examine symbolism and the views of contemporary accounts from the time –each contributing to Edward’s image similar to the role played by public relationsexperts today. Overall, we shall see that although propaganda appears to havegreatly benefitted his image amongst his people and nobles, it was not soeffective in extracting material benefits, in particular money, for his wars.Based on W.M. Ormrod’s description, Edward possessed perfect qualities for amedieval, charismatic leader for he was “bluff, brave, generous, slightly boorish,heartily heterosexual, fair-minded and, on the whole, even-tempered”.
Yet, as aresult of his father’s disastrous reign, Edward came to the throne at a time of both domestic and international hardship for England. The Scots, led by Robert I,had won the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and were raiding England as farsouth as Yorkshire – unthinkable during the reign of Edward I.
France, England’sold enemy, was in a strong position, they too having a new king with thecoronation of Philip VI in 1328. To put things into perspective at the gulf instrength between the two countries, there were 21 million people living in Franceduring Philip’s reign – five times the population of England.
Whereas London hada population of 30,000, Paris alone was home to 150,000 Frenchmen.
Edward’sgreatest problem, as we shall see, is the issue of money. By 1340 alone, the costof maintaining the Hundred Year’s War was in the region of £500,000.
Thus, it islikely that when Edward begun to use propaganda to build support for his foreignwars, it was his funds that he was hoping it would benefit the most.
2 W.M. Ormrod,
The Reign of Edward III
(Yale University Press, 1990) p. 443 Desmond Seward,
A Brief History of The Hundred Years War: The English in France,1337-1453
(Constable and Robin son Ltd, 2003) p. 264Seward,
Hundred Years War,
p. 255 Ibid6 Michael Prestwich,
The Three Edwards: War and State in England, 1272-1377 2
(Routledge, 2003) p. 193