King Edward III of England and Wales 1312 – 1377

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Edward III

Father – King Edward II
Mother – Isabella of France
Spouse – Philippa of Hainault
Children – Edward, Isabella, Joan, Lionel, John, Edmund, Blanche, Mary, Margaret, Thomas, William
King of England – 1327 – 1377
Predecessor – Edward II
Successor – Richard II


1312 (13th November)
Edward was born at Windsor Castle. He was the eldest son of Edward II and his wife Isabella of France.
1312 (24th November)
Edward was created Earl of Chester.
1316 (13th August)
Edward’s brother, John was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella.
1318 (18th June)
Edward’s sister, Eleanor, was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella.
1321 (5th July)
Edward’s sister, Joan, was born to Edward II and his wife Isabella. She was known as Joan of the Tower because she was born in the Tower of London.
1325 (March)
Edward travelled to France with his mother, Queen Isabella, to pay homage to Charles IV and so end the war.
1325 (2nd September)
Edward was made Count of Ponthieu and Montreuil.
1325 (10th September)
Edward was made Duke of Aquitaine.
1326 (During)
Edward and his mother, Isabella, did not return to England but instead remained in France with Roger Mortimer who had been exiled from England.
1326 (Summer)
Those nobles who continued to oppose King Edward gathered around Prince Edward, Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer in France.
1326 (27th August)
Edward was betrothed to Philippa of Hainault. The betrothal was part of a deal made by Queen Isabella and the Count of Hainault.
1326 (24th September)
Prince Edward, Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer landed at Orwell on the east coast of England with a small invasion force
1326 (late September)
Enemies of King Edward II and his favourites, the Despensers, flocked to support Edward, Isabella and Roger Mortimer.
1326 (2nd October)
Isabella, Mortimer and Edward reached Oxford where they were warmly welcomed.
1326 (2nd October)
King Edward and the Despensers were forced to leave London because it was becoming increasingly unsafe. They headed west.
1326 (7th October)
Edward, Isabella and Mortimer reached London.
1326 (9th October)
King Edward and the Despensers reached Gloucester.
1326 (16th October)
Isabella’s forces reached Gloucester. Edward fled to Wales while Hugh Despenser the elder moved to Bristol.
1326 (18th October)
Isabella’s forces lay siege to Bristol.
1326 (26th October)
Hugh Despenser the elder was captured and executed when Bristol fell to Isabella’s forces.
1326 (2nd November)
King Edward and Hugh Despenser the younger attempted to leave England for Ireland but bad weather drove them back to Wales.
1326 (16th November)
King Edward II and Hugh Despenser the younger were captured by forces loyal to Prince Edward, Isabella and Roger Mortimer. Despenser was imprisoned while Edward was placed in the custody of Henry of Lancaster.
1326 (24th November)
Hugh Despenser the younger was executed.
1326 (late November)
Isabella took the Tower of London and took control of the government of the country. She arranged for a council of nobles and churchmen to meet and discuss the situation.
1327 (January)
The council of nobility and churchmen met to discuss what to do about the King. It was decided that Edward II should be forced to abdicate in favour of his son.
1327 (21st January)
Edward became King after his father abdicated in his favour. Edward II became known as Edward of Caernarvon. Because he was not of age his mother and Roger Mortimer acted as regents.
1327 (1st February)
Edward was crowned King Edward III in Westminster Abbey.
1327 (5th April)
Edward’s father, Edward of Caernarvon, was moved to Berkley Castle because it was feared that opponents of the new regime would try to effect his escape.
1327 (21st September)
Edward’s father, Edward of Caernarvon died while in custody. Some historians believe that Edward escaped captivity and lived his life in obscurity and that it suited Isabella and Mortimer to spread the news that he had died.
1327 (December)
Edward’s betrothed, Philippa of Hainault, travelled to England accompanied by her uncle, John of Hainault.
1327 (23rd December)
Edward’s betrothed, Philippa, reached London where she was given a lavish reception.
1328 (24th January)
Edward married Philippa of Hainault at York Minster. The couple made their home at Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire.
1328 (1st February)
