Edward had traditionally received much of the blame before the start of the Hundred Years War. But in fact there were many reasons why France and England ended up going to war, and many of them relates to French aggression and support for the Scots. And in fact the catalyst for war is the declaration by Philip VI that he has removed the Duke of Aquitaine from his lands – i.e. Edward. This is as straightforward a declaration of war as you are ever likely to see.
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The Vow of the Heron
In the 1340’s a political poem appeared, which has been remarkably influential in keeping the blame of Edward’s side for the start of the war. It’s all terribly unfair, really it’s not. The full text of the Vows of the Heron can be found here.
What started the Hundred Year’s War.
So here’s a quick list:
- Edward was a young lad looking for a spot of fame and glory
- Philip VI aggressively supported the Scots – and there’s no way Edward could put up with this
- PhilipVI raided the English coast – Edward couldn’t put up with this either
- Philip refused to accept English influence in Flanders and Brabant, which drove him to aggression against England
- The Kings of France could not accept the control of Aquitaine by a vassal as powerful as the King of England.