King Edward III - National Portrait Gallery, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 30.566 W 000° 07.656
30U E 699321 N 5710390
Quick Description: This "electrotype" sculpture (see photos for explanation) of Edward III is located in the National Portrait Gallery in London. Born in 1312 he became king in 1327 and reigned for 50 years until 1377.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 6/13/2017 11:27:55 AM
Waymark Code: WMVZ0R
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 0

Long Description:

The statue is 1112mm (44 inches) in height and was created in 1873 from the original that was made c1377-1380. The sculpture shows the torso and head of Edward III with his arms down by his sides. He is shown wearing a smock and has flowing shoulder length hair with beard and moustache.

The English Monarchs website has an article about Edward III that tells us:

The charismatic Edward III, one of the most dominant personalities of his age, was the son of Edward II and Isabella of France. He was born at Windsor Castle on 13th of November, 1312 and created Earl of Chester at four days old.

Edward was aged fourteen at his ill fated father's abdication, he had accompanied his mother to France where she and her lover, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March, planned his father's overthrow. Edward II was later probably murdered at Berkeley Castle, however there are conflicting theories, all of which lack concrete proof as to how the ex-king met with his untimely end.. Although nominally King, the young Edward III was in reality the puppet of Mortimer and his mother, who ruled England through him.

A handsome and approachable youth, whom Thomas Walsingham described as "a shapely man, of stature neither tall nor short, his countenance was kindly." Edward drew inspiration from the popular contemporary tales of chivalry.

He was married to his cousin, Phillipa of Hainault, the daughter of William the Good, Count of Hainault and Holland and Jeanne of Valois, granddaughter of Phillip III of France. The marriage had been negotiated by Edward's mother, Isabella, in the summer of 1326.

Isabella, who was estranged from her husband, Edward II, visited the Hainaut court, along with Prince Edward, to obtain aid from Count William to depose King Edward in return for the couple's betrothal. After a dispensation had been obtained for the marriage of the cousins (they were both descendants of Philip III), Philippa arrived in England in December 1327 escorted by her uncle, John of Hainaut. The marriage, celebrated at York Minster on 24th January, 1328, was a happy one, the two became very close and produced a large family. A description of Phillipa as a child survives, written by Bishop Stapledon of Exeter for King Edward II:-

The lady whom we saw has not uncomely hair, betwixt blue-black and brown. Her head is clean-shaped; her forehead high and broad, and standing somewhat forward. Her face narrows between the eyes, and the lower part of her face is still more narrow and slender than the forehead. Her eyes are blackish-brown and deep. Her nose is fairly smooth and even, save that it is somewhat broad at the tip and somewhat flattened, yet it is no snub-nose. Her nostrils are also broad, her mouth fairly wide. Her lips somewhat full, and especially the lower lip. Her teeth which are fallen and grown again are white enough, but the rest are not so white. The lower teeth project a little beyond the upper; yet this is but little seen. Her ears and chin are comely enough. Her neck, shoulders, and all her body and lower limbs are reasonably well shapen; all her limbs are well set and unmaimed; and nought is amiss so far as a man may see. Moreover, she is brown of skin all over, and much like her father; and in all things she is pleasant enough, as it seems to us. And the damsel will be of the age of nine years on St John's day next to come, as her mother saith. She is neither too tall nor too short for such an age; she is of fair carriage.

Phillipa was kind and inclined to be generous and exercised a steadying influence on her husband. Their eldest son Edward, later known as the Black Prince, was born on 15th June 1330, when his father was eighteen. Phillipa of Hainault was a popular Queen Consort, who was widely loved and respected, and theirs was a very close marriage, despite Edward's frequent infidelities. She often acted as Regent in England during Edward's absences in France. Froissart describes her as being "tall and upright, wise, gay, humble, pious, liberal and courteous."

