Rosette                The Reign of King Edward III

King Edward III
1.The Setting  7.Fostering Alleigance
2.The Coup  8.Plague and Pestilence
3.Parliamentary Changes  9.Administrative Changes
4.Scottish excursions and incursions  10.The Decline
5.Knights Duties  11.Legacies
6.Arthurian Court 12. The children of Edward III & Queen Philippa

N.B. Each coloured type represents a different historical source [given in the references at the bottom of this page] . Compare the differences in detail, transcription, date calculation and other discrepancies which exist with secondary and interpretive sources such as these. You will soon discover history is no science!
Bold type indicates where Sir William de Miggeley may have been involved.

King Edward III as a younger man 1327 25th January. Fifteen [fourteen] [fourteen] years old when Edward ascended the throneCrowned Edward III and began his reign
Roger Mortimer was a Marcher Baron of the Welsh border who had Edward II murdered. Mortimer and Queen Isabella quickly took power.
1327  Edward  crowned 1st February, at Westminster Abbey.
He had to kneel in front of the King of France, Philip IV, in this year to retain the wine province of Gascony.
1327 April, Edward II was imprisoned at Berkeley Castle, Gloucestershire and probably murdered by his jailers.
1328 A marriage was arranged between Philippa of Hainaut ['Hainault"] and Edward III [she was 14 and he 16 (1516) years old]  by his mother Isabella and Mortimer. A papal dispensation had to be obtained as Edward III was Phillipa's 2nd cousin. Isabella used Philippa's dowry to pay the knights wages in Hainaut and Germany who helped with the 1326 invasion of England14. At a Parliament held in 1328 at Salisbury [Old Sarum], Mortimer was given the title Earl of March16.Many of the leading nobles stayed away and held an alternative Parliament in London. Mortimer took the young Prince Edward III from Salisbury in the same year to attack the lands of Lancaster. The barons were too divided to overthrow Isabella's and Mortimer's government
The Scots under Robert de Bruce having recognised the instability of the crown, began marauding and burning Northumberland. English troops were amassed at York. They had difficulty locating the Scots who were lightly armed and travelled rapidly on horseback. Eventually with the help of  an escapee, a Yorkshireman Thomas de Rokeby, they were located encamped on a steep hillside to the north of the River Wear. A stand off occurred, the Scots moved to an even steeper hill and the English army then camped opposite at Stanhope Park. The Scots retreated. This was the first engagment with the Scots during Edward III's reign. To seal a peace pact which was ratified at this time, Edward the III's sister Johanna/Joanna [Joan] then aged seven was promised by Queen Isabella to David II of Scotland then aged about six8.or 7   The nuptials were celebrated at Berwick on the Sunday before the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene16. Later, Joan of the Tower, the sister to Prince Edward [later Ed III] was married to David II of Scotland.

During the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346 David II was captured after being wounded in the head or face by an arrow. It would take Scotland over a century to retake what was lost at Neville's Cross. King David was incarcerated in Windsor Castle14 David was imprisoned for a total of 11 years [1346-1357] in one of the caves beneath Nottingham Castle, some drawings on the walls of which are purported to be his. Joan was permitted visits to her husband by Edward III, her brother. Joan was popular in Scotland but on David King of the Scots release his infidelities led her to return to England, where she died in 1362.

Edward II later built a new prison for the Scottish prisoners at Nottingham. David was the son of Robert de Bruce.
Scotland was given up, much to the dismay of the Northern English who desired peace from the incessant raids into Northern England and who would now be under the control of Robert de Bruce.

