Piers Gaveston Banished To Ireland 1308

walwyn Sat, 02/23/2013 - 09:36
Monday, June 25, 1308

On the 25th of June 1308, Edward II saw his favourite Piers Gaveston set off for Ireland from Bristol to begin his exile as Edward's lieutenant in Ireland.1


Piers' domination of Edward's coronation and his monopolization of Edward at the subsequent banquet, to the exclusion of queen Isabella and the leading barons, caused great resent amongst Isabella's family and the English aristocracy.2


At the Parliament that followed the coronation the barons wouldn't discuss any of the issues raised by Edward unless he first agreed to the removal of Piers from the kingdom. This Edward refused to do and the parliament broke up on the 10th of March with both sides preparing for war. Edward and Piers, along with Hugh Despenser the Elder, fortified Windsor Castle and broke the bridges over the Thames, whilst the barons, under the leadership of the earl of Lincoln, met at Pontefract to draw up a document that was to be presented at the reconvened parliament on April 28th.3


The barons arrived at parliament armed and the earl of Lincoln presented Edward with the proposals drawn up at Pontefract.2 The document outlined how Edward by enriching Piers with lands and positions to the exclusion of others was in violation of his coronation oath, that the crown was being diminished as a result and that his evil councillor Piers Gaveston needed to be removed from the kingdom.3


Edward refused to accept the proposals, but by mid May he came under increased pressure when his father-in-law Philip IV of France declared that unless Piers was removed from England, he would treat all supporters of Piers as his enemy. Edward also found that, apart from the earl of Lancaster, few of the leading magnates would support him and Piers and on the 18th of May finally agreed to Piers banishment. The following day the archbishop of Canterbury declared that Piers would be excommunicated if he ever returned to England.2


Due to Philip of France's animosity towards Gaveston it was decided that Piers would replace the newly appointed earl of Ulster as Edward's lieutenant in Ireland.1