King Edward III Fact File: Lifespan: 1327 – 1377 *** Full Name: Edward III was also known as King Edward II of England *** Date of Birth (Birthday): He was born on November 13, 1312 *** Place of Birth: Edward III was born at Windsor Castle, England *** Family background: His father was Edward II *** Edward III died on June 21, 1377 ***
King Edward III Fact 1: Edward III was born on November 13, 1312 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England. He became known as Edward of Windsor.
King Edward III Fact 2: He was King of England from January 25, 1327 to June 21, 1377. He was crowned king at fourteen years of age and reigned over England for fifty years.
King Edward III Fact 3: His father was Edward II, he was King of England from July 7, 1307 until January 25, 1327 when he was deposed by his wife, Edward III's mother, Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer. As King of England, his father failed repeatedly and was often accused of being inactive, particularly in the First War of Scottish Independence.
King Edward III Fact 4: He was crowned King of England on February 1, 1327 after his father was forced to end his reign by Isabella of France and her lover Roger Mortimer. As a young king, Edward III faced many conflicts with Roger Mortimer who was the de facto ruler of England. On October 19, 1330, Edward III captured Roger Mortimer at Nottingham Castle and had him executed.
King Edward III Fact 5: He wanted to recover the strong powerful nation that England had once been before his father became king. Following the death of Roger Mortimer, the young, active king began his personal reign. He was not in agreement with the Treaty of Northampton which gave Scotland independence, and he sought to change it.
King Edward III Fact 6: His young brother-in-law, David II, became the King of Scots in 1329. Edward III saw this as an advantage and planned to assist the leader of the Scottish barons, Edward Balliol, whom Robert I King of Scotland had previously exiled, in becoming the next King of Scotland. His efforts resulted in the defeat of David II who fled to France but later returned in 1341.
King Edward III Fact 7: He created the Duchy of Cornwall in 1337 which ensured that an income, independent to the sovereign or the state, would be provided to the heir to the throne.
King Edward III Fact 8: He invaded France in 1339, two years after the Hundred Years War had began, in order to claim the throne of France.
King Edward III Fact 9: As a soldier, he became a strong and inspiring leader to many. He overran Brittany following an English naval victory at Sluys on June 24, 1340 which secured England's control over the English Channel.
King Edward III Fact 10: He arrived in Normandy in 1346 with 15,000 men. He successfully defeated King Philip VI of France during the Battle of Crécy on August 26, 1346. The English army continued, they captured King David II of Scotland which secured the northern borders.
King Edward III Fact 11: The siege of Calais became one of the greatest operations carried out by England during the Hundred Years' War. It began on September 4, 1346 and involved an army of 35,000 men. The battle continued until the surrender of Calais on August 3, 1347.
King Edward III Fact 12: He founded the Order of the Garter in 1348. The Order of the Garter can be described as the oldest and most senior British Order of Chivalry where by the King and 25 knights honour those who have held public office.
King Edward III Fact 13: The outbreak of the Black Death impacted England greatly as the country lost more than one third of its population. The huge loss of lives meant that England lost some of its greatest workers which resulted in a loss of manpower and an unaffordable rise in wages. England managed to avoid a full scale breakdown and the country regained its stability moderately quickly given the circumstances.
King Edward III Fact 14: By 1360, Edward III had gained control over a quarter of France. He gained support by nobles and his success improved his relations with parliament.
King Edward III Fact 15: The Treaty of Brétigny marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. It was introduced on May 8, 1360 as an agreement between King Edward III of England and King John II of France. Edward III accepted the treaty and renounced his claims to the French throne.
King Edward III Fact 16: The Treaty of Bruges brought about many changes when it was introduced in 1375. It resulted in many of the English conquests being reversed by Charles V who left Edward III with Calais and an area near Bordeaux.
King Edward III Fact 17: An historian known as William Stubbs wrote the following description of Edward III: 'Edward III was not a statesman, though he possessed some qualifications which might have made him a successful one. He was a warrior; ambitious, unscrupulous, selfish, extravagant and ostentatious. His obligations as a king sat very lightly on him. He felt himself bound by no special duty, either to maintain the theory of royal supremacy or to follow a policy which would benefit his people. Like Richard I, he valued England primarily as a source of supplies.'.
King Edward III Fact 18: He was said to be a temperamental man who acted impulsively. He was most concerned with warfare and has been credited as being a great military leader.
King Edward III Fact 19: He was married to Philippa of Hainault. A formal celebration took place on January 24, 1328 at York Minster. They had fourteen children together, three of whom died from Black Death in 1348. Philippa of Hainault died on August 15, 1369 at Winsor Castle, eight years before the death of her husband, Edward III.
King Edward III Fact 20: He died as a result of a stroke on June 21, 1377. He was buried next to his wife, Philippa of Hainault, at Windsor Castle, England.
Influence & Legacy of King Edward III: Edward III became the King of England at the age of 14 when he took to the throne following his father's disastrous reign. He made great efforts to restore royal authority and is credited for strengthening the military powers of the United Kingdom.