The 100 Years’ War and a surprising Dick Whittington connection

In the tiny Gloucestershire Parish Church of Coberley, halfway between Cirencester and Gloucester, lies the tomb of Sir Thomas Berkeley.

Sir Thomas was one of the six Gloucestershire knights who crossed to France with King Edward III ready to fight at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. Alongside him lies his wife and a miniature tomb of a child.

Having survived the battle, Sir Thomas died in 1365 and his wife, Lady Berkeley, later went on to marry Sir William Whittington. Their son, one Richard Whittington, grew up to be the Dick Whittington of legend, the eventual Lord Mayor of London. The Gloucester History Festival will be commemorating the 600th anniversary of Dick Whittington’s death in 1423 next September.

The Battle of Crécy, in which Sir Thomas Berkeley fought, was a key battle in the early years of The 100 Years’ War. The lead up to it, starting from Edward III’s invasion of Normandy, forms the focus of the 2022 Winstone Talk, with Dan Jones, taking place in Cirencester on the 29th of October 2022. Dan’s recent book, and debut foray into historic fiction, Essex Dogs, published by Head of Zeus, explores this conflict from the perspective of a group of foot soldiers from Essex – fighting for each other and to get back to the only home they know. It’s a fascinating insight into medieval life in both England and France.

Article courtesy of Gloucester History Festival
Spring Festival 21-23 April & the main festival 2-17 September