Prince Edward

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Prince Edward of England Lord of the Isles 1254-1272?

Edward was appointed Lord of the Isles by his father, Henry III. Although the appointment would have provided the King's eldest son with an independent income, it is not known that he actually had anything to do with the Channel Islands. Otto de Grandison, the next to hold the title of Lord of the Isles, was not appointed until 1275, so it is likely that Edward held the title until he succeeded his father as King.

A tall man, Edward (12391307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots. He was King of England from 1272 to 1307.

Childhood and marriage

Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster on 18 June 1239, to King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Although the young prince was seriously ill on several occasions, he grew up to be strong and healthy.

In 1254 English fears of a Castilian invasion of the English province of Gascony induced Edward's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his 14-year-old son and Eleanor of Castile, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile. Eleanor and Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile. As part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks a year, seemingly including the Channel Islands.

Though the endowments King Henry made were sizable, they offered Edward little independence. He had already received Gascony as early as 1249, but Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, had been appointed as royal lieutenant the year before and, consequently, drew its income, so in practice Edward derived neither authority nor revenue from this province.

The grant he received in 1254 included most of Ireland, and much land in Wales and England, including the earldom of Chester, but the king retained much control over the land in question, particularly in Ireland, so Edward's power was limited there as well, and the king derived most of the income from those lands as well.

Channel Islands

When Henry gave a considerable part of his domains to Edward on 14 February 1254, they included "Gernesey et Geresy et ceteras Insulas maris"

During the civil war (see below) the prince did not enjoy continuous undisturbed possession of the islands. On 4 July 1258 the King wrote to Drouet de Barentin, who was again Warden, to order him to take good care of the islands and prevent Edward from appointing any of his officers or entering the islands himself.

The following year Edward appears to have regained possession of the islands but in June 1262 a document reveals:"Conventio per quam rex Henricus III dimisit Edwardo filio suo primogenito Judaismum Anglie tendndum in tre annos; et dictus Edwardus Regi dimisit insulas de Gernesy et Geresy, novam forestam etc tenenda ad finem termini supradicti" , suggesting that Edwards tenure of the islands is suspended until the middle of 1265. This had expired by 23 November 1265, when Edward is again referred to as Lord of the Isles, as he is in 1267.

While he was absent on a Crusade in 1270, Richard, Duke of Cornwall, deputised for him in the Channel Islands.

On becoming King of England on 20 November 1272 the islands would have automatically become part of his personal domain.

Civil war

The years 1264-1267 saw the conflict known as the Barons' War, in which baronial forces led by Simon de Montfort fought against those who remained loyal to the king. The first scene of battle was the city of Gloucester, which Edward managed to retake from the enemy. When Robert de Ferrers came to the assistance of the rebels, Edward negotiated a truce with the earl, the terms of which he later broke. Edward then proceeded to capture Northampton from Montfort's son Simon, before embarking on a retaliatory campaign against Derby's lands.

The baronial and royalist forces finally met at the Battle of Lewes, on 14 May 1264. Edward, commanding the right wing, performed well, and soon defeated the London contingent of Montfort's forces. Unwisely, however, he followed the scattered enemy in pursuit, and on his return found the rest of the royal army defeated. Edward and his cousin Henry of Almain were given up as a prisoners to Montfort.

Edward remained in captivity until March and even after his release he was kept under strict surveillance.Then, on 28 May, he managed to escape his custodians, and joined up with the Earl of Gloucester, who had recently defected to the king's side. Montfort's support was now dwindling, and Edward retook Worcester and Gloucester with relatively little effort.

Through such episodes as the deception of Derby at Gloucester, Edward acquired a reputation as untrustworthy. During the summer campaign though, he began to learn from his mistakes, and acted in a way that gained the respect and admiration of his contemporaries.

He departed on a Crusade to the Holy Land, during which he learned of his father's death and hurried home to take the throne.

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