King Edward III , of England
b.13 Nov 1312 Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England
d.21 Jun 1377 Richmond Palace, Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, England
m. 25 Jan 1308
m. 24 Jan 1328
Facts and Events
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. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe; his reign also saw vital developments in legislation and government—in particular the evolution of the English parliament—as well as the ravages of the Black Death. He is one of only five British monarchs to have ruled England or its successor kingdoms for more than fifty years.
Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother and her consort Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337, starting what would become known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks the war went exceptionally well for England; victories at Crécy and Poitiers led to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny. Edward's later years, however, were marked by international failure and domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king whose main interest was warfare. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by later Whig historians such as William Stubbs. This view has been challenged recently and modern historians credit him with some significant achievements.
From Plantagenet Ancestry, Douglas Richardson
EDWARD III OF ENGLAND, Earl of Chester, Count of Ponthieu and Montreuil, Duke of Aquitaine, Lord of the Isle of Wight, born at Windsor Castle, Berkshire 13 Nov. 1312. He was proclaimed King as Edward III 25 Jan. 1326/7, and was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey 29 Jan. 1326/7. He married at York 24 Jan. 1327/8 (by papal dispensation dated 30 August 1327, they being related in the 3rd degree of kindred) PHILIPPE OF HAINAULT, 3rd daughter of Guillaume III le Bon, Count of Hainault, Holland, and Zeeland, lord of Friesland, by Jeanne, daughter of Charles of France, Count of Valois, Alençon, Anjou, Chartres, Maine, and Perche (in France), Count of Barcelona, King of Aragón, Valencia, King of Constantinople, Regent of France (descendant of King Henry II) [see SICILY 8 for her ancestry]. She was probably born about 1313–5. They had twelve children (see below). During the first four years of his reign, England was governed in his name by his mother and Roger de Mortimer. Edward assumed personal rule 19–20 Oct. 1330, and had Mortimer executed. In 1333 he reversed Isabel’s and Mortimer’s policy of peace with Scotland by invading it, reviving the ambitions of his grandfather, King Edward I.
Edward III’s main foreign preoccupation, however, from 1337 onwards was France, whose king, Philippe VI, then declared his Duchy of Gascony forfeited. Edward formally assumed the title of King of France in right of his mother in Jan. 1340. In June 1340 the English fleet defeated the French navy in the Battle of Sluys, off the coast of Flanders. This victory gave the English control of the English Channel for the next generation. Near continuous war ensued with some respite from truces. The army, commanded by King Edward III and his son, Edward, defeated a larger French force at the Battle of Crécy in August 1346, the victory owing to superior tactics and to the invention of the longbow, which decimated the mounted French knights. The financial burden of the war roused resentment, which was assuaged somewhat when Edward negotiated the main war taxes with the representatives of the shires and the borough communities sitting in parliament. He aroused enthusiasm for the war by engaging the chivalrous interests of the nobles in it and stirring up distrust and hatred of the French. His wife, Philippe, was co-heiress in 1345 to her brother, Guillaume IV, Count of Hainault and Holland. Bubonic plague [or the Black Death] made its first appearance in England during his reign in 1348. In 1348 he was Founder Sovereign of the Order of the Garter, a secular order of knighthood. His son, Edward, won a great victory at Poitiers in Sept. 1356, capturing the French king, Jean II. In 1360 King Edward concluded the Treaty of Bretigny, giving up his claim to the throne of France, receiving in turn the province of Aquitaine, together with Calais, Guisnes, and Ponthieu in full sovereignty. Edward’s wife, Philippe, died at Windsor Castle 15 August 1369. Shortly before his wife’s death, he acquired a rapacious mistress, Alice de Perrers, by whom he allegedly had a son, John de Surrey (or Southerey), Knt. In the war of 1369–75, Charles V, King of France, won back from Edward what had been conceded in 1360. By 1375, when a truce was made at Bruges, English possessions in France had been reduced to Calais, a coastal strip of territory from Bordeaux to Boulogne, and parts of the Brittany coast. EDWARD III OF ENGLAND, King of England, died testate at Sheen Palace (now Richmond), Surrey 21 June 1377. He and his wife, Philippe, were buried at Westminster Abbey.
Edward III, the eldest son of Edward II and Isabella of France, was born in 1312. His youth was spent in his mother's court, until he was crowned at age fourteen, in 1327. His mother and her lover, Roger Mortimer dominated Edward, until 1330, when Mortimer was executed and Isabella was exiled from court. Philippa of Hainault married Edward in 1328 and bore him many children; the 75% survival rate of her children (nine out of twelve) was incredible considering conditions of the day.
The Hundred Years' War occupied the largest part of Edward's reign. He and Edward Baliol defeated David II of Scotland, and drove him into exile in 1333. The French cooperation with the Scots, French aggression in Gascony, and Edward's claim to the throne of France (through his mother Isabella; the Capetians failed to produce a male heir) led to the outbreak of War. The sea battle of Sluys (1340) gave England control of the Channel, and battles at Crecy (1346), Calais (1347), and Poitiers (1356) demonstrated English supremacy on the land. Edward, the Black Prince and eldest son of Edward III, excelled during this first phase of the war.
The Black Death swept across England and northern Europe throughout 1348-1350, removing as much as half the population. The Treaty of Bretigny in 1360 brought a respite until the resumption of hostilities in 1369. English military strength, weakened considerably after the plague, gradually lost so much ground that by 1375, Edward agreed to the Treaty of Bruges, which only left England Calais, Bordeaux, and Bayonne.
Domestically, England saw many changes during Edward's reign. Parliament divided into two Houses - Lords and Commons - and met regularly to finance the war. Treason was defined by statute for the first time (1352), the office of Justice of the Peace was created (1361), and English replaced French as the national language (1362). Philippa died in 1369 and the last years of Edward's reign mirrored the first; a woman, his mistress, Alice Perrers, once again dominated him. Alice preferred one of Edward's other sons, John of Gaunt, over the Black Prince, which caused political conflicts in Edward's last years.
Edward, the Black Prince, died one year before his father. Rafael Holinshed intimated that Edward spent his last year in grief and remorse believing the death of his son was a punishment for usurping his father's crown. In Chronicles of England, Holinshed wrote: "But finally the thing that most grieved him, was the loss of that most noble gentleman, his dear son Prince Edward ... But this and other mishaps that chanced to him now in his old years might seem to come to pass for a revenge of his disobedience showed to his in usurping against him..." Source: www.britannia.com
In 1348, Edward founded the Order of the Garter, and knights bore the title Knight of the Garter, abbreviated: K.G.
In 1362, English (rather than French) became the official language used in Parliment and law courts.
In 1374, Edward made Geoffrey Chaucer, 'The Public Poet', his Comptroller of Customs for London. Chaucer began writing poetry in the early 1360s and wrote his most famous work, 'The Canterbury Tales', between 1387-1398. Chaucer married the sister of Edward's daughter-in-law.
In 1376, Parliment gained the right to investigate public abuses and impeach offenders; the first impeachment was of Alice Perrers, Edward's mistress, and two lords.
Notable American Descendants
Edward III is the ancestor of at least 9 American presidents: