Queen Isabella Way, EC1A

Place Name

This previously unnamed passage is named after the controversial widow of Edward II who was buried at Greyfriars Church, which was on the site. Isabella of France (1295 – August 22, 1358), was known as the She-Wolf of France by her enemies, of which there were many. Her husband was very likely a homosexual whose favourites gained great power under his patronage. When Edward was murdered Isabella was widely suspected of being involved in the plot but this alone was not her undoing. On the king’s death she became regent, running the country with her lover Roger Mortimer until her son Edward III came of age. Although she brought stability – ending the ongoing war with Scotland, she was unpopular with the barons not least because of her lavish spending. Aged 18 her son forcibly removed his mother and had her lover executed. In retirement Isabella became a nun and when she died was buried¬†at the Franciscan church at Newgate.


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