Was Edward II killed by a red hot poker?’


The tall and good-looking Edward II ascended to the throne in 1308. His reign was marked by unrest, military defeats and famine. Opposition to his rule grew, and even his wife, Isabella of France, turned against him. As his regime collapsed he fled to wales, but was captured, forced to give up his crown and was murdered on 25 January 1327.

But his death is veiled in a blanket of mystery, and the popular belief is that he was killed by having a red hot poker inserted in his anus. This rumour began to circulate three years after his death in 1330, and was spread further by chroniclers in the mid 1330s and 1340s, with a colourful account of the murder recalled by Geoffrey le Baker. Then the rumour began to find its way into histories of Edward. But there is no evidence of this actually being true. It is more likely that this rumour was created as propaganda against the late king, especially considering his possible homosexuality, and most modern historians dismiss this version of events.