1284 (25th April)
King Edward II of England was born the fourth son of King Edward I
and his wife Eleanor of Castile
. At the time of his birth he was second in line to the throne after Alfonso (two elder brothers had died before his birth). He had five elder sisters, Eleanor, Joan, Margaret, Mary and Elizabeth. He was born at Caernarfon Castle in Wales.
1284 (late April)
Edward was given his own household and was looked after by a wet nurse and nursemaids. Giles of Oudenarde took charge of the household.
1284 (19th August)
Edward’s elder brother, Alfonso, died. Edward became heir to the throne.
1289 (6th November)
Treaty of Salisbury
King Edward I, negotiated this treaty with Scotland. It settled the Scottish succession on Margaret, Maid of Norway
and provided for her marriage to Prince Edward. Margaret was to be sent from Norway to England by 1st November 1290. The treaty was intended to stop either Robert the Bruce or the Balliol families from taking the throne of Scotland.
1289 (16th November)
A papal bull was issued allowing the marriage of Edward to Margaret, Maid of Norway.
Edward began his education. A number of Dominican friars became part of his household at this time, most likely to take charge of his education. He was also instructed in riding and military skills by Guy Ferre.
1290 (18th July)
Treaty of Birgham
This treaty reinforced the terms of the Treaty of Salisbury and included a clause that Scotland would remain an independent country.
1290 (26th September)
Margaret, the Maid of Norway, became ill and died on her way from the Orkney Islands to Scotland.
1290 (28th November)
Edward’s mother, Eleanor of Castile, died. His father was distraught at his wife’s death and ordered a lavish funeral at Westminster. Her body was taken in procession from Lincoln to Westminster and a series of crosses (Eleanor Crosses) were placed at 12 intervals along the route.
1290 (28th November)
Edward became Count of Ponthieu and Montreuil on his mother’s death.
Prince Edward was left as regent of England and Wales while his father was on campaign in the Netherlands.
1291 (26th June)
1291 (31st July)
Edward was betrothed to Blanche, half-sister of Philip IV of France.
William of Blyborough took over as controller of Edward’s household.
Edward’s betrothal to Blanche was broken when Edward’s father, King Edward I, decided to marry her himself. However, after discovering that Blanche had previously been betrothed to John, Marquis of Namur he decided not to go ahead with the marriage.
King Edward I held the Duchy of Aquitaine as a vassal of the King of France. King Philip IV of France was keen to recover Gascony, which was part of Aquitaine. A dispute between fishing boats off the Gascon coast quickly escalated into naval war between England and France.
King Edward I negotiated a marriage between Edward and Philippa, daughter of Guy of Flanders. King Philip IV of France was furious and imprisoned Guy of Flanders until he repudiated the marriage agreement. Philip IV then kept Philippa imprisoned for the rest of her life.
Edward acted as regent while his father was fighting in Flanders against Philip IV of France.
1297 (12th October)
King Edward I negotiated a truce with King Philip IV. It was agreed that there would be negotiations for a peace between the two countries.
1298 (19th August)
Edward’s sister, Eleanor, died.
1299 (4th July)
Treaty of Montreuil
After further negotiations with France, Edward I agreed to marry Philip IV of France’s half-sister, Margaret. It was also agreed that Prince Edward would marry Philip’s daughter Isabella
when she came of age.
1299 (10th September)
King Edward I married Philip IV of France’s half-sister, Margaret at Canterbury Cathedral.
Piers Gaveston joined Prince Edward’s household. The two men became close friends.
Siege of Caerlaverock
Edward went with his father on campaign against the Scots and took part in this siege.
1300 (1st June)
Edward’s half-brother, Thomas, was born to King Edward I and Margaret of France.
1301 (7th February)
Edward was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester.
Edward, Prince of Wales, led an army on campaign in Scotland and captured Turnberry Castle.
1301 (5th August)
Edward’s half-brother, Edmund, was born to King Edward I and Margaret of France.
Edward took control of the siege of Brechin Castle in Scotland.
