Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His fifty-year reign was the second-longest in medieval English history, and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English Parliament , as well as the ravages of the Black Death .
- France: The Hundred Years' War
- Domestic Events
- Knights & Chivalry
- Death & Successor
Edward III was born on 13 November 1312 CE at Windsor Castle, the son of King Edward II of England and Isabella of France (b. c. 1289 CE), the daughter of Philip IV of France (r. 1285-1314 CE). Edward's parents had married largely for diplomatic reasons and to produce an heir. In this latter respect, the marriage was a success and four children were produced. In most other respects the marriage was a disaster. Edward II is strongly suspected of having homosexual relations with at least two of his courtiers (although historians do not agree on the exact relationships), and Isabella thus spent most of her time in France with the young Edward by her side. There she openly took a lover, the English baron and anti-royalist Roger Mortimer (1287-1330 CE). The couple plotted to attack England and depose Edward II. Having lost the support of his barons through his patronage of dubious characters and military incompetence regarding Scotland, the English king could do nothing to stop Isabella...
With his father's demise, the young Prince Edward, aged just 14, was declared king with Isabella and Mortimer acting as his regents. Edward III thus became the final part of the trio that completed the 'Edwardian' period of medieval England (1272-1377 CE). The coronation took place on 1 February 1327 CE, as usual, at Westminster Abbey. There followed a purge of Edward II's entourage, but the boy-king proved to be not so easily manipulated. Soon enough, Edward gained revenge for his father's murder in October 1330 CE by surprising his regents in their chamber at Nottingham Castle by using a secret passageway. Roger Mortimer was imprisoned in the Tower of Londonand later executed as a traitor on 29 November 1330 CE while his mother was banished to a life of confinement at Castle Rising in Norfolk. Neither Mortimer or Isabella were missed, the pair having spent their time as regents largely lining their own pockets and those of their associates with the kingdom's treasures and prized e...
Scotland's independence had been secured in the 1328 CE Treaty of Northampton, but Edward had not given up on the dream of his grandfather, Edward I of England (r. 1272-1307 CE), to conquer the country. When the Scottish king Robert the Bruce died in 1329 CE after a 23-year reign, his successor was David II (r. 1329-1371 CE), then only five years old. The Balliols, long-standing rivals to the Bruces, saw an opportunity to re-stake their claim to the throne. Edward, too, took the chance to stir things up and so supported Edward Balliol (c. 1283-1367 CE) in the dispute despite his sister having been betrothed to David when Mortimer and Isabella had been regents. The English king's support proved vital. David was deposed in 1332 CE, and Balliol was made king but he was himself then deposed despite Edward's victory at the Battleof Halidon Hill on 19 July 1333 CE where the English king used a combination of archers and topography to great effect. There was another round of musical throne...
Edward III held lands in France and he could even make a strong claim to the French crown via his mother Isabella. The current French king was Philip VI of France (r. 1328-1350 CE) who had succeeded his cousin Charles IV of France (r. 1322-1328 CE) even if, when Charles had died, it was Edward who was his closest male relative, being Charles' nephew. The English king had not pressed his claim at the time, and the French nobility, discounting the legitimacy of inheritance through the female line, had naturally preferred a Frenchman as their ruler. However, by the mid-1330s CE Edward changed his strategy. By making a claim for the throne Edward could avoid a rebuke from the Pope for causing an unnecessary war and the rich lands available in France could be used as a lure for baronial support. The two equally ambitious kings thus, in 1337 CE, sparked off what would become known as the Hundred Years' War between France and England (a 19th-century CE label for a conflict which rumbled on...
From 1341 CE the English Parliament was beginning to take the form it has today with two separate houses sitting, the lower and the upper house (what would become the House of Commons and House of Lords respectively). The Parliament was able to push for more powers as the king became more desperate for funds, and these included the Houses first approving any new taxes, imposing a pledge of acceptance of the 1215 CE Magna Cartacharter of liberties by royal ministers, and prohibiting the king from arbitrarily annulling statutes. Edward was himself concerned with judicial corruption in his kingdom, and he took various measures to reduce it such as forbidding, from 1346 CE, anyone involved in local courts from taking fees or robes from those involved in a case, speeding up prosecutions, and more actively checking abuses of correct weights and measures by traders.
