Edward III

"Ruled: 1327-1377
Son of: Edward II and Isabella of France
Married to: Philippa of Hainault
Children: Edward, the Black Prince; Lionel, duke of Clarence; John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster; Edmund, duke of York " Edward III was one of the most successful medieval warrior kings. He was crowned in 1327 when he was 14 and his reigned lasted for 50 years. In 1348 he established the Knights of the Garter which he bestowed on those knights and nobles who had distinguished themselves. Throughout his reign Edward heavily supported and promoted chivalry which in turn allowed him to develop good relationships with the nobility of the kingdom.

Edward's first major command was at the battle of Halidon Hill near Berwick 1333 against a Scottish army. Edward defeated the Scots. In addition, the English used a new method of combining forces of longbowmen with dismounted men-at-arms; this strategy was successfully duplicated during the Hundred Years War.

Edward led his first raid into French territory in 1338 to defend his claim to the duchy of Aquitaine (Philip VI of France had moved to confiscate the duchy). He landed in Antwerp but left the next year without accomplishing much. In 1340 he finally declared himself King of France after hesitating for a few years. His claim to the throne was via his mother who was Charles IV sister. Charles had died in 1328 without a mail heir. In 1346 he landed in Normandy with an army of about 15,000 men and proceeded to crush the French at Crecy. He moved on to Calais where he captured the town after a successful siege. The war was halted in 1348 when the bubonic plague struck. His last raid occurred during the winter of 1359-1360.

In 1360 he signed the Treaty of Bretigny in which he received sovereignty over Calais and Aquitaine in return for renouncing his claim to the French crown. Over the next 14 years English lands in France were slowly lost. Edward was succeeded by his grandson Richard II in 1377 because his son Edward, the black Prince, had died the year before.

Birth Location: 
Windsor Castle, England
Birth Date: 
11/13/1312
Death Location: 
Sheen Palace , Surrey,
Death Date: 
6/21/1377