Edward and Phillipa produced fourteen children in all. Their second child, a daughter, was born at Woodstock on June 16, 1332 and named Isabella after her paternal grandmother. Isabella was her father's favourite daughter he was said to have doted on her. A second daughter, Joan, named after Phillipa's mother, was born in the Tower of London in late 1333 or early 1334. A son William was born at Hatfield on 16 February, 1337, but survived only a few months. In 1338, Philippa and Edward traveled to Euope to arrange alliances in support of Edward's claim to the French throne. Philippa stayed in Antwerp, where her son, Lionel, later Duke of Clarence, was born on November 29, 1338. He was to grow to be nearly seven feet tall. Philippa gave birth to another son John of Gaunt, later Duke of Lancaster, on March 6, 1340 at Ghent. A further son, Edmund, who would be created Duke of York, was born at Langley in June of 1341. In 1343, Phillipa gave birth to daughter Blanche who died soon after she was born. On October 10, 1344 she gave birth to a daughter named Mary, another daughter, Margaret, was born in 1346. William was born at Windsor in 1347. Their last child, Thomas was born at Woodstock in 1355.

It seems Edward had been fond of his father Edward II. By the Autumn of 1330, when he reached eighteen, he strongly resented his political position and Mortimer's interference in government. Aided by his cousin, Henry, Earl of Lancaster and several of his lords, Edward led a coup d'etat to remove Mortimer from power. The Dowager Queen's lover was arrested at Nottingham Castle. Stripped of his land and titles, Mortimer was accused of assuming Royal authority. Isabella's pleas for her son to show mercy were ignored. Without the benefit of a trial, Mortimer was sentenced to death and executed at Tyburn. Isabella herself was shut up at Castle Rising in Norfolk, where she could meddle in affairs of state no more, but she was granted an ample allowance and permitted to live in comfort. Troubled in his conscience about the part he had been made to play in his father's downfall, Edward built an impressive monument over his father's burial place at Gloucester Cathedral.

Edward renewed his grandfather, Edward I's war with Scotland and repudiated the Treaty of Northampton, which had been negotiated during the regency of his mother and Roger Mortimer. This resulted in the Second War of Scottish Independence. he regained the border town of Berwick and won a decisive victory over the Scots at Halidon Hill in 1333, placing Edward Balliol on the throne of Scotland. By 1337, however, most of Scotland had been recovered by David II, the son of Robert the Bruce, leaving only a few castles in English hands.

Queen Phillipa died in August, 1369, of an illness similar to dropsy. The last years of Edward III's reign saw him degenerate to become a pale shadow of the ostentatious and debonair young man who had first set foot in France to claim its throne.

The King began to lean heavily on his grasping and avaricious mistress, Alice Perrers, who had served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa. Possibly the daughter of a prominent Hertfordshire landowner, Sir Richard Perrers, she became his mistress in 1363, when she was 15 years of age, six years before the queen's death. After the Queen's death, Edward lavished gifts on her, she was given property and even some of the late Queen Phillipa 's jewels and robes.

Alice Perrers gave birth to three illegitimate children by Edward III, a son named Sir John de Southeray (c. 1364-1383), who married Maud Percy, daughter of Henry Percy, 3rd Baron Percy, and two daughters, Jane, who married Richard Northland, and Joan, who married Robert Skerne.

The Black Prince and Edward's ambitious third son John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, became the leaders of divided parties in the court and the king's council. With the help of Alice Perrers, John of Gaunt obtained influence over his father, and controlled the government of the kingdom.

His heir, Edward, the Black Prince, the flower of English chivalry, was stricken with illness and died before his father in June, 1376. The chronicler Rafael Holinshed, tells us Edward believed the early death of his son was God's punishment for usurping his father's crown:-"But finally the thing that most grieved him, was the loss of that most noble gentleman, his dear son Prince Edward . . . But this and other mishaps that chanced to him now in his old years might seem to come to pass for a revenge of his disobedience showed to his in usurping against him."

In September 1376 the king was unwell and was said to be suffering from an abscess. He made a brief recovery but, in a fragile condition, suffered a stroke at Sheen on 12th June, 1377. It was said that Alice Perrers stripped the rings from his fingers before he was even cold.

Edward III was buried in Westminster Abbey, the gilt-bonze effigy of the king lies on top of a tomb chest with six niches along each long side holding miniature effigies of the kings twelve children. The wooden funeral effigy of Edward III, modelled from a death mask, survives at Westminster Abbey and has a twisted mouth, which suggests the effects of a stroke on the ageing king.

Edward was succeeded by his grandson, Richard II, the eldest surviving son of the Black Prince.

Monarch Ranking: King / Queen

Proper Title and Name of Monarch: King Edward III

Country or Empire of Influence: England

Website for additonal information: [Web Link]

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