Family Tree for King Edward III showing:
King Edward III was born on 13th November 1312 to King Edward II and Isaballa of France at Windsor Castle. At the time of his birth, Edward’s father had a poor relationship with his barons largely due to Edward’s insistence on giving positions and power to his favourites.
Edward II was also fighting a war against Robert Bruce of Scotland and on 24th June, Scottish forces secured a decisive victory against the English at the Battle of Bannockburn.
There were also problems with France and in 1325, the new King Charles IV demanded that the English King go to France and pay homage. Rather than pay homage, the King created Edward Duke of Aquitaine, Count of Ponthieu and Montreuil so that it was Edward that needed to face Charles IV.
Isabella and Mortimer
Edward and his mother sailed to France in the Autumn of 1325. There, Edward’s mother conspired with the exiled Roger Mortimer to depose her husband. In return for the support of Hainault, Edward was betrothed to Philippa of Hainault.
On 24th September 1326, Prince Edward, his mother and Roger Mortimer landed at Orwell with a small invasion force. They were soon joined by opponents of King Edward II and his new favourites, the Despensers.
By the end of the year Edward’s mother had taken control of the government and in January 1327 King Edward II was forced to abdicate in favour of his son. Edward succeeded to the throne as King Edward III on 21st January 1327. However, because he was not yet of age Isabella and Roger Mortimer acted as regents and ruled the country.
On 21st September 1327 it was announced that King Edward II had died in captivity. 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.
In 1328 the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton brought the war with Scotland to an end. Scotland became a fully independent country again. However, the treaty failed to provide compensation for those English nobles that had to leave land they owned in Scotland. They became known as the Disinherited.
Marriage and Family
King Edward III married Philippa of Hainault at York Minster on 24th Janaury 1328. The couple had 13 children:
Edward the Black Prince (1330 – 1376)
Isabella 1332 – 1382)
Joan (1335 – 1348)
William (1336 – 1337)
Lionel of Antwerp (1338 – 1368)
John of Gaunt (1340 – 1399)
Edmund of Langley (1341 – 1402)
Mary (1344 – 1362)
Margaret (1346 – 1361)
Thomas (1347 – 1348)
Thomas (1355 – 1397)
King Edward III’s wife, Philippa died on 15th August 1369.
Edward Took Control
In 1330, Edward decided he was old enough to rule without regents. He secretly raised a force and overthrew Isabella and Mortimer. Mortimer was imprisoned in the Tower of London while his mother was placed under house arrest in Windsor Castle. On 29th November 1330, Mortimer was hanged for treason.
The Disinherited English nobles, led by Edward Balliol, raised a force and marched to Scotland. At the Battle of Dupplin Moor 11th August 1332, the Scots were defeated and the Earl of Mar, Regent for the child King David of Scotland, was killed.
Edward Balliol seized the throne and was crowned King of Scotland. He immediately ceded southern Scotland to England giving the Disinherited back their lands.
The Hundred Years War
In May 1337, the Hundred Years War with France began. Edward believed he had a genuine claim to the French throne through his mother. Edward was supported by the Emperor of Germany who was in conflict with France and by a number of Flanders’ cloth merchants who wanted French restrictions on materials lifted.
Edward made his move on France after King Philip VI of France invaded English Gascony. By October 1342, Edward had successfully taken most of Brittany. He then began planning an attack on Normandy.
In 1346 Edward invaded Normandy and on 26th August he secured a decisive victory at the Battle of Crecy. The following year the French town of Calais fell to England.
On 23rd April 1348, Edward founded the Order of the Garter honouring himself, his son Edward the Black Prince and 24 knights that had fought well in France.
The war with France paused as the deadly Black Death swept through Europe killing around one-third of the population.
In the aftermath of the disease, there was a shortage of labourers and those that had survived began asking for higher wages. In order to prevent wages spiralling out of control, Edward issued the Ordinance of Labourers in 1349. This document fixed wages at pre-plague levels and stipulated that food prices should not rise excessively. However, many ignored the law since farmers and landowners desperate for workers were happy to outbid each other.
The Hundred Years War Resumed
In 1369, King Charles V of France renewed the war with England by supporting Aquitaine which rebelled against Edward’s rule. Edward sent his son, John of Gaunt, to put down the rebellion but he failed.
By 1375, England had lost all gains in France apart from Calais, Bordeaux and Bayonne.
Later Years and Death
On 8th June 1376, Edward’s son and heir, Edward the Black Prince, died. His son, Richard, who was aged 9 years became heir to the throne.
Less than a year later on 21st June 1377, King Edward III died following a stroke at Sheen Palace in London. He was succeeded by his grandson who became King Richard II.
Published Apr 06 2022 @ 3:45 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2022). King Edward III Family Tree 1312 – 1377. Available: https://www.treesofblue.com/king-edward-iii-family-tree-1312-1377. Last accessed May 26th, 2022