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Edward II, King of England, died in 1327.  He was allegedly assassinated by having a red-hot poker thrust into his anus.

His twenty-year reign as King was famously disastrous, marred by political distrust and military failures. Immediately after his abdication, Edward’s political enemies decided they could not afford to keep him alive.

While imprisoned at Berkeley Castle, a group of assassins confronted him at night and, according to rumor, murdered the former king by forcibly inserting a red-hot iron poker directly into his rectum. His public funeral was held the later same year, confirming his death to the people of England. It is said that when one visits Berkeley Castle today, Edward’s screams of agony can sometimes be heard faintly through the walls.

Edward II and Piers Gaveston, 1st Earl of Cornwall, were alleged by medieval chroniclers to be homosexual lovers.  This rumor was reinforced in fiction, as in Christopher Marlowe's play Edward II.  Some historians, such as J.S. Hamilton, have pointed out that concern over the two men's sexuality was not at the core of the nobility's grievances, but centered on Gaveston's exclusive access to royal patronage.

Now, I doubt that Mississippi's former Governor Haley Barbour is all that well-versed in British history.  However, somehow this theme must have resonated with him, whether from Grotty Olde England or the Dark Side of Dixie.  As kos quoted earlier today, Barbour offered his regret for something that didn't happen at the Republican National Convention. “While I would love for [Chris] Christie to put a hot poker to [President] Obama’s butt,” said Barbour of the RNC keynote speaker, “I thought he did what he was supposed to do.”

All, you know, except THAT...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Poker up the anus, may just be a myth (5+ / 0-)

    From Wikipedia:

    The popular story that the king was assassinated by having a red-hot poker thrust into his anus has no basis in accounts recorded by Edward's contemporaries. Thomas de la Moore's account of Edward's murder was not written until after 1352 and is uncorroborated by other contemporary sources. Not until the relevant sections of the longer Brut chronicle were composed by an anti-Mortimer Lancastrian polemicist in the mid-1430s was the story widely circulated
  •  There's a Lot of Opinion That Barour's Reference (5+ / 0-)

    was to branding, a common response to captured runaway slaves.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:52:08 PM PDT

    •  George W was into branding..... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cosette, cassandracarolina, a2nite

      As reported about his time at Yale:
      Liberties; President Frat Boy?
      By MAUREEN DOWD
      Published: April 07, 1999

      The leader of the frat pack is Mr. Bush, who made his debut in The New York Times in 1967 in a story about ''frat-branding'' at Delta Kappa Epsilon, the Yale fraternity of which he was once president.

      Steve Weisman, a Yale student then stringing for The New York Times (who is now a member of The Times's editorial board) reported on a Yale Daily News article accusing campus fraternities of carrying on ''sadistic and obscene'' initiation procedures.

      SNIP
      ''The charge that has caused the most controversy on the Yale campus,'' Mr. Weisman wrote, ''is that Delta Kappa Epsilon applied a 'hot branding iron' to the small of the back of its 40 new members in ceremonies two weeks ago. A photograph showing a scab in the shape of the Greek letter delta, approximately a half inch wide, appeared with the article. A former president of Delta said that the branding is done with a hot coat hanger. But the former president, George Bush, a Yale senior, said that the resulting wound is 'only a cigarette burn.' '' The fraternities were fined by the Yale Interfraternity Council.

      Frat prankster George told Mr. Weisman that he was amazed that anyone was making a fuss about the branding, that at colleges in Texas they used cattle prods on pledges.

      SNIP
      Later, in a newspaper interview, W. explained away the incident, saying, ''There's no scarring mark physically or mentally.''

      http://www.nytimes.com/...
  •  As I said before about good ole' boy Haley.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wreck Smurfy, cosette

    Good thing Haley Barbour isn't a racist.  Otherwise, it might get ugly

    "Democracy is only real if we all participate" -- Bea Bookler, 94 year-old voter disenfranchised by Voter-ID

    by 8ackgr0und N015e on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:52:10 PM PDT

  •  When I read Barbour's comment (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette

    Edward II was the first thing that came to my mind. Of course, I am a history geek. Is Barbour? I dunno, but the rumour/myth is fairly well known, and I assume Barbour is quite well educated.

    ...y'know, for a Republican.

    -8.38, -7.74 My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. - Jack Layton

    by Wreck Smurfy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 03:58:23 PM PDT

  •  Gaveston wasn't the only one… (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Viceroy, elmo

    Serious history geek minutiae here, but British royal history is a specialty of mine.

    Hugh le Despenser is also usually mentioned in nearly the same breath as Piers Gaveston.

    Also, a refinement in the murder methodology I'd read was that the hot poker wasn't inserted directly, but was placed in a hollowed animal horn, which assembly was then inserted. The description was that rather than direct scorching, the innards were "cooked", with the same end result. I believe the account I read included him being held down by a chair while the cooking ensued. The same account also presented the "undamaged corpse" theory of the choice of murder method.

    Of course there probably were never witness accounts, much as with William II, Richard I, Henry VI, The Princes in the Tower (Edward VI), as well as other, less royal "renditions", so we'll never know.

  •  Braveheart? (0+ / 0-)

        Someone earlier today posted that reference to the Edward II story was made in the Mel Brooks movie "Braveheart". It seems very likely that Barbour would have seen that.

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