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What if Edward II had been as good as his son or father?

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  • What if Edward II had been as good as his son or father?

    Edward II's father Edward I was a great warrior king, fighting in the Crusades, defeating the rebel Simon de Monfort, conqueror of Wales and Hammer of the Scots.
    Edward II's son Edward III crushed the much larger French army at Crecy, defeated the large French fleet at Sluys, his armies roamed through Scotland at will, defeated the Spanish as well as defeating the French even when outnumbered by seemingly absurd odds.

    Yet Edward II was an effeminete weakling, unable to control his army and defeated at Bannockburn, overthrown by his wife and her lover and ultimately despatched with a red hot poker up the posterior.


    But what if Edward II had been more like Edward III or I? Would the conquest of Scotland have been completed? Would the 100 years war have started a generation earlier when the French usurped Edward's son's claim to the French thrown?
    "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

  • #2
    Surrey,

    This is an example of what Psychology refers to as "returning to the norm". It is almost impossible for genetics to produce generation after generation of "warriors". Blame it on the mother's side if you like! Some families produce various types of people for generations (Adams/politicians, Kennedys, et al). It is just hard to produce one every generation.

    In my case, my Father was an All State Running Back and played at the Junior College level and went to LSU (where he gave up the sport). He married my Mother (bless her soul) who had no athletic ability at all, but was quite pretty. I am an almost duplicate of my Father in physical size, but I have NO speed whatsoever (Thanks Mom!). I got to play Guard! No glory there! Throw in the fact that I was born left handed and converted to right handed, I was an athletic wreck for a while. Still can't throw a baseball worth a darn.

    In the Plantegenet family, I think there is a bit of concern as to whether Edward III is actually a natural son of Edward II. He took after his mother in looks and she was quite fond of a guy that helped overthrow Eddie II. Some warriors are born, some are made, some are an embarrassment. If Eddie II's warriors had not been feuding so hard over who was getting his financial favors, they might have tried fighting harder. They would not have dreamed of slacking off for his father.

    Pruitt
    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Surrey View Post
      But what if Edward II had been more like Edward III or I? Would the conquest of Scotland have been completed? Would the 100 years war have started a generation earlier when the French usurped Edward's son's claim to the French thrown?
      Possibly. Like the 7 Years War thread we're in 'trends' territory where the details change but the overall drift of history remains the same. Sorry if that's a bit of a flat answer but Scotland would never be 'conquered' by England, just allowed varying degrees of independence depending on the strength of the English sovereign. Likewise France. It's inconceivable that any English Monarch could control the whole of that area, at least in medieval times. After all, no French monarch could until the establishment of the Valois dynasty (and some might argue that it was Henry de Bourbon who was the first true King of France - it was Henry wasn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong).
      Signing out.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
        Possibly. Like the 7 Years War thread we're in 'trends' territory where the details change but the overall drift of history remains the same. Sorry if that's a bit of a flat answer but Scotland would never be 'conquered' by England, just allowed varying degrees of independence depending on the strength of the English sovereign. Likewise France. It's inconceivable that any English Monarch could control the whole of that area, at least in medieval times. After all, no French monarch could until the establishment of the Valois dynasty (and some might argue that it was Henry de Bourbon who was the first true King of France - it was Henry wasn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong).
        Full monty wrong? Are you referring to Henry IV reign 1589-1610?
        If the art of war were nothing but the art of avoiding risks,glory would become the prey of mediocre minds. Napoleon

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Legate View Post
          Full monty wrong?
          I like to admit I'm guessing before someone catches me out.

