An image depicting Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince.

The Black Prince, whose full name was Edward of Woodstock, was one of the most celebrated figures of medieval England, renowned for his military prowess, chivalry, and noble bearing. He was born on June 15, 1330, the eldest son of King Edward III and Queen Philippa of Hainault.

Who Was The Black Prince?

From a young age, the Black Prince was groomed for knighthood and leadership. He received a rigorous education in military tactics, chivalry, and courtly manners, and he distinguished himself in battle from an early age. His first major military campaign came at the age of sixteen when he accompanied his father on the invasion of France during the early stages of the Hundred Years’ War.

The Black Prince’s military career reached its zenith during the Battle of Crécy in 1346, where he played a pivotal role in securing a decisive victory for the English army against the French. His valour and leadership on the battlefield earned him widespread acclaim and solidified his reputation as one of England’s greatest warriors.

In the years following the Battle of Crécy, the Black Prince continued to distinguish himself in battle, participating in numerous campaigns against the French and their allies. His most famous victory came at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, where he captured the French king, John II, and dealt a devastating blow to the French war effort.

Despite his military successes, the Black Prince’s later years were marked by personal tragedy and illness. He suffered from poor health, likely exacerbated by the rigors of warfare, and he endured the loss of his beloved wife, Joan of Kent, in 1385. The Black Prince’s declining health prevented him from fully realizing his ambitions, and he died on June 8, 1376, at the age of forty-five.

The Black Prince’s legacy endured long after his death, as he became a symbol of chivalry and martial prowess in medieval England. He was celebrated in literature, art, and popular culture, and his memory was perpetuated through tales of his heroic deeds on the battlefield. Today, the Black Prince remains one of the most revered figures of the Hundred Years’ War, embodying the virtues of courage, honour, and duty that defined medieval knighthood.

More Medieval Knights

Medieval knights were central figures in the feudal societies of Europe during the Middle Ages, typically belonging to the nobility and trained in the art of warfare from a young age. Clad in armor and mounted on horseback, knights epitomized the ideals of chivalry, honor, and bravery.

Books about Medieval Life