Edward II Coins
Edward II was King of England from 1307, until being deposed in 1327. Known as Edward of Carnarvon, his reign is heavily criticised due to military failures against the Scottish. His wife – Isabella of France – would go on to depose him with the aid of her lover, Roger Mortimer.
Coins featuring King Edward II were minted at London, Bristol and York. The Catholic Church was still a significant power in England at this time, and archiepiscopal mints - under the control of the clergy - were granted permission to produce coins.
Silver pennies are typical finds of the era and give you a chance to own an old piece of British history.
Edward was the fourth son of Edward I, the infamous King known as ‘Longshanks’ and born in Carnarvon Castle (the old English spelling of Caernarfon, Wales). When his brother Alphonso died, Edward became heir apparent to the throne as the oldest surviving son.
Edward’s close relationship to Piers Gaveston caused much anger amongst the barons of England, eventually forcing Edward to exile him. Their friendship has been the source of much debate amongst historians, but opinions are divided as to the exact nature of the relationship. Politically motivated attacks on Edward after his death, and inaccurate portrayals in popular media (such as the film Braveheart) have led to false impressions.
Tensions between his cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, and King Philip IV of France were dealt with in the earlier years of his reign, but campaigns in Scotland resulted in failure for Edward. At the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, Robert the Bruce succeeded in recapturing much of Scotland, and securing the Scottish throne. This greatly diminished Edward's power over the barons, and combined with the Great Famine the King's reputation suffered hugely.
The details surrounding Edward’s death are somewhat mysterious. Having been imprisoned by his wife and her lover Roger Mortimer, Edward’s son – King Edward III – was placed on the throne. Edward II was pronounced dead just a few months later in September 1327. Opinion is divided as to whether he was murdered on the orders of the new ruling government, as Edward’s death certainly solved many of the political problems they faced in deposing him. Other theories suggest that Edward instead escaped, and lived out his life away from the public eye.