1330 (15th June)
Edward the Black Prince was born to King Edward III
and Philippa of Hainault
at Woodstock Palace, Oxfordshire. He was known as Edward of Woodstock during his lifetime. The nickname ‘Black Prince’ was given to him in the 15th or 16th century and may refer to the black armour he wore or his ferocity and ruthlessness in battle. At the time of Edward’s birth, his father was 17 years old and the country was run by his grandmother, Isabella of France
and her lover, Roger Mortimer.
1330 (20th October)
Edward’s father staged a coup d’état and overthrew his grandmother and Mortimer. Roger Mortimer was sent to the Tower of London and all his lands were forfeited to the Crown. Isabella was sent to Windsor Castle where she was placed under house arrest.
Roger Mortimer was found guilty of treason and hanged at Tyburn.
Edward’s sister, Isabella, was born to King Edward III and Philippa of Hainault at Woodstock Palace.
1333 (18th May)
Edward of Woodstock was created Earl of Chester.
Edward’s sister Joan, was born to Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace.
Tension was building between France and England. The royal children were moved to Nottingham Castle which was deemed safer if the French should invade.
Edward’s brother William, was born to King Edward and Philippa of Hainault at Hatfield. He died before he was a year old.
1337 (3rd March)
Edward of Woodstock was created Duke of Cornwall.
Hundred Years War began
Edward III believed he had a genuine claim to the French throne. His mother, Isabella’s brother Charles IV of France had died without an heir in 1328. Edward was his nephew but the French refused to recognise succession through the female line. Nobles in Flanders and the Emperor of Germany, who had disagreements with Philip VI of France, promised to recognised Edward as King of France if he defeated the French. When Philip VI of France invaded and confiscated English held Gascony Edward III claimed the French crown.
King Edward III’s decision to go to war with France was not well received by the English.
1338 (11th July)
Prince Edward, was appointed Guardian of the Kingdom, by his father who was about to leave for France. This was a nominal appointment as Edward was too young to take part in the government of the country.
1338 (29th November)
Edward’s brother Lionel, was born to Edward and Philippa at Antwerp. He was known as Lionel of Antwerp.
1340 (6th March)
Edward’s brother John, was born to King Edward and Philippa of Hainault at Bavon’s Abbey, Ghent. He was known as John of Gaunt
1340 (27th May)
Prince Edward, was appointed Guardian of the Kingdom for the second time by his father.
1341 (5th June)
Edward’s brother, Edmund, was born to Edward III and Phillipa at King’s Langley. He was known as Edmund of Langley.
Edward’s sister Blanche, was born to Edward and Philippa in the Tower of London. She died before she was a month old.
1342 (6th October)
Prince Edward, was appointed Guardian of the Kingdom for the third time by his father.
1343 (12th May)
Prince Edward was created Prince of Wales.
1344 (10th October)
Edward’s sister Mary, was born to King Edward and Philippa of Hainault at Bishop’s Waltham.
1346 (11th July)
Edward accompanied his father who invaded Normandy with a force of 15,000. He used the tactic of raiding, plundering and devastating Normandy in order to weaken his enemy. Having taken Caen, the main city of Normandy, the English army marched into France.
1346 (20th July)
Edward’s sister Margaret, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle.
1346 (26th August)
Battle of Crecy
Prince Edward, likely wearing his signature black armour, took control of the right flank of the army. He fought bravely and skilfully and the English utterly defeated the French attacking force of crossbowmen and cavalry.
1346 (4th September)
The French town of Calais was placed under siege.
Edward’s brother Thomas, was born to King Edward and Philippa. He died before he was a year old.
1347 (3rd August)
The French town of Calais, placed under siege in September 1346, fell to the English. The French population was removed and the town was resettled with English colonists. It served as a commercial centre and a military base for the English in France.
1347 (12th October)
Edward of Woodstock returned to England with his father and the victorious English army. He took part in the jousts held to celebrate the victory.
1348 (23rd April)
Order of the Garter
King Edward II founded this order of chivalry. He, Prince Edward and twenty-four other knights who had fought well in the recent battles with France were invested with the Order of the Garter.
The Black Death
This deadly disease reached England and over the next 18 months killed one third of the population. The loss of such huge numbers of the population had a devastating effect on the economy as there were not enough workers to keep up production of food and other goods.
1348 (24th June)
Edward’s brother, William, was born to Edward and Philippa at Windsor Castle. He died before September 1348.
Ordinance of Labourers
The labour shortage following the Black Death meant that those surviving workers could ask for much higher wages. In order to prevent wages spiralling out of control King Edward issued this ordinance that included clauses stating:
Everyone under the age of 60 should work
Employers should only hire sufficient workers for the job
Wages should not exceed pre-plague
Food should not be over priced and producers should not make excessive profits.
