King Edward II

1284 - 1327

English king who ruled Scotland for a time. Born at Caernarvon Castle (Wales), the son of King Edward I and Eleanor of Castile. His father's dream of a unified Britain was quickly to fall apart under his weak son.

The young Edward was crowned at Westminster Abbey in 1308, however he did not have the authority or military acumen of his father. He nurtured his favourites and this left a disaffected nobility which eventually led to his downfall.

Edward's failings allowed Robert the Bruce (1274 - 1329) a free reign in Scotland, recapturing the English strong-holds one-by-one, making raids into England and even capturing the Isle of Man. When Edward marched north to try to re-impose his authority Bruce defeated him at Bannockburn (1314) and Edward was never to return to Scotland. Indeed, Edward had other problems in Northern England, Ireland and France. He sent his queen, Isabella, to negotiate with her brother, the French king. She had an affair with Roger Mortimer, who was one of Edward's embittered barons, and took custody of their young son who would become Edward III.

Isabella and Mortimer returned to England, imprisoned Edward, who was forced to abdicate and then murdered at Berkeley Castle (Gloucestershire). He is buried in Gloucester Cathedral.

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