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The regime of Isabella and Mortimer 1326 - 1330

Harding, David Anthony (1985) The regime of Isabella and Mortimer 1326 - 1330. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The rule of the Despensers was brought to an end in 1326 by a coalition of magnates, churchmen and Londoners, drawn together by the invasion of Isabella and Mortimer. A carefully orchestrated demand for the removal of Edward II led to his deposition and ultimately to his murder at Mortimer's direction. Power was centralised in the hands of Isabella and Mortimer who took no steps to broaden the basis of their government. While returning confiscated lands to their supporters, they offered them little else in the way of reward but accumulated land to their own use, Crown land in the case of Isabella and an empire on the Welsh March in the case of Mortimer. Disillusioned by this and by their exclusion from government, the constituent parts of the coalition fell apart. Active opposition which had begun in Edward II's lifetime culminated in Lancaster's abortive rebellion of 1328-29. The effective suppression of this meant that opposition was stifled by the imposition of recognisances and because several barons fled abroad. This success merely served to increase Mortimer's arrogance and in 1330 he successfully engineered the downfall of Edward III's uncle, the earl of Kent. In foreign affairs, the failure of the Weardale campaign against the Scots and the unpopular peace of Northampton, coupled with a temporising and indecisive policy towards France over the questions of Gascony and homage, increased hostility towards the government. At home violent unrest continued and an improvident and irresponsible attitude to national finance involved heavy borrowing at a time when Mortimer lived in extravagant state. Faced by this misgovernment and fearing that Mortimer now aimed at royal power, Edward III built his own supporting group around him. When the opportunity came he struck swiftly at Mortimer, sending him to execution and Isabella into retirement.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1985
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:15 Jul 2013 14:44

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