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 comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....

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Anejre

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PostSubject: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:52 pm

Is it the fate of medieval monarchs to suffer deposition and then murder?
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Anejre

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Sun Apr 20, 2008 10:54 pm

Having read Alianore's Edward II blog, and the discussion about Ed's death on a thread in this forum, I have come to the conclusion that my assumption of Ed being murdered at Berkely castle because that is what inevitably happens to deposed monarchs is flawed. Any thoughts?
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Melisende

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:35 pm

It makes good political sense to ensure that any rival you have removed doesn't resurface to remove you!

There are many numerous accounts throughout history of this - a few more well-known:

Edward II, Richard II, Henry VI, Edward V, Charles I - Kings of England
Isaac II and Alexius IV - Byzantium
The Merovingians were adept at removing the predecessors.
And don't get me started on the Papacy!

There's a book out: "The Death of Kings: Royal Deaths in Medieval England" by Michael Evans - a line from the book: "Deposed Kings also posed a problem for their successors, as they occupied an ambiguous liminal status, as they were no longer kings, but still possessed something of the aura of kingship."

So if you have a "legitimate" king deposed and sitting around with time on their hands, you have a rallying point for all sorts of political chicanery. And afterall, he (or she) who does the deposing, can themselves also be deposed. Tis better to be safe (with the ex-king well out of the way) than sorry (and lose your position). Who wants to spend their lives looking over their shoulder?
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Anejre

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:34 pm

Melisende - I have that book as well! - 'The Death of Kings'. It's just Alianore's posts on the death of Edward II - thta he could have survived - that got me thinking maybe using comparative history studies could be a flaw. Yes, of course it makes sense to remove deposed kings - while they live, they are indeed a threat. Richard II, Henry VI and Edward V all met with 'secret deaths' (I don't accept that Edward V or his brother Richard could have survived). Oliver Cromwell managed to get rid of Charles Ist publicly.


Last edited by Anejre on Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Anejre

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Mon Apr 21, 2008 10:40 pm

Then there is Mary, Queen of Scots - now there was a thorny issue. I'm convinced had she not fled to Enfland when she did, she would have met her end in Scotland. Much relief when she did esacpe to England.

The big difference with the deposition of Ed II is that he was deposed not by his 'usurper' - Edward III was the puppet of his mother and Mortimer. It's been almost 20 years since I studied the medieval papacy and the Merovingians, so I have just been comparing with the case of English kings.

I guess we could add lady Jane Grey to the list of deposed monarchs as well. Obviusly, she was a 'usurper'.
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Melisende

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Tue Apr 22, 2008 4:19 pm

Don't get me started on the Ottoman Sultans then - they practiced "politically sanctioned" deposition and execution. Not only did many depose and execute their predecessor, they also removed all rivals - regardless of age and kinship ties! And then they suffered the same fate themselves 9 times out of 10.
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Anejre

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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Thu Apr 24, 2008 10:38 pm

That's another potential flaw to be aware of. I mean, I think I am over-reliant comparing Ed's deposition with other English medieval monarchs. But also comparing depositions from other countries/cultures could be a flaw. When Henry VIII was trying to divorce Catherine of Aragon, it was remarked upon that Italian commentators couldn't understand why he didn't just poison her.
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Mipp



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PostSubject: Re: comparing the depositions of Edward II, Richard II etc.....   Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:14 pm

Anejre wrote:
When Henry VIII was trying to divorce Catherine of Aragon, it was remarked upon that Italian commentators couldn't understand why he didn't just poison her.

Who said that? I must doubt it. That sounds like your typical racist "poisoning, scheming Italians" slander. My friend silverwhistle, possibly the world's most ardent Conrad of Montferrat fan, is constantly angry that he's always depicted in fiction as an evil, Machiavellian type. Not based on anything he ever did, just because he was Italian!

As for the Ottoman sultans, they didn't have a concept of legitimate vs. illegitimate, eldest-son-inherits-all their European counterparts had. The strongest son took all. After a couple of centuries, the sultans started sticking their extra brothers in the Cage for a couple of decades, although I have to wonder if they were doing them any favors by not just killing them outright.
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