EDWARD III. 1327 - 1377
Born 1312. Married Philippa, daughter of William, earl of Hainault, by whom he had seven sons and five daughters. Began to reign.1327. Reigned 50 years. Died 1377.
Edward III, under the tutelage of Mortimer, concluded the treaty of Northampton with Bruce, 1328, by which the English claim to supremacy over Scotland was formally abandoned. In 1332 Edward, the son of John Baliol having acquired the Scottish crown by the aid of the disinherited lords - that is, those who, having held land in England and Scotland, had lost the latter by adhering to the English interest - again subjected it to that of England. In 1334 Baliol ceded the Lowlands to England, but was himself driven from the country, and the English partisans and garrisons were expelled by 1342, Berwick only being permanently retained by England. Roxburgh Castle too was held by an English garrison till 1460. In 1356 Baliol ceded his nominal sovereignty to Edward, but in 1357 David Bruce was released from captivity without doing homage.
Isabella and Mortimer, regents. Discontents with the regency, 1328. Mortimer hanged, and Isabella imprisoned for life. Invasions and devastation's of Scotland, 1332 - 35 . Edward claims the French crown, 1337. Gains a great victory at Crecy, 1346. Calais surrenders to the English, 1347. Edward again devastates Scotland, 1355. The French defeated at Poictiers, and King John and Prince Philip of France brought prisoners to England. By the treaty of Bretagne, Edward resigns his claim to the throne of France, 1360, but renews the war with that country, 1369. Death of the black Prince, heir to the throne 1376.
Edward III., King of England, son
of Edward II. by Isabella of France, was born in 1313. He was a fine-looking, splendidly-built youth and soon became
immensely popular for his agreeable manners, good nature and amazing energy. He loved knightly chivalry, but above
all things he thirsted after military glory. Edward was only fourteen when on his fathers deposition in 1327 he
came to the throne, he was proclaimed king under a council of regency, and, for three years, the country was ruled
by his mother Isabella and Roger Mortimer, the Welsh Marcher - baron. And a poor show they made of it. in 1328
they concluded with the Scots what the disgusted English nation dubbed " The
They bartered away England's claim to over lordship and recognised Bruce as Scotland's King. The pride and oppression of Mortimer led to a general confederacy against him, and to his seizure and execution (10th Oct. 1330), and sent his mother into retirement.
Edward now turned his attention to Scotland, and having levied a well-appointed army, defeated the regent, Douglas, at Halidon Hill, in July, 1333. This victory produced the restoration of Edward Baliol, who was, however, again expelled, and again restored, until the ambition of the English king was diverted by the prospect of succeeding to the throne of France. Collecting an army and accompanied by the Black Prince, he crossed over to France. The memorable battle of Crécy followed, August 25, 1346, which was succeeded by the siege of Calais. In the meantime David II., having recovered the throne of Scotland invaded England with a large army, but was defeated and taken prisoner by a much inferior force under Lord Percy. In 1348 a truce was concluded with France; but on the death of King Philip, in 1350, Edward again invaded France, plundering and devastating. Recalled home by a Scottish inroad he retaliated by carrying fire and sword from Berwick to Edinburgh. In the meantime the Black Prince had penetrated from Guienne to the heart of France, fought the famous battle of Poictiers, and taken King John prisoner. A truce was then made, at the expiration of which (1359) Edward again crossed over to France and laid waste the provinces of Picardy and Champagne, but at length consented to a peace. This confirmed him in the possession of several provinces and districts of France which were in trusted to the Prince of Wales (the Black Prince), but gradually all the English possessions in France, with the exception of Bordeaux, Bayonne, and Calais, were lost.
TYRANNY OF THE CHURCH
The latter portion of Edward's reign was stormy. The once active King himself presently sank into helpless dotage and gave himself up to favourites and frivolities. The people complained of the mismanagement of the war, the taxes that reduced a man to the plight of Mother Hubbard, the corruption of the King's rascally friends and the labourers' wrongs. There was a long-standing grievance, too, against the Church. There had already been quarrels enough with the papacy over its interference in English affairs. Now, the country's anger was intensified by the worldliness and greed of the Popes and the conviction that they were but the tools of England's enemy, France. It was insufferable to the independent islanders that the Popes should be allowed to appoint their foreign friends to rich English livings - which they never set eyes on - and to draw vast revenues from them.
As for the English clergy, many of them were as depraved as their master. The lordly prelates revelled in pomp and luxury, the monasteries were filled with riches.The country's demand for the correction of these and other abuses was vigorously voiced by John Wycliffe, a learned and earnest Yorkshire priest. The reign of Edward III. saw also the commencement of the Lollard movement
LORDS AND COMMONS
King Edward died a year after his heroic son, June 21, 1377, he had forfeited most of his early popularity. People realised that, beneath his attractive qualities, lay an over-reaching ambition, a lack of steady purpose in the government of his country and a selfish indulgence in the pursuit of war at whatever cost to his subjects. Yet his long reign was a fruitful age for England. It saw the final welding of alien Norman and native Saxon into a single English people, conscious of its nationality and proud of it. Parliament was establishing itself firmly as an assembly to be consulted in the general affairs of the nation, especially in connection with taxation. Another development, trivial enough to all appearances, had far-reaching effects. Parliament became definitely divided into " Lords " and " Commons." In this division the knights of the shire, who might have been expected to sit with the Lords, joined the representatives of the towns. Their presence gave weight and dignity to the Commons. And, by forming a link between the higher nobility and the people, it did much to preserve politics from those rigid class distinctions that proved fatal to the representative assemblies of other nations. Despite war and pestilence, the country made considerable advances towards prosperity through its expanding trade and commerce. Particularly was this seen in the export to Flanders of the wool of its teeming flocks and in the manufacture of cloth that was to bring such untold wealth to the country in the future. Notable, too, was the increasing ascendency of the once despised native tongue over the courtly French and the beginnings of our modern literature. In Edward's reign was born the first great outstanding figure of the movement, the soldier- courtier - ambassador - government official-Member of Parliament and supremely great poet, Geoffrey Chaucer author of The Canterbury Tales, had a very considerable influence on English literature.