A wry view of life for the world-weary

Historical Figure Of The Week


Dragged this week from the obscurity in which he had been languishing for many a century was Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall, who lived from around 1284 to 1312. He was such a firm favourite of Edward of Caernarfon, later Edward II, that his exclusive access caused him to be exiled three times. The last time was in 1311 on pain of being declared an outlaw if he returned. Gaveston did return in 1312 and was hunted down and executed for his pains.

There were allegations dating from mediaeval times that Gaveston and Edward II were lovers, a charge made explicit by Christopher Marlowe in his play, Edward II. Whether they were or not is a matter of some conjecture but what got the nobility’s goat was Gaveston’s unrestricted access to the king, not rumours about his sexuality. I couldn’t find any reference to a pig.

Bet David won’t be calling Samantha Babe, though, for quite a while.


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