Charles IV of France, Edward’s maternal uncle, died without a male heir. Although the French did not recognised female succession, Isabella and Roger Mortimer tried to secure the French crown for Edward. The French, however, did not want an English King and chose Philip of Valois to reign as King Philip VI.
1328 (May)
Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton
This treaty brought the war with Scotland to an end. Scotland became an independent country ruled by Robert Bruce. The treaty was sealed by the marriage of Edward’s sister, Joan to David son of Robert the Bruce. However, the treaty made no provision for those English nobles who had lost land in Scotland (the disinherited).
1328 (Autumn)
Henry of Lancaster, who had lost land due to the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton, raised an army against Isabella and Mortimer’s government.
1329 (January)
Isabella and Mortimer took the towns of Leicester and Bedford and forced Henry of Lancaster to surrender.
1329 (7th June)
Robert the Bruce died. He was succeeded by his five year old son, David. Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray acted as regent.
1330 (4th March)
Philippa of Hainault was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.
1330 (15th June)
A son, Edward was born to Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire.
1330 (20th October)
Edward managed to overthrow his mother, Isabella and Roger Mortimer and become ruler in his own right. Roger Mortimer was sent to the Tower of London and all his lands were forfeited to the Crown. Isabella was sent to Windsor Castle where she was placed under house arrest.
1330 (November)
Roger Mortimer was found guilty of treason.
1330 (29th November)
Roger Mortimer was hanged at Tyburn.
1332 (during)
Edward allowed his mother, Isabella, to go to Castle Rising in Norfolk where she lived in comfort.
1332 (during)
Edward Balliol, son of John Balliol, became leader of the disinherited English nobles in Scotland after they agreed to support his bid to become King of Scotland.
1332 (March)
A daughter, Isabella, was born to Edward and Philippa of Hainault at Woodstock Palace.
1332 (11th August)
Battle of Dupplin Moor
Edward Balliol’s army of disinherited English nobles supported by English archers, defeated a large Scottish force led by the Earl of Mar, guardian for King David following the death of the Earl of Moray. The Earl of Mar was killed in the Battle.
1332 (September)
Edward Balliol was crowned King of Scotland and granted southern Scotland to England.
1332 (16th December)
Battle of Annan
A group of supporters of King David of Scotland, led by Archibald Douglas, guardian for David, surprised Edward Balliol forcing Balliol to flee to England.
1333 (18th May)
Prince Edward was created Earl of Chester.
1333 (19th July)
Battle of Halidon Hill
Edward Balliol, supported by Edward III lay siege to Berwick. The Scots, led by Archibald Douglas, were defeated. Archibald Douglas was killed in the battle.
1333 (August)
Edward Balliol was restored as King of Scotland and he paid homage to Edward III.
1334 (during)
Edward Balliol was deposed again by forces loyal to King David.
1334 (May)
Concerned for the safety of the Scottish King and his wife, his supporters sent them to King Philip VI of France.
1335 (during)
Following his release from captivity in England, Andrew Murray became Guardian of Scotland. He led resistance against Edward III’s occupation of Scotland.
1335 (February)
A daughter, Joan, was born to Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace.
1336 (during)
A son, William, was born to Edward and Philippa at Hatfield. He died before he was a year old.
1337 (3rd March)
Prince Edward was created Duke of Cornwall.
1337 (May)
Hundred Years War began
The reasons why the war began:
1. Long Term Cause – Edward believed he had a genuine claim to the French throne. His mother, Isabella’s brother Charles IV of France had died without an heir in 1328. Edward was his nephew but the French refused to recognise succession through the female line.
2. Short Term Cause – A group of Flanders’ clothiers led by Jan Van Artevelde, approached Edward III offering to recognise him as King of France if he could break the import restrictions on raw materials imposed by France.
3. Short Term Cause – The Emperor of Germany, a relative of Edward’s wife Philippa, who was at loggerheads with Philip VI of France, encouraged Edward to try to take the French crown.
4. Short Term Cause – Philip VI of France was sheltering David of Scotland and threatened to intervene in Scotland against Edward III.
5. Trigger Event – Philip VI invaded and confiscated English held Gascony. In retaliation Edward claimed the French crown.
1338 (during)
Edward had put in place measures to provide for the government of England while he was in France. However, his advisers were unhappy with the campaign to take the French throne because they believed that if he were successful England would take second place to France.
1338 (during)
Hundred Years War
Edward mounted a series of campaigns against the French in Flanders but the French refused to be drawn into battle. Edward also continued to make alliances against Philip VI.
1338 (29th November)
A son, Lionel, was born to Edward and Philippa at Antwerp.
1340 (6th March)
A son, John, was born to Edward and Philippa at Bavon’s Abbey, Ghent. He was known as John of Gaunt.
1340 (24th June)
Battle of Sluys
Edward successfully destroyed the French fleet which gave England control of the English Channel.
1340 (30th November)
Edward had to return to England to deal with increasing discontent about the costs of Edward’s campaign in France. Edward dismissed a number of ministers which angered Archbishop of Canterbury, John Stratford. Edward retaliated by imprisoning Stratford’s relatives – Robert Stratford, Bishop of Chichester and Henry Stratford.
1341 (during)
When Philip of France backed the Montfort faction in the Breton succession dispute, Edward decided to back the Blois faction. Both Edward and Philip used the dispute to continue their own war.
1341 (April)
In order to secure funds for his French campaign, Edward was forced to make conciliations to John Stratford.
1341 (2nd June)
King David returned to Scotland from France. It was thought that with Edward fighting in France it was now safe for him to return.
1341 (5th June)
A son, Edmund, was born to Edward and Phillipa at King’s Langley.
1342 (March)
A daughter, Blanche, was born to Edward and Philippa in the Tower of London. She died before she was a month old.
1342 (October)
Edward had succeeded in taking most of Brittany.
1343 (12th May)
Prince Edward was created Prince of Wales.
1344 (10th October)
A daughter, Mary, was born to Edward and Philippa at Bishop’s Waltham.
1346 (July)
Edward invaded Normandy with a force of 15,000. He used the tactic of raiding, plundering and devastating Normandy in order to weaken his enemy. Having taken Caen, the main city of Normandy, Edward marched into France. He left his wife, Philippa as regent in England.
1346 (20th July)
A daughter, Margaret, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle.
1346 (26th August)
Battle of Crecy
Edward, supported by his son, Edward the Black Prince, nicknamed after his black armour, set up their foot soldiers and longbowmen in a defensive position. The English utterly defeated the French attacking force of crossbowmen and cavalry.
1346 (4th September)
Edward placed the French town of Calais under siege.
1346 (17th October)
Battle of Neville’s Cross
Philip VI asked his ally, David II of Scotland, to force Edward to remove forces from the siege of Calais by invading England. David duly invaded England but was defeated and captured by a force led by the Archbishop of York, Ralph Neville and Henry Percy.
1347 (Summer)
A son, Thomas, was born to Edward and Philippa. He died before he was a year old.
1347 (3rd August)
The French town of Calais, placed under siege in September 1346, fell to the English. The French population was removed and the town was resettled with English colonists. It served as a commercial centre and a military base for the English in France.
1347 (August)
Edward’s Queen, Philippa, persuaded him, to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais rather than execute them as an example.
1348 (23rd April)
Order of the Garter
This order of chivalry was founded by Edward for himself, his son, the Black Prince and twenty-four other knights who had fought well in the recent battles with France.
1348 (June)
The Black Death
This deadly disease reached England and over the next 18 months killed one third of the population. The loss of such huge numbers of the population had a devastating effect on the economy as there were not enough workers to keep up production of food and other goods.
1348 (24th June)
A son, William, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle. He died before September 1348.
1349 (during)
Ordinance of Labourers
The labour shortage following the Black Death meant that those surviving workers could ask for much higher wages. In order to prevent wages spiralling out of control Edward issued this ordinance that included clauses stating:
Everone under the age of 60 should work
Employers should only hire sufficient workers for the job
Wages should not exceed pre-plague levels
Food should not be over priced and producers should not make excessive profits.

Despite this law, workers continued to demand higher wages and landowners needing labour, paid up.

1350 (22nd August)
King Philip VI of France died. He was succeeded by his son John.
1351 (during)
Statute of Labourers
This statute reinforced the Ordinance of Labourers introduced in 1349. It imposed a maximum wage for labourers and also stipulated that all able bodied men and women should work.
1355 (7th January)
A son, Thomas, was born to Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace.
1356 (19th September)
Battle of Poitiers
Using a repetition of the tactics used at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, Edward the Black Prince succeeded in destroying a superior French force and capturing the French King John and his son Philip.
1360 (8th May)
Treaty of Bretigny
This treaty between Edward and King John of France agreed that Edward would renounce his claim to the French throne in return for full sovereignty rights over Aquitaine, Poitou and Calais. John was also to pay 3 million crowns to Edward. He would be released after paying 1 million but his son would remain hostage until the full amount was paid.
1361 (September)
Edward’s daughter, Mary, died.
1361 (10th October)
Prince Edward married Joan, daughter of the Earl of Kent.
1361 (late)
Edward’s daughter, Margaret, died.
1364 (8th April)
John II of France died. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.
1367 (6th January)
Edward’s grandson, Richard was born to Prince Edward and his wife, Joan of Kent.
1368 (7th October)
Edward’s son, Lionel of Antwerp, died.
1369 (during)
Charles V of France renewed the war with England when he intervened in Aquitaine which was rebelling against Edward’s rule. Many of Edward’s most accomplished soldiers had died and his younger son, John of Gaunt was given charge of a military campaign against Charles V but he was unsuccessful.
1369 (during)
Geoffrey Chaucer wrote an elegy on the death of John of Gaunt’s wife entitled ‘The Boke of the Duchesse’.
1369 (15th August)
Edward’s wife, Philippa of Hainault, died at Windsor Castle.
1370 (August)
The French town of Limoges which had been under English control, surrendered to the French.
1370 (19th September)
Siege of Limoges
Edward the Black Prince was annoyed that the town had surrendered to the French and placed it under siege before storming the town and retaking it by force.
1372 (during)
John Wycliffe was leader of an increasingly popular move against Bishops and Archbishops having power in government. He also believed that every man ahd the right to read the Bible in his own language and to interpret it according to his own convictions. Wycliffe’s followers were known as Lollards and they preached in the streets. This led to a new wave of rebelliousness among the ordinary people.
1373 (during)
A new treaty was made with Portugal.
1375 (during)
Treaty of Bruges
This treaty saw England’s possessions in France reduced to Calais, Bordeaux and Bayonne.
1376 (April)
The Good Parliament
This parliament refused to vote for taxation until Edward removed his corrupt favourites from power and allowed them to be replaced by councillors selected by parliament. Edward’s mistress, Alice Perrers, Lord Latimer and Richard Lyons were among those charged with impeachment.
1376 (8th June)
Edward the Black Prince died. His son, Richard became heir to the throne.
1376 (29th September)
Edward was taken ill.
1377 (21st June)
Edward III died following a stroke. He was succeeded by his ten year old grandson, Richard II.



Published Sept 25, 2016 @ 15:39 – Updated – Jul 26, 2019 @ 1:37 pm


Harvard Reference for this page:

Heather Y Wheeler. (2016). King Edward III of England and Wales 1312 – 1377. Available: Last accessed August 20th, 2019


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