The kingship of Edward III of England: 1327-77 Barlow, Thomas William

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Barlow, Thomas William
Edward III; thesis.; English history
This thesis examines Edward III of England’s idea of kingship. Edward III has long been viewed as chivalric monarch. Edward heartily embraced chivalry and combat but he did so with the aim of stabilising England after the disastrous reign of his father Edward II. This chivalric, charismatic, action based kingship is apparent in Edward III’s use of chivalric orders and how he employed contemporary values and virtues both to challenge the nature of nobility in England and to secure political power for himself and his family. Edward’s kingship is best examined through the fourteenth-century chronicles. These texts not only recorded Edward’s actions but also commented on them. The chronicles contain a contemporary portrait of Edward as he most likely wished to be seen; that is to say as a virtuous, warrior king. Edward’s idea of kingship laid the foundation in the English psyche that there was a singular quality to England, something that set Englishmen apart from the rest of Christendom. That idea stuck. It became an important part of the ideologies of successive rulers and Parliaments who called upon national pride to achieve their goals. Because of this Edward III’s idea of kingship is an important part of the development of English sovereignty and contributed to the formation of the English nation.
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