Despite this law, workers continued to demand higher wages and landowners needing labour, paid up.
1350 (22nd August)
King Philip VI of France died. He was succeeded by his son John.
1350 (29th August)
Battle of Winchelsea
Prince Edward took command of a ship in this battle against Charles de la Cerda of Spain. His younger brother, John of Gaunt sailed with him. Although the English won the battle, at least two ships were sunk with a significant loss of life.
1355 (7th January)
Edward’s brother Thomas, was born to King Edward and Philippa at Woodstock Palace.
1355 (10th July)
Edward of Woodstock was appointed Lieutenant in Gascony. This appointment gave him the power to make decisions in the King’s name.
1355 (8th September)
Prince Edward left Plymouth in command of a fleet of ships and a large army, bound for Gascony.
The Black Prince made a series of raids across Aquitaine.
1356 (6th July)
Edward began a march through France to Normandy where he was to meet his father.
1356 (19th September)
Battle of Poitiers
This battle was fought between the English led by Prince Edward and King John of France. Using a repetition of the tactics used at the Battle of Crecy in 1346, the Black Prince succeeded in destroying the superior French force and capturing the French King John and his son Philip.
1357 (4th May)
Prince Edward returned to England. He brought the captured French King and his son with him.
The Black Prince accompanied his father to Calais and on to Reims where Edward III hoped to be crowned King of France. However, the people of France resisted and an attack on Paris was thwarted. The English King had no choice but to agree terms.
1360 (8th May)
Treaty of Bretigny
This treaty between King Edward III of England and King John of France agreed that Edward would renounce his claim to the French throne in return for full sovereignty rights over Aquitaine, Poitou and Calais. The French king was also to pay 3 million crowns to Edward. He would be released from captivity after paying 1 million but his son would remain hostage until the full amount was paid.
Edward’s sister Mary, died.
1361 (10th October)
Prince Edward, the Black Prince married his cousin, Joan, daughter of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent at Windsor. She was a widow with three children.
Edward’s sister, Margaret, died.
1362 (19th July)
Edward of Woodstock was given control of Aquitaine and Gascony. He was styled Prince of Aquitaine and Gascony in addition to his title Prince of Wales.
Edward and his wife, Joan, sailed for Gascony where they would take up residence.
1364 (8th April)
King John II of France died. He was succeeded by his son Charles V.
1365 (27th January)
A son, Edward, known as Edward of Angouleme, was born to Prince Edward and Joan of Kent.
The Black Prince led a campaign into Spain in support of Peter of Castile against Henry of Trastámara who sought to take the throne of Castile.
1367 (3rd April)
Battle of Nájera
Prince Edward was one of the commanders fighting in support of Peter of Castile against Henry of Trastámara. Although he was on the winning side, Henry escaped the battle and continued the struggle.
1367 (after 3rd April)
Having lost the battle of Nájera, Peter of Castile was unable to raise funds to reimburse Edward the Black Prince for the costs he had incurred raising an army leaving Edward heavily in debt. Relations broke down between Edward and Peter of Castile. The new French King Charles sided with Henry of Trastámara and subsequently defeated and killed Peter of Castile.
Edward returned to Aquitaine.
Prince Edward issued a request for a financial grant from the nobles of Aquitaine. A hearth tax was subsequently introduced but many families refused to pay. Some appealed to the French King to intervene.
1368 (7th October)
Edward’s brother, Lionel of Antwerp, died.
Charles V of France renewed the war with England when he intervened in Aquitaine which was rebelling against Prince Edward’s rule. Many of England’s most accomplished soldiers had died. John of Gaunt, Edward’s younger brother, was sent to mount a military campaign against Charles V but he was unsuccessful.
Edward contracted dysentery while on campaign.
1369 (15th August)
Edward’s mother, Philippa of Hainault, died at Windsor Castle.
The town of Limoges in Aquitaine surrendered to the French.
1370 (19th September)
Siege of Limoges
Edward the Black Prince was annoyed that the town of Limoges had surrendered to the French. He ordered that it be placed under siege. The town was then stormed and around 3,000 people slaughtered.
1370 (c. 20th September)
Edward’s eldest son, Edward of Angouleme, died.
Edward had not recovered from dysentery and returned to England.
1372 (6th October)
Edward the Black Prince resigned as Prince of Aquitaine and Gascony stating that the income from the regions would not meet its expenses.
Treaty of Bruges
This treaty saw England’s possessions in France reduced to Calais, Bordeaux and Bayonne.
Edward the Black Prince became ill with again, possibly with a reoccurrence of dysentery or from problems with a war wound.
1376 (8th June)
Edward the Black Prince died in the Palace of Westminster.