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This Sceptred Isle

The Black Death in London
The Black Death in London
The Black Death
St George replaced Edward the Confessor as the Patron Saint of England in 1348 but no saint could protect the country from the Black Death which arrived that year. Floods had led to famine and thus the plague hit a nation already weakened and the effects were devastating.

The Church was weakened not only by the loss of so many of its clergy but also by the nation's loss of faith.

The Scots seeing their opportunity invaded only to be overcome by the disease themselves.

At last the plague abated and by 1355 England was back at war with France.


  • The son of Robert the Bruce
  • Married Edward III's sister Joan
  • In 1331 he became the first Scottish King to be crowned and annointed
  • In 1334 he was sent to France in the face of John Balliol's invasion
  • Returned in 1341
  • Invaded England in 1346
  • Captured and sent to the Tower
  • In 1357 he was released
  • Developed the government and taxation of Scotland and the highlands and islands in order to pay his ransom
  • Died unexpectedly and heirless

did you know?
The Black Death first came from the Crimea.

The Black Death claimed the life of Philippa of Hainault, Edward III's queen.

With its frightful symptoms, the swift onset, the blotches, the hardening of the glands under the armpit or in the groin, these swellings which no poultice could resolve, these tumours which when lanced, gave no relief, the horde of virulent carbuncles which followed the dread harbingers of death, the delirium, the insanity which attended its triumph, the blank spaces which opened on all sides in human society, stunned and for a time destroyed the life and faith of the world.

Select historical period

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1327Edward II is deposed
Edward III becomes King
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
The Black Death reaches England
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
1361Edward, the Black Prince fights in Spain and contracts a disease
1376Edward, the Black Prince dies
1377Edward III dies
Richard II becomes king

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