Edward III of England

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Edward III King of England and Lord of Ireland (1312–1377)

Edward III (13 November 1312 – 21 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. His parents were Edward II of England, Isabella of France.

biography

Edward III, byname Edward of Windsor, (born November 13, 1312, Windsor, Berkshire, England—died June 21, 1377, Sheen, Surrey), king of England from 1327 to 1377, who led England into the Hundred Years War with France he is noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous and unorthodox reign of his father, Edward II. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe. His fifty-year reign was the second-longest in medieval English history, and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English Parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death. He outlived his eldest son, Edward the Black Prince, and the throne passed to his grandson, Richard II.

Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, and her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337. This started what became known as the Hundred Years' War. Following some initial setbacks, this first phase of the war went exceptionally well for England; victories at Crécy and Poitiers led to the highly favourable Treaty of Brétigny, in which England made territorial gains, and Edward renounced his claim to the French throne. This phase would become known as the Edwardian War. Edward's later years were marked by international failure and domestic strife, largely as a result of his inactivity and poor health.

Edward was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king whose main interest was warfare. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, he was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by later Whig historians such as Bishop William Stubbs, but modern historians credit him with some significant achievement.