On the 24th January, Edward married Philippa of Hainaut at York. There was much merry-making and rejoicing for four weeks marred only by a second seriousA younger queen Philippa engagement beween the hired "Hainaulter" troops and the English army.
Philippa had [12][12]13 children.She bore six sons and five daughters. Edward was king only in name under the tutelage of his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer. Henry of Lancaster with the support of the King's uncles [Earls of Norfolk and Kent] led the opposition against Mortimer. As a result, Mortimer attacked Henry of Lancaster's lands.
Joan of Kent1329 Robert de Bruce died and is succeeded by the young David II under the care of the Regent for Scotland, the Earl of Murray.
Isabella and Mortimer began to set a trap for the Duke of Kent, the father of Joan "The Fair Maid of Kent" [left - a composite of Joan showing her mother's Wake heraldry and the arms of her three husbands]. They had suspicions that the Earl would support any opposition to the status quo. It was put about that Edward II was alive and kept at Corfe Castle in Dorset. When the Earl sent a friar to determine the truth and pledge his sword to Edward II it was discovered too late that it was a ruse and the Earl's intentions were then made clear17.
1330 Edward was forced to hold a Parliament at Winchester which had Edmund condemned. In March 1330, Mortimer had the Earl of Kent, Edmund of Woodstock executed. Edmund Plantagenet was Edward II's half brother16. The Duke was taken outside the walls of Winchester Castle, ostensibly the executioner refused to carry out the act, but after an hour or so, someone was found to accept the devil's pay to do the dirty deed. This was Mortimer's undoing, and Edward III seized his moment at Nottingham.
In June 1330, Edward III's first child was born, Edward, later"The Black Prince"16.
 The death of the Duke of Kent convinced the nobles and Edward III of the danger of Mortimer and this led to a coup at Nottingham.
During Edward III's reign three parliaments were held at Nottingham Castle.
1330 Michelmas,
October During a parliament held in Nottingham castle [an earlier structure than the present stone construction] at the age eighteen years of age, ["rising 17"] with a band of his young friends, including Sir William Eland [Constable of Nottingham castle], William Montague and fellow knights, Edward seized the dictator, Mortimer, in the Queen Mother's bedroom in Nottingham Castle in a swashbuckling coup. Isabella and Mortimer were arrested by Edward and his men in Nottingham Castle. At this point Edward became king in fact as well as name.Edward seized power in this year. The day after Mortimer was seized, Edward III said " The affairs that concern him and the estate of his realm shall be directed by the common counsel of his realm and in no otherwise". This was a turning point in the relations between the barons and the King.
Edward took control of the Government and ordered the arrest of Mortimer at Nottingham. Mortimer was taken to Tyburn and hanged on the 29th November 133016. Isabella, Edward's mother was sent to her Castle and manor at Castle Rising in Norfolk for the last 28 years of her life, she was free to come and go, Edward would visit her and she often irritated the burghers of King's Lynn14. Isabella received £3000 p.a. maintainance, dying 30 years after her dismissal from Court in 1360 after becoming a nun towards the end. She was buried in a Franciscan cemetary at Newgate16, not at Westminster, for although she was Edward III's mother she was seen by the English people as a French traitor.The present Sandringham, used by the Royal Family is part of this original manor.

                                                                                             Queen Isabella The She-Wolf of France

Descibed as the "She-Wolf of France". She governed England for three years with Sir Roger Mortimer. Isabella had come to England as a 12 year old bride to marry Edward II.
However she was overshadowed by Piers Gaveston a homosocial who received the best of her jewels & rings she had brought from France along with presents.from Edward II. She complained bitterly of this in a letter to her father. Despite recent attempts to portray Isabella in a better light, the weight of evidence indicates that she was fully implicated with Mortimer in the:
1. Invasion of England.
2. She encouraged Mortimer's liason and dalliances.
3. She was aware of the Duke of Kent's pending execution, a Plantagenet, like her                 husband.
4. Aware of the impending attacks upon Henry Plantagenet Earl of Lancaster's lands.

Born 1292? died 1358. Betrothed to Edward II 1303. Married Edward II in 130812.

1331 Edward recognised England could make "add-on" profit from the wool trade and so invited Flemish weaver's to Yorkshire, Lancashire and Norfolk. [Philippa his wfe was Flemish] In this year Philippa was granted the Honour of Knaresborough Castle in Yorkshire.

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1332 Parliament [Fr: "Parley"= talk, discuss] was divided into two houses, The Lords and The Commons. From the 1230's parliament was an assembly of nobles and administrators who offered advice to the king.
The "Common Assent" or the assent of Parliament came to be required in Edward's time if the King needed extra taxes for military excursions. This was the first parliament to vote supplies for war. At the coming of age of Edward III, Parliament became more important and the views and opinions of burghers [later, town councillors] and knights were heeded.Contemporary chroniclers began to use the term 'The Commons"

King Edward III his father and grandfather, Lichfield Cathedral
                    Statue of Edward III  (right) with his father and grandfather high on the western facade of Lichfield Cathedral

In 1332 Edward de Baliol after having been a virtual refugee at the English Court16, sailed to Fife from Ravenspurn on the Yorkshire coast and after defeating the Regent of the young king David at the battle of Dupplin Moor16 took the Scottish crown for three months8.Baliol was crowned at Scone16He had to  hurriedly flee Scotland when it was discovered that he had secretly agreed to have Edward III as his overlord and give southern Scotland to the English who had been diposssessed by Robert de Bruce.
At  this time we know that  Edward de Baliol of Scotland stayed at Sandal Castle10, near Wakefield awaiting Edward III's armies to amass for the Scottish campaign and attack on Berwick.

