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Good Night Sweet Prince

While in Spain, Edward the Black Prince contracted an unspecified disease that morphed into a crippling edema: a water build up in the legs. He was carried on a litter back to England and has been dying for some time. After gathering together his father, King Edward III of England and his younger brother, John of Gaunt, the Prince extracts promises to support his son, Richard II as the heir apparent. The Black Prince is carried to the King's Great Chamber at Westminster, makes out his will and dies there at the age of 45. His armor is hung up over his crypt in Canterbury Cathedral including his sword, but that will be taken by Oliver Cromwell in the seventeenth century. In the modern day copies of his armor remain on display in the cathedral but Edward's actual armor is nearby. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Historians differ on how they judge the life of Edward the Black Prince. In modern terms he was a terrible person, but in the context of his time he was considered legitimately fulfilling his duties. He loved his wife dearly and she loved him. He did all that he could for his son, Richard II, to secure his place as heir apparent. Richard II will become King in 1377 at the age of ten. He will be going bye bye around 1399 and it won't be pleasant.

Good Parliament, Bad Parliament

"In the historic session called the Good Parliament the monarchy discovered that it had drained the cup of public confidence in a government that could neither win the war nor end it."
-- Barbara Tuchman, "A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century" [7]

The English Parliament has not met for over 2 years, mostly because the monarchy feared what the Parliament might do but they need approval for a new poll tax of 1 groat (in today's money about $4 per person) to fund the war with France. The Good Parliament wants 146 reforms first so it begins with Baron William Latimer. He is accused of a number of crimes including (in modern terms) embezzlement of government funds and collecting money under false pretenses. He is found guilty (because he is guilty) and the Baron becomes the first official ever to be impeached. Before the year is out, John of Gault will convene the Bad Parliament which will reverse most of the reforms. The Baron will be pardoned. [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Edward the Black Prince wanted to protect his son, Richard II, so he supported the Good Parliament and their reforms. He wanted to limit the power of John of Gault who was the defacto ruler of England at the time. John will continue ruling England as Regent when Richard II finally takes the throne in 1377. Although he looks bad here, many of the things John will do as Regent will be critical to how the Modern Era will play out. John of Gault will bring the Bible to the people and simultaneously bring them art and education. John is a mixed bag of good and bad.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1376, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. pp. 194-195. (BOOK) quote="Edward, the Black Prince dies;"
  2. Cantor, Norman F., In the Wake of the Plague: The Black Death and the World It Made, Harper Perennial, 2001. pp. 37-39. (BOOK) quote="As Edward III aged (he didn't die—from gonorrhea—until 1377), the Black Prince took over leadership of the English continental armies, laying waste to huge parts of France and Spain. The Black Prince, overcome by malaria he contracted fighting in Castile, died a few years before the horrible old man, who was clutching his venereal mistress to the end.
  3. Edward, the Black Prince - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Richard II of England - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Edward, the Black Prince, EnglishMonarchs.co.uk, 2014 [last update]
  6. Edward, the Black Prince of Wales (1330-1376). Luminarium.org, 2014 [last update]
  7. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. p. 284. (BOOK)
  8. Good Parliament - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Poll Tax (Tax per Head) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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