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Monarchy -

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(generated from captions) SOLEMN MUSIC in North Wales. This is Caernarfon Castle

layers of different-coloured stone Its vast walls are built out of the imperial city of Constantinople in imitation of the walls of of the great tower there, while, on top of the battlements by the sea winds and the rain, now worn to stumps of imperial eagles. perch stone sculptures whose ambitions were truly imperial - For this castle was built by a man and "Hammer of the Scots". King Edward I, conqueror of Wales kings - father, son and grandson - Edward was the founder of a line of

the Anglo-Saxon name Edward, who all bore to new heights of power. and they carried England Scotland and even France - They would conquer Wales, and third Edwards would. or, at least, the first

unconventional and self-indulgent, But the second Edward, about royal power. reopened the old debate to the brink of disaster His weaknesses brought the monarchy horrible death on the king. and may have inflicted a uniquely Nor was it all gore and glory, as well as soldiers, for the Edwards were lawgivers as well as conquerors, parliamentarians by the end of the Edwardian century, with the result that, ruled by king, lords and commons the shape of an England was already becoming clear. THEME MUSIC In 1272 from his father Henry III, Edward I inherited the crown but his inheritance was flawed. of his father's reign, During the later years to its lowest depths. the crown had sunk kept under house arrest Edward and his father had been through a group of barons. and the king forced to rule this humiliation. Edward would never forget who led the royalist fightback It was Edward who learnt the painful lesson and it was Edward of what could happen to a weak king. These were Edward's first battles. for the rights of the crown. He learned early that he had to fight he fought like the leopard, When he was young with speed and cunning. he fought like the lion, When he got older with awe-inspiring power. at his coronation in 1274, There's a story told that, he removed the crown from his head he'd never wear it again and swore that what his father had lost. until he'd regained was to reunite his realm, And to do this, Edward's first task divided by the barons' revolt. against his surviving opponents, But instead of waging a vendetta he forgave them, to buy back the property allowing them that his father had confiscated. appear magnanimous, The result made Edward for the crown. but he'd also raised money from the rebel barons as well, Edward had learned in the towns and villages of England and he understood that it was that the roots of his power lay, between king and people so he decided to reinforce the bonds nationwide investigation by ordering a huge

into official corruption. versus the fat cats. It would be king and people

what are known as the Hundred Rolls. The results were recorded in in the Stamford Roll, Here, for instance, bailiff of the town, Hugo Bunting. is a bit of the local dirt on the that he's accused of One of the things an illicit toll of five shillings is levying on a certain William Gabercocky through the middle of the town. when he took his millstones (Reads) "Duxit per medium ville". Now, this is just for Stamford. and you get information overload, Multiply for all England took place. so very few actual prosecutions that was most important. But it's the PR Edward was showing that he cared, the rights of his subjects, that the king's rights complemented equal justice for all his subjects, and that he was able to guarantee no matter how humble. of a better beginning for a reign It would be hard to think to those who, or of a more effective answer of his father's reign, like the baronial revolutionaries

meant oppressive royal government. claimed that strong royal government the authority of the king of England Edward's next task was to restore over the whole of Britain. the rulers of Wales and Scotland For in different ways, of Henry III's weakness had taken advantage to regain power and independence of their English overlord. at the expense in North Wales, In 1276, from his wild vastness

control over most of Wales. Llewelyn ap Gruffydd had extended But Edward was loath to accept as an independent power, the rise of Wales or ritual submission - so he insisted on the homage - which the rulers of Wales to the king of England. traditionally paid There resulted a struggle of wills. was a bargaining counter For Llewelyn, his homage in a relationship of semi-equals. a non-negotiable acknowledgement For Edward, it was over a subject and inferior. of his superiority was summoned to perform homage Three more times, Prince Llewelyn and three times he refused. to make his preparations, Finally, and with plenty of time Edward declared war. Edward mobilised the whole country. to supply the army. Merchants and craftsmen laboured were stockpiled, Huge arsenals of weapons for the resources of England. and Llewelyn was no match in 1277 and 1282 - But it took two campaigns - to subdue the Welsh. WAVES LAP to Llewelyn in Snowdonia Edward effectively laid siege and starved him out.

