This Day in History: 1308-04-28

On 28th April 1308, the nobility met with Edward II at the convening of parliament. The feeling amongst the lords of the realm had been growing, for a while, that Edward II could not meet and govern the needs of his kingdom. Earlier in the month, the earls had met at Henry de Lacy’s castle at Pontefract to discuss their next steps. The only real supporter, of influence, for Edward in the country was Thomas of Lancaster. The earls met to draw up a document that was presented to Edward at the parliament of 28th April. Henry de Lacy – who was now 58 and had been the right-hand man of Edward I – was a moderating force on the final document that emerged. However, on this date, Henry would confront the king on behalf of the peers stating ‘Homage and oath of allegiance are more in respect of the crown than in respect of the kings’s person’. If the king could not be guided by reason, then his subjects had a duty to act to ‘re-instate the king in the dignity of the crown’; by force if necessary.