During the good times of the victories in France, Edward's court became famous for its pageantry, extravagant clothing and chivalry. Medieval literature boomed, too, with the celebrated poet Geoffrey Chaucer, (c. 1343-1400 CE) a member of the king's inner circle from 1367 CE onwards. Edward, a keen student of history, seemed intent on creating a new Camelot, the court of the legendary King Arthur. In 1344 CE the king held a great medieval tournament involving 200 knights where jousters dressed up as characters from the Arthurian legends. Around 1348 CE Edward went one step further and created the Order of the Garter. This order, England's oldest and still most prestigious, was created with only 24 chosen knights plus the king and his son, the Black Prince. All of its first members had fought at the Battle of Crécy; these were men of valour not just rank. The symbol of this order is a garter (then worn on the upper arm or upper leg over armour) and its motto is Honi soit, qui mal y p...
By the end of his reign, Edward was becoming increasingly unpopular and perhaps his mind was suffering from his age. There were no more victories in France to cheer, the state coffers and just about everyone else's were empty, and the king's scheming mistress, Alice Perrers - Queen Philippa had died of illness in 1369 CE - proved unpopular at court as she siphoned off riches for herself. In April 1376 CE a Parliament was convened, known as the 'Good Parliament', which sought to reduce the corruption in the royal household and which also banished Perrers. It seemed, though, the king was losing his grip on power and life. Edward suffered a stroke in 1376 CE and, never really recovering, he died on 21 June 1377 CE at Sheen Palace in Surrey. He was 64. Buried in Westminster Abbey, his tombcarries the following inscription: Unfortunately, Edward, the able and well-respected Black Prince (in England anyway) had also died, probably of dysentery, the year before and so a generation was skip...
- Mark Cartwright
Jun 17, 2021 · Edward III, byname Edward of Windsor, (born November 13, 1312, Windsor, Berkshire, England—died June 21, 1377, Sheen, Surrey), king of England from 1327 to 1377, who led England into the Hundred Years’ War with France.
Mar 11, 2020 · About Edward III, king of England "Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377) was King of England from 1327 until his death; he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, Edward II.
- Windsor, Berkshire, England (United Kingdom)
- November 13, 1312
King Edward III by Jessica Brain King of England from January 1327, Edward III was famous for his victories in the Hundred Years War, but would also face many challenges after inheriting a chaotic and disorderly mantle from his recently deposed father, Edward II .
Edward III, one of the great Plantagenet kings of England, was born in 1312, the eldest son of King Edward II of England and Isabella of France, the daughter of King Philip IV of France. He became...
Edward III (13 November 1312–21 June 1377) was a King of England. He ruled for 50 years. He made England the strongest military power during his reign. Edward was crowned when he was fourteen years old, after his father was forced to abdicate.
- Early Life
- Ascending to The Throne
- Looking North
- Fast Facts: Edward III
- The Hundred Years' War
- The Black Death
- Later Reign
Edward III was born at Windsor on November 13, 1312 and was the grandson of the great warrior Edward I. The son of ineffective Edward IIand his wife Isabella, the young prince was quickly made Earl of Chester to aid in shoring up his father's weak position on the throne. On January 20, 1327, Edward II was deposed by Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer and replaced by the fourteen-year old Edward III on February 1. Installing themselves as regents for the young king, Isabella and Mortimer effectively controlled England. During this time, Edward was routinely disrespected and treated poorly by Mortimer.
A year later, on January 24, 1328, Edward married Philippa of Hainault at York Minister. A close couple, she bore him fourteen children during their forty-one year marriage. The first of these, Edward the Black Prince was born on June 15, 1330. As Edward matured, Mortimer worked to abuse his post through the acquisition of titles and estates. Determined to assert his power, Edward had Mortimer and his mother seized at Nottingham Castle on October 19, 1330. Condemning Mortimer to death for assuming royal authority, he exiled his mother to Castle Rising in Norfolk.
