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This Sceptred Isle

Edward III and the Start of the Hundred Years' War
Edward III's reign was taken up with wars against Scotland and France.

He supported John Balliol against David II of Scotland. In 1332 Balliol invaded Scotland, David II went into exile and Balliol was crowned King at Scone but was driven back into England by the Scots.

England's relations with the French were deteriorating not only because of their alliance with Scotland but because of their interference in the English/Flemish wool trade.

In 1337 the One Hundred Years' War began. There was more to the war with France than the price of wool. Edward had made a claim to the throne of France after the death of Charles IV. Philip VI of France won succession and Edward put his claim aside. In 1337 Philip confiscated Gascony. Edward tried to negotiate but war seemed inevitable. In 1340 a great sea battle was won by the English. This was just the beginning of the war that would rage on and off for a century.

King Edward III
King Edward III
EDWARD III (1312-77)

  • King of England 1327-1377
  • In 1330 organised the arrest and execution of Roger Mortimer to take power himself
  • During his reign he waged war against Scotland and France
  • Started the Hundred Years War
  • Captured King John of France in 1356 and although he dropped his pretensions to the French throne he regained all the territory his predecessors had been fighting for since 1259
  • Founded the Order of the Garter in 1348 to 1349
  • His war with the French was continued by his son the Black Prince but on his death in 1377 he was succeeded by his grandson Richard II, the Black Prince having died the year before

did you know?
Henry III was nicknamed "King of the Sea" by Parliament because of his interest in the navy.

These are the offers made to the King of France by the King of England to avoid war. First the King sent to the King of France various solemn messages, begging him to return to him lands which he is witholding from him; but the King of France did nothing, until, at last, he promised that, if the King of England would come in his own person, he would do him justice, grace and favour.

First, the marriage of his eldest son, now Duke of Cornwall, with the daughter of the King of France, without taking anything for the marriage. The marriage of his sister, now Countess of Guelders, with his son, together with a very great sum of money. The marriage of his brother, the Earl of Cornwall, whom God absolve, with any lady of the royal blood.

Because the King of England was given to understand that the King of France wished to undertake a crusade to the holy land, and wished to have the King of England in his company . . . offered to go with a large force with him in the crusade; so that however, before he set off, the French King should make him full restitution of all his lands.

Then he offered to go with him, on condition that before he went, the French King should restore, half, or a certain part of his lands . . . he would go, with the French King, if he would make such restitution on his return from the Holy Land.

He professed his readiness to go on the crusade with him, provided that on his return, the King of France would do justice towards him. But the King of France would accept none of these offers; but, seeking his opportunities, busied himself in aid and maintenance of the Scots, the enemies of the King of England, attempting to delay him by the Scottish war, so that he would have no power to pursue his rights elsewhere.

Select historical period

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1327Edward II is deposed
Edward III becomes King
1328Robert the Bruce recognised as I of Scotland
1329David II, King of Scots
1330Edward III seizes power and executes Mortimer
1332Edward Balliol invades Scotland and is crowned King
1333Scots expel Edward Balliol
Edward III defeats the Scots at Halidon Hill
1334David II of Scots flees to France
1337Start of 100 Years War
1340England win naval victory over French
1341David II returns to Scotland
1346England defeats France at Crecy
Edward defeats a Scottish invasion and captures David II
1348Order of the Garter is founded
1355The Hundred Years' War is renewed
1356Edward the Black Prince defeats the French at Poitiers
John II of Scotland is captured
1357Edward III releases David II

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