EDWARD II, king of England: b. Carnar von Castle in 1284; d. Berkeley Castle, 21 Sept. 1327. He was the first English Prince of Wales and succeeded his father, Edward I, in 1307. He was of an agreeable figure and mild dispo sition, but indolent and fond of pleasure. His first step was to recall Piers de Gaveston, a young Gascon, whom his father had banished, and whom he created Earl of Cornwall, and married to his niece. He then went to France to espouse the Princess Isabella, to whom he had been contracted by his father, leaving Gaveston guardian of the realm. Soon after his return the barons associated against the favorite, whom they more than once obliged the king to send away. He was, however, as constantly recalled when the immediate danger was over, until an open rebellion took place, and Gaveston was captured and executed as a public enemy. In 1314 Edward assembled an immense army to check the progress of Robert Bruce, but was completely defeated at Bannockburn. After the death of Gaveston he selected another favor ite, Hugh le Despenser, upon whom he lavished favors of every kind, until the barons again rebelled, and the Parliament doomed Despenser and his father to exile. The king was obliged to confirm the sentence. Edward, however, on this occasion, in concert with the Despensers, contrived to raise troops and attack the barons, at the head of whom was his cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, who, being taken prisoner, was executed at Pomfret. Edward subsequently
made another fruitless attempt against Scotland, which ended in the conclusion of a truce of 13 years. In 1324 Queen Isabella went to France, and while there entered into a correspondence with several English fugitives, in whose hatred to the Despensers she participated. Among these was Roger Mortimer, a young baron of the Welsh marshes, between whom and Isabella a criminal intercourse followed, in consequence of which the queen was still more determined upon the ruin of her weak and unhappy hus band. Having formed an association with all the English malcontents, and aided with a force by the Count of Hainault, she embarked for England in September 1326, and landed in Suf folk. Her forces seized the Tower of London and other fortresses, captured and executed both the Despensers without trial, and at length took the king prisoner. Edward was confined in Kenilworth Castle, and in January 1327 his deposition was unanimously voted in Parlia ment, on the ground of incapacity and misgov ernment. A resignation of the Crown was soon after extorted of him, and he was transferred to Berkeley Castle, where Mortimer dispatched two ruffians, who murdered him, in the 20th year of his reign and 43d year of his age. Con sult Vickers, 'History of England, 1272-1485' (London 1912).