In this post I'm taking a look at Edward II's brothers-in-law. On Isabella's side he had three, all kings of France, and via his elder sisters he had six. Edward and his father-in-law Philip IV knighted all three of Edward's French brothers-in-law in a glittering ceremony in Paris in June 1313.
Louis X, king of France and Navarre (4 October 1289 - 5 June 1316)
Louis was the eldest son of Philip IV and Joan, queen of Navarre, and the only one of their children whose date of birth is known. He was born in 1289 four years after his father succeeded to the French throne, and when his mother Queen Joan was about sixteen or seventeen. Louis inherited the kingdom of Navarre on his mother's death in April 1305 when he was fifteen, and married his first wife Marguerite of Burgundy, his first cousin once removed - via her mother she was the granddaughter of Louis IX, Louis's great-grandfather - the same year. Louis's nickname was le Hutin, meaning the Quarreler or the Headstrong, an interesting insight into his personality. He and Marguerite had one child, Queen Joan II of Navarre, in January 1312. In 1314, it was discovered that Marguerite had been committing adultery, and she was imprisoned in Château Gaillard, where she died in 1315. A mere five days after her death - by murder or natural causes - Louis married his second wife Clemence of Hungary, daughter of Charles Martel, king of Hungary and Klementia von Hapsburg. He died at the age of only twenty-six on 5 June 1316, supposedly after drinking cold water following a vigorous game of real tennis. Queen Clemence gave birth on 15 November to his posthumous son, King John I of France, who only lived for five days.
Philip V, king of France and Navarre (1291/93 - 3 January 1322)
Second son of Philip IV and Queen Joan of Navarre, and succeeded to the French throne on the death of his nephew John I in November 1316. He was crowned at Rheims in January 1317. Philip married Jeanne or Joan of Burgundy, elder daughter and heiress of Othon IV, count palatine of Burgundy, and of Mahaut, countess of Artois in her own right. Philip and Joan's two sons died in childhood, and they had four daughters who survived to adulthood. Philip was known as le Long, the Tall. He met his brother-in-law Edward II, who paid homage to him for the lands he owned in France, at Amiens in late June 1320, and on a personal level at least, if not as kings, the two men seem to have been on reasonably good terms: Philip sent Edward gifts of grapes and rose sugar in 1316 and 1317, and in August 1316 Edward paid the messenger who brought him news of Philip's son Louis in twenty marks. Philip died at the beginning of 1322, aged only about thirty or so.
Charles IV, king of France and Navarre (1293/94 - 1 February 1328)
Third son of Philip IV and Joan of Navarre, succeeded his brother Philip V in January 1322, and last of the Capetian kings of France. Charles' nickname was le Bel, the Fair or the Handsome, as was his father's. His first wife Blanche of Burgundy was the sister of Joan of Burgundy who married his brother Philip, above, and was also convicted of adultery in 1314 with their cousin Marguerite. Blanche was imprisoned, but the pope refused to annul her marriage to Charles, so he had to wait until her death in 1322 to marry again. Charles died on 1 February 1328 leaving his third wife (and first cousin) Jeanne d'Evreux pregnant; she gave birth exactly two months later to a daughter Blanche, so the throne of France passed to his cousin Philip VI, first of the Valois kings of France.
Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (2 September 1243 - 7 December 1295)
Eldest son of Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Maud de Lacy, and the most influential nobleman in England in the late thirteenth century. Gilbert was first married to Henry III's half-niece Alice de Lusignan, with whom he had two daughters, Isabel, Lady Berkeley and Joan, countess of Fife. This marriage was annulled in 1285, and he married Edward I's daughter Joan of Acre on 30 April 1290, when he was forty-six and Joan seventeen or eighteen. Gilbert and Joan had four children, Gilbert, his successor as earl of Gloucester, Eleanor, Margaret and Elizabeth. It's interesting to note that Gilbert had five daughters and none of them was named after his mother Maud, which is highly unconventional. Gilbert died at the age of fifty-two in December 1295, a few weeks after the birth of his youngest child.
