King Edward II: The Man and the Mystery
with Kathryn Warner (Independent Scholar)
at Sutton Hoo, Saturday, 24th June, 2017.
Edward II was king of England from 1307 to 1327, and the first to be deposed. This study day looks at this most unconventional of kings, his turbulent and dramatic reign, and the mystery surrounding his murder or possible survival years afterwards.
09.50 – 10.15: Coffee on arrival
10.15 – 11.15: The Context of a King
We shall look at the world into which Edward II was born in 1284, in England, Wales, Scotland and his mother’s native Spain, and his family, early years and education.
11.15 – 11.40: Coffee break
11.40 – 12.40: The Making of a King
The later years of the reign of Edward II’s father, Edward’s accession to the throne in 1307, the ongoing war with Scotland, the turbulent early years of the reign and the king’s infatuation with Piers Gaveston, and Edward’s unconventional character and hobbies.
12.40 – 14.00: Lunch break
14.00 – 14.50: The Unmaking of a King
The later years of Edward’s reign, his relations with his powerful favourite Hugh Despenser the Younger, his alienation of his queen and her rebellion against him, and his deposition in 1327, the first in English history.
14.50 – 15.10: Tea break
15.10 – 16.00: The Mysterious Fate of a King
An investigation of the evidence that Edward was murdered at Berkeley Castle in 1327, and the evidence that he might have survived for years past that date, perhaps in Italy.
16.00: Thanks and Close
About Kathryn Warner
Kathryn Warner holds two degrees in medieval history and literature from the University of Manchester, and has been researching and writing about Edward II and his reign since 2004. She has written biographies of Edward and his queen Isabella of France, and is currently working on a book about Edward’s last and most powerful ‘favourite’ Hugh Despenser the Younger. She gave a paper about Edward at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds in 2016, and has had an article about the plot of Edward’s brother the earl of Kent to free him years after his supposed death published in the prestigious English Historical Review. Another academic article about Edward will be published in the tenth edition of the biennial Fourteenth Century England in 2018.
Some Suggestions for Optional Background Reading
Haines, R. M., Edward II, His Life, His Reign and Its Aftermath, 1284-1330 (McGill University Press, 2003)
Mortimer, I., Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies (Continuum, 2010)
Phillips, S., Edward II (Yale University Press, 2010)
Warner, K., Edward II: The Unconventional King (Amberley, 2014)
Warner, K., Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen (Amberley, 2016)
Warner, K., Long Live the King: The Mysterious Fate of Edward II (The History Press, 2017)
My blog edwardthesecond.blogspot.com has many hundreds of articles about Edward and his life, family, reign and the mystery surrounding his death, all of them free to access.