of England to fight the Welsh, Edward was not the first king to new extremes. but Edward carried the old policy native princes of Wales There would be no more of a king of England. acknowledging the vague overlordship Instead, Wales was crushed of a brutal military occupation under the heel which still dominate the landscape. whose symbol was the mighty castles as second-class citizens And the Welsh retreated by an English-speaking elite. ruled over of the rebel leaders It was Edward's treatment that he was a new kind of king that shows most clearly to kingship with a new, harder attitude

the struggles of his father's reign. which he'd learned during Ever since the Norman Conquest barons and kings had fought with each other with few hard feelings on either side. No longer, because Edward now declared that to wage war against the king was treason. Treason was effectively a new crime for which a new, terrible punishment was devised, and the first to suffer it was Dafydd ap Gruffydd, Prince Llewelyn's brother. Because he'd betrayed the king, he was dragged to the place of execution by horses.

Because he'd killed noblemen, he was hanged. And because he'd committed murder at Easter, he was cut down while still alive, castrated, disembowelled, and his entrails burned.

And because he'd committed crimes in different parts of the kingdom, his body was hacked into four and the quarters distributed throughout the realm. The fate of Wales was scarcely less brutal. If the Hundred Rolls had shown that Edward was an astute politician, the conquest of Wales demonstrated his brutal, lion-like strength. This is Beaumaris Castle on the island of Anglesey, built by Edward I to set the seal on his final crushing of Welsh resistance. Edward's empire now stretched secure from east to west across the British Isles. But in the south, the King of France was threatening Edward's lands in Gascony, whilst in the north, Scotland at last seemed about to fall into his grasp. This struggle on two fronts -

to subdue Scotland and to preserve his lands in France -

was to dominate the rest of Edward's reign and, for better and for worse, to shape the reigns of his son and his grandson as well. STATELY MUSIC Behind me lies Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. With evolution, it's once again the seat of the Scottish parliament

and the focus of a revived and intensified sense of Scotland's separate nationhood. But when Edward came to the throne, that sense of separate identity was not nearly so clear. Scotland was an ancient monarchy, but its kings were much intermarried with the English royal house. They had vast land holdings in England. They swore fealty to the English kings. They fought for them as well as with them,

and they sat in English councils and parliaments. In short, were they separate monarchs, or were they the greatest subjects of the kings of England?

It was a highly ambiguous relationship. But Edward, with his sharp lawyer's mind and his acute awareness of his own rights, hated ambiguity. When he could, he would make the relationship of the king of Scotland and the king of England clear on his own terms and in his own interests. Edward's opportunity came in 1291.

The sole heir of the Scottish throne was the little Norwegian princess, the granddaughter of the deceased King of Scots. She was brought back to Scotland, but died on the way. As feudal overlord of the country, Edward claimed the right to choose the next king. Edward would be kingmaker in Scotland and he would remake the relations between the two kingdoms. Of the 13 candidates, Edward chose John Balliol. Balliol had a good claim but he was also the most anglicised of the candidates, the founder of an Oxford college and a major landowner in England. Moreover, Edward was clear that even after he'd chosen Balliol as king, he remained sovereign lord of Scotland. He, Edward, was finally responsible for justice and good government in Scotland, and he would enforce those responsibilities as he enforced his laws in England - in his own English courts.

Knowing Edward's attitude, Scotsmen appealed to him to have their own king's judgments overruled. Even Balliol's acquiescence was tested.

But when Balliol complained, Edward informed him that he could summon even Balliol himself to appear before him at Westminster. Before long, he did just that. For Balliol, it was a humiliation too far. ANGRY SHOUTING The Scots were provoked into rebellion... ..Edward, to invasion.

