Thursday’s Thrilling Tidbit

Did a missing comma kill a King?

In 1308, King Edward II of England married Princess Isabella of France ( who at the time was 12 years old). King Edward had no interest in the young Isabella and at an opportune moment, she fled back to her native France.

While in France, Isabella arranged for an army to march into England to arrest her husband. The King was forced to step down from the throne and their son Edward the III became the new king.

Isabella sent a letter stating what was to be done with Edward II. Shortly after the letter was received by the jailers, the King was put to death.

Because she did not write a necessary comma, the jailers took her words to mean : ” Do not be afraid to kill Edward; it is good”. However many historians believe that she really meant to say “Do not kill Edward, it is good to fear” .

So the question remains: Was the King’s death the accident of missing punctuation?


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