Facts and Events
At a young age he made a good impression on King Edward I "Longshanks", and was assigned to the household of the King's son, Edward of Caernarfon. The prince's partiality for Gaveston was so extravagant that Edward I sent the favourite into exile, but he was recalled a few months later, after the King's death led to the prince's accession as Edward II. Edward bestowed the Earldom of Cornwall on Gaveston, and arranged for him to marry his niece Margaret de Clare, sister of the powerful Earl of Gloucester.
Gaveston's exclusive access to the King provoked several members of the nobility, and in 1308 the King was again forced to send him into exile. During this absence he served as the King's Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. Edward managed to negotiate a deal with the opposition, however, and Gaveston returned the next year. Upon his return his behaviour became even more offensive, and by the Ordinances of 1311 it was decided that Gaveston should be exiled for a third time, to suffer outlawry if he returned. When he did return in 1312, he was hunted down and executed by a group of magnates led by Thomas of Lancaster and Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.
It was alleged by medieval chroniclers that Edward II and Piers Gaveston were lovers, a rumour that was reinforced by later portrayals in fiction, such as Christopher Marlowe's late 16th century play Edward II. This assertion has received the support of some modern historians, while others have questioned it. According to Pierre Chaplais, the relationship between the two was that of an adoptive brotherhood, and Gaveston served as an unofficial deputy for a reluctant king. Other historians, like J.S. Hamilton, have pointed out that concern over the two men's sexuality was not at the core of the nobility's grievances, which rather centred on Gaveston's exclusive access to royal patronage.