Edward III [Plantagenet], King of England

Father:      Edward II, King of England (1284-1327)

Mother:      Isabella of France (1295-1358)

Birth:      13 Nov 1312      Windsor Castle, Berkshire

“On Monday 13 November 1312, Edward III was born at Windsor. All across England there was celebration. A monk of St Albans recorded that ‘by this birth all England was made joyful…and his father was made happy again, for it tempered that sadness he had felt since the death of Piers.’ Edward II, in his joy at hearing this news, granted the man who bore it, John Launge, and his wife, Joan (one of the queen’s attendants), the extraordinary sum of eighty pounds yearly for life (CPR 1307-13, p. 619).”1

Baptism:      16 Nov 1312      St Edward’s Chapel, Windsor Castle

“Edward II jumped at the opportunity to have his son and heir baptized by the papal legate, Cardinal Nouvel. Accordingly, on Thursday 16 November 1312, the Cardinal christened young Edward of Windsor in St Edward’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. For good measure, Edward asked the other peace envoys in the country – Count Louis d’Evreux, the queen’s uncle, and the bishop of Poitiers – to be the boy’s godfathers. To these he added five more godfathers: John Droxford (bishop of Bath and Wells), Walter Reynolds (bishop of Worcester), John of Brittany (earl of Richmond), Aymer de Valence (earl of Pembroke) and Hugh Despenser the Elder.”1

Death:      21 Jun 1377      Sheen Palace, Surrey

“Edward was taken back to his palace at Sheen to die. Alice Perrers alone remained with him, together with a few household staff and chamber knights. On the 21st he suddenly lost the power of speech. He had almost certainly suffered a stroke. He lay in his bed, unable to say or do anything. Alice was with him, and a priest also. According to Walsingham, Alice removed the rings from his fingers before she left. The priest urged him to repent of his sins. He alone heard the dying king whisper his final words, ‘Jesu, have pity’.”1

Burial:      5 Jul 1377      Westminster Abbey

“Edward III’s wooden funeral effigy, the earliest to survive, was probably carved from a death mask. The king’s body was embalmed by Roger Chandeler of London at a cost of £21 and transported from Sheen to London in a journey that took three days: no fewer than 1700 torches were used in the procession. Masses were said at St Paul’s Cathedral on 28 June, in the presence of Simon Sudbury, archbishop of Canterbury, and on 4 July, when John of Gaunt and Edmund of Langley were both present. The funeral itself took place in Westminster Abbey on 5 July; the deceased king was interred on the south side of the chapel of Edward the Confessor. The tomb, which still survives, was evidently not constructed until 1386; but there is no documentary evidence by which to date or to attribute the principal gilt bronze effigy, which represents Edward III in idealized form as a venerable sage, or the miniature effigies of the king’s children which decorate the sides of the tomb.”2

Occupation:      King of England 1327-1377

Spouse:

Philippa of Hainault

Marriage:      25 Jan 1328      York Minster, York

“On Sunday 24 January 1328 Edward met Philippa of Hainault at the gates of York. Either the next day or on Tuesday 26th they were married in the cathedral by the archbishop, William Melton, with Bishop Hotham of Ely in attendance, watched by Mortimer and Isabella and thousands of lords, knights, esquires, priests and citizens of York. Most secondary sources give the date as 24 January, following the Bridlington chronicler. Shelton points out that there is doubt, however, noting that the St Paul’s chronicler gives the date as 30 January. Shenton suggests 25th or 26th as the household expenditure was highest on those two days, indicating the largest feast which normally would have followed the ceremony. See Caroline Shenton, ‘The English Court and the Restoration of English Royal Prestige 1327-1345’ (University of Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 1995), p. 149.”1

Children:

Edward ‘The Black Prince’ (1330-1376)

Isabella of Woodstock (1332-1382)

Joan of Woodstock (1334-1348)

William of Hatfield (1337-1337)

Lionel of Antwerp (1338-1368)

John of Gaunt (1340-1399)

Edmund of Langley (1341-1402)

Blanche of the Tower (1342-1342)

Mary of Waltham (1344-1361)

Margaret of Windsor (1346-1361)

William of Windsor (1348-1348)

Thomas of Woodstock (1355-1397)

Liaison:

Alice Salisbury, Dame Perrers

Unmarried:

“Having served for some time as lady in waiting in the household of Queen Philippa (d. 1369), Alice seems to have become Edward III’s mistress around 1364: their son John was of age to be married in January 1377, and to accompany the earl of Cambridge on his Portugese campaign of 1381-2. It was also in 1364 that the merchant and courtier Richard Lyons (d. 1381), later to become her friend, was ordered not to interfere with Alice’s going where she wished on the king’s business or her own.”3

Children:

John de Southeray (1365->1383)

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Sources

1. Ian Mortimer, The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation, Pimlico (London: 2007).

2. W. Mark Ormrod, “Edward III (1312–1377),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.

3. Chris Given-Wilson, “Perrers, Alice (d. 1400/01),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2004.