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King Edward III of England Part two - 1323-1326

I had mentioned that this next post would include up to the year 1330, but I later decided to save the first years of the young King's reign for part 3.

By the year 1323, Queen Isabella and King Edward II were spending more time apart and allegedly by 1324 young John and Eleanor had been removed from their mother's care. Her income was also removed. The reason for this, was because there was grave tension between the realms of England and France and Edward simply did not trust his spouse.
What, would young Edward have made of this situation? Would he have sympathised with his mother, or would he have agreed wholeheartedly with his father?

The war of Saint-Sardos (based around English rule in Gascony - the last of the great Angevin empire), was the bubbling undercurrent of tension between Edward II and Charles of France. Charles did not want the English to remain as vassals to this stretch of land and was very eager to settle any disputes between the Gascon subjects and Edward II (also duke of Aquitaine).
War of Saint-Sardos

The other issue, was that Edward II had not yet performed homage to Charles for English lands in Gascony and had offered up some weak excuses as to why he had not complied. By January 1325, Charles had agreed that Queen Isabella (also his sister), could travel on Edward II's behalf in order to negotiate terms. One can guess that she tried her hardest for Edward II, for Charles relented and said that if he could not sail over the Narrow Sea, then the young earl of Chester; young Edward could perform homage on the King's behalf.
The King was now in a predicament, if he he allowed his eldest, precious son to cross into France, then there would be every chance that the Queen could hold the boy hostage until her income/estates were restored, however, if he sailed over himself, then he would be leaving his favourite Despensers to the mercy of the irate magnates who had remained loyal to those who had fallen at Boroughbridge (March 1322).

It must also be noted that Rogert Mortimer the younger (captured at Shrewsbury with his uncle in January 1322), had escaped the Tower in August 1323 and had otherwise become somewhat involved with Queen Isabella. Edward II could simple not allow his son to fall into the hands of the Mortimer as this would further propel the chance that the boy would not be released after homage was performed.
Eventually, in September 1325, 12 year old Prince Edward traveled to Dover with Edward II and received the duchy of Aquitaine and all English lands in France. The Prince was then placed under the guardianship of Walter de Stapledon (bishop of Exeter) and Sir Henry Beaumont.

For young Edward himself, this must've seemed like an adventure, and a huge responsibility rested on his shoulders for he was performing a Kingly act, was representing the throne of England.He must also have been anxious to see his mother as we do know he was close to her and adored her. If she insisted he remained with her in France, then he would have no choice but to do so.

As it so happens, Queen Isabella did insist the Prince stay in France, and she too refused to sail back to her husband in England. Charles, her brother, did nothing to persuade her to return to Edward II and refused to expel her from the country.
The King and Queen of England's united front was now crumbling and by December 1325, young Edward received a letter from his father asking him to take his leave. The Prince, did not abandon his mother, and replied saying the Queen would not allow it.
Whether or not he was able to leave, does not matter. From Edward II's point of view, his son had disobeyed him and responded in March 1326. He was evidently not best pleased...


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