Character Directory

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KING EDWARD Edward III (1312-77), Firstborn of Edward II and Isabel, daughter of Philip IV (Le Beau) of France. King of England from 1327.


The Black Prince

PRINCE Edward (1330-76), firstborn of Edward III, Prince of Wales from 1343, became known as the Black Prince from the color of his armour in his military exploits in France.


WARWICK Thomas de Beauchamp was Earl of Warwick in Edward III s time and one of the Knights Founders of the Order of the Garter. He did not father the Countess of Salisbury.


Henry of Lancaster, great-grandson of Henry III, was created Earl of Derby in 1337 and first Duke of Lancaster in 1351, and was one of the Knights Founders of the Order of theGarter. His daughter Blanche married the third son of Edward III, John of Gaunt, who inherited the title of Lancaster at the death of the first Duke in 1361.


SALISBURY Sir William Montague (Montacute) was created first Earl of Salisbury in 1337 (1.33 according to others) in recognition of his service against the Scots. He died in 1344, but in the play he is made to survive and attributed the role filled m history by Sir Walter de Manny (actually Walter Mauny, like the historian Froissart a native of Hainault who was one of the first Knights of the Garter and died in 1372.  The Salisbury title was transferred to the Neville family a century later, when Alice Montague married Richard Neville; their son Richard, by marrying Anne Beauchamp, secured the title of Earl of Warwick, and appears as 'king-maker' in 2 and 3 Henry VI.


AUDI.EY Sir James Audley (or Audeley) was a 'knight bachelor' who went to Normandy in 1346, was a Knight Founder of the Order of the Garter, and distinguished himself at the battle of Poitiers (1356). He was not old (as in the play) but a near contemporary of the Black Prince.


PERCY A forebear of the first Earl of Northumberland who figures prominently in Richard II and 1 and 2 Henry IV, Henry Lord Percy was appointed in 1346, together with Ralph Neville, Warden of the Realm of England while Edward III was engaged in the war in France.


Montague Son of the sister of his namesake, the first Earl of Salisbury, Sir William Montague was the captain of the castle of Roxborough besieged by the Scots in 1341, when the Earl was in France.


John Copland (or Copeland), an esquire who captured King David of Scotland at the battle of Neville's Cross (1346), was rewarded with a knighthood and a yearly pension of 500 pounds.


Robert de Beaumont-le-Roger (1287-1343) claimed the earldom of Artois, which had been assigned to a collateral branch of the family at the death of his grandfather, the second Earl. In 1334 he took refuge in England, and obtained from Edward III the title of Earl of Richmond. He died of the wounds received during the expedition he led in Brittany in 1342 in aid of the Countess of Mountford (see n. on MOUNTFORD), but in the play he is made to survive till after the battle of Poitiers, filling the role played in the Crecy campaign by another rebellious Frenchman, Godefroy d'Harcourt, a Norman baron deprived by the Valois of his dominions. 


 Jean IV de Montfort (1293-1345) in 1341 claimed the dukedom of Brittany (assigned to Charles de Blois, nephew to the King of France) and paid homage for it to the King of England. He was captured in the same year and ended his life as a prisoner in the Louvre. Thanks to the heroic resistance of his wife, Jeanne of Flanders, and to repeated English interventions, Brittany remained in the hands of his descendants. In the play he is made to survive and is restored to the dukedom.

GOBIN DE GREY GOBIN Gobin de Grace, a French commoner who reportedly revealed to the English the tidal ford in the River Somme at Blanchetaque.
JOHN, King of France

KING JOHN Jean II Ie ban de Valois (1319 84), Duke of Normandy till 1350, when he succeeded his father Philip VI as King of France. In the first three acts of the play John is attributed actions which occurred during the reign of Philip. 

CHARLES CHARLES The firstborn of King John, Prince Charles (1337 -80) became Duke of Normandy in 1350, and King of France, as Charles V, in 1364.

PHILIP Prince Philip (1341-1404), fourth son of John II, was created Duke of Burgundy m 1363, and became known as Philip the Bold. For the confusion with his homonymous uncle, Philip Duke of Orleans


LORRAINE The Duke of Lorraine, Raoul (or Rudolph), a powerful ally of King Philip VI of France, was killed in the battle of Crecy.


VILLIERS A name assigned by the playwright to an unnamed 'knight of Normandy' men-tioned by Froissart. 


BOHEMIA John the Blind (1296-1346), Earl of Luxembourg, became King of Bohemia in 1311 when he married Elizabeth, daughter of the previous King Venceslaus IV. He died at Crecy. 

DAVID King of Scotland.

KING DAVID David II (i3i8[?]-7i) succeeded his father Robert Bruce on the throne of Scotland in 1329, and in the same year married Joan, sister of Edward III. He was defeated and captured in the battle of Neville's Cross (1346) and remained a prisoner in London till he was ransomed in 1356.

DOUGLAS DOUGLAS Sir William Douglas, a valiant Scottish military commander who conquered Edinburgh castle in 1340, but was taken prisoner with King David II at the battle of Neville's Cross.
PHILIPPA, Edward's Queen

QUEEN Philippa, daughter of William Earl of Hainault, married Edward III m 1328. She gave birth to seven sons and five daughters.

Countess of SALISBURY

COUNTESS The Earl of Salisbury's wife was Catherine Grandisson, neither Alice as inFroissart, nor the daughter of the Earl of Warwick, as in Bandello/Painter and m the play.


To view other Edward III sections:

Main Play Page      Play Text     Scene by Scene Synopsis      Character Directory     Commentary  


To view the other Plays click below:

By  Comedies    Histories    Romances    Tragedies

All's Well the Ends Well Antony & Cleopatra As You Like It Cardenio Comedy of Errors Coriolanus
Cymbeline Edward III Hamlet Henry IV, Part 1 Henry IV, Part 2 Henry V
Henry VI, Part 1 Henry VI, Part 2 Henry VI, Part 3 Henry VIII Julius Caesar King John
King Lear Love's Labours Lost Love's Labours Wonne Macbeth Measure for Measure Merchant of Venice
The Merry Wives of Windsor A Mid Summer Night's Dream  Much Ado About Nothing Othello Pericles Richard II
Richard III Romeo & Juliet Sir Thomas More Taming of the Shrew The Tempest Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus Troilus & Cressida Twelfth Night Two Gentlemen of Verona The Two Noble Kinsman The Winter's Tale


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