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Piers Gaveston

Piers Gaveston (~1284-1312) was the favourite of King Edward II of England.

A Gascon by birth, Gaveston was married to Margaret de Clare, a granddaughter of King Edward I and was created Earl of Cornwall by the king. He was made guardian of the realm when Edward had to leave the country in 1308 to marry Isabella of France. Gaveston was unpopular with the new queen as well as with the nobles, and the two men, who were approximately the same age, are believed to have had a homosexual relationship. Gaveston had already been sent into exile once by King Edward I, who disapproved of the friendship. Following his bungling of the coronation arrangements, he was sent away to Ireland as regent. He returned within the year, and made more enemies, the most powerful of whom was Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, a cousin of the king, whom Gaveston defeated in a tournament. Lancaster led opposition to Edward, forcing him to send Gaveston into exile yet again. When he had the temerity to return, he was captured and executed by his rivals. He would shortly be replaced in the king's affections by Hugh le Despenser.

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