SWORDS CLASH Berwick was the first town to fall. It was said that Edward was so angry that the town had dared to resist him that he fell on it with the anger of a wild boar pursued by dogs. For Berwick, Edward pushed up the coast to Dunbar. The Scots taunted the English troops, calling them "tailed dogs". The castle fell after only a few days. Edward then took his army on a military promenade through Scotland. The great fortress of Edinburgh fell after only five days siege and Stirling before Edward even arrived. He boasted that Scotland was conquered in only 21 weeks. Now Edward had achieved what he'd probably always wanted - the direct rule of Scotland. So, in a cruel inversion of a coronation, the vestments, symbols and regalia of kingship were stripped off Balliol. Edward literally "un-kinged" him. Even more radically, Edward decided to "un-kingdom" Scotland. Take this piece of sandstone here. It looks ordinary enough, but then, why the glass and the high security? Because it's the stone rich with legend on which, for 400 years, the kings of Scotland were crowned. After the conquest Edward took the stone to England, where it remained under the Coronation Throne in Westminster Abbey for the next 700 years. By removing the Stone of Destiny, Edward was declaring that Scotland had ceased altogether to be a kingdom and become a mere province of England. Edward was now at the pinnacle of power. He was an English Caesar, a new Arthur, a mightier, mightier conqueror. Finally, Edward took on the king of France who, in the first example of what became known as the "old alliance", had allied with John Balliol and confiscated Edward's remaining French territories. To fight his great wars Edward needed taxation, and the only effective way of raising taxation was to summon a parliament, usually to Westminster here. A parliament was necessary constitutionally, because Magna Carta had laid down that no-one could be taxed without their consent. It was also necessary practically, because it had proved impossible to raise taxes any other way without the taxpayers going on strike. As usual, the most important group of taxpayers were the middle earners - the knights, the country gentlemen and the leading townsfolk. So, in 1295, on the eve of the Scottish invasions, Edward summoned representatives of these groups to what became as the "Model Parliament". They'd have a stake in Edward's vision for England, but they'd have to pay for it.

The result was that Edward, the most naturally autocratic of kings, followed in the footsteps of the great rebel Simon de Montfort

to become the father of parliament. It was a shrewd gesture, but fierce guerrilla resistance to the English conquest broke out in Scotland, and Edward was forced into war on two fronts. As the costs escalated, the king faced broad-based opposition led by an important group of nobles.

To appease them, he was forced to reissue Magna Carta and to promise once more that there would be no taxation without consultation of the whole realm. Nevertheless, to pursue his obsession of conquering Scotland, Edward resorted to any means to raise money. Finally in 1305, William Wallace, the leader of Scottish resistance, was betrayed, and Edward decided to make an example of him. Wallace was brought on horseback here to the place of judgment in Westminster Hall for his trial. As was usual in cases of treason, there was no jury or counsel for the accused. Otherwise, both the facts of the case and the forms of law were carefully observed. The judges accused Wallace of having encouraged the Scots to ally with Edward's enemies, the French, of having invaded England and killed women, children and churchmen, and above all, of having traitorously conspired the king's death and marched in war with banners flying against him.

Wallace indignantly denied that he'd ever been a traitor, presumably meaning that he'd never recognised Edward as king. This only made his crime the worse,

and he was sentenced to the worst punishment that the law could give. At Smithfield, now London's meat market, Wallace was horrifically tortured and killed. Like the Welsh rebel, Dafydd, he too was hanged, disembowelled, beheaded and quartered. It was a graphic message of what happened to those who crossed King Edward. No sooner had Edward dealt with Wallace than a daunting new enemy took his place - Robert the Bruce. Despite the absence of the Scottish crown and the Stone of Destiny, Bruce had himself crowned King of Scots in 1306. Bruce continued to terrorise the English.

Edward retaliated with punitive campaigns. And it was on his way north in 1307 to wage yet another campaign against Bruce that Edward died at the age of 68. There's a story that his last wish was that his body should be boiled until the bones were clean of flesh and his skeleton be carried at the head of every English army until the Scots were finally crushed. It didn't quite work out like that. Instead, his body was buried in his father's great church at Westminster Abbey, but inscribed on his tomb was the words "Malleus Scotorum" - Hammer of the Scots. What Edward had done was right and just by his standards, but he had the weakness of his strength. If he had been less rigid and less hammer-like, the union of England and Scotland, then so close, might have come about quickly and naturally and both countries would have been spared centuries of war, bloodshed and devastation. Edward was a supremely self-confident king with a clear sense of the power and the rights of the crown. He may be remembered for his wars, but his legacy is much greater. At home, Edward reaffirmed the direct bonds between crown and people.

