Alison Weir's Isabella, She-Wolf of France, Queen of England (2005), p. 150, contains the following passage:
"Was Isabella also angry because she had learned that her husband was being promiscuous with low-born men? In one of Edward's chamber books of 1322, there is a record of substantial payments made by the King to Robin and Simon Hod, Wat Cowherd, Robin Dyer and others for spending fourteen days in his company. Of course, they may have joined him in innocent pastimes such as digging ditches, but this is not mentioned, and the words 'in his company' sound euphemistic, while the substantial sums paid to these men was perhaps hush money. And as they stayed for two weeks, the Queen would surely have got to hear of it."
Oh dear. The men she names were in fact members of Edward II's household throughout the 1320s and perhaps before (none of the king's chamber accounts before 1322 survive, then exist only in fragments until the last one of July 1325 to October 1326) and are named as such dozens of times. They were portours, also called valletz, of Edward's chamber, words perhaps best translated as 'grooms', and there were around thirty of them at any given time, hired to make beds, carry torches and generally look after the king in his chamber. (See T. F. Tout, The Place of the Reign of Edward II in English History (2nd ed., 1936), p. 253, which cites the entirety of Edward II's Household Ordinance of December 1318 in the original French, including the chamber staff's duties.)
Weir claims twice in the above passage that the money paid to the men by the king was 'substantial' without saying how much it was. Edward II's thirty or so chamber grooms - who in 1326 included two women named Joan Traghs and Anneis May, wives of other chamber grooms - were paid three pence a day, and received backdated wages two or three times monthly. On 16 August 1325, for example, thirty-one men received a total of 108 shillings and six pence in wages for the last ten days, and on 21 June 1326 thirty-three portours received a total of 115 shillings and six pence in wages for the previous thirteen days. Here's a typical entry from Edward's chamber account, from September 1325, transcribed and translated by myself:
Item illoeqes paie a [...] p' lour gages de ses xxx vadletz auantzditz p' chescun iijd le iour del viijme iour de sept' tantq' samadi le xxj iour de mesme le mois p' xiiij iours Cvs
"Item, paid there [the location mentioned in a previous entry] to [list of names], for the wages of his thirty grooms named above, three pence a day to each, from the 8th day of September until Saturday the 21st day of the same month, for fourteen days, 105 shillings."
That's all it meant in 1322, this 'being paid lots of money for spending fourteen days in the king's company' stuff. Wages given to some of Edward II's chamber staff. Not 'hush money'. Would three pence a day per person really suffice as 'hush money', one wonders? It was a decent salary at the time for men of their rank, especially as all food, drink, clothes and shoes were provided for free in the royal household on top of that, but wouldn't seem enough to bribe a large group of men not to tell anyone that they'd had sex with the king, and three pence a day hardly counts as 'substantial payments' either, surely. The phrase "remaining in the the king's company," demoerant en la compaignie le Roi, is used over and over in Edward's chamber accounts and merely refers to people who - gosh, you'll never guess! - accompanied him as he travelled around the country. It most certainly is not 'euphemistic', unless we assume that Edward was having sex with dozens of people daily and bribing them to keep quiet. Maybe it sounds 'euphemistic', though, if you're determined to make the most salacious and critical interpretation of Edward II's actions possible. It illustrates the perils of doing some research but not enough, so that you find one piece of evidence but don't realise that it occurs frequently in Edward's chamber accounts, think you've found something out of the ordinary, put two and two together to make 6427, and thus take something entirely everyday and normal absurdly out of context. It also illustrates the perils of writing history with an agenda, looking for something, anything, you can use to blacken Edward II's name and to turn Isabella into even more of a victim than you've already made her. Who wouldn't feel sympathy for a woman in such a situation, being humiliated by the knowledge that her royal husband is having sex with a large crowd of low-born men and paying them off?
Many of Edward II's staff remained loyal to him until the end: the last entry in his last chamber account, on 31 October 1326 when he was in South Wales desperately trying and failing to raise an army and to save his kingship, is a payment to twenty-four grooms of the chamber as their wages for the twenty days since 12 October. One of them is Walter 'Wat' Cowherd. Another is Simon Hod. Another is Robin Dyer. Three of the men whom Edward II had supposedly brought to court for two weeks in 1322 and paid hush money to because he'd been 'promiscuous' with them to the great distress of his wife. Wat Cowherd was one of the men named at Caerphilly Castle in March 1327, granted a pardon for holding the castle against the queen for the last few months. (Calendar of Patent Rolls 1327-30, pp. 37-8.) Among the Caerphilly garrison was Hugh Despenser the Younger's eldest son, seventeen- or eighteen-year-old Hugh or Huchon, and also among them were men who joined the Dunheved brothers in their attempt to free Edward of Caernarfon from Berkeley Castle in 1327 and men who joined the earl of Kent's attempt to free him from Corfe Castle in 1330. The men at Caerphilly Castle, including Wat Cowherd, were some of the most devoted and loyal supporters of Edward II there ever was. Wat certainly wasn't some random nobody the king brought to court to have sex with.
Here's 'Symond Hod' and 'Waut Couh[ier]de', i.e. Wat Cowherd, receiving their wages with the other chamber grooms on 4 August 1325 (Society of Antiquaries of London MS 122, p. 18):