Ralph de Monthermer, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (c. 1262 - 5 April 1325)
A squire of humble and possibly illegitimate birth who married Edward I's widowed daughter Joan of Acre in early 1297, to the utter fury of the king, who was negotiating her marriage to the count of Savoy at the time. Ralph was imprisoned for a while, but Edward I eventually had to accept the marriage, and released him. Ralph was earl of Gloucester and Hertford by right of his wife until her death on 23 April 1307. With Joan Ralph had four children: Mary, countess of Fife, Joan, a nun, Thomas and Edward. He married his second wife Isabel Hastings, one of the sisters of Hugh Despenser the Younger, in 1318, without Edward II's permission. Edward soon forgave the couple, however, and respited their fine. He and Ralph seem to have been on good terms: of Edward's letters of 1304/05 which fortuitously survive, eleven of them were sent to his brother-in-law, and one was addressed to noble home son trescher frere, 'the noble man his very dear brother'.
Henri III, count of Bar (late 1250s/1260s - September 1302)
Son of Theobald II (died 1291) and Jeanne de Toucy, and married Edward I's eldest daughter, twenty-four-year-old Eleanor, at Bristol in September 1293, a wedding attended by her nine-year-old brother Edward of Caernarfon. Eleanor had long been betrothed to Alfonso III of Aragon, but he died suddenly in June 1291 while preparing their wedding. The county, later duchy, of Bar, incidentally, lies in modern-day Lorraine in eastern France. Henri and Eleanor had two children: Edouard I, count of Bar, who drowned in 1336, and Joan or Jeanne, countess of Surrey.
John I, count of Holland (1284 - 10 November 1299)
John married Edward of Caernarfon's sister Elizabeth in Ipswich in January 1297, when he was twelve and she fourteen. Edward gave them a gold cup as a wedding gift. John was the only (surviving) son of Floris V, count of Holland, and Beatrice, one of the many daughters of Guy de Dampierre, count of Flanders. His sister Margaret was betrothed to Edward I's son Alfonso, who died suddenly in August 1284. John succeeded his father as count of Holland in June 1296 when he was eleven or twelve, and returned to England, where he had spent much of his childhood, a few months later to marry Elizabeth. He died suddenly at the age of only fifteen, childless, and was succeeded by his father's cousin John II, who was the paternal grandfather of Edward III's queen Philippa of Hainault.
John II, duke of Brabant, Lothier and Limburg (27 September 1275 - 27 October 1312)
John was the son of Duke John I of Brabant and Margaret, another daughter of Guy de Dampierre, count of Flanders, and so was John I of Holland's first cousin. He was the nephew of Marie of Brabant, second queen of Philip III of France, and so was also the first cousin of Edward II's stepmother Queen Marguerite. John married Edward's sister Margaret in Westminster Abbey in July 1290, when he was fourteen and ten months and she fifteen and four months; they had been betrothed since 1278. Their marriage seems not to have been a successful one: John left Margaret behind in England when his father died in May 1294 (he was killed jousting), and they apparently didn't begin cohabiting until 1297. Their only child Duke John III was born sometime in 1300, when they were both twenty-four or twenty-five, a decade after their wedding. John did, however, also have four illegitimate sons, who were all, confusingly, also called John. He died in Brussels at the age of thirty-seven.
Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex, constable of England (c. 1276 - 16 March 1322)
Son of Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (died 1298), and Maud Fiennes, who was the sister of Roger Mortimer's maternal grandfather William Fiennes. Humphrey married Edward of Caernarfon's widowed sister Elizabeth, countess of Holland, in November 1302, and they had numerous children, including two earls of Hereford, William, earl of Northampton, Eleanor, countess of Ormond, and Margaret, countess of Devon. Humphrey's relations with his brother-in-law Edward II were rather turbulent; sometimes they were allies and sometimes not. Humphrey was present with the earl of Lancaster at Piers Gaveston's murder in June 1312, which it is hard to imagine Edward ever forgave him for, but was one of only three English earls to fight for the king at Bannockburn two years later, the others being Gloucester and Pembroke. As a Marcher lord, Humphrey joined the Contrariant rebellion of 1321/22, and Hugh Despenser the Younger gives us an insight into Humphrey's character at this time by telling the sheriff of Glamorgan that Humphrey was "even more gloomy and thoughtful than usual." Humphrey was killed fighting against the royal army at the battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322, apparently - the poor, poor man - by having a pike skewered inside his anus as he fought on the bridge. Horrible.