Plantagenet of England, Edward II

Birth Name Plantagenet of England, Edward II
Gender male
Age at Death 43 years, 4 months, 26 days


Edward II (1284-1327), Plantagenet king of England (1307-1327), whose incompetence and distaste for government finally led to his deposition and murder.

Edward was born on April 25, 1284, at Caernarfon (Caernarvon), Wales, the fourth son of King Edward I and his first wife, Eleanor of Castile. The deaths of his older brothers made the infant prince heir to the throne; in 1301 he was proclaimed Prince of Wales, the first heir apparent in English history to bear that title. The prince was idle and frivolous, with no liking for military campaigning or affairs of state. Believing that the prince's close friend Piers Gaveston, a Gascon knight, was a bad influence on the prince, Edward I banished Gaveston. On his father's death, however, Edward II recalled his favorite. Gaveston incurred the opposition of the powerful English barony. The nobles were particularly angered in 1308, when Edward made Gaveston regent for the period of the king's absence in France, where he went to marry Isabella, daughter of King Philip IV. In 1311 the barons, led by Thomas, earl of Lancaster, forced the king to appoint from among them a committee of 21 nobles and prelates, called the lords ordainers. They proclaimed a series of ordinances that transferred the ruling power to themselves and excluded the commons and lower clergy from Parliament. After they had twice forced the king to banish Gaveston, and the king had each time recalled him, the barons finally had the king's favorite kidnapped and executed.

In the meantime, Robert Bruce had almost completed his reconquest of Scotland, which he had begun shortly after 1305. In 1314 Edward II and his barons raised an army of some 100,000 men with which to crush Bruce, but in the attempt to lift the siege of Stirling they were decisively defeated (see Bannockburn, Battle of). For the following eight years the earl of Lancaster virtually ruled the kingdom. In 1322, however, with the advice and help of two new royal favorites, the baron Hugh le Despenser, and his son, also Hugh le Despenser, Edward defeated Lancaster in battle and had him executed. The le Despensers thereupon became de facto rulers of England. They summoned a Parliament in which the commons were included and which repealed the ordinances of 1311 on the ground that they had been passed by the barons only. The repeal was a great step forward in English constitutional development, for it meant that thenceforth no law passed by Parliament was valid unless the House of Commons approved it.

Edward again futilely invaded Scotland in 1322, and in 1323 signed a 13-year truce with Bruce. In 1325 Queen Isabella accompanied the Prince of Wales to France, where, in accordance with feudal custom, he did homage to king Charles IV for the fief of Aquitaine. Isabella, who desired to depose the le Despensers, allied herself with some barons who had been exiled by Edward. In 1326, with their leader, Roger de Mortimer, Isabella raised an army and invaded England. Edward and his favorites fled, but his wife's army pursued and executed the le Despensers and imprisoned Edward. In January 1327, Parliament forced Edward to resign and proclaimed the Prince of Wales king as Edward III. On September 21 of that year Edward II was murdered by his captors at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire.

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Event Date Place Description Sources
Birth 1284-04-25 Carnavon Castle, Carnavon, Caernarvonshire, Wales   1
Death 1327-09-21 Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire, England   1

Age: 43y 4m 27d


Relation to main person Name Birth date Death date Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Plantagenet of England, Edward I1239-06-171307-07-07
Mother of Castile, Eleanor12441290-11-28
    Sister     Plantagenet, Katherine 1264-06-17
    Sister     Plantagenet, Eleanor 1264-06-18
    Sister     Plantagenet, Joan 1265-01-00
    Brother     Plantagenet, John 1266-07-10
    Brother     Plantagenet, Henry 1268-05-06
    Sister     England, Joan (of Acre) 1272 1307-04-23
    Brother     Plantagenet, Alphonso 1273-11-24
    Sister     Plantagenet, Margaret 1275-03-15
    Sister     Plantagenet, Berengeria 1276-05-01
    Sister     Plantagenet, Mary 1279-03-11
    Sister     Plantagenet, Elizabeth 1282-08-07 1316-05-05
         Plantagenet of England, Edward II 1284-04-25 1327-09-21
    Sister     Plantagenet, Isabel
    Sister     Plantagenet, Alice
    Sister     Plantagenet, Beatrice
    Sister     Corona, Lucy


Family of Plantagenet of England, Edward II and Capet of France, Isabella

Married Wife Capet of France, Isabella ( * 1292 + 1358 )
Event Date Place Description Sources
Marriage 1307-01-22 Boulogne, Pas-de-Calais, France   1
Event Note

M: 22 Jan 1307/8

Name Birth Date Death Date
Plantagenet of England, Edward III1312-11-131377-06-21
of Eltham, John1316
Plantagenet, Eleanor1318
Plantagenet, Joan1321