1303 (20th May)
Treaty of Paris
This treaty furthered the peace with France and agreed the marriage of Edward to Isabella of France. It also agreed that Gascony would be given to England.
Edward tried to negotiate a peace with the Scots but after negotiations broke down he and his father lay siege to Stirling Castle.
1304 (20th July)
Stirling Castle surrendered to the English.
Edward quarrelled with his father over finances. It is likely that Edward felt that as heir to the throne he should have a higher allowance and his father disagreed.
Robert Bruce of Scotland killed his rival John Comyn.
1306 (25th March)
Robert Bruce declared himself King of Scotland and was crowned at Scone.
1306 (After March)
Prince Edward led the English army to Scotland and defeated Robert Bruce who fled into hiding.
Edward was formerly created Duke of Aquitaine.
1306 (6th May)
Edward’s half-sister, Eleanor, was born to King Edward I and Margaret of France.
1306 (22nd May)
Feast of the Swans
This was a grand ceremony held at Westminster Abbey. King Edward I knighted Edward and then Edward, as future king, knighted 266 men eligible for knighthood. Edward’s favourite, Piers Gaveston, was one of those knighted. The ceremony was followed by a feast that included two swans.
1307 (26th February)
Prince Edward’s favourite, Piers Gaveston, was banished by the King. The exact reason for the banishment are not known but it is likely due to a dispute between Edward and his father.
1307 (23rd April)
Edward’s sister, Joan, died.
Battle of Loudoun Hill
Robert Bruce came out of hiding with a Scottish army and defeated the English at the Battle of Loudoun Hill.
1307 (7th July)
Edward’s father, King Edward I, died at Burgh by Sands. Edward succeeded his father as King Edward II.
Edward recalled his favourite, Piers Gaveston from exile.
1307 (6th August)
Edward created Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall.
Edward went to France to marry Isabella of France. He controversially left Piers Gaveston in charge as regent.
1308 (25th January)
As per the terms of the Treaty of Paris 1303, Edward married Isabella, the 12 year old daughter of Philip IV of France in Boulogne, France.
King Edward II and Isabella of France travelled to England.
1308 (25th February)
Edward and Isabella were crowned at Westminster Abbey by the Bishop of Winchester. Piers Gaveston was chosen by Edward to carry the crown.
1308 (during February)
The barons were becoming increasingly concerned about the power wielded by Piers Gaveston.
The barons, supported by Isabella and her father, and probably Margaret, second wife of Edward I, again complained about the power and influence wielded by Piers Gaveston. Edward reluctantly agreed to send Gaveston away and gave him the title Lieutenant of Ireland before sending him to Ireland. The Archbishop of Canterbury stated that Gaveston would be excommunicated if he returned to England.
Edward met with the barons to discuss reform, however, Edward wanted the return of Gaveston and no progress was made.
A further meeting of the barons and members of the clergy was held but they refused to allow the return of Gaveston. At the same time Edward sent messages to the Pope assuring him that the conflict surrounding Gaveston was at an end. The Pope annulled the Archbishop of Canterbury’s excommunication threat.
Piers Gaveston returned to England.
King Edward II met with parliament and agreed to a number of reforms requested by the barons. In return parliament granted Edward taxation to fund war in Scotland.
Edward’s half-sister, Eleanor, died.
Piers Gaveston had angered many members of the nobility by his arrogance and the derogatory attitude he had towards them. Parliament was scheduled to meet but a great number of nobles stayed away as a protest against the power given to Piers Gaveston. No further taxation was granted which left Edward with serious financial problems.
Parliament met and Edward wanted to discuss funding for war with Scotland, however, the barons wanted to discuss Gaveston. The barons insisted that Edward accept a body of elected advisers who would be known as Ordainers. The Ordainers would have the power to reform the government and the royal household. Edward reluctantly agreed.
King Edward II, accompanied by Piers Gaveston, marched north at the head of an army. Edward wanted to draw Robert the Bruce into battle, but the Scots leader could not be drawn out.
Edward had been unable to provoke Robert the Bruce to battle. His money had run out and he had no choice but to return to London.
