During no period of the English rule in France were the ties which united England and Gascony more numerous or more powerful than in the reign of Edward III. For nearly two centuries their intercourse had been developed by subjection to a common ruler, