Wife of King Edward II: Isabella of France

Isabella Capet was born to parents King Philip IV of France, and Jeanne of Navarre in 1295.  She was one of seven children, and three of her brothers reigned as Kings of France; Charles IV, Louis X and Philip V.

In the “Treaty of Montreuil” of June 1299, her future marriage was arranged, between Prince Edward, the son and heir of King Edward I of England.  It was a political marriage, designed to bring an end to war’s over England’s territories in France.

Isabella aged thirteen; married Edward II aged twenty-four in Boulogne on the 25th January 1308, and were crowned King and Queen of England on the 25th February 1308.

On the 13th November 1312, Edward, the future Edward III was born.

By the 1320’s, Isabella and Edward’s dislike toward’s each other had scaled to new heights.  Edward would spend more and more time, with Pier Gaveston, in what was referred to, as having a homosexual affair, than he would with his own wife.

In the March of 1325, Isabella went to France to see her brother; King Charles IV.  Her intended mission was to put an end to land disputes between England and France.  An agreement was made, that England could have Gascony and Ponthieu provided Edward attended the King’s court in Paris and paid homage to him.

It was at this time; Isabella met Roger Mortimer, an escapee from the Tower of London, who whisked her off her feet… she fell in love with him.

In the September of 1325, Edward listened to advice from his advisors, the Despenser’s, that he should not go to France, but send his son; Prince Edward.  Prince Edward, prior to leaving for France on the 12th September, received the title of “Count of Ponthieu.”

On the 21st September 1325, Prince Edward paid homage to King Charles IV of France, and in return Charles IV bestowed upon him, the title of Duke of Aquitaine.

With her son, Prince Edward, safe by her side, Isabella began setting the scene of removing her husband Edward II, from his position as King of England.

In November 1325, the English Parliament sent a petition for Isabella to return to England… she refused, which incurred the annoyance of her brother; Charles.

Isabella left France and attended the court of her brother; William II, the Count of Hainault, who assisted her, with her plans to invade England.  In return Prince Edward, now the Duke of Aquitaine and Count of Ponthieu, would marry his daughter; Philippa.

In 1326, England prepared for an invasion of their lands, which had been financed partly by money advanced from Philippa’s dowry.

On the 24th September 1326, Isabella and her loyal supporters, landed at Orwell in Suffolk.  Isabella’s army advanced on London seeking out Edward, but he left the safety of the Tower of London, with the Despensers and the Earl of Winchester.

Isabella was welcomed upon entering Bristol, in the October.  The Earl of Winchester, who resided in the castle, surrendered and was executed on the 27th October 1326, as a traitor.

King Edward II, was captured at the “Abbey of Neath” in Wales, and imprisoned in Berkeley Castle.  The Despensers were captured, put on trial, and Hugh le Despenser was executed as a traitor.

Prince Edward was crowned as King of England on the 29th January 1327, after his father; Edward II renounced his throne in favour of his son; Edward III.

Isabella of France, mother of King Edward III, and her lover Roger Mortimer, acted as Regents to the young King, until he became of age to rule.

In 1330, Edward III took control of his duties, as King of England.  Roger Mortimer was arrested on the charge of treason, and executed on the 29th November.

King Edward III imprisoned his mother, Isabella of France at Castle Rising, where she lived out her remaining years, until she died on the 22nd August 1358.

She haunts this castle, her final resting place…

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