Apologies for not updating the blog more regularly! What with visits, work, illness and preparing for Christmas, I just haven't had time, unfortunately. This will also be the last post for a while, as I'm off home tomorrow to the Lake District for my Christmas holidays. Amazingly, this is the seventh Christmas since I started writing the blog in early December 2005.
Six years later, there are still a few misunderstandings about Edward II online - though, I hope, rather fewer than there used to be before I got started! Here are some recent ones I've found on forums, blogs and websites:
"In 1327, Welsh conspirators needed to murder King Edward II without clear evidence of their involvement. One of them sent this note to the perpetrators: “Kill Edward not to fear is good”. Purposely ambiguous, punctuation was left out in case the plot backfired. So poor little Edward did die at the mercy of a scalding iron shimmied up his anus where, quite frankly, the one thing that could’ve saved his colon was a colon."
This story about deliberately ambiguous punctuation, which appears in Christopher Marlowe's c. 1592 play about Edward, is an old, thoroughly discredited myth. And I can't help but laugh at the notion that it was 'Welsh conspirators' who murdered him. It was Welsh conspirators who were trying to save him.
"Wasn't Edward II the one who died so ignominiously at Pontrefact Castle? I'm really having to scrape the sides of the memory bowl for this! But I believe some of his ministers grabbed him and stuck a hot fire poker up his ass cuz his latest lover had too much power."
It's amazing how many people confuse Edward with his great-grandson Richard II in many ways.
"We have a family tradition that Edward II asked my ancestor Thomas the Swine Worrier for a maid to tend his needs ( so it is said). As that "maid " was my N th degree great grandmama--it gives credence to our family motto " Regis Futare" or, loosely translated "Bad Luck". In which case, your loyal fealty is most welcome."
Although obviously someone was the mother of Edward II's illegitimate son Adam, it's hard to imagine that story being true or Edward being the kind of man who would demand a woman like that. :)
"I am aware there are parentage questions of at least two kings: Edward III: was his father Edward II or William Wallace? (source: movie Braveheart)"
"[Roger] Mortimer and Queen Isabella are the biological parents of Edward III because Edward II wasn't up to the job (he preferred Piers Gaveston). This is conjecture (but not without some evidence) but what is true is that Mortimer was the ancestor of Edward IV, Edward V, Richard III, and all monarchs from Henry VIII onwards. Somebody should make a movie about Mortimer and Isabella although it might upset the current Royal family to have it made public that they are all descended from the bastard Edward III. Big skeleton in a very big cupboard."
Yes, that's the Roger Mortimer who was in a different country to Isabella at the time that Edward III, and her and Edward II's younger children, were conceived. (So I would love to see the 'evidence' mentioned.) To add insult to injury, the person who wrote this idiocy linked to a blog post of mine as 'proof' that Edward II was murdered by red-hot poker. Huh!
"Edward II was purportedly homosexual, and he spent most of his time with Piers Gaveston and then the Despensers, so Queen Isabella grew resentful. She did bear her husband a son, the future Edward III, but one has to wonder if Edward II's nobles and subjects believed that the child was his."
Why would they not?
"The French princess was about 12 years old when she was brought over to marry the Prince Of Wales (Edward II). She and Wallace never met. She was it appears indeed impregnated by someone other than Eddie II, but it was not Wm. Wallace."
This is still a common misconception, despite my best efforts. Still, a Google.com search for "Edward II children" brings up three of my blog posts in the top five results, so the message will spread, I hope!
Some links to previous Christmas posts of mine, with info about the festive season in Edward II's time, are here, here and here. Looking further afield, Ian Mortimer's essay about Edward's daughter-in-law Philippa of Hainault is well worth a read, as is his What's New page, with lots of great links to interesting articles and talks of his. And finally, a reminder that if you haven't read my article in the English Historical Review yet, please do so soon. :-) Have a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and see you in 2012 for lots more Edward II information and myth-busting!