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Dynasty: Plantagenets
Ruler: Edward III
Reigned: 1327 - 1377
Denomination: AR Pre-Treaty Half Groat (2 pence)
Mint/Moneyer: London
Date of Issue: 1354-1355 Pre-treaty
Obverse: Crowned bust facing. "+EDWARDUS REX ANGL Z FRANC"
Reverse: Cross, pellets between, with two concentric inscriptions. "POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM" outside, "CIVITAS LONDON" inside.
Reference: Spink 1579, North 1201
Weight: 2.2 gms
Diameter: 22.9 mm
Comment: With the signing of the Treaty of Bretigni in 1360, Edward's title to the Kingdom of France was omitted from the coinage (although resumed in 1369), which gave England a cross-channel trading base in Calais, where a mint was opened in 1363, minting English coins.

EDWARD III

Edward was born on 13th November 1312 at Windsor Castle. His parents were Edward II and Isabella of France. He ascended the Throne on 25th January 1327.

Edward was a warrior-king like his grandfather, Edward I. In spite of heavy taxation to fund war, he developed into a genial, pragmatic and popular monarch, but his determination to re-establish the greatness of his dynasty led the Crown into the long pursuit of a futile goal - the throne of France. Edward's claim through his mother was not recognized in France. England became embroiled in the so-called Hundred Years' War - actually a series of wars from 1337 to 1453. Naval victory at Sluys (1340) gave England control of the Channel and 1340 Edward assumed the title of King of France, which was maintained by his successors until 1801. The English were victorious at Crecy (1346) Poitiers (1356), where they were led by Edward's eldest son, the Black Prince (1330-1376). However, the only permanent gain from Edward's French wars was Calais.

In 1348-50 about one-third of the population of England died of bubonic plague in the Black Death.

Certain English institutions took recognizable form during Edward III's reign. Parliament was divided into two houses, and the procedure of impeachment was used against corrupt or incompetent ministers. Edward founded the Order of the Garter (1348), justices of the peace acquired more formal status, and English gradually replaced French as the 'official' language.

Edward married Philippa, daughter of the Count of Hainault and they had eight sons, including Edward the Black Prince and John of Gaunt, and five daughters. Edward died at Sheen Palace, Surrey, 21st June 1377 and was buried at Westminster Abbey.

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