Abroad, his victories began to foster a sense of national pride. But how would England cope with his successor, a man ruled by private obsessions rather than royal ambition? Edward I was a difficult act to follow for any son, but Edward II was particularly ill-equipped to step into his father's shoes. He may have looked like his father - tall, handsome and strong -

but in fact, they had little in common. Disturbingly, it was noted that Edward shunned the traditional pastimes of princes, preferring instead common pursuits like rowing, swimming and boat-building. At the beginning of Edward's reign, the contrasting character with his father

wasn't necessarily seen as a bad thing. Edward I had undoubtedly been a great king but, especially towards the end, his realm had paid a terrible price for his driving ambition

and men were looking forward to a quieter life under his apparently more accommodating son. And the symbol of the change was the new coronation oath which Edward swore here in Westminster Abbey. Out went Edward I's promise to defend the rights of the crown. In came a new oath that the king would uphold and defend the laws and righteous customs which the community of the realm shall choose. "I so agree and promise," Edward swore. In those few words, he'd abandoned any claim to absolute royal power, and he undertook instead to rule by consent and in cooperation with the nobles. A brave new world, it seemed, had dawned.

Edward, the hope was, would be a conciliator, not an authoritarian monarch. But he lacked his father's strength of will and had, for contemporaries, an even more worrying personality flaw which was evident even at his coronation. Edward was crowned with his wife, Queen Isabella, by his side, but it was his childhood friend Piers Gaveston who stole the show. Edward had eyes and ears only for Piers and Piers, in turn, gave himself the airs and graces of a royal favourite. At the coronation, he openly flouted convention by wearing purple robes rather than the traditional gold. To add injury to insult, Edward presented Piers

with the best of his new wife's jewels and wedding presents. Whether or not the relationship between Edward and Piers was actively homosexual is unclear. No contemporary explicitly says that it was. Instead, they use phrases like "the love that surpasseth the love of a woman". One wrote:

(Man reads) "I do not remember to have heard "that one man so loved another. "Jonathan cherished David, but we do not read that they were immoderate. "Our king, however, was incapable of moderate favour "and, on account of Piers, was said to 'forget himself'." In short, Edward and Piers were breaking the rules and they were offending those who saw themselves as the guardians of the rules - the English nobility. Only two months after the celebrations of the coronation, the nobility delivered an ultimatum to their new king - either exile Piers or face civil war. Piers was sent to France and Edward wasn't to be browbeaten. And Edward had inherited his father's determination as well as his looks. Just as Edward I had conquered Wales and Scotland, so Edward II would have Piers by his side. He cajoled, bribed and threatened his nobles until they relented and allowed Piers to return. The king rode to Chester to be reunited with his friend. But Piers had learnt nothing from his exile. Instead, he continued to treat the leading magnates of the country with contempt by giving them nicknames like "Burst Belly", "Joseph the Jew", "the Cuckold's Bird" and "the Black Dog of Ardennes". This amused Edward, but it made deadly enemies of Piers's targets. Piers's mockery of the nobility was the classic response of the outsider confronted by a clique of crusty old insiders, because the English nobility saw government as being rather like a club. Membership, they felt, should be limited to people of the right background - in other words, to nobles like themselves. And everybody should obey the rules, including the king himself. And rule number one was to respect the rights and privileges,

