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EDWARD III, King of England, and Philippa of HAINAUT

Edward III. King of England. Chart A1.
Born 13 November 1312 at Windsor, England; son of EDWARD II, King of England and Isabella of France.

Unfortunately, his father Edward II was a weak king and aroused ill-feeling by his dependence on favourites. The neglected queen, Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, imprisoned and murdered Edward II, taking up the reins of government themselves during the minority of the heir.

Edward III was crowned on January 25, 1327 after reaching majority (age 14). He was the first king to rule by a parliamentary title. At first he was under the dual control of a regency council of barons led by Henry of Lancaster and a court dominated by Mortimer, his mother’s lover, who was clearly angling for the throne himself. In such a court Edward was forced to grow up fast.

He married Philippa of HAINAUT on 24 JAN 1328.

Despite having an unusually happy marriage, Edward was a notorious womaniser. His mistress, Alice Perrers, became a byword for corruption. The king also founded an order of knighthood, the Order of the Garter, allegedly as a result of an incident when a lady, with whom he was dancing at a court ball, dropped an item of intimate apparel (possibly a sanitary belt, though sources describe it as being made of velvet). Gallantly picking it up to assuage her embarrassment, Edward tied it around his own leg, and remarked Honi soit qui mal y pense ('Shame on him who thinks evil of it'), which became the motto of the Order of the Garter. The woman in the case is known only as the "Countess of Salisbury". Some say it was Edward's daughter-in-law, Joan of Kent, but a more likely candidate is Joan's mother-in-law from her first marriage.

As soon as Edward III reached the age of eighteen, in 1330, he was ready to strike. He overthrew Mortimer and removed Isabella. With Lancaster’s connivance, the King’s servants seized Mortimer at Nottingham Castle, in the Queen Mother’s chamber. Mortimer's supporters disappeared and he was charged before his peers in Parliament with an appalling range of crimes, of most of which he was quite clearly guilty, and was executed. Isabella was forgiven and was allowed to retire to live a quiet life on a reduced income at Castle Rising in Norfolk.

Following his successful coup Edward pursued a very sensible policy of toleration. There was no wholesale slaughter of Mortimer’s followers and most of them were absorbed without difficulty into the life of the kingdom. Mortimer’s grandson was later restored to all his grandfather’s titles and was to prove a faithful supporter of the King.

His most remarkable achievement that he was able to turn the baronage into one great happy family, with himself as their leader and friend. Edward partly did this by marrying many of his own children to the sons and daughters of magnates, thus tying great houses such as Mortimer and Lancaster to his own dynastic ambitions. Many of his descendants can also thus trace their ancestry through these great families of the kingdom rather that through alliances which he may have otherwise attempted to create with foreign powers.

The reign of Edward III was marked by several important victories over France, including the battles of Crecy and Poitiers. His first major military success was the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333, which he undertook in support of the new Scottish king, Edward Balliol. On the death of the French king, his own grandfather Charles IV in 1328, Edward claimed the French throne, declaring war on Philip VI in 1337. He was declared King of France on January 26, 1340.

Edward was not only a great leader and soldier, but also a superb host, with “a diet of war, wine, women, good parties and just enough cultural activity to satisfy the more literate of his colleagues,” and so his court was fully appreciated by the barons.

Edward took great care to promote the knightly image enshrined in the cult of St. George and King Arthur.

In 1346, Edward was accompanied on his French campaign by his eldest son, the Black Prince, who proved a capable military leader. Edward left much of the subsequent campaigning to the prince, himself concentrating on the Scots. However, many of his gains were short-lived. He and the prince fell out over political policy at home, and the government was left largely in the hands of a younger son, John of Gaunt.

Edward died of a stroke on 21 JUN 1377 at Richmond, and was buried in Westminster Abbey. His son Edward, the Black Prince had pre-deceased him, and he was succeeded by his young grandson, King Richard II of England.

The Wars of the Roses were a civil war among the descendants of King Edward III over the throne of England. Each branch of the family claimed to have a superior claim, because their ancestor was older, and/or because their claim was through a male line instead of a female one, and/or because their claim was through legitimate offspring instead of bastards.

Philippa of HAINAUT. (Philipa d' AVESNES (Countess) of HAINAUT)(Hainault).
Born 24 JUN 1311 at Valenciennes (then in Flanders, now France); daughter of WILLIAM III, Count of Holland and HAINAUT and Jeanne de VALOIS.

She married Edward at York Minster, on 24 January 1328, eleven months after his accession to the English throne and, unlike many of her predecessors, she did not alienate the English people by retaining her foreign retinue upon her marriage by bringing large numbers of foreigners to the English court. She gave birth to her first son, Edward, nine days before her sixteenth birthday.

Philippa accompanied Edward on his expeditions to the Kingdom of Scotland (1333) and Flanders (1338-40), where she won acclaim for her gentleness and compassion. She is best remembered as the tender-hearted woman who, in 1347, interceded with her husband and persuaded him to spare the lives of the Burghers of Calais, whom he had planned to execute as an example to the townspeople following his successful siege. She acted as regent in England on several occasions when her husband was on the Continent.

Philippa grew portly in her later years, and this supported the affectionate English view of her as a sympathetic, homely, and motherly woman. She gave birth to 14 children and outlived 9 of them. Two died during the Black Death of 1348.

She died on 15 August 1369 at Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, of an illness akin to dropsy, and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

CHILDREN of Edward III, King of England and Philippa of Hainault:

Perrers served as a lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa, King Edward’s wife, but became Edward's mistress before his wife’s death. However, the scandal was kept quiet until after Philippa's death, after which the King lavished gifts on Perrers. She was given property and even a selection of the late Queen’s jewels. Dressed in golden garments, Alice was paraded as The Lady of the Sun by the king's command.

Perrers' family background has been the subject of much speculation. She was apparently married twice, and "Perrers" appears to have been the surname of her first husband. She was also married to Sir William Windsor, a Westmorland aristocrat. He was a royal lieutenant in Ireland, meaning that he was absent from England for long periods of time. By Edward III, Perrers had a son named Sir John de Southeray (c. 1364-1383), who married Matilda Percy, daughter of Henry Percy. She may have had two daughters by the king: Jane, who married Richard Northland, and Joan, who married Robert Skerne.


Philippa of Hainault. She married Edward III Plantagenet, King Of England.
  |                        |                               |
JOHN of GAUNT,           LIONEL,                         EDMUND of Langley
(Duke of Lancaster)      (Duke of Clarence)                |
  |                        |                               |                                                                                       
Joan Beaufort	        Philippe = Edmund de Mortimer      |	
Anne Neville             Roger de Mortimer                |  
Margaret Stafford        Anne de Mortimer - She married -Richard, Earl of Cambridge
John Dunham                                  Richard, Duke of York
John Dunham II                               Edward IV, King of England
John Dunham III                              Elizabeth   md  Thomas de Lumley
Ralph Dunham                                 Sybel de Lumley 
Thomas Dunham                                William Hilton 
John Dunham Sr.                              Mark Roger Hilton
John Dunham Jr.                              Rebecca Hilton
Mary Dunham                                  Ann Roberts  
Elkenah Hamblin                              Joseph Philbrick   
Sylvanus Hamblin                             Ester Philbrick     
Barnabus Hamblin                             Anne Rand    
Isaiah Hamblin                               Sarah Shannon                                        
          |                                  Jeremiah Leavitt
Jacob Vernon Hamblin    --  He married  --  Sarah Priscilla Leavitt
                            Ella Ann Hamblin
                            Clive Tenney
                            Mildred Tenney
                           Deborah Lee Handy