          Are you referring to Henry IV reign 1589-1610?
          Judging by the Wiki entry, yes. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
          Signing out.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
            Possibly. Like the 7 Years War thread we're in 'trends' territory where the details change but the overall drift of history remains the same. Sorry if that's a bit of a flat answer but Scotland would never be 'conquered' by England, just allowed varying degrees of independence depending on the strength of the English sovereign. Likewise France. It's inconceivable that any English Monarch could control the whole of that area, at least in medieval times. After all, no French monarch could until the establishment of the Valois dynasty (and some might argue that it was Henry de Bourbon who was the first true King of France - it was Henry wasn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong).
            Though if you have an English victory at Bannockburn, Bruce ends up killed or in hiding and the whole Scottish independance movement is in dissarray. The English would then presumably move to do what they did in Wales, construct large fortresses at strategic locations in the lowlands, where much of Bruce's support had come from and let the Highlands pretty much do their own thing.
            "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Surrey View Post
              Though if you have an English victory at Bannockburn, Bruce ends up killed or in hiding and the whole Scottish independance movement is in dissarray. The English would then presumably move to do what they did in Wales, construct large fortresses at strategic locations in the lowlands, where much of Bruce's support had come from and let the Highlands pretty much do their own thing.
              I'd agree to a point. After all it's a similar strategy to that adopted by the Romans with the construction of Hadrian's Wall. But given the English baronial system and the geography of the British mainland (the Welsh-English border is long, the hinterland relatively shallow and it's close to London) the opportunity for a strong leader to emerge is always there. After all, Bruce was just such a man who, whilst Edward I led the English, was 'English'. Had Edward II been a strong man it might not have been 'The Bruce' who managed to 'free' Scotland but someone would have exploited either a weak or distracted English king along the way.
              Signing out.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Full Monty View Post
                I'd agree to a point. After all it's a similar strategy to that adopted by the Romans with the construction of Hadrian's Wall. But given the English baronial system and the geography of the British mainland (the Welsh-English border is long, the hinterland relatively shallow and it's close to London) the opportunity for a strong leader to emerge is always there. After all, Bruce was just such a man who, whilst Edward I led the English, was 'English'. Had Edward II been a strong man it might not have been 'The Bruce' who managed to 'free' Scotland but someone would have exploited either a weak or distracted English king along the way.
                I see you point, again following the Welsh example their was a further Welsh rebellion under Glandower when there was civil war in England. Presumably even if Scotland had been sudued in the early c14th it could have successfully rebelled during the civil wars of the c15th. Or possiblly sooner as Richard II was a bit like Edward II.
                "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Surrey View Post
                  I see you point, again following the Welsh example their was a further Welsh rebellion under Glandower when there was civil war in England. Presumably even if Scotland had been sudued in the early c14th it could have successfully rebelled during the civil wars of the c15th. Or possiblly sooner as Richard II was a bit like Edward II.
                  Exactly. Glendower in Wales was close enough to London for Henry IV to strike without seriously risking his own power base. It was a long drawn out campaign but with the lengthy border and relatively little depth Glendower could never secure his position against the English, even with French assistance.
                  Signing out.

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                  • #10
                    It is true that even if Edward ll had been on a par with his Old Man and had crushed the Scots at Bannockburn, the chance of holding it down was pretty slight, especially since invading France was such a more profitable enterprise.

                    Luckilly for us Scots, the long barren moorlands which invading armies from England had to cross were a real barrier making operations difficult and expensive. Invading was tough enough, but when occupation troops were attacked, it was difficult to support them effectively.

                    Invading armies really only had one road they could follow Berwick, Edinburgh, Stirling so ambush was easy and Scotland had a large wild hinterland to hide in so complete passivation was a tough job never accomplished by the English no matter how strong their forces.
                    What would Occam say?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by billscottmorri View Post
                      It is true that even if Edward ll had been on a par with his Old Man and had crushed the Scots at Bannockburn, the chance of holding it down was pretty slight, especially since invading France was such a more profitable enterprise.

                      Luckilly for us Scots, the long barren moorlands which invading armies from England had to cross were a real barrier making operations difficult and expensive. Invading was tough enough, but when occupation troops were attacked, it was difficult to support them effectively.

                      Invading armies really only had one road they could follow Berwick, Edinburgh, Stirling so ambush was easy and Scotland had a large wild hinterland to hide in so complete passivation was a tough job never accomplished by the English no matter how strong their forces.
                      I take you points about the difficulty of occupation, especially with the attractions of France available for any skilled commander. However a well lead English army, however small, could usually penetrate deep into Scotland at little risk in the c14th. For example Edward III marched from the border and sacked Aberdeen with only 600 (six hundred) men, mostly archers. The Scottish Lowlands were extremely vulnerable to invasion from England.
                      "To be free is better than to be unfree - always."

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                      • #12
                        Bill,

                        What barren moorlands are you referring to? The Scottish Lowlands, in particular the border regions were quite well populated. The reason the invasions liked to go through Berwick was security of the route and the use of water transport. It was all those Border Reivers of the Scottish side that they were leery of driving long supply trains through. That being said, most of the Scottish Lowlanders rode along with the English invaders as they did not like the Highlanders either. They supplied the Light Horse of the Invasion.

                        Pruitt
                        Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                        Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                        by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

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                        • #13
                          From Durham or Lancaster north is pretty hostile territory for an invading army with very low population and little chance to live off the land hence poor old Berwick being the main target for invaders.

                          Once in the Borders it was pretty easy to take the lowlands and Scots usually scarpered north of Stirling to hid behind the Forth with the highlands at their back.
                          What would Occam say?

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                          • #14
                            Bill,

                            I am not sure how to break this to you, but Scotland, especially around the border with England was well populated until the Landlords found out raising sheep instead of family retainers was more profitable! Both sides had quite respectable populations. Yorkshire in particular was well populated until Cromwell went through it.

                            I would suggest you read a good book on the Border region. It is called: "The Steel Bonnets", by George Mcdonald Fraser. You will find out why the English tended to invade by certain areas.

                            By the way, during the later periods, many leading Scottish Lowland Families were receiving money from English government sources. That was one reason when English Armies invaded, these families often rode north with them!

                            Pruitt
                            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm sure native Scots would find much to criticise but the Wiki page on Scotland in the High Middle Ages provides a good overview.
                              Signing out.

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