1333 Edward advanced on Berwick16 and invaded Scotland to defeat David II at Halidon Hill. Berwick was placed under seige and much slaughter followed the surrender16. Edward's first great victory was at Halidon Hill, near Berwick  The Scots were thoroughly beaten and routed16.. The battle is recorded by Queen Philippa's chronicler, Jaques Froissart. Cannon appear to have been used and as a result of the success, Berwick became English although the County of Berwickshire remained Scottish.
As a result  Edward de Baliol, Earl of Galloway was placed on the Scottish throne, but he had to cede Berwickshire and S.E. Scotland to Edward III16.

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The landed gentry had a condition of military service attached to their tenure. Unpaid military service lasted for only 40 days, so mercenaries were used, such as landless knights, younger sons or professional soldiers who fought for pay and plunder. Knights used war horses called DESTRIERS, for everyday use the knight used a PALFREY.
Knights usually served a great lord [e.g. Earl of Lancaster whose seat was at Pontefract] The lord's  lands were divided into "knights fees". Each fee had to support a knight who followed his lord and king.
On a writ sent to the Sheriff, 2 knights from each shire were elected by the freeholders.
1334 Edward III had the tallest Spire in England added to Salisbury Cathedral  It was also in this year that David II of Scotland fled to France, he stayed there for 7 years. The French encouraged Scotland during this time to rebel against England. The Count of Flanders and other Flemish nobles sided with France at this time. They placed obstructions on the English wool trade and threatened the  Flemish weavers.
1335  Sir William de Miggeley is recorded as serving in  the house of Commons in the English Parliament at York. In this Parliament Edward III obtained substantial sums of money for the renewal of active war16 with France.
1336  Sir William de Miggeley serves in the house of Commons in the English Parliament at York.
In 1336 as a result of the tyrrany of the Flemish aristocrats towards the Flemish weavers, whilst
William de Miggeley was a serving member of 'The Commons' in Parliament held at York, an embargo was placed on wool exports to the Netherlands. However the townspeople of Flanders rose against the Flemish aristocracy with no small success. The Flemish town burghers were threatened with revenge and so Edward encouraged these Flemish weavers to migrate to England, with them they brought their wool spinning, carding and weaving skills. It was the merchantile section of Parliament which pleaded for action with Edward III and William de Miggeley is likely to have been an influential part of this lobby group, having likely invested heavily in Yorkshire Pennine wool.
See Lord William Hastings and the Calais Wool Staple.
1337 The Painted Chamber ['The Comons' composed of knights and town burghers came to have a speaker in 1337, Sir Thomas Hungerford16.

Battle of Crecy 1346 THE WAR IN FRANCE
1337 The French king laid claim to English possessions in France, Edward III replied by claiming the throne of France in 1340.The Hundred Years War began. Edward quartered the fleur-de-lis on his coat of arms [1340] with the leopards of England. In reality he attempted to control Gascony and the wine trade at Bordeaux and keep open the wool trading with the woollen markets of Flanders.
Calais was captured after an 11 month seige in 1347, the residents had been reduced to eating cats and dogs. The burghers of the town were only saved, according to Froissart, from hanging, by Queen Philippa's intervention.

A journey from York to London could take a week, Edward therefore recognised that he Edward III in Court Dress. Edward's main aim was to unite the nobility into a cohesive class of public servants, motivated by chivalry, enriched by the wealth he enabled them to win and tied to the crown through marriage to his relatives. He thus fostered the ideal of Chivalry and based the King's Court on the conduct of the Arthurian legend.
  needed the nobles (Barons, Magnates) as allies.He thus developed a concilliatory approach, providing the nobles with a range of liberties.

