the period, and the historian Michael Prestwich describes him as "a man of wholly conventional religious attitudes". Edward enjoyed a good relationship with Pope Clement V, despite the king's repeated intervention in the operation of the English Church, including punishing bishops with whom he disagreed.
Pope John XXIIelected insought Edward's support for a new crusade, and was also inclined to support him politically. No chronicler for this period is entirely trustworthy or unbiased, often because their accounts were written to support a particular cause, but it is clear that most contemporary chroniclers were highly critical of Edward.
Power was now in the hands of the barons headed by Edward's cousin Thomas of Lancaster, who by had made himself the real ruler of England. Yet Lancaster did little to initiate reform and parts of the country collapsed into anarchy.
ByEdward and Lancaster had been partly reconciled, but the king had two new favourites, Hugh le Despenser and his son. When Edward supported the two Despensers' ambitions in Wales, a group of barons banished both father and son, prompting Edward to fight back.
He defeated Lancaster - who had appealed to the Scots for Edward The Second - at Boroughbridge in Marchexecuting him and recalling the Despensers, with whom he now ruled. Edward's wife, Isabella of France, now emerged as a focus of opposition. Inshe was sent on a diplomatic mission to France where she met and became the mistress of Roger Mortimer, an exiled opponent of Edward. In Septemberthey invaded England. There was virtually no resistance and the Despensers were captured and executed.
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