Edward III

Edward III

r 1327-77

Famous for having lots of children

Edward’s descendants fought for the throne in the 15th-century Wars of the Roses

Edward III at the Tower of London

Edward made various improvements to The Tower of London during his reign. He extended the wharf part way along the riverfront to help with loading and unloading goods, especially military supplies for the Hundred Years’ War.

The need for storage space was such that crossbows and armour were kept in former royal lodgings in St Thomas’s Tower, where the Medieval Palace is now. 

Edward III’s military successes in the Hundred Years’ War also led to two kings being imprisoned at the Tower. Edward’s brother-in-law, David II of Scotland, was held at the Tower for 11 years after his capture in 1346.

John II ‘the Good’ of France was captured by Edward’s son, the Black Prince, in 1356. The accounts for food, drink, spices and candles during John’s time in the Tower in 1360 show that he and his entourage lived extremely well.

From 1340, three years after Edward claimed the French throne, the fleur-de-lys, the symbol of France, was incorporated into the royal arms. This is a key clue in dating the Byward Tower’s wall painting.

Edward III reigned during the black death but his grandson Richard II had to face the Peasants' Revolt.

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