                                                                  EDWARD III
Personality traits:
Impulsive, generous,flambouyant, affable, passionate, energetic,restless a boyish charm, the beau ideal of Chivalry. He loved display and pageantry. Notoriously licentious and unfaithful to his wife.
Tall, handsome, red-gold hair.Over six feet tall, he literally towered over his subjects.
Excelled in Knightly Arts, enjoyed jousting and feasting with his knightly companions in arms. Loved hunting & falconry, he was much loved by his people.A man of action, who enjoyed leading his troops.Edward was not always faithful to Philippa but he relied greatly on her, he rapidly declined after her death.
1340 Edward II declared himself king of France and added the fleur-di-lis to his coat of arms. The "Hundred Years War" commenced between England and France with the battle of Sluys [Flanders], this has been described with some detail by the chronicler, Geoffrey le Baker17.
1341 David II returned from exile in France to engage the English armies as a result Edward Baliol was deposed. Edward III raised the seige of Wark Castle held by Catherine de Montague wife of William Montague, Edward's best friend14 .In this year Johnson stated that Edward III "came of age"14.
1343 Parliament was composed of 1] Prelates and magnates, 2] Knights and burghers. The first group met at Westminster in "The White Chamber" [now the "Lords" which is a red colour] and the second group met in "The Painted Chamber" [now the "Commons" which is a green colour].
The Painted Chamber came to have a speaker in 1337, the first speaker being Sir Thomas Hungerford16.

Edward III in a church window 1344 Edward had a "Round Table Tournament" at Windsor Castle where he "re-established" the "original" Arthurian order of knights. He built a round tower at Windsor Castle to accomodate a "Round Table" at which he and his knights sat & feasted after their jousts and tournaments as equals "in fair fellowship" Edward gained such a great respect from the legend of King Arthur, that he had his own "Round Table" constructed during the first years of his reign.[Edward I, previously had a "Round Table" constructed which now hangs in the Great Hall at Winchester Castle9]
Legend began to shape reality. Edward was hailed as the new King Arthur. To young English nobles he seemed the reincarnation of King Arthur. In the same year 1344, he introduced a number of gold coins  the florin [2 shillings], half-florin [1 shilling], quarter-florin [six-pence], and for the first time:, the noble [80 pence], half-noble [40 pence] and the quarter-noble [20 pence]. Up until then the florin range had been produced in gold by two Florentine goldsmiths18.
: The gold Noble introduced by Edward III to commemorate the Battle of Sluys

Edward III attacked France who as Scotland's strategic ally attempted to defeat England, thus hoping to have England fighting on two fronts. Edward allied with Holland [his wife Philippa was from Flanders, the expanding English wool production had found ready markets long before in Flanders and cordial trading relations and courtly interactions had followed]

1346 Edward assembled his fleet & set sail from Potrsmouth for the invasion of Normandy. The expedition was supplied from Yorkshire via the Ouse and Trent rivers to Hull. Edward raised no troops from the north for his Crecy campaign , he "kept the postern gate well guarded".
Percy and Neville kept the Northern Marches safe14
Later he won the
Battle of Crecy at this battle the "Black Prnce" [Edward the King's Edward III and Edward The Black Prince who receives Gascony eldest child] distinguished himself.
From this time the adoption of the three feathers and motto "Ich dien" [I serve] into the second Prince of Wales' regalia occurred [Edward-the "Black Prince"]. These were taken as trophies from the blind and fallen leader of the Bohemians at the Battle of Crecy and presented to Edward the "Black Prince" by his father who knighted him on the battlefield.
An older Queen Phillipa 1346 David II invaded England while Edward III was fighting in France at Crecy. Edward's wife Queen Philippa raised an army which defeated and captured David II at Neville's Cross near Durham. A final major battle was fought against the Scots at Neville's Cross, near Durham. King David II was captured [Robert de Bruce's son] and was not released back to Scotland until 1357. An army assembled at York under its archbishop William de La Zouche and marched north to Neville's Cross14
David had reached as far as York, Queen Philippa was at this time keeping her court at York, she summoned the barons and peoples of the north. The two armies met in combat at "Red Hills" outside the walls of Durham Castle. on 17th October 1346. David was wounded and taken prisoner, Philippa then took him to London. The Scots lost 20,000 and the flower of Scottish knighthood, the English lost about 4000.
see The Battle of Neville's Cross


