Edward of Woodstock, the first Prince of Wales and son of England's King Edward III, died (at the age of 45) the year before his father passed away. This image depicts his tomb effigy at the Canterbury Cathedral.


The eldest of Edward III’s fourteen children, Edward the "Black Prince," called Wallingford Castle home. An incredibly talented military commander who routed the French at Crecy (thanks, in part, to the English long bow) and Poitiers, he often celebrated his conquests with jousts and tournaments.

Sometimes he personally participated.

Although there is disagreement whether he actually wore black armor (hence his nickname given, historians believe, after his death), his shield of peace was predominantly black. At the end of his life, it was buried with him.

A legend in his own lifetime, the Black Prince was the most famous medieval warrior of his day. He could be cruel. But "chivalry," to a knight of the Middle Ages, did not necessarily mean "chivalrous" as that term is used today.

Born in 1330, reportedly at Woodstock in Oxfordshire, the Black Prince was his father’s formidable military aide at the beginning of the Hundred Years War. He even took the king of France to London where he held him hostage at the Tower of London.

During a battle in Spain, in 1376, the Black Prince became ill. He never recovered.

Requesting that his body be buried at Canterbury Cathedral, he wrote a Will the day before he died in 1376. The only example of his handwriting that survives, however, is an annuity he granted in 1370. It contains his motto: De par Houmout, Ich Dene ("by high courage I serve").

Richard II, son of Edward the Black Prince, was only 10 years old in 1377 when he succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, as the new King of England.

He did not posses his father’s brand of courage.

0 Question or Comment?
click to read or comment
2 Questions 2 Ponder
click to read and respond
0 It's Awesome!
vote for your favorite

Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: May 01, 2001

Updated Last Revision: May 04, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"EDWARD, THE BLACK PRINCE" AwesomeStories.com. May 01, 2001. Jan 27, 2020.
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Awesome Stories Silver or Gold Membership Required
Show tooltips