DEAD: Edward the Black Prince


Edward the Black Prince (aged 45)
Eldest son of King Edward III of England

Edward of Woodstock, known to history as the Black Prince (15 June 1330 – 8 June 1376), was the eldest son of King Edward III of England, and thus the heir to the English throne. He died before his father and so his son, Richard II, succeeded to the throneinstead. Edward nevertheless still earned distinction as one of the most successful English commanders during the Hundred Years’ War, being regarded by his contemporaries as a model of chivalry and one of the greatest knights of his age.

DEATH: From the period of the Good Parliament Edward knew that he was dying. His dysentery became violent, and he often fainted from weakness, so that his household believed that he had already died. He left gifts for his servants in his will and took leave of the King his father, asking him that he would confirm his gifts, pay his debts quickly out of his estate, and protect his son Richard. In his last moments he was attended by the Bishop of Bangor, who urged him to ask forgiveness of God and of all those he had injured. He “made a very noble end, remembering God his Creator in his heart”, and asked people to pray for him.

His death took place in the Palace of Westminster. He was buried with great state in Canterbury Cathedral on 29 September, and the directions contained in his will were followed at his funeral and in the details of his tomb. It has a bronze effigy beneath a tester depicting the Holy Trinity with his heraldic achievements – his surcoat, helmet, shield and gauntlets – hung over the tester; they have been replaced with replicas, and the originals now reside in a glass fronted cabinet within the Cathedral.

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