Edward II of England and Isabella of France blue plaque in Coventry

The Collegiate and Parish Church of St. John the Baptist

This church was founded in 1344 by Queen Isabella widow of King Edward II, on land called 'Babblake' and was granted by her to the Guild of St. John the Baptist. It was to be served by two chaplains from the 'College of Bablake'. Those priests were to say a daily mass for, the repose of the soul of her late husband King Edward II, her son King Edward III, her daughter in law Queen Phiippa, her grandson Edward the Black Prince and members of the Guild of St. John. The building was consecrated on 2nd May 1350 to God and St. John the Baptist.

By the time of the dissolution of the Guilds in 1548, the church was closed and given to the Mayor of the Corporation. During the time of the Commonwealth (1642-1660), the church was used as a prison for Royalist soldiers captured at the Battle of Preston. As the sympathies of the citizens of Coventry lay with the Parliamentarians, they gave the Royalist prisoners a hostile reception
giving rise to the saying 'sent to Coventry', meaning that someone is ignored or treated coldly. After many years lying empty,
occasionally being used to hold markets and as a stretch yard for dyed cloth, the Corporation agreed to reopen the church as a place
of worship. It was created a Parish Church on 24th July 1734.

Today the church serves the spiritual and other needs of this community and the city.
The Collegiate and Parish Church of St. John the Baptist

This church was founded in 1344 by Queen Isabella widow of King Edward II, on land called 'Babblake' and was granted by her to the Guild of St. John the Baptist. It was to be served by two chaplains from the 'College of Bablake'. Those priests were to say a daily mass for, the repose of the soul of her late husband King Edward II, her son King Edward III, her daughter in law Queen Phiippa, her grandson Edward the Black Prince and members of the Guild of St. John. The building was consecrated on 2nd May 1350 to God and St. John the Baptist.

By the time of the dissolution of the Guilds in 1548, the church was closed and given to the Mayor of the Corporation. During the time of the Commonwealth (1642-1660), the church was used as a prison for Royalist soldiers captured at the Battle of Preston. As the sympathies of the citizens of Coventry lay with the Parliamentarians, they gave the Royalist prisoners a hostile reception
giving rise to the saying 'sent to Coventry', meaning that someone is ignored or treated coldly. After many years lying empty,
occasionally being used to hold markets and as a stretch yard for dyed cloth, the Corporation agreed to reopen the church as a place
of worship. It was created a Parish Church on 24th July 1734.

Today the church serves the spiritual and other needs of this community and the city.

Edward II (25 April 1284 – 21 September 1327), also called Edward of Caernarfon, was King of England from 1307 until he was deposed in January 1327. The fourth son of Edward I, Edward became the heir to the throne following the death of his older brother Alfonso. He grew up to be tall, athletic and was considered good-looking by his contemporaries. From 1300 onward, Edward accompanied his father on his campaigns to pacify Scotland, and in 1307 he was knighted in a grand ceremony at Westminster Abbey. Edward succeeded to the throne later that year, following his father's death. In 1308 he married Isabella of France, the daughter of the powerful King Philip IV, as part of a long-running effort to resolve the tensions between the English and French crowns.Edward had a very close relationship with Piers Gaveston, who had first joined his household in 1300. The precise nature of Edward and Gaveston's relationship is uncertain; they may have been friends, lovers or sworn brothers. Gaveston's position as Edward's favourite provoked discontent both among the barons and the French royal family, and Edward was forced to exile him. On Gaveston's return, the King was pressured into agreeing to wide-ranging reforms called the Ordinances of 1311. Gaveston was banished by the barons, to which Edward responded by revoking the reforms and recalling his favourite. Led by Edward's cousin, the Earl of Lancaster, a group of the barons seized and executed Gaveston in 1312, beginning several years of armed confronation. England was pushed back onto the defensive in Scotland, where Edward was decisively defeated by Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Widespread famine followed, and criticism of the King mounted.The Despenser family, in particular Hugh Despenser the Younger, became close friends and advisers to Edward, but in 1321 Lancaster and many of the barons seized the Despensers' lands and forced the King to exile them. In response, Edward led a short military campaign, capturing and executing Lancaster. Edward and the Despensers strengthened their grip on power, revoking the 1311 reforms, executing their enemies and confiscating estates. Unable to make progress in Scotland, Edward finally signed a truce with Robert. Opposition to the regime grew, and when Isabella was sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty in 1325, she turned against Edward and refused to return. Isabella allied herself with the exiled Roger Mortimer, and invaded England with a small army in 1326. Edward's regime collapsed and he fled into Wales, where he was captured in November. Edward was forced to relinquish his crown in January 1327 in favour of his son, Edward III, and he died in Berkeley Castle on 21 September, probably murdered on the orders of the new regime.Edward's relationship with Gaveston inspired Christopher Marlowe's 1592 play Edward II, along with other plays, films, novels and media. Many of these have focused on the possible homosexual relationship between the two men. Edward's contemporaries were highly critical of his performance as a king, noting his failures in Scotland and the oppressive regime of his later years, although 19th-century academics argued that the growth of parliamentary institutions during his reign were a positive development for England over the longer term. Debate has continued into the 21st century as to whether Edward was a lazy and incompetent king, or simply a reluctant and ultimately unsuccessful ruler.

Source: dbpedia

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