Who’s Who – Edward II

A guide to some of the key names referenced in the Edward II podcast:

Edward II – the King!

Edward I – the late father of Edward II; renowned warrior and a hard act to follow.

Isabella of France – Edward II’s beautiful wife; tries to establish herself at court but her patience finally runs out following hostile treatment from Hugh Despenser.

Piers Gaveston – a lowly knight promoted well above his station by Edward II, much to the irritation of the nobles.

Thomas, Earl of Lancaster – powerful baron and cousin of Edward II, leads the rebel barons in their opposition to Piers Gaveston and seeks to control the king.

Earl of Warwick (Guy de Beauchamp) – another powerful baron in league with Lancaster in his opposition to Piers Gaveston

Hugh Despenser(s) – confusingly there are two Hugh Despensers, the elder and the younger (a father and son act); both become Edward’s favourites later in the reign, particularly the younger Hugh, becoming notorious for their tyrannical approach

Earl of Pembroke (Aymer de Valence) – another powerful baron, but more moderate than Lancaster and Warwick and comes to support Edward II against his enemies

Roger Mortimer – powerful Marcher lord who allies with Thomas Lancaster against the Despensers; dramatically escapes from the Tower of London to link up with Queen Isabella (in more ways than one) and take the fight to Edward II

Robert the Bruce – legendary Scottish king who reasserts Scottish independence and masterminds a crushing victory against Edward in the Battle of Bannockburn