                                                 QUEEN PHILIPPA
Personality traits:
Warm hearted [much loved by the people], intelligent,
patient and with great forebearance.
Not beautiful, physically hardy.
Bore 12 children, only 3 died in childhood.
Accompanied Edward on some of his campaigns [Halidon and Calais]
Early in Edward's reign she encouraged cloth workers friom her own country [Flemings] to settle in Norwich. She encouraged coal mining on her estate of Tyndale in Northumberland [between the River Tyne and Scottish border], which began exports to the Low Countries.
Raised an army against Scottish invaders for Neville's Cross  when her husband was securing his claims in France in 1346.
A major influence in maintaining good relationships between her sons and their father, Edward III.
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1347 In this year [or 1344]  following Crecy, Edward founded the
"Order of the Knights of the Blue Garter" consisting of himself and 26 of his most renowned companions. The Order is housed in St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.
 He created the Order of The Garter for his bravest knights. The Order won its name and motto when Joan 'Countess of Salisbury' his cousin, dropped [lost] a garter at the ball in 1348. He boldly picked it up [and fastened it to his own leg] and to counter the sniggers, declared: "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense" [Let him be ashamed who sees evil in it] [Shame on him who thinks evil of it] The Order of the Garter was born and the motto remains on the coat of Arms of the Royal Family to this day. This act by the king was  to counter the perception by the assembled guests that The King was having an affair with the Countess of Salisbury, such that he made light of it by turning the embarrassment for her around and making it an honour. The Regent thereafter having to kneel down and affix the Garter to the knight's leg at the Garter ceremony in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

was wooed but not won by the king, for she was in love with the steward of the earl of Salisbury. To be closer to her lover, she wed the earl, but when both the earl and his steward died, she became the bride of the Black Prince.  Another version says Edward is supposed to have made ministrations to the "Countess of Salisbury", Alice/Alys* the wife of William Montague, Earl of Salisbury at Wark castle. Or this could have been the wife of Edward Montague, younger brother of the Earl of Salisbury, William being on campaign in France and Edward Montague at Wark castle with his wife and sister-in-law.  * Actually Katherine Grandisson married the 1st earl

UPDATE: A thorough search of the C. P. R. indicates that Joan was never the 'countess of Salisbury'! 'Joan of Kent' does not appear as we would expect her salutation to be as 'Joan wife of William de Monte Acuto, earl of Salisbury'. The reason for this is that the man she married in 1341, who became William Montacute 2nd earl of Salisbury, did not come of age until 1349. In the C. P. R. he does not appear as the earl of Salisbury until 1350. Before 1350 he is merely referred to as the 'heir of William de Monte Acuto earl of Salisbury' and the ward of  Edward III. Similarly Joan is referred to as the 'wife of William de Monte Acuto, son on William de Monte Acuto, earl of Salisbury'. The Pope granted a marriage annulment to Joan and William in 1349 when they were both aged twenty/twenty-one which seems to have coincided with William becoming the earl of Salisbury.

Thus unless Froissart mistakenly used the title 'Countess of Salisbury' at the Garter Ball meaning Joan, then the Garter incident originated with the widow of the first earl of Salisbury's wife, Katherine Grandisson not Joan of Kent. Her husband, the first earl died in 1344 and Katherine was thus widowed from the age of about 40 [1344] to age 45 [1349] which encompasses the time of a possible ball held after the siege of Calais or shortly thereafter, for the Garter ceremony was inaugurated in 1348.


Was Joan of Kent the basis for the star-crossed lover, Juliet Capulet?                                                                                                                                          

As Juliet and Romeo were married secretly by a priest, Joan of Kent, was clandestinely married by a priest to Thomas Holland without King Edward III's consent and probably unknown to Joan's mother, Margaret Wake. The name Montague appears in 'Romeo and Juliet' as Romeo's surname, whereas Joan married secondly and bigamously, William Montague, later 2nd earl of Salisbury. This bigamous marrige could be the reason for Edward III saying, 'Think nothing of it' when Frossart's 'countess of Salisbury' had her garter slip at the post Crecy ball. Such an occurence would have been seen as an ill-omen amongst the superstitious medieval nobility. Joan is rumoured to have been the most beautiful woman in England at the time and no doubt her beauty and desirability was much enhanced by the death of her brother John and her subsequent inheritance. 

