On This Day

Edward the Black Prince

Prince of Wales Edward the Black Prince

Full Name: Edward of Woodstock
Profession: Prince of Wales

Nationality:
England
English

Why Famous: One of the most successful English commanders of the Hundred Years' War, Edward was seen by his contemporaries as the ideal embodiment of chivalry and knighthood. He was the heir to the throne, the son of Edward III, and was installed as Prince of Wales in 1343.

In 1346, aged 16, his father purposely left him to win the Battle of Crécy, which he did. He served in several battles in France, including at Poitiers, where he routed the French army and captured the French king, John II. His father later made him Prince of Gascony and Aquitaine in France. Controversially, in 1370, he plundered and massacred the town of Limoges during a war with Charles V of France.

He contracted dysentery and died of the illness on June 8, 1376; his father died a year later, and the crown passed to Edward's eldest son, who became Richard II.

It is unknown precisely why he was named the Black Prince, a title which took hold some centuries after his death, but it is likely to be a reference to the color of his armor or his shield.

Born: June 15, 1330
Birthplace: Woodstock Palace, England
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: June 8, 1376 (aged 45)
Cause of Death: Dysentery

Events in the Life of Edward the Black Prince

  • 1337-03-17 Edward the Black Prince is made Duke of Cornwall, the first Duchy made in England
  • 1356-09-19 English forces under Edward the Black Prince defeat French at Battle of Poitiers and capture the French King during the Hundred Years War

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