the sensitivities and values of the right sort of people

by which, once again, the nobility meant themselves. Now, of course, this attitude was selfish and class-ridden, but it was also the only way that the idea of royal government as responsible government could be given real meaning. Only the nobility were strong enough to hold the king to account and that, in the circumstances of 1312, meant forcing him - by violence, if necessary - to get rid of Piers Gaveston. Edward and Piers fled north, Edward abandoning his pregnant wife, Isabella, to his enemies. She would not forget the insult. But it was all for nothing. Piers was caught and taken prisoner by the Earl of Warwick, the man whom he'd mocked as the Black Dog. DRAMATIC MUSIC There was no formal trial. Instead, Warwick and four nobles decided Piers's fate. The verdict was death. Edward was grief-stricken at Gaveston's murder, but it was more than a personal loss. He'd also lost face as king. Gaveston was the thing in the whole world that mattered most to him, but he'd not been powerful enough or feared enough to protect his life or to avenge his death. What was the authority of such a king worth? But now Edward, under attack at home, had the opportunity to recoup his position abroad. Bruce's long guerrilla campaign in Scotland was at last bearing fruit. He drove the English from their key castles, and he even dared to strike across the English border with increasingly devastating raids. By 1313, war was unavoidable. Edward and his nobles sank their differences sufficiently to mount a vast, punitive expedition against Scotland. Here, in the field of battle, Edward might yet redeem himself. The English and Scottish armies met on 23 June 1314 just outside Stirling. Much to the English surprise, the Scots took the initiative.

At daybreak, it was they who advanced. But then Edward's surprise turned to amazement. Edward was reported to say, "They kneel and ask for mercy." One of his Scottish officials knew his countrymen better and replied, "They ask for mercy, but not from you.

"To God they pray. "For them, it's death or victory." YELLING

The battle began and the English knights charged the Scots' front line. But the Scots held firm. Unable to break the front rank, the English retreated, but their retreat turned into a rout. Encumbered by heavy armour, many men drowned in the boggy ground. The losses were huge, and Bannockburn became infamous as England's most shameful defeat by the Scots.

Leaving his troops to be massacred, Edward fled from the battlefield and, with only a handful of followers, rode desperately for Dunbar. He took refuge overnight in the castle here, which was in friendly hands,

and then, the following morning, set sail for England. The war with Scotland had given Edward the opportunity to redeem his reputation. Instead, the shattering defeat of Bannockburn sent it to new depths. He'd proved to be as bad a general as he was a politician, and his flight made him seem like a coward as well. He now appeared to be unmanly as well as unkingly. How, people asked, could such a creature as this be the son of the great Edward? And they answered their own question by saying that he wasn't - that he was a changeling and not royal at all. And thus began the rumours about the king's birth which his own fondness for such peasant activities as rowing, thatching, fishing and boat-building seemed only to confirm. Nor was Edward any more successful as a husband. Enraged by his neglectful treatment, Edward's wife Isabella had taken a lover, Mortimer, and fled to France with him. And it was from there that they planned their invasion of England. In September 1326, Isabella landed in England and met with little resistance. She seized the crown in the name and her and Edward's eldest son, a third Edward. Isabella and Mortimer may have had no difficulty in seizing the throne, but it proved less easy to justify it because there was no constitutional machinery to depose a crowned and anointed king.

Instead, they resorted to the astonishing legal innovation of the Articles of Accusation which convicted the king, the fount of justice, of a series of high crimes against his country. Instead of good government by good laws, he'd been ruled by evil counsel. Instead of justice, he'd sent noblemen to shameful and to illegal deaths. He'd lost Scotland and Gascony and he had oppressed and impoverished England. In short, he had broken his solemn contract with his people and his country, and he must pay the price. For the first time in English history,

a reigning monarch was formally deposed from the throne. Edward's miserable state was described in a poem which he may have written himself. (Man reads) "In winter woe befell me "By cruel fortune threatened, my life now lies a ruin "Once was I feared and dreaded "But now all men despise me and call me a crownless king "A laughing-stock to all." Edward was imprisoned here in this guard room in the Keep of Berkeley Castle. He soon escaped, but was recaptured. Thereafter, his imprisonment became stricter and heavy locks and bolts were bought for the doors. Finally, he was murdered. It couldn't be seen as murder, of course, and pains were taken to leave as few marks as possible on the body. According to most contemporary accounts, he was pressed down with a table with heavy weights and suffocated. But this story, first written down about 30 years after the king's death, suggests a more horrible end. The king was held down and then a hollow instrument like the end of a trumpet was forced into his fundament and a red hot poker thrust up through it into his bowels. The Articles of Accusation had been an inversion of Edward's coronation oath. If this story is correct, his death was a vile parody of the pleasures that he was supposed to have enjoyed with Piers Gaveston. In April 1331, a 3-day tournament was proclaimed in the name of the new king, Edward III. His father had banned the tournament. Edward III excelled at the joust.

