Edward III (1312-1377), became king of England in 1327. He succeeded his father, Edward II, and belonged to the Plantagenet family of English rulers. In the 1330's, Edward invaded Scotland. He won victories there but could not crush the Scottish spirit of independence.
Edward's forces won the Battle of Crecy in what is now the Normandy region of France. This conflict was the first major battle between France and England in the Hundred Years' War (1337-1453). Edward claimed to be the rightful king of France, and he conquered much of that country. He paid for the war by introducing an efficient system of taxing imports. In the last few years of his reign, Edward failed to provide vigorous leadership. The French recovered some of their land, and Edward's popularity declined. Even so, he was long remembered as an ideal king and a fine soldier. Edward was born in Windsor, near London.