Hey there, Sunday Weekend Warriors! If you’re relocating to London and curious to learn a bit about England’s history, we’re just getting ready to revisit that new train-wreck of a monarch, King Edward II.
Ouch, am I being harsh? I’m just thinking that losing to Scotland, allowing himself to be influenced by his favorites, and upsetting the nobility to the point of exiling and executing one of those favorites can’t be signs of a greatly respected king. The magnates have rallied behind Edward‘s cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, who succeeds in imposing restrictions on Edward‘s power, and in acquiescing to this just enough, the King is able to avoid full-out rebellion. However, he takes up with another favorite, Hugh le Despenser, and falls under his influence. His resolve restored, he confronts Lancaster in battle in 1322 and is victorious. He executes Lancaster and rules with Hugh, but continues to lose favor, leaving nearly thirty executed barons and knights in his wake with a great number of others in exile.
Oh and it gets better. Edward has a wife, Isabella, and he sends his queen to France to negotiate with the king on his behalf. She subsequently engages in an affair with Roger Mortimer, one of the English barons in opposition to her husand. The couple then invade England, execute le Despenser and his son, and depose Edward. Edward II is imprisoned and ultimately murdered.