In all probability, the play supports Protestantism, by the fact that the meddling Catholic priest was seen as one of the root causes of the tragedy. During the 1900's some came to question whether William Shakespeare was the author of the well known play as he never seems to have left England, nor travelled to Italy. Some came to suspect that the well travelled Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford was the real author b. 1550, d. 1604. Edward de Vere' was descended from Joan of Kent and Thomas Holland, being their 5th great grandson [Through John Holland 1st duke of Exeter > Alice his daughter who married Richard de Vere 11th earl of Oxford > Robert de Vere > John de Vere > John de Vere 15th earl of Oxford > John de Vere 16th earl of Oxford the father of the 17th earl]. Like all landed nobility, Oxford knew of his genealogical well and would have had the story of Joan's secret marriage passed on to him through his family.

Edward de Vere came into disfavour with Queen Elizabeth I by impregnating one of her ladies-in-waiting, Anne Vavasour, a Yorkshire lass from a baronial family. As a result there were skirmishes and 'violent street brawls' between retainers of the earl of Oxford and relatives of Anne Vavasour. These are reminiscent of the street fighting between the Montague's and the Capulets. Poetic licence gathered from real-life, elements of reality welded to fiction - the best foundation for a good story!

In 1347 food prices had risen and were causing great hardship for example corn was 10 pence a bushel whilst wages were 15 pence a week.

However during the intevening years England had become very prosperous, mainly through exporting wool to the Brabant weavers who were also encouraged to settle in York, Kendal and other towns.
Printing from moveable type appears in this year.

The Black Death, The Great Plague entered England from Melcombe [Weymouth Bay] on 23rd June 1348.
(Bubonic and Pneumonic) Bubonic plague was transmitted by fleas either the human flea, Pulex irritans or from infected rat fleas, Xenopsylla cheopsis
Pneumonic plague was carried by sputum, sneezing, coughing and even perhaps infected breath in cramped conditions. It was a disease mainly of the very young the old, the poor and the lowest classes.

Bubonic Pague symptom Symptoms: Pallor, sudden shivering & retching, high temperature, delerium, agony, scarlet blotches, tumours under the arms [swollen lymph glands], swelling in the groin and armpits and hard black spots or black boils ("God's Tokens"). Death occurred in 2-5 days.
Some people who are thought to have died of the Great Pestilence are :
John 8th Earl Warrene 1347
Blanche Plantagenet, John of Gaunt's wife, 1369.

In some areas up to 45% - 50% [or 1/3] of the population died. Many people were thrown into open communal pits. The oldest, youngest and poorest died first.
The religious houses suffered severely as a result of their vow of attending to the sick. On 2nd September 1348  the Archbishop of Canterbury succumbed to the plague.
Parliament had to be prorouged due to the Black Plague being in London14.
After the plague landlords offered labourers higher wages, people would move to where better pay was offered. This was the beginning of the end of serfdom and the rise of true FREEDOM which, contrary to popular belief,  had not been granted at Runnymede. It took a PLAGUE, and Edward III's parliamentary changes to begin the world of modern DEMOCRACY.
Edward then passed a law [The Statute of Labourers] holding wages to pre-plague levels, but the law of supply and demand eventually won..
In this year Edward made a new charge that could be applied in law, that of 'treason' for those who worked against the King. The need for this term had come about as a result of Mortimer's behaviour.Also in 1351 a range of denominations were introduced18:
1] In gold- the Noble, half-noble, quarter noble. These exhibit some of the best of English stamped coins ever produced. William Lord Latimer bought the as mint engraver at the Tower in 1329 without Edward III's permission but after requesting a pardon was granted such.
2] In silver- the groat, half groat, the penny, half-penny and the farthing.
From 1343 up to this time gold coins had been produced by two Florentine Goldsmiths [hence the derivation of Florin], but these products were not considered successful.
The sickle came to be replaced by the scythe in order to increase the efficiency of food production14.
As a result of the Great Plague, there were large changes in land ownership, about two to two and a half miliion people were left in England from a pre-plague level of about four milliom.
On August 8th 1348, Edward held the first Garter Ceremony at the newly constructed St. Georges Chapel, Wnndsor Castle.
On the 2nd September 1348 Joan, Edward III's daughter, one, if not his only favorite child, died from the plague whilst at Bordeaux.
The Great plague is believed to have "naturally selected" those with immunity to the disease. It is now thought that the exposure or existing immunity produced 10% immunity to H.I.V. amongst Caucasians today. Negroid and Asian groups have none of this immunity13.

