The "Edward Debate" Section
Where the sordid romantic life of Edward II is discussed in
excruciating detail! ;)
Here are some historical corrections from Megan..."
Edward II was not at all a homosexual. He was married to Isabella of
France who bore him a son, Edward III--not the son of William Wallace as
insinuated by Braveheart. Edward II was certainly an ineffectual and
unpopular king (though he reigned for 20 years)--so unpopular that he
was forced to renounce the throne. He also could quite likely have been
a milquetoast, but he was not a homosexual. I wasn't there, of course,
but those are the facts."
And from Elizabeth, who has been gracious enough to also
clue us in on the whole Claudia Christian thing "Note to Meagan. Edward II was homosexual. His
marriage to Isabella "The She-Wolf of France" was dynastic. Don't be
fooled into thinking that because he was married and fathered a child,
he wasn't a homosexual. So did Oscar Wilde. He had two known lovers,
Piers Gaveston and Hugh Despenser."
And from Laurie, who lists herself as an "ancient and medieval hobbyist"...
I agree with Elizabeth. It is entirely true that a homosexual is
capable of fathering a child...it was the fashion in ancient Greece to
be homosexual, but the law of society and religion to have a son.
Secondly, it is known that Edward II was homosexual. After he
abdicated the throne in favor of his "son", Isabella and her lover
killed him by putting a burning fireplace poker where his lovers had
"put theirs"...not a very well known fact. Nobles had known that he was
killed by her and her lover (the reason both I and the Braveheart
writers doubt the origin of her child), and the clergy preached to
commoners that he died because he took too many baths (thus making his
"dandy" type character in the movie just as correct). I myself only
found the truth behind his death in a single source, and stumbled upon
it by accident."
From Maria..."Just to add to the comments on your webpage by Laurie... I have recently
finished reading a wonderful book by Ronald McNair Scott, called Robert
Bruce: King of Scots and I have read several others also. Edward II's
and her lover tried to starve him to death first, while he was being
captive in Kenilworth Castle after his second lover, Hugh Despenser was
executed. When this failed to work, they resorted to the above
The reason for this horrible act was so that the body could be displayed
the public without injury to it and it seemed to look like a natural
Whether or not the child was Wallace's... I don't know. Edward actually
married off his first "lover," Piers Gaveston to his neice and made him
of Cornwall...he was not thrown from a window :) Piers was referred to
Edward's "principal provider of entertainment."
And more from our contributor Megan....."Just a clarification about Edward II's being a homosexual to those who
responded to my initial message. If he was a homosexual, he would *not*
have fathered any children. Neither would have Oscar Wilde.
I'm being picky about the use of the word "homosexual." Edward and
Oscar would certainly be more aptly described as "bisexual" since both
fathered children in addition to their same-sex liaisons.
I'm also bothered by the way "homosexual" seems to be used as a
derogatory description. Without getting into the vagaries of human
sexuality and the moral argument about homosexuality, to use Angus'
"wimp" would be more palatable, in my opinion. "Effeminate" would have
been even more so.
One of my very best friends is a gay man, so I guess I'm just defensive
about the use of such labels."
From Lauren: "I don't know if this is the right place to send it, but I know that he was a
homosexual and one of his lovers was thrown out of a window. Also, why did
it have to be Edward II who fathered the child...it could have been his
father. In fact, most historians DO believe it was Edward Longshanks that
fathered the child, and not Edward II."
And from Richard, who is studying this period for his degree (!)...
"Of course Braveheart was not exactually factual
but Edward was gay its a well known fact. He was married
but he was well known first for having the rather personal
favorite personal of Piers Gaveston(who was murdered
because of this)and some other bloke who's name I
can't remember. He did have a wife and son, but it was his
wife who had him deposed(sexual frustration?!) although
really he was kicked out for being a bit crap compared to his
dad although it is thought he was killed by method of red hot
poker up the ass. Ouch!"
And from Linda R. we have...."Sorry to disabuse everyone, but the idea of Isabelle having a child by either William Wallace or
"Longshanks" is pure fiction and a bit of "dramatic license" on the part of Randall Wallace. No
serious historian ever considered it.
From Alyssa, who is on the Angusfans Mailing List!
Isabelle was born in 1292...Wallace was executed in 1305 ( when she was 13 and still in France),
Edward "Longshanks" died on July 8, 1307, Isabella married Edward II shortly thereafter. Their
first child, the future Edward III wasn't born until November 13, 1312. Which means that if the
future Edward III was the son of William Wallace, Isabella was impregnated (in France) when she
was about 13 years old, and the pregnancy lasted seven years, poor thing.
If the future Edward III was the son of his grandfather (Longshanks), the pregnancy lasted five
years. Either way, I THINK that old slander can be disposed of. There was never a whisper of
scandal against Isabelle until after the birth of her fourth child in 1321. But it made a nice bit of
romantic interest in "Braveheart".
Piers Gaveston, childhood friend and companion of Prince Edward, was executed on 19 Jun 1312
by a group of nobles who deplored his bad influence on then-King Edward II. As "Longshanks"
died in 1307, he certainly couldn't have pitched Piers out a window in 1312. That doesn't mean he
wasn't cruel enough to do it, and may have certainly tossed someone else at an earlier time.
Anyway, according to the royal lineage, kept in London, Edward III is the son of Edward II,
Carnaervon, king of England. Isabelle, his consort, was known to have many lovers, and was not secret about any of
them. She had an aversion to Edward, and ran with a crowd of disillusioned Englishmen, who adored her, and plotted to
overthrow Carnaervon. At the time of Edward III's birth, she was pretty much exclusive with Roger Mortimer, so he is, if
the royal lineage is wrong, most likely the father of Edward. Once she had concieved, she traveled to France with
Mortimer, and raised an army to overthrow Carnaervon. After Mortimer and Isabelle had overthrown Carnaervon, they became
the regents for Isabelle's son, Edward (who was, I believe at least a toddler by this time...Can't remember when
Carnaervon was overthrown). Isabelle and Mortimer were joint regents for a time, until Edward III seized his throne, and
had Mortimer executed.
Most recently, we received a letter from Jessica, who wanted to add...."
Firstly, it is EXTREMELY unlikely anyone but Edward II was the father of Edward III. This is not wishful thinking, this is fact. To the lady who suggested
Longshanks: sorry, but Longshanks was dead in 1307, while Edward II and Isabella did not marry until 1308! Exactly how could a dead man have
fathered a child born years after his death -- as the future King Edward III was born in 1312.
"As for Isabella's lover Roger Mortimer, she did not take him as her lover until 1325. This was four years after the birth of her youngest child, Princess
Joanna. Therefore, Roger could not possibly be Edward's father, as he and Isabella hadn't even met at the time Edward was concieved!
"Also, what most people neglect to mention is that until Edward took Hugh le Despencer as his lover, Isabella was slavishly devoted to him. She tried
pathetically to win his love, and was rebuffed each time. Why would she cheat on him when all she wanted was his affections?
"And even *if* Isabella got the notion to take a lover, exactly how would she accomplish this? She and Roger only got together because she was in
France visiting her brother and he had been exiled there. Even then, their liaison was front-page news. How could she have taken a lover to concieve
a child without someone finding out? Remember impregnating a Queen was a capital offense, and men were hanged for just being *under suspicion*
of romance with said lady. There is no way she could have carried on an affair without EVERYONE knowing about it.
"Please post this on your "Edward debate" page -- I don't mean to be nasty, but it galls me that people might be misled by such assumptions. I'm just
trying to give the facts."
Thank you all for the interesting and frequently sordid
view of history! ;)