Medieval England

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Characteristics of a Good Medieval King

·         Christian Warrior King

·         Compromising with nobles

·         Generous to nobles and Pope

·         Adhere to the feudal system

·         Popular domestic policy

·         Prosperous

·         Have law and order

·         Knowledgeable

·         Good Christian and Secular

·         Produce a male heir

·         Be respected/feared

·         Good reputation

·         Appease the peasantry

·         Good relationship with parliament

·         To take the Coronation Oath which shows commitment and dedication. The King is not to give too much power away to parliament by considering the church. They need to uphold what the previous kings have created and if there are rights of the crown that have been lost the king must improve and restore it.

·         Keep peace and remember its links to the church, he must also keep law and maintain justice, and have good judgment in mercy.

·         He has the Divine Right of Kings so his acts are on the behalf of God.

·         He must protect and defend his subjects

·         Fight with a matching army against risers and rioters.

·         Be democratic in the sense of that the peasants are recognised as integral but do not have too much power. He should not change laws without the agreement of his subjects or tax his people too much.

·         He should have council who is made up of both churchmen and nobles and he should confide and make decisions with his council.

·         He should not tax when it is not needed (it is acceptable in times of war) and parliament needs to be worked with.

·         He should be rich as to pay wages and expenses so he does not jeopardise his people in order to become wealthier. Being rich also helps because people remain reliant on him and do not turn to other rich families.

·         To maintain the feudal system order by remaining popular with each part of society and keep the nobles onside.

Edward III (reigned 1327-1377)

·         Eldest son of Edward II and Isabella of France.

·         King at 14 when father was murdered (poker!), influence of mother and lover Roger Mortimer

·         Ended with Mortimer executed and Isabella banished from court.

·         Good military leader and had victories in Scotland, started the 100 years war with France – Crecy (1346) and Poitiers (1356)

·         His son, the Black Prince, died before Edward

·         Found the Order of the Garter, economic problems of the Black Death and control of wage levels.

Richard II (1377-1399)

·         Only son of Black Prince, King at 10 years old and John of Gaunt ran government.

·         Heavy taxation lead to Peasant’s revolt in 1382-personally dealt with rebels.

·         ‘Last Medieval King’ – cultured (invented handkerchief) but neurotic, had ‘favourites’ and upset nobles.

·         1387 barons imposed…


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