1n1355, King Edward was at the height of his powers.
He is generally considered by historians to have been a “Good King”. He won a series of battles with the French—at Sluys, Winchelsea and Crecy,
He learned to speak English and introduced the use of English to both houses of Parliament. It was during his reign that the first literature in the English language was published by Geoffry Chaucer. He helped reorganise agriculture and encouraged the growth of industry.
Despite all this he became a deeply troubled man.
In 1341, he reneged of his depts to the Italian banks Bardi an Peruzzi, and is blamed for creating the first Global financial crisis
He was continually rumoured to be illegitimate, fathered by Roger Mortimer not by King Edward II. He came to the throne in 1327 at the age of fifteen, after Edward II was deposed by Roger Mortimer with the willing assistance of his mother, Isabella of France.
Edward III believed that he in turn would be deposed and at the age of 18 with the help of close friends captured Mortimer, who was subsequently tried and executed.
When in 1328 Charles IV died the direct line of French kings became extinct, the French changed their rules of succession to bar Edward III from the throne. Edward believed that thereupon he was rejected was because of doubts over his legitimacy.
Like almost everyone else in Europe he became obsessed with concepts of nobility and messianic bloodlines.
In 1346 when the town of Calais denied him entry he engaged in a successful siege and proposed to execute the Burghers who had stood against him. His wife Philippa d’Avenses persuaded him to pardon the burghers. This led to a temporary separation between the King and his Queen, he used this as an opportunity to force himself Joan, Countess of Kent .
Later in life he turned again to concepts of messianic bloodlines, when he selected brides for two of his sons
(See King Edward’s Daughters-in-Law.)
He then came to believe that “God had turned against him” and took solace in the company of Alice Perrers.
When Queen Philippa died in 1369, Alice became the virtual Queen of England and was praised by Edward as “the lady of the sun”