1354  Following the Plague much arable land had been turned to sheep grazing because of the scarcity of labour. Wool exported from England at this time was worth £193,978  [about £2 million in 1892 value]8.
1355 Following the Great Pestilence, the war with France was back in full swing16.

1356 Poitiers - another overwhelming victory to the English Army under Edward "The Black Prince", 4000 Englishmen defeated 40,000 Frenchmen and captured John II of France.
1357 David II of Scotland was released from the Tower of London16.
1360 The Treaty of Bretigny gave England the southern half of France. In this year a plague 12 years after the first Great Plague killed mostly young children the product of those who had survived this previous pestilence16.

1361 The office of J.P. was created. In this year a second outbreak of The Plague appeared which lasted into 1363 and which particularly affected children14.
1362  Edward III addresses Parliament in English for the first time The English language was first used to open Paliament. English replaced French as the official language of the Law Courts. A new merchant class evolved with the spread of lay learning. In this same year, William Langlands ["Long Will"] produced Piers Plowman an account accurately reflecting England in the 1300's, containing truths, wrongs, briberies, reason and conscience16
When English was first introduced into the Parliament, Northerners could not understand Southerners, only the Midlanders could understand both14.Edward III's autograph is the first regent's signature to survive.
1363 The Courts of Quarter Sessions were introduced. They were established to deal with low grade offences under the stewardship of Justices of the Peace [J.P.] These courts were in existence until 1971!

1368 a third outbreak of the Plague occurred16.
1369 Edward's Queen Philippa dies fromthe Plague16.A third outbreak of the Plague occurred14. From this time until 1395 England lost almost all the territory in France. When the "Hundred Years War" ended in 1453 only Calais and the coastal area around were retained. From this time Edward takes a mistress, Alice Perrers. Perrers and William Lord Latimer with the support of John of Gaunt controlled the Royal Household whilst Edward III was in his dotage.
1374 A third plague strikes
1375  The plague continues through this year
1376 Edward the "Black Prince" dies after a painful illness contracted in Spain and is buried at Canterbury Cathedral.
Edward III, the subject for later Aryan paintings of Jesus Christ? 1377- In this year parliament first granted to Edward III a Poll Tax at the rate of four pence [a groat] per head14.
On the 21st June Edward III died of a strokeat Sheen Palace, Surrey, aged 64 [65]. Alice Perrers is said [by malevolent French chroniclers]14 to have stripped the rings from his fingers and fled, but this may have been an attempt by the French to discredit Edward and his Court. Alice was the daughter of a Hertfordshire knight. She had entered the service of Queen Philippa before 1366 and married William de Windsor, Alice died in 1400.14. Edward III was buried at Westminster.The crown then passed to Richard, [son of Edward the "Black Prince"] who became Richard II.
Almost all of Edward's III's conquests had been lost due, it is thought to a lack of man-power [with three outbreaks of the plague to the end of the century]
1378- a fourth outbreak of The Plague occurred16.

Salisbury Spire, the tallest in England at 404 feet One of the lasting tangible legacies of Edward III's reign is at Salisbury Cathedral originally built in the 1200's it had a spire added during Edward III's time, which has been described as "One of the Glories of Mankind" Perhaps a token of his debt to earl Salisbury's line.
Other less tangible but far more important outcomes were the widespread usage of English replacing
* French as the language of the Courts and Parliament.
* The appearance of Quarterly Sessions and the J.P.
The separation of Parliament to include knights who were not of noble [essentially
   Normandy-French] pedigree.However both commoners and knights gathered in the same
* The Creation of the Order of the Garter.
* Introduction of new currency.
* The evolution of personal freedom and an increase in paid wages for labour,
* The rise of the Merchant Class ["nouveau riche"]
* A Wool Staple is established at Calais.
* Edward had  heraldry systematised. The heralds adjudicated on claims to Arms and rival claims
   were settled by the King with his Constable and Marshal at a Court of Chivalry.
* The popular revival of  the formerly British/Welsh Arthurian legend which became erroneously
   and inextricably mixed with knights and chivalry.
* Piers Plowman was written by William Langlands. In the late medieval period script
   tended to be cursive which increased the speed of writing, whereas Anglian and Saxon scribes
   had used a slow and formal script.
Above all else the sense of England as a country separate from France began to emerge, speaking essentially one language with the consequent development of English literature such as Geoffrey Chaucer's works during this time.

