4. The Murderous Queen Isabella?
Queen Isabella was often referred to as the “she-wolf” of France, and for good reason. Isabella did not like the company her husband Edward kept, nor did she like his attitude of oppression. When her marriage reached a breaking point in 1325, she began an affair with Roger Mortimer and the two planned to kill Edward.
Edward’s actual death is hotly contested by historians, and there are many theories. Some say Isabella killed Edward herself with a hot poker. Others say he died of ill health while being held in captivity. Others still say that Isabella ordered him to be killed.
Isabella certainly had a lot to gain by offing Edward – she could be with her lover, and gain Edward’s Kingdom (which she eventually did). Regardless, after his death, the face of the country changed forever. Isabella loved to spend money and acquire land.
Isabella’s acquisition of massive wealth along with shady foreign dealings launched the country into major civil unrest. Eventually she was deposed by her son, Edward in 1330. Although Edward also kept his mother’s pockets well-lined, Isabella did have to turn over much of the land she acquired while in power. When Mortimer passed, also in 1330, Isabella suffered fits of madness. Whether she killed her first husband or not, the world may never know.