Philippa of Hainault
Founder of Queen’s College, Oxford
1312 -1369 A.D.
Philippa of Hainault was the daughter of the Earl of Hainault, and married Edward III, king of England, in 1327. In 1346, when, after the victorious battle of Cressy, Edward lay be Dalais, David Bruce, king of Scotland, invaded the north of England, and ravaged the country as far as Durham. He was there met by Queen Philippa, at the head of twelve thousand men, commanded by Lord Percy. After a fierce engagement, the Scots were entirely defeated, and their king and many of the nobility taken prisoners. As soon as Philippa had secured her royal captive, she crossed the sea to Dover, and was received in the English camp, before Calais, with all the eclat due to her rank and her victory. Here her intercession is said to have saved the lives of six citizens of Calais, who were condemned by Edward.
Philippa’s conduct was marked by wisdom and generosity, and she was on all important occasions the confident and adviser of her husband. She died before Edward, leaving several children, the eldest whom was the celebrated Black Prince.
Philippa is said to have founded Queen’s College, Oxford; but her agency in establishing manufacturing colony of Flemings at Norwich, in the year 1335, was of far greater importance to the prosperity of the nation. “Blessed be the memory of Edward III and Philippa of Hainsault, his queen, who first invented clothes,” says a monastic chronicler. He meant that, by the advice of the queen, the English first manufactured cloth. Philippa was also the friend and patroness of Chaucer and Froissart.
Reference: Woman: Her Position, Influence, and Achievement Throughout the Civilized World published by the King-Richardson Co. in 1903.