Ordinances of 1311
While Edward had been on campaign in Scotland, the Ordainers had drawn up a list of reforms that they wanted implemented. Edward had no choice but to accept the Ordinances even though they limited the power of the monarch and ordered that Gaveston be exiled.
The relationship between King Edward II and his barons had severely deteriorated.
Edward revoked the Ordinances and recalled Gaveston to England.
1312 (Late January)
Edward’s actions had served to further alienate the barons. The barons met secretly in London and drew up a plan to capture Edward, Isabella and Gaveston.
Edward, Isabella and Gaveston fled north but were followed by the Earls of Lancaster and Pembroke. In an attempt to outwit their pursuers Edward and Isabella went to York leaving Gaveston at Scarborough.
1312 (Late Spring)
Gaveston surrendered to the Earl of Pembroke who took him south. However, on the way Gaveston was seized by the Earl of Warwick who took him to Warwick Castle.
1312 (18th June)
The Earl of Warwick conducted a show trial which found Gaveston guilty of treason.
1312 (19th June)
Piers Gaveston was executed on Blacklow Hill.
1312 (after 19th June)
Edward was furious when he heard the news of Gaveston’s execution and vowed to seek revenge. Civil war was averted when the Earls of Pembroke and Surrey, who were not happy with Warwick’s actions, pledged their support to Edward.
1312 (13th November)
A son, Edward
was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella at Windsor Castle.
With most of the nobles back on side, Edward was able to secure a grant of money from Parliament to reclaim land in Scotland taken by Robert Bruce.
The rule of Gascony had continued to cause conflict between England and France. King Edward II and Isabella of France travelled to Paris to meet with King Philip IV. They were able to settle their differences amicably.
Edward’s ability to settle the Gascony question earned him increased support from the nobility. Parliament also approved new taxation which left Edward in a good financial position.
1314 (early June)
Edward learned that Robert Bruce had placed Stirling Castle under siege and it was likely to fall. He rapidly marched north.
1314 (23rd-24th June)
Battle of Bannockburn
This two-day battle between the English and the Scots, saw the English army beaten by the Scots led by Robert Bruce.
The harvest was very poor in this year leading to a rise in food prices. People blamed the poor harvest on Edward’s defeat at Bannockburn.
1314 (29th November)
Philip IV of France died. He was succeeded by Isabella’s brother, Louis X.
Robert Bruce’s brother, Edward, invaded Ireland and declared himself King of Ireland.
There were a number of revolts in Lancashire and Bristol but they were easily put down.
1315 (13th June)
A daughter, Eleanor, was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella.
There were revolts in Wales but they were suppressed.
Civil War broke out between Edward, supported by the Despenser family and the Barons led by Roger Mortimer.
1316 (13th August)
A second son, John was born to King Edward II and his wife Isabella at Eltham Palace.
Edward had two new favourites, Hugh Despenser and his son also named Hugh. Edward gave lavish gifts and money to both men.
1318 (13th June)
A daughter, Eleanor, was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella.
1318 (9th August)
Treaty of Leake
This was an attempt to find agreement between Edward and the nobles. The Ordinances of 1311 were to be reintroduced, parliament was to be summoned and any decision made by the King should be approved by a council.
The weather had been poor for the last few years and harvests had been bad across Europe. The harvest this year was better but the people were still suffering hardship and there was increasing anger at those that hoarded food and also at the royal court for continuing to requisition food.
1318 (14th October)
Battle of Faughart
Edward Bruce was defeated and captured following this battle in Ireland. He was executed.
The preference shown by Edward to his favourites once again led to tension with the nobility. Those that he had won back by re-introducing the ordinances now began to desert him.
Civil War broke out between King Edward II supported by the Despensers and the barons led by Roger Mortimer.
1321 (5th July)
A daughter, Joan, was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella. She was known as Joan of the Tower because she was born in the Tower of London where Isabella was taking refuge.
Roger Mortimer’s forces occupied London and demanded that Edward exile the Despensers. Edward had no choice but to comply.
