The Later Middle Ages, 1327–1485
Following his father’s deposition in 1327, the fifteen-year-old Edward III succeeded to the throne. He was to rule England for half a century. For a few years Edward’s mother, Isabella, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, were able to dominate the young king while they shaped the policies of the government. They hoped he would be a puppet ruler, willing to dance as they pulled the strings. Because Roger himself held land in both Wales and Ireland, he and Isabella were generally accepted there. They were responsible for England’s abandonment of any claim to Scotland in 1328-many of the English regarded this as shameful-and for Edward’s marriage to Philippa of Hainault in the same year. But Edward had been sickened at the way in which Isabella and Roger had treated his father. In 1330 he asserted his own right to rule; he placed his mother in honorable confinement and ordered Roger’s execution.