In 1333, Edward elected to renew the military conflict with Scotland and repudiated the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton which had been concluded during his regency. Backing the claim of the claim of Edward Balliol to the Scottish throne, Edward advanced north with an army and defeated the Scots at the Battle of Halidon Hill on July 19. Asserting control over the southern counties of Scotland, Edward departed and left the conflict in the hands of his nobles. Over the next few years, their control slowly eroded as the forces of young Scottish King David II reclaimed the lost territory.Nation:EnglandBorn: November 13, 1312 at Windsor CastleCoronation:February 1, 1327Died:June 21, 1377 at Sheen Palace, Richmond
While war festered in the north, Edward was increasingly angered by the actions of France who supported the Scots and had been raiding the English coast. While the people of England began to fear a French invasion, the King of France, Philip VI, captured some of Edward's French lands including the duchy of Aquitaine and the county of Ponthieu. Rather than pay homage to Philip, Edward elected to assert his claim to the French crown as the only living male descendent of his deceased maternal grandfather, Philip IV. Invoking Salic law which banned succession along female lines, the French flatly rejected Edward's claim. Going to war with Francein 1337, Edward initially limited his efforts to alliance building with various European princes and encouraging them to attack France. Key among these relationships was a friendship with the Holy Roman Emperor, Louis IV. While these efforts produced few results on the battlefield, Edward did win a critical naval victory at the Battle of Sluys on...
In 1348, the Black Death (bubonic plague) struck England killing nearly a third of the nation's population. Halting military campaigning, the plague led to manpower shortages and dramatic inflation in labor costs. In an attempt to halt this, Edward and Parliament passed the Ordinance of Labourers (1349) and the Statute of Labourers (1351) to fix wages at pre-plague levels and restrict the movement of the peasantry. As England emerged from the plague, fighting resumed. On September 19, 1356, the Black Prince won a dramatic victory at the Battle Poitiersand captured King John II of France.
With France effectively operating without a central government, Edward sought to end the conflict with campaigns in 1359. These proved ineffective and the following year, Edward concluded the Treaty of Bretigny. By the terms of the treaty, Edward renounced his claim on the French throne in exchange for full sovereignty over his captured lands in France. Preferring the action of military campaigning to doldrums of daily governance, Edward's final years on the throne were marked by a lack of vigor as he passed much of the routine of government to his ministers. While England remained at peace with France, the seeds for renewing the conflict were sown when John II died in captivity in 1364. Ascending the throne, the new king, Charles V, worked to rebuild French forces and began open warfare in 1369. At age fifty-seven, Edward elected to dispatch one of his younger sons, John of Gaunt, to deal with the threat. In the ensuing fighting, John's efforts proved largely ineffective. Concludin...
This period was also marked by the death of Queen Philippa who succumbed to a dropsy-like illness at Windsor Castle on August 15, 1369. In the final months of her life, Edward began a controversial affair with Alice Perrers. Military defeats on the Continent and the financial costs of campaigning came to a head in 1376 when Parliament was convened to approve additional taxation. With both Edward and the Black Prince battling illness, John of Gaunt was effectively overseeing the government. Dubbed the "Good Parliament," the House of Commons used the opportunity to express a long list of grievances which led to the removal of several of Edward's advisors. In addition, Alice Perrers was banished from court as it was believed she wielded too much influence over the aged king. The royal situation was further weakened in June when the Black Prince died. While Gaunt was compelled to give into Parliament's demands, his father's condition worsened. In September 1376, he developed a large abs...
Edward III served as the King of England from 1327 until 1377. He came to power at the time when England was going through a difficult phase, with an inactive King who was keener on bestowing favours to his exclusive patronage rather than improving the condition of the country. King Edward III was charismatic and dominant.
Edward III. English Monarch. The son of Edward II and Isabella of France, he was installed as king after his mother and her lover, Roger Mortimer, forced his weak father to abdicate. He was crowned on January 25, 1327 at the age of 14, with his mother and Mortimer in control as regents. Edward married Philippa of Hainault on January 24, 1328 at ...
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