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Effigy in Gloucester Cathedral
Effigy in Gloucester Cathedral

Edward II (1284–1327) was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. He married Isabella, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV of France, in 1308. Edward had a close and controversial relationship with Piers Gaveston, who had joined his household in 1300. Gaveston's arrogance and power as Edward's favourite provoked discontent among both the barons and the French royal family, and Edward was forced to exile him. On Gaveston's return, the barons pressured the king into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms, called the Ordinances of 1311. A group of barons seized and executed Gaveston in 1312, beginning several years of armed confrontation. English forces were pushed back in Scotland, where Edward was decisively defeated by Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. After the exiled Roger Mortimer invaded England with a small army in 1326, Edward's regime collapsed and he relinquished his crown in favour of his 14-year-old son, Edward III. (Full article...)