The Lusignans were despised for their arrogance and lawlessness, not least by Queen Eleanor. She saw these ill-bred in-laws among other things as competition for Henry’s patronage, despite the fact that her own relatives had been fed well at the royal trough. But when the two French factions came to blows, Henry stood by his brothers, even temporarily depriving Eleanor of her queen’s gold as a warning against her meddling. Once she got her income back, much of it had to be diverted to free her Uncle Thomas, just as a large part of Henry’s resources were being used to prop up his Sicilian scheme. That left a meager parental allowance for Edward, now a long-legged prince with his own affinity for lawless behavior. Since returning from the continent, he and his retinue had been running roughshod over the countryside, pillaging and plundering whatever they pleased. Bereft of money from his parents, Edward found that his uncles, the Lusignans, were doing nicely buying up Jewish bonds on the cheap and threw in his lot with them. Eleanor fretted over her eldest son, the heir to the throne, consorting with these disreputable thugs, but Henry refused to be budged from his allegiance to them. They offered him the thing he valued most, unconditional loyalty, especially at a time when even the weather and Welsh had turned against him.
2 thoughts on “The lord Edward”
Never happy with persistent English encroachment, the Welsh particularly resented the way Edward, made an overload there by Henry, allowed his deputies to use extortion against the local inhabitants. They rose up and raided his lands, forcing the prince to turn to his father for help. The king had nothing to offer except advice that he stand tall in the saddle. Uncle Richard lent him money, but it was lost during the marches in the marshes. Only when it started to look like a national uprising did Henry respond, donning his magnificent armor and ordering his men to “kill me these Welsh lowlifes.” Unable to fully engage the enemy, the king retreated back to London, where he asked for another tax to pay for another phony war.
The situation in Wales was made worse by the weather. The heavy rains and wind ruined the harvest of 1257, causing an outbreak of famine. Richard tried to alleviate the misery by sending fifty vessels full of corn from Germany, but Henry tried to seize them for himself. The city of London sued the king over this trespass and won. The court ordered Henry to come to the market like everybody else and buy his corn there, although being the king, he was given a generous discount