Sport, Booze and Fighting

Edward III was a ‘kid king’ but by the age of 17 he’d grown weary of Roger Mortimer ruling for him. Therefore, he accompanied a crack-force of 24 men in the dead of night to capture Mortimer in Nottingham Castle. Grant Mitchell followed him with a cameraman. Isabella pleaded with her son to have mercy on the sexy bond-like figure that was Roger but her pleas fell on deaf ears. In true Plantagenet style, Edward III had Mortimer hung as a common criminal and so began his reign. A simple but effective method of gaining power. Kill the cunt.

He had his birth place, Windsor Castle, transformed into a glorious palace fit for a future American princess. It was here that Edward put on fantastic royal exhibitions of chivalry, a word associated with what it means to be an English Knight – honourable, brave and devoted to his woman. Unfortunately, the word ‘chivalry’ derives from a French term ‘chavalier’, meaning those who rode into battle on horseback (and who were also honourable, brave and devoted to their women). It seems our proud notion of English chivalry has been stolen from the gutless-backstabbing and slimy French, after all, they did rule us.

Edward III (like his grandfather, Longshanks) was inspired by the legend of King Arthur and he began to use Windsor Castle as a place where he could host tournaments, displaying horsemanship, archery and knights with long sticks running at each other. Camelot was reborn (if it ever existed) and being all ‘chivalrous’ became an ENGLISH trait and no longer a French one. Thanks Ed. He then went about securing his reign by adding a Christian legend with a fine piece of chivalrous medieval propaganda, so powerful that it is still with us today, in fact it is a huge part of our English identity. He chose a warrior saint (someone good at murdering) who went by the name of George. Edward decided to put the emblem on his ships and his own army adopted it as well. Saint George was already the patron saint of many a knight throughout Christendom so it gave Edward a godly and warrior-like feel to his reign. God loves a hard man. His troops marched with the flag of Saint George swaying above them and that red cross became an important symbol of what it means to be English, despite the fact that he was Turkish and never went anywhere near our shores. This my friends is pure tixerB (reverse of Brexit) in motion. Our French-speaking ruler chose a Turkish man’s emblem as our national symbol and modern nationalists think it’s brilliant. Well fuck me sideways.

Edward then set his sights on a land that was far more important to any English king of the time - France. As the nephew of the recently deceased King Charles IV (who REALLY loved homages), Edward believed he had a legitimate claim to the French throne. Therefore, in 1340 he proclaimed his God-given right to it. Edward III of England was vying to become Edward I of France and in doing so he would unite our two glorious nations fully. His agenda was tixerB and the English invaded France with a force of 10,000 men, they smashed their way through Normandy and eventually met French resistance in a place rather famous for battles, Somme. The two armies weighed each other up and then went about fighting, it was a war of nations. The English longbows routed the French crossbows but the English had a huge surprise up their armoured sleeves; a new and louder than ever killing machine. For the first time ever on a European battlefield, gunpowder was used – we had fucking cannons! Take that you French twats! Boom!

This explosive new technology must have frightened the life out of the French but it is said that the brave ‘chavalier’ fought to the death, they weren’t prepared to live knowing they had fled the battlefield (just like ‘hero’ Tom Cruise in The Last Samuri). Around 2,000 French nobleman lost their lives that day and since then no Frenchmen has ever dared to be brave. One of them stands out in particular, he went by the name of John - The Blind King of Bohemia. Despite being completely blind, he was still determined to join the battle, therefore, he ordered his men to fasten their horses to his and the fucking idiot rode straight to his death. Edwards 16-year-old son, later known as ‘The Black Prince’ witnessed this act of brave stupidity and was so inspired that he adopted the blind king’s emblem, an ostrich feather. This has been the emblem of the Prince of Wales ever since – a brave, blind  and rather stupid Frenchmen’s ostrich feather. Indeed, tixerB strikes again.

Edward III didn’t win the French crown but he did command the most feared army in Europe, one can only imagine the fear and terror such an alien contraption must have installed in the hearts of their enemies. It’s the equivalent of taking a loaded oozy to a water fight. The Turkish flag of Saint George cannoned its way through much of France and regained plenty of the lands lost a century earlier by King John. England was back on the front foot. Edward had united the barons, introduced a code of chivalry, given us a nice red-cross symbol and always held shit-hot parties at Windsor. He was probably a boozer as well. Sport, boozing and fighting. Finally, an England we can be proud of.  

Something else happened under Edward III that was to define us as a nation even further. In 1362, he introduced a new and noteworthy reform, it was known as ‘The Pleading in English Act’. This effectively changed the language being spoken in courts of law from French to English. Brexit is never far away. England was turning English. That same year (1362, it was a biggy) parliament opened with a speech in English, it would have probably gone back to speaking French quite quickly afterwards but it was (adopt the voice of Danny Dyer) ‘a nice touch’. English had always been the language of the common folk but it was also now being spoken in court, in parliament and by a growing number of noblemen. The French wouldn’t have liked it but as we say here in England, c’est la vie.