During Edward II's reign (1307–1327) there was relatively little activity at the Tower of London. However, it was during this period that the Privy Wardrobe was founded. The institution was based at the Tower and responsible for organising the state's arms. Margaret de Clare, Lady Badlesmere became the first woman imprisoned in the Tower of London after she refused Queen Isabella admittance to Leeds Castle and executed royal messengers. Generally reserved for high-ranking inmates, the Tower was the most important royal prison in the country. However it was not necessarily very secure, and throughout its history people bribed the guards to help them escape. In 1322 Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, was aided in his escape from the Tower by the Sub-Lieutenant of the Tower who let Mortimer's men inside. They hacked a hole in his cell wall and Mortimer escaped to a waiting boat. He fled to France where he encountered Edward's Queen. They began an affair and plotted to overthrow the King. One of Mortimer's first acts on entering England was to capture the Tower and release the prisoners held there. For three years he ruled while Edward III was too young to do so himself; in 1330, Edward and his supporters captured Mortimer and threw him in the Tower. Under Edward III's rule (1312–1377) England experienced renewed success in warfare after his father's reign had put the realm on the backfoot against the Scots and French. Amongst Edward's successes were the battles of Crécy and Poitiers where King John II of France was taken prisoner, and the capture of the King David II of Scotland at Neville's Cross. During this period, the Tower of London held many noble prisoners of war. Edward II had allowed the Tower of London to fall into a state of disrepair, and by the reign of Edward III the castle was an uncomfortable place. The nobility held captive within its walls were unable to engage in activities such as hunting which were permissible at other royal castles used as prisons, for instance Windsor. Edward III ordered that the castle should be renovated.
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