Indeed, whilst Edward II had disappointed the traditional expectations of what a king should be, Edward III was the perfect image of kingship. Like Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria after him, Edward III personified the values of his age. Edwardian England was an age of knights and fantasy castles, of honours and arms. It was a culture rooted in war,

and leading the country to battle was a hero king. After the disasters of his father's reign, it was natural that Edward would model himself on his grandfather, the heroic warrior king Edward I. But it was a return with a difference. Edward had none of his grandfather's ruthless, driving energy or his stiff-backed authoritarianism either. Instead, he cultivated an easy, winning charm.

He was a good family man with a pretty wife and a rapidly growing brood of fine sons, and he was capable of striking populist gestures, as when he entered a town in triumph not on horseback, but on foot, and leading his wife and eldest son by the hand. And he would meet the humblest knight in the tournament man to man and win. In short, Edward was the perfect gentleman, affable, sporting and brave, who would rule England as one of the club - as a first amongst the equals of his nobility. This was a quiet revolution. For Edward, there would be no divisive upstart favourite like Piers. Instead Edward, unlike his father or even grandfather, truly accepted that he had to work in harmony with the nobility. Indeed, to do so was a pleasure as well as a duty. The result was that Edward encouraged aristocratic culture

which bound the kings and nobles together. Its most vivid expression was in heraldry. Originally, your coat of arms had a purely practical function

of identifying you on the battlefield when you were encased in a suit of armour. But soon, a whole world of meaning was added. Your coat of armour showed who your ancestors were, who you'd married, whether you were a younger or an elder son and what honours you'd won. Edward III was an aficionado of all this, and he established a new order of chivalry based on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table called "the Order of the Garter". The story goes that at a court ball a lady let slip her garter, which fell to the floor. Amidst the laughter, the king himself bent down, retrieved it, and silenced the titters by saying, "Honi soit qui mal y pense" - "Shame be to him that thinks evil of it." Be that as it may, the garter, with its blue and gold ribbon encircling your coat of arms, became the supreme mark of noble honour. But all of this glamour and glitz masked a darker imperative. Edward and his nobles belonged to a killing culture in which you gained honour and respect by slaughter. Sport, in particular, was all about the kill. You killed animals in the hunt and you came near to killing human beings in the joust and the tournament.

And war, where you killed for real, was the noblest sport of them all. But war was also a political necessity as well. As the chronicler Froissart noted: (Man reads) "The English will never love and honour their king "unless he be victorious "and a lover of arms and war against their neighbours, "and especially against such "that are greater and richer than themselves." Edward's first target was Scotland.

Scotland had eluded his grandfather Edward I and defeated and humiliated his father Edward II.

MEN SHOUT, SWORDS CLASH So for Edward III, war with Scotland was a matter of honour. Edward took personal charge of his armies and managed to instil his own military enthusiasm,

from the nobles at the top to the ordinary common soldier at the bottom.

And it was the common soldier who largely won the wars thanks to the powerful new weapon, the longbow. Edward understood the value of the longbow, and later in his reign he passed an act which banned other village sports such as football and bowls to force a concentration on archery. The border town of Berwick, now back in Scottish hands,

was Edward's first target.

DRAMATIC MUSIC On Halidon Hill just outside Berwick, the English and Scots met. It was the first victory for Edward and the longbow. As the Scots approached,

the English archers fired their deadly wave of arrows with devastating impact. England's honour, lost at Bannockburn, was restored and balladeers celebrated.

