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Main Page: Age of Intrigue
A Prince is Murdered
- 1272 POD: Acre - The Ninth Crusade. Having failed in his reconquest of the Holy Land, Prince Edward of England retreats into the city of Acre, where he prepares to return to his homeland with the remnants of his army. But Edward will not make it home. An assassin, sent by the Sultan Baibars of the Mamluk Caliphate in Egypt, stabs Edward with a poisoned dagger, causing a slow and agonizing death.
Troubles in Britain
- 1272: Following the death of King Henry III and Prince Edward I, the Prince's younger brother Edmund Crouchback becomes heir to the throne. Edmund barely escapes from Acre and begins the return journey to England.
- 1272: Edward's grieving widow, Eleanor, returns to her native Kingdom of Castile.
- 1273: Edmund, infuriated by his brother's death, vows to launch yet another Crusade to take back the Holy Land and punish the Muslims for the murder of Edward. However, Bishop Robert Burnell, who has been ruling England in Edmund's abscense, advises the prince against this idea, saying the English people had no more ambitions in Palestine.
- 1274: Ignoring Burnell's advice, the young King Edmund III begins preparing for a Tenth Crusade, and calls on help from Llywelyn, the Prince of Wales. Llywelyn, a proud ruler, refuses to attend the meeting with King Edmund, not wanting to sacrifice Welsh autonomy for a Crusade he cared nothing about. Edmund declares Llywelyn a traitor and orders his armies to march on Wales and utterly destroy the rebels.
- 1274 - 1279: Delaying his hopes of reconquering the Holy Land, Edmund III leads a brutal invasion of Wales, costing hundreds of thousands of Welsh and English lives. When the Welsh finally surrender, Edmund oversees the execution of Llywelyn, the last prince of a free Wales. During the war, thousands of Welsh refugees flee to Ireland.
- 1280: With the Welsh dealt with, King Edmund III met with King Philip III (Philip the Bold) of France to raise support in France for the next Crusade. Philip deferred to his uncle Charles, who supported the Crusade to avenge Edward. The French began making preparations for yet another invasion of Palestine.
- 1282: With the aid of the French, Edmund sets sail for the Holy Land, only to die of a fever en route. The Crusaders are immediately repelled by Abbasid forces yet again. Edmund's widow, Queen Blanche of Artois, takes the throne until her son Thomas can come of age.
- 1290: Prince Thomas, now fourteen, travels to Scotland to resolve a struggle for the succession of the Scottish throne. The young prince demands that each of the Scottish lords swear fealty to him. John Balliol refuses, declaring Scotland an independent kingdom.
- 1291: John Balliol declares himself King of Scotland. His wife, Isabella de Warenne, dies that year, leaving behind a son, Edward. Relations between England an Scotland worsen.
- 1292: Queen Blanche, knowing England is still drained of soldiers from the last Crusade, hopes to avoid a war with Scotland, but tensions are high. Desperate for peace, Blanche urges her son Thomas, who has now been coronated as King Thomas I, to appease John Balliol by granting Scotland independence. Thomas rashly refuses, and sends an ill-prepared English force to combat the Scottish.
The Wars with Scotland
- 1292: The English forces engage the Scottish in battle at Berwick and Dunbar. The English win in both cases, but suffer heavy losses. At Berwick, the English brutally slaughter the local population even after the surrender of William the Hardy.
- 1293: Led by William Wallace and Andrew de Moray, the Scottish retaliate, launching a series of raids against the English, culminating in the decisive Battle of Sterling Bridge.
- 1293: King Philip IV the Fair of France sends a request that King Thomas meet him at Paris to discuss the war in Scotland. Philip reluctantly makes the voyage, after ordering his generals to rebuild the English army to prepare for another invasion of Scotland. King Thomas behaves rudely in the French court, not wanting to appear in any way subordinate to his cousin Philip. Philip responds by striking a treacherous bargain. He promises to send French troops to Thomas's aid to subdue the Scottish, as long as the English would release the province of Aquitaine to the French. Instead, as Thomas sets sail for home, Philip sends a secret envoy to Scotland to cement the Franco-Scottish alliance that he had been planning with William Wallace for several years.
- 1294: The English manage to recruit several thousand more soldiers. In the late summer, they march on Falkirk with 7000 infantry and 2000 cavalry, a slightly larger force than William Wallace's army. The English commander, Henry the Earl of Lincoln, is preparing for the assault when he receives a letter from King Philip saying French reinforcements are on their way. Henry decides to delay the attack until the reinforcements arrive. A few weeks later, French ships appear on the horizon, and the English rejoice. Unfortunately, the French soldiers fight among William Wallace's army, and the English suffer a bloody defeat.