Edward III gave five dukedoms to five of his sons. Dukedoms were a particularly Norman-French title and Edward revived this tradition which probably related to the claims he made for French territory.
A negative image of the  effigy  of the 'Black Prnce' at Canterbury Cathedral. 1. Edward of Woodstock [now Blenheim, Oxon] "The Black Prince", b. June 133016, later
      Duke  of Cornwall, Prince of Wales, Prince of Aquitane, Earl of Chester. Edward did not
      marry until he was 30, in 1361 to Joan, "The Fair Maid of Kent", the daughter of the Earl of
      Kent  [Edmund of  Woodstock] and  cousin to Edward III who had been recently widowed
      after the death of her husband Thomas de Holland.
  2. Isabella m. Enguerrand de Cuocy Earl of Bedford. Isabella died 1396
  3. Joanna [Joan] d. 1348
  4. William died in infancy
  5. Lionel of Antwerp, Duke of Clarence & Earl of Ulster. Married 1] Elizabeth de Burgh who
      died 1363. 2] Violantie Visconte d. 1404 Lionel died in 1368.
  6. John of Ghent ["Gaunt"] Duke of Lancaster, d. 1399. Married :
      1] Blanche Plantagenet, t
he marriage produced three children, one of whom became Henry IV.
      2] Contance/Constanza of Castile,.
      3] Catherine Swynford [sister of Geoffrey Chaucer's wife].

  7. Blanche died in infancy.
  8. Edmund of Langley, b.1341, d.1402, [first] Duke of York [1385], Kt. of the Garter [1361]
      Married  1] Isabella /Isabel of Castile in 1372 who was the sister of Constance, who married
      John of Gaunt. 2] Joan Holland who died 1434.
  9. Blanche- died in infancy.
 10. Mary d. 1362
 11. Margaret d. relatively young in 1361 married John Hastings, Earl of Pembroke who died in 1375
 12. William died in infancy.
By others:
 13.  Thomas of Woodstock [illegitimate], Duke of Gloucester, d. 1397. Married Eleanor de
        Bohun who died in 1399.
        Edward III was also reputed to have had many mistresses most notably Alice Perrers after
        Queen Philippa's death in 1369. Edward had at least three children by Alice Perrers, a son
        and  two daughters, the son was Nicholas de Litlington, who became abbott of Westminster,
        was it he, the mistresses son, who ministered over the burial of Edward III?

King Edward I
King Edward II
Geoffrey Chaucer
John of Gaunt

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 1. Bryant, Arthur. A Thousand Years of British Monarchy, Collins, 1975.
 2. Blundell, Nigel & Farrington, Karen. England. Parkgate, 1999.
 3. Fry, Plantagenet, Somerset. Kings and Queens of England & Scotland, Dorling Kindersley,1999.
 4. Daniell, Christopher.A Travellers History of England. Windrush, 1991
 5. Delderfield, Eric R. Kings and Queens of England and Gt. Britain.David & Charles.1990.
 6. Gen. Ed: Hallam, Elizabeth. Medieval Monarchs. Tiger Books, 1996.
 7. Unstead, R.J. Kings, Barons & Serfs. Macdonald. 1971
 8. Bulmer's Gazeteer, A History of Yorkshire, 1892 [see page link to Bulmer's Gazetteer]
 9. Bedingfield Henry, Heraldry, Bison Books 1993.
10. Barcan Alan et. al., Before Yesterday, Macmillan, 1972.
11. Baines Thomas. Yorkshire Past and Present,
12. Andrews, Allen., Kings and Queens of England & Scotland, Marshall Cavendish, 2000.
13. Evolution, BBC Television Series.
14. Johnson, Paul, The Life and Times of Edward III, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London,1973.
15. Hallam E., [Ed.] The Plantagenet Encyclopaedia, Tiger Books, London, 1996.
16. Lee Christopher, This Sceptered Isle, Penguin/BBC Books, 1997.
17. le Baker, de Swynburne, Galfridi [Geoffrey], Chronicon.
18. Linecar, H.W.A., British Coin Designers and Designs, Bell, London, 1977.

Copyright © Tim Midgey, 2000, internal links revised August 2023.