1321 (after July)
King Edward II sent his wife, Isabella, to Leeds Castle to provoke Baron Badlesmere. The plan succeeded when Badlesmere’s wife killed some of Isabella’s men. Edward had a reason to intervene and after defeating Badlesmere quickly took control of south-east England.
Edward advanced on the Welsh Marches and the lords surrendered to him.
1322 (3rd January)
King Philip V of France died. He was succeeded by his brother Charles IV.
1322 (10th March)
Edward marched on Lancaster’s army. Realising he was outnumbered, Lancaster fled north.
1322 (16th March)
Battle of Broughbridge
Edward’s forces defeated those of the Earl of Lancaster.
1322 (22nd March)
Thomas Earl of Lancaster was executed for treason.
King Charles IV of France summoned Edward to France to pay homage in respect of his lands in Gascony.
Charles IV invaded Gascony. Edward had around 4,500 soldiers stationed there but knew that this would not be enough to fight Charles IV.
The nobility and church leaders agreed that Edward should send a force to France.
Edward’s Queen, Isabella travelled to France to pay homage to Charles IV and negotiate an end to the war. It was agreed that Edward would come to France and pay homage to Charles IV.
King Edward II agreed to the terms set by King Charles IV of France. He then gave Gascony to his son, Prince Edward. It was now young Edward that needed to pay homage to the French King.
Prince Edward crossed the English Channel in order to pay homage to King Charles IV of France.
Isabella had not returned to England but instead had remained in France with Roger Mortimer who had been exiled from England. The two had become lovers at some point.
Those nobles who continued to oppose Edward gathered around Isabella and Mortimer in France.
1326 (27th August)
Queen Isabella agreed to the betrothal of Prince Edward and Philippa of Hainault
in return for the support of the Count of Hainault.
1326 (24th September)
Roger Mortimer, Queen Isabella and Prince Edward landed at Orwell on the east coast of England with a small invasion force.
1326 (late September)
Enemies of King Edward II and the Despensers flocked to support Mortimer, Isabella and Prince Edward.
1326 (2nd October)
Isabella, Mortimer and Prince Edward reached Oxford where they were warmly welcomed.
1326 (2nd October)
King Edward and the Despensers were forced to leave London because it was becoming increasingly unsafe. They headed west.
1326 (7th October)
Isabella, Prince Edward and Mortimer reached London.
1326 (9th October)
Edward and the Despensers reached Gloucester.
1326 (16th October)
Isabella’s forces reached Gloucester. King Edward fled to Wales while Hugh Despenser the elder moved to Bristol.
1326 (18th October)
Isabella’s forces lay siege to Bristol.
1326 (26th October)
Hugh Despenser the elder was captured and executed when Bristol fell to Isabella’s forces.
1326 (2nd November)
King Edward and Hugh Despenser the younger attempted to leave England for Ireland but bad weather drove them back to Wales.
1326 (16th November)
King Edward II and Hugh Despenser the younger were captured by the forces of Mortimer, Isabella and Prince Edward. Despenser was imprisoned while Edward was placed in the custody of Henry of Lancaster.
1326 (24th November)
Hugh Despenser the younger was executed.
1326 (late November)
After taking the Tower of London, Isabella took control of the government of the country. She arranged for a council of nobles and churchmen to meet and discuss the situation.
The council of nobility and churchmen met to discuss what to do about the King. It was decided that Edward II should be forced to abdicate in favour of his son.
1327 (21st January)
Edward II became Edward of Caernarvon and his eldest son became King Edward III. Isabella and Mortimer would act as regents while the King was still a child.
1327 (2nd February)
1327 (5th April)
Edward, now styled Edward of Caernarvon was moved to Berkley Castle because it was feared that opponents of the new regime would try to effect his escape.
1327 (21st September)
Edward of Caernarvon died while in custody. Some historians believe that Edward escaped captivity and lived his life in obscurity and that it suited Isabella and Mortimer to spread the news that he had died.
First published 2015; updated and re-published Sept 21st 2020 @ 11:10 am – Updated –