1340 (February or March)
1340 (24th June)
Battle of Sluys
Edward successfully destroyed the French fleet which gave England control of the English Channel.
1340 (30th November)
King Edward had to return to England to deal with increasing discontent about the costs of his campaign in France. Edward dismissed a number of ministers, a move which angered the Archbishop of Canterbury
, John Stratford. Edward retaliated by imprisoning Stratford’s relatives – Robert Stratford, Bishop of Chichester and Henry Stratford.
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 the war between England and France.
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 III fighting in France it was now safe for him to return.
1341 (5th June)
A son, Edmund, was born to King Edward and Phillipa at King’s Langley.
A daughter, Blanche, was born to Edward and Philippa in the Tower of London. She died before she was a month old.
King Edward had succeeded in taking most of Brittany.
1343 (12th May)
Prince Edward was created Prince of Wales. He was known as the Black Prince because he wore a suit of black armour.
1344 (10th October)
A daughter, Mary, was born to Edward and Philippa at Waltham.
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.
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 set up foot soldiers and longbowmen in a defensive position. The English utterly defeated the French attacking force of crossbowmen and cavalry.
1346 (4th September)
King 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.
A son, Thomas, was born to Edward III 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.
John de Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury, died.
1348 (23rd April)
Order of the Garter
This order of chivalry was founded by King Edward III for himself, his son, the Black Prince and twenty-four other knights who had fought well in the recent battles with France.
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.
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:
Everyone under the age of 60 should work
Employers should only hire sufficient workers for the job
Wages should not exceed pre-plague
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.
1349 (20th December)
Simon Islip became Archbishop of Canterbury.