CHEERING (Man reads) "Scottes out of Berwick and Aberdeen "At the Burn of Bannock ye were far too keen "King Edward has avenged it now "And fully, too, I ween." Edward's victory high up here on Halidon Hill was the making of him as a man and as a king. He'd smashed the Scots even more completely than his grandfather,

the imperial Edward I, the Hammer of the Scots, had ever done. He'd won Berwick On Tweed over there, then Scotland's main port and trading city. And for the first time in over 20 years, he'd freed the north of England from the risk of invasion. But his personal gains were even greater. He showed himself to be a natural general and leader of men and a master of the new tactics of the longbow. And he'd done all this at the age of 21. Already he was hailed as a new Arthur. Would he, like Arthur, reunify Britain, or would he seek for wider fields to conquer? Edward chose the wider fields and his next target would be France, the country with which England had been intertwined in peace and war since the Norman Conquest. War with France offered the chance of rich booty, vast ransoms and controlling the lucrative trade in the English Channel. But not even Edward could have guessed that he was about to start a war that would last a hundred years. But if Edward and his nobles fought the war, it was the grey men of parliament who paid for it. From here, high up on the London Eye, you can see the Houses of Parliament. Their proper name is still the Palace of Westminster. Back in Edward's reign it was the king's real palace, but it was also becoming the home of parliament too, with a special parliament chamber. And what was turning parliament into a regular institution was Edward's need for money to fight his wars with France - that, and his willingness to do whatever was necessary to persuade parliament

to dig their hands deep into their constituents' pockets. It meant doing deals, greasing palms, slapping backs. Edward's victories were reported in detail to parliament. Parliament was consulted on the war diplomacy and parliament ratified the peace treaties with France. It was good politics, but it was more, because it turned Edward's wars into a joint enterprise between the king and the English nation, and it made the English monarchy a national monarchy as well, of which Englishmen could be proud and in which they felt they had a stake and an investment. Edward's war became England's war. Bishops and priests led patriotic services and prayed for success. Dispatches from the front were read out in every town and triumphant peals of bells celebrated victory. It was in August 1346 that Edward's style of kingship was fully vindicated.

The English and French met at Crecy, near Calais. The French were confident that victory was theirs, for they outnumbered the English eight to one. But Edward unleashed the full martial potential of his country.

Now, the training in the longbow and the promise of rich plunder, all under the command of the king, created a truly terrifying force. MEN SHOUT, HORSES NEIGH By nightfall the battle was over, and a witness described the scene: (Man reads) "When no more shouting or rallying cries could be heard "the English concluded that the enemy were routed, "so they lit great numbers of lanterns and torches, "because it was very dark. "They hailed it as a glorious victory, "and several times that night "they gave thanks to God for showing them such great mercies." The French fled, leaving behind 4,000 dead knights. Edward's armies had gone into battle wearing the Cross of St George and St George, the patron saint of soldiers and nobles, became the patron saint of England. This great window in Gloucester Cathedral is known as the "Crecy window".

It was built to commemorate the victory and it contains the shields of King Edward and his companions in arms. There in the middle is the coat of arms of King Edward himself, now showing the lilies of France as well as the lions of England. There's Lord Berkeley's, who'd been forgiven for having acted as jailer to Edward's father, Edward II. And there's Lord Baderstone's, who probably paid for the window out of the fortune that he made from the war in France. For the war in France made England rich. It also remade England. England had been culturally in the shadow of France ever since the Norman Conquest, but now that France was shattered and defeated, England had got the confidence to strike out on its own, as in the architecture here. The window is an early masterpiece of the new English perpendicular style.

So it's more than a window -

it's a kind of symphony in which architecture, heraldry and religion all come together in a single hymn of praise to England's God, to England's king and to England itself. (Whinnies) After Crecy, Edward's popularity reached its zenith.

(Whinnies) (Man reads) "The English thought that a new sun had risen "because of the abundance of peace of England, the plenitude of goods "and the glory of the victories." The century of Edwards had reshaped the English monarchy. The king was now more closely identified with the interests of his people. He would never again be able to rule effectively without the consent of parliament. He was expected to fight wars, but they had to be wars in the national interest. For the most memorable legacy of the Edwards was the forging of a nation that defined itself through war, symbolised in the flag of the soldier saint. A superman like Edward I could manage it, or a man's man like Edward III. But could their successors? Closed Captions provided by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd