Edward, the Black Prince of England

15 Jun 2021  Tue

Edward of Woodstock, known to history as the Black Prince was the eldest son of King Edward III of England, and the heir apparent to the English throne. He died before his father and so his son, Richard II, succeeded to the throne instead. Edward nevertheless earned distinction as one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years' War, being regarded by his English contemporaries as a model of chivalry and one of the greatest knights of his age.

His sobriquet said to have come from his wearing black armor, has no contemporary justification and is found first in Richard Grafton’s Chronicle of England (1568). He appears to have shared the interests of his class—jousting, falconry, hunting, gaming. He was literate and conventionally pious, substantially endowing a religious house at Ashridge (1376).

He had the customary fine presence of the Plantagenets and shared their love of jewels. The Black Prince’s ruby in the present imperial state crown may or may not have been given to him by King Peter of Castile after the Battle of Nájera, but he would certainly have prized it, like a connoisseur. Similar artistic interest is shown in his seals, adorned with their ostrich feathers, and in the elegant gold coins that he issued as Prince of Aquitaine.

His gold Guiennois of 3.6 g shows Edward standing right under a Gothic canopy, fully armed, with sword raised and shield decorated with the arms of England and France. While the reverse of the coin depicts a foliate cross.

Image Source: Wikipedia.org

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