Piers Gaveston and Adoption

Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick standing over the decapitated body of Piers Gaveston. From the Rous Rolls.


c. 1284-1312

It has always been taken for granted that Gaveston, executed in 1312, was the lover of King Edward II. He had been introduced to the court by Edward I and brought up in the royal household as the foster-brother and playmate of the king's oldest son, but they became sexually involved with each other. A 1994 study, however, claims that the two were in fact not lovers but adoptive or sworn brothers, like David and Jonathan or Achilles and Patroclus, although the author offers no explicit documentary evidence of adoption to support this idea. The book's argument is rejected by most other scholars.


Chaplais, Pierre. Edward II's Adoptive Brother. (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994) Dictionary of National Biography Hamilton, J.S. Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, 1307-1312: Politics and Patronage in the Reign of Edward II. (Detroit: Wayne State University Press; London: Harvester-Wheatsheaf, 1988) Halsall, Paul. "Braveheart: The 'Inning' of Piers Gaveston." Available at: