Edward III and the English Peerage

April 2004
242 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843830474
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
Boydell Press

Edward III and the English Peerage

Royal Patronage, Social Mobility and Political Control in Fourteenth-Century England

J.S. Bothwell

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A study of Edward III's astute use of patronage to reposition the monarchy after the vicissitudes of his father's reign and his own problematic minority.
Patronage was central to medieval kingship, and a crucial facet of royal power. This book, the first in-depth examination of this crucial facet of royal power, offers a detailed analysis of how Edward III, one of the most successful and, to use a modern term, charismatic of medieval English monarchs, used royal favour to create a "new nobility" and to reward and control the established peerage. Dr Bothwell shows how judicious use of largesse helped to produce domestic stability and encouraged the successful prosecution of foreign wars. Further, the study demonstrates how the nature of royal patronage came to reflect changes in feudalism, land law, finance, and the Church and the consequences of these changes for the more general history of medieval patronage, the evolution of the Lords and Commons, and the state of royal power both at the centre and in the localities. Overall, it is a clear, concise study of how Edward III used patronage to reposition the monarchy after the vicissitudes of his father's reign and a problematic minority.

J.S. BOTHWELL is Lecturer in Later Medieval English History, University of Leicester.

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Breaks new ground. [...] Indispensable for scholars of Edward III's reign or of English royal patronage more generally. Should lead to further profitable discussion of patronage as one of the key mechanisms of late-medieval English kingship. SPECULUM

An important contribution to our understanding of Edward III's domestic politics which deserves to be read by anyone interested in the subject of late medieval patronage. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

A well-researched and thoughtout study, which offers new ways to consider Edward III's relations with his nobles. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

An important reassessment of one of the most successful medieval English monarchs. MEDIUM AEVUM

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