Who's Who in Edward II's Era

Who's Who In Edward II's Era

- Edward II, also often known as Edward of Caernarfon after his birthplace in North Wales. He was born on 25 April 1284 as at least the fourteenth and perhaps the fifteenth or sixteenth, and the youngest, child of Edward I and his first queen Eleanor of Castile. His three elder brothers (see below) having predeceased their father, Edward succeeded as king of England and lord of Ireland when Edward I died on 7 July 1307. He was already prince of Wales, earl of Chester (both since February 1301), duke of Aquitaine (since May 1306) and count of Ponthieu (since his mother's death in November 1290).

- Isabella of France, Edward II's queen, c. 1295 - 22 August 1358. Isabella was the sixth of the seven children of Philippe IV, king of France (born 1268, died 1314) and Jeanne, queen of Navarre in her own right (1273-1305). Her elder sisters Marguerite and Blanche died in early childhood in the mid-1290s, and her younger brother Robert died in 1308 at the age of about eleven. Her three elder brothers were all kings of France: Louis X (1289-1316), Philippe V (1291/93-1322) and Charles IV (1293/94-1328). She married Edward II in Boulogne on 25 January 1308.

- Edward I, king of England, 17 June 1239 - 7 July 1307. Father of Edward II and at least another sixteen children. Born at Westminster as the eldest child of Henry III and Eleanor of Provence, and succeeded his father in November 1272.

- Eleanor of Castile, queen of England, c. late 1241 - 28 November 1290. Born Infanta Doña Leonor de Castilla, the twelfth of the fifteen children of King Fernando III of Castile and Leon, and known as Alianore in England. Edward II's mother, about forty-two and a half when she gave birth to him in April 1284, just under thirty years after she had married his father (Edward and Eleanor married on or about 1 November 1254 in Burgos, northern Spain). Queen Eleanor became countess of Ponthieu in her own right in 1279, as her inheritance from her mother, and is probably best-known nowadays for the Eleanor Crosses her grieving widower erected in her honour. For many years she was remembered with masses every year on the anniversary of her death by the son who could barely have known her.

- Edward II's elder brothers, the first three sons of Edward I and Eleanor of Castile: John (July 1266 - August 1271), Henry (May 1268 - October 1274), Alfonso (November 1273 - August 1284). John died in the lifetime of his grandfather Henry III so was never heir to the English throne; Henry was heir to the throne from his father's accession in November 1272 to his death aged six in October 1274; Alfonso was heir from Henry's death when he was less than a year old to his own (seemingly very sudden) death in August 1284. Edward of Caernarfon, then four months old, became England's heir. Alfonso was born in Bayonne and named after his uncle and godfather Alfonso X of Castile, and for ten years, the English grew used to the notion that they would one day have a king called Alfonso of Bayonne. Eleanor of Castile requested that Alfonso's heart be buried with her in 1290.

- Edward II's grandparents: Fernando III, king of Castile and Leon (1201-1252); Jeanne de Dammartin, queen of Castile and countess of Ponthieu in her own right (1216/20-1279); Henry III, king of England (1207-1272); Eleanor of Provence, queen of England (c. 1223-1291).

- Marguerite of France, queen of England (1278/79 - 14 February 1318). Second queen of Edward I, whom she married in September 1299 when he was sixty and she twenty, and Edward II's stepmother. (He was the first king of England since before the Norman Conquest to have a stepmother.) She was the half-sister of Philippe IV of France. Marguerite had three children with Edward I, two sons (see below) and a daughter Eleanor, born in 1306 when Edward I was almost sixty-seven and died in 1311.

- Thomas of Brotherton, earl of Norfolk (1 June 1300 - 4 August 1338), and Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent (5 August 1301 - 19 March 1330): Edward II's much younger half-brothers, sons of Edward I and Marguerite of France. Edmund was the grandfather of Richard II.

- The sisters of Edward II who survived childhood: Eleanor, countess of Bar (1269-1298); Joan of Acre, countess of Gloucester and Hertford (1272-1307); Margaret, duchess of Brabant (1275 - sometime after March 1333); Mary, nun of Amesbury (1279-1332);Elizabeth, countess of Holland, Hereford and Essex (1282-1316). Edward appears to have been very close to them, or at least to Joan, Mary and Elizabeth, the ones who remained in England. Edward I and Eleanor of Castile also had at least five daughters who did not survive childhood; the ones whose names are known were Katherine, Joan (not Joan of Acre, another one) and Berengaria.

- Edward of Windsor, the future King Edward III, born at Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312 as the eldest child of Edward II and Isabella of France. Succeeded his deposed father as a fourteen-year-old in January 1327.

- The younger children of Edward II and Isabella of France: John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall (15 August 1316 - 13 September 1336;Eleanor of Woodstock, duchess of Gelderland (18 June 1318 - 22 April 1355); Joan of the Tower, queen of Scotland (5 July 1321 - 7 September 1362).

- Adam (c. 1307/10 - shortly before 30 September 1322): Edward II's illegitimate son by an unknown mother.

- Edward II's aunts and uncles on his father's side: Edmund, earl of Lancaster, Leicester and Derby (1245-1296), and his wife Blanche of Artois, formerly queen of Navarre (c. 1248-1302); Margaret(1240-1275) and her husband King Alexander III of Scotland (1241-1286); Beatrice (1242-1275) and her husband Duke John II of Brittany (1239-1305).

- Some of Edward II's uncles on his mother's side: Alfonso X 'the Wise' (1221-1284), king of Castile and Leon; Felipe, archbishop of Seville, abbot of Castrojeriz and Covarrubias (1231-1274); Sancho, archbishop of Toledo (1233-1261); Enrique, lord of Écija, Medellín, Dueñas, Atienza, etc (1230-1304), senator of Rome, mercenary in North Africa, rebel against his brother Alfonso X, exile at Henry III's court in England for years, prisoner in Naples for decades, regent of Castile for his great-nephew Fernando IV; Fadrique, lord of Sanlúcar de Albaída, Gelves, Gizirat, Abualhinar, etc (1223-1277), secretly executed for rebelling against Alfonso X.

- Edward II's brothers-in-law: Henri III, count of Bar (1260s-1302);Jan II, duke of Brabant (1275-1312); Gilbert 'the Red' de Clare, earl of Gloucester (1243-1295); Ralph de Monthermer, earl of Gloucester (1260s-1325); Jan I, count of Holland (1284-1299);Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (c. 1276-1322).

- Some of Edward II's nephews: Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford (1291-1314); Edouard I, count of Bar (1294/95-1336); Jan III, duke of Brabant (1300-1355); John de Bohun, earl of Hereford (1306-1336); William de Bohun, earl of Northampton (1312/13-1360).

- Some of Edward II's nieces: Joan of Bar, countess of Surrey (1295/96-1361); Eleanor de Bohun, countess of Ormond (1304-1363); Margaret de Bohun, countess of Devon (1311-1391);Mary de Monthermer, countess of Fife (1297-after 1371);Margaret de Clare, countess of Cornwall and Gloucester (1294-1342); Margaret Marshal, duchess of Norfolk (c. 1322-1399);Joan of Kent, countess of Kent and princess of Wales (1328-1385).

- Some of the English earls during Edward II's reign: Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln and Salisbury (c. 1250 - 1311); John de Warenne, earl of Surrey and Sussex (1286-1347); Edmund Fitzalan, earl of Arundel (1285-1326); Guy Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (c. 1272-1315); John of Brittany, earl of Richmond (1266-1334); Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke (c. 1275-1324); Humphrey de Bohun, earl of Hereford and Essex (c. 1276-1322); Hugh Despenser the Elder, earl of Winchester (1261-1326); Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford (1257-1331, so obscure and insignificant I had to double-check his first name); Thomas, earl of Lancaster, Leicester, Derby, Lincoln and Salisbury (c. 1278 - 22 March 1322), the king's first cousin and an ally at the start of his reign, who after 1308 became his greatest enemy and rival. Many of these men were closely related to Edward II either by blood or marriage.

- The king's favourites: Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall (1270s/early 1280s - 19 June 1312); Roger Damory (1270s/early 1280s - 12 March 1322); Hugh Despenser the Younger (1287/90 - 24 November 1326).

- The queen's favourite: Roger Mortimer, earl of March (25 April 1287 - 29 November 1330).

- Edward of Caernarfon's fiancées before he was betrothed to Isabella of France in the summer of 1299: Margaret of Norway,queen of Scotland (betrothed from 1289 to her death in 1290);Blanche of France, half-sister of Philippe IV (betrothed 1291 to 1294); Philippa of Flanders, daughter of Guy de Dampierre, count of Flanders, with her sister Isabella as substitute (betrothed 1294 to 1297).


Unknown said...

Thank you for a great overview.

Eleanor of Woodstock's 'eventful' marriage to Reginald the Black and the civil wars between her two sons, Reginald the Fat and Edward, for the duchy seems to have the making of a great story.

A simple question - why do you use the name "Gelderland" instead of Guelders?

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, Monte! Yes, the conflict between Eleanor's son is a really great story. I'd love to find out more about them sometime.

Ah, no real reason, really! Guelders is probably more accurate historically, as it covered a rather larger area than modern Gelderland.

PrincessNicky said...

Was any of his sisters, aunt, uncles etc alive when Isabella overthrew him and what were their reactions

Kathryn Warner said...

His sisters Mary the nun and Margaret, duchess of Brabant were still alive. Their reaction is not recorded. Edward's half-brothers Norfolk and Kent supported Isabella in 1326/27 (she didn't 'overthrow' Edward, incidentally, as she had no power to do that - it was parliament).

RJ said...

Over the last few years, I've become a Plantagenet junkie so I am delighted to discover your blog. When I first read a historical fiction novel about Edward II, I wondered why Hollywood hadn't discovered him as his "story" is fascinating. I've since read Ian Mortimer's The Greatest Traitor and other non-fiction as well. What caused you to become so fascinated with E2 and motivated to come to his defense? (Other than the fact you think him vastly maligned?)

Kathryn Warner said...

Thanks, RJ! A combination of his being unfairly maligned and the fascination of his story, plus a strong feeling that I'd somehow found what I was meant to be doing in life!

Anonymous said...

Gah. I'm lineally descended from the Comyns from the Quincys and the Beaumonts through the Umfravilles. Plus 4 of Maud Chauworth and Henry of Lancaster's children. It's head spinning, and I have no idea how you manage to sort it out! Thank you, though, I read your blog with great anticipation. You are a treasure.

Terry Wolfman Baldwin said...

King Edward and Queen Isabella were my 22nd Grandparents , very interesting stuff My wife 's family is Scottish royalty and looks like my grandfather " Longshanks " tryed to wipe out my Wife's family " " Braveheart" Ha

Jes from Framlingham said...

We've recently moved to Framlingham and volunteer at Framlingham Castle so are learning more about the Britherton family who owned it. Margaret has a fascinating story and I would love to learn more about her and the sad fate of her sister. Your blog post on that was equal parts heartbreaking and fascinating. I hope you feature Margaret more. First Duchess in her own right and Earl Marshal too!

TN from Cairns said...

Interesting that English chronicler Thomas Walsingham describe Isabella as 12 years old at the time of her marriage in January 1308, placing her birth between January 1295 and of 1296.