Edward III, British Heritage
He was born in 1312, the son of Edward II who was forced to abdicate in his favour in 1327, but being a minor his mother Isabella governed the country with her lover Roger de Mortimer. Edward married Philippa of Hainault in 1328 and assumed full control in 1330 executing Mortimer and banishing his mother. He successfully supported Edward de Balliol against David II of Scotland, and then claimed the French Crown declaring war against Philip VI in 1337 starting the Hundred Years War. He destroyed the French navy at Sluys in 1340 and in 1346 conquered a large part of Normandy and defeated the French at Crecy, aided by his son Edward, the Black Prince. Calais fell too after a years seige.
Meanwhile the Scots had been defeated at Neville Cross in 1346 and David II was captured and imprisoned in the Tower of London. War in France resumed with a great victory at Poitiers in 1356 where King John II of France was captured. A three year truce was agreed in 1374 but Edward had failed to win the French Crown.
Due to ill health his fourth son John of Gaunt took over control of the government in 1375 and Edward died in 1377 of a stroke. He was succeeded by his ten-year-old grandson, Richard II, son of the Black Prince, since the Black Prince himself had died in 1376.