Edward III proclaimed King of France 1340

walwyn Sat, 01/28/2012 - 12:47
Tuesday, January 26, 1340

On January 26th 1340, after two years of conflict between Edward III of England and Philip VI of France, Edward III was proclaimed King of France in the market square Ghent. Edward's claim was that his mother was the daughter of the King Charles IV of France making him Charles' grandson, whereas Philip was the cousin of Charles IV. French law did not recognise inheritance via the female line and as such Philip had been declared King of France in 1328.


The claim by Edward was mainly political as it would be treason to wage war against the rightful king. However, by making the claim for being the rightful king himself, his supporters would be engaged in a civil war between competing claims, rather than being in rebellion against the lawful king. In addition Edward held lands in France, and Philip's confiscation of them was the root cause of the conflict. If Edward was simply in revolt against his overlord then these contested lands should legally be returned to Philip. However, if Philip was never the rightful king then all of Edward's legal problems vanished. Thus was established the bases for the Hundred Years War between England and France.