Another post about Piers Gaveston, this one looking at some of the primary sources relating to his second exile from England in 1308.
Parliament met in the monks' refectory of Westminster Abbey shortly after Edward II's coronation on 25 February 1308, and according to the chronicles of Walter of Guisborough and the Annales Paulini - there is no official parliamentary record - demanded Piers' exile. Edward refused, and left Westminster with Piers and spent Easter preparing for war against his magnates* at Windsor Castle, fortifying it as a stronghold where his beloved could remain in safety. As a further precaution, Edward ordered the nearby bridges at Staines and Kingston to be dismantled, which must have caused the locals considerable annoyance and inconvenience, and switched the custody of key royal castles to men he could trust, among them Hugh Despenser the Elder, John Haudlo, William Latimer and Piers Gaveston himself.
* Or most of them, rather; his cousin Thomas of Lancaster, later his greatest enemy and the man who had Piers Gaveston killed in 1312, was on his side at this point, and was rewarded by being appointed steward of England on 9 May 1308.
1) Here's my translation of a letter Piers wrote (or rather, his scribe did) to his retainer Sir Robert Darcy on 1 April 1308, at his castle of Wallingford, where Edward spent several days on the way from Westminster to Windsor. It's one of the very few letters Piers wrote which still exists. (Note: The 'we' and 'us' are conventional, not Piers using the royal plural; Easter Sunday fell on 14 April that year; Edward II's itinerary shows that he had left Wallingford on 30 March and arrived at Windsor, via Caversham, the following day.)
"Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall [Piers de Gavaston counte de Cornewayle], to our very dear and beloved bachelor Sir Robert Darcy, greetings and very dear affection. Know that we have very well understood your kind letters which you sent us, by which we have understood that you are certain of having 20 armed men, some of them knights, some squires, and 100 footmen, and other people of whom you are certain. Know that it is our wish that you remain occupied with this business, and we ask you especially to do it with all your power, as in this matter we have placed our trust in you entirely. But we ask that you will come to us this next Easter at Windsor [Wyndelesoures], and do not leave us, for love of us [pur lamur de nous]. Regarding that which you have asked us, that we would be pleased to request our lord the king [nostre seynur le rei] for the custody and the marriage of the son and heir of Sir Joh' Moriet*, who is dead, know that Sir Hugh Despenser [sire Hue le Espenser, the Elder] asked for them three days before your letter came to me, and the king granted them to others, but inform us as soon as you can, should you discover anything you wish for yourself, and we will take pains that you will have it, as far as we are capable and able. May our lord keep you. Given at Wallingford, the first day of April." (Cited in the original French in J.R. Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster 1307-1322: A Study in the Reign of Edward II, p. 335.)
* Sir John Meriet, one of the men knighted with the future Edward II in May 1306, died shortly before 16 March 1308. Edward granted custody of his son John (aged ten or eleven) and his lands in Somerset and Lincolnshire, and the marriage of his widow, to Sir Ingelram Berenger, household knight and close associate of Hugh Despenser the Elder: Calendar of Fine Rolls 1307-1319, p. 19; Calendar of Patent Rolls 1307-1313, pp. 94, 133; Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. 5, pp. 27-28. The last part of Piers' letter is especially interesting because it demonstrates the great esteem in which Edward II held Despenser the Elder, one of the few magnates on his side at this juncture - the king didn't withdraw his offer to grant wardship of Meriet's heir to one of Despenser's retainers even when Piers Gaveston wanted it for one of his. It's also interesting for the insight into royal patronage, to see Despenser using his closeness to the king to ask for a favour for one of his most loyal associates (and why not?).
2) These are the second and third articles of the famous Homage et serment declaration which the anti-Piers magnates, led by the earl of Lincoln, presented to Edward II on 30 April 1308, the day he returned to Westminster from Windsor. (Two days late for parliament, which should have begun on the 28th; this would certainly not be the last time Edward arrived late for parliament.) Notice how they pointedly didn't use Piers' name:
"As regards the person who is talked about [la persone dount home parle, i.e. Piers], the people ought to judge him as one not to be suffered because he disinherits the crown and, as far as he is able, impoverishes it. By his counsel he withdraws the king from the counsel of his realm and puts discord between the king and his people, and he draws to himself the allegiance of men by as stringent an oath as does the king, thereby making himself the peer of the king and so enfeebling the crown, for by means of the property of the crown he has gathered to himself and put under his control the power of the crown, so that by his evil deeds it lies solely with him to determine whether the crown should be destroyed and he himself made sovereign of the realm in treason towards his liege lord and the crown, contrary to his fealty.
Since the lord king has undertaken to maintain him against all men on every point, entirely without regard to right reason, as behoves the king, he cannot be judged or attainted by an action brought according to law, and therefore, seeing that he is a robber of the people and a traitor to his liege lord and his realm, the people rate him as a man attainted and judged, and pray the king that, since he is bound by his coronation oath to keep the laws that the people shall choose, he will accept and execute the award of the people." (Cited and translated in English Historical Documents, vol. iii: 1189-1327, ed. Harry Rothwell, pp. 525-526.)
3) Edward finally gave in, and on 18 May 1308 agreed to banish Piers:
"Edward, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland and duke of Aquitaine, to all those who see or hear these letters, greetings. We make known to you that between this day and the day that Sir Piers Gaveston [monsire Pieres de Gavaston] must leave our realm, that is, the morrow of the Nativity of St John the Baptist next [25 June], we will not do anything, nor suffer anything to be done, as far as within us lies, by which the departure of this same Piers [meisme celui Peres] might be impeded or delayed in any way, according to the counsel given to us by the prelates, earls and barons of our realm, with which we have agreed. In witness of this, we have made these open letters. Given at Westminster, the eighteenth day of May, in the first year of our reign." (My translation; given in French in Foedera 1307-1327, p. 44, and Annales Londonienses 1195-1330, in W. Stubbs, ed., Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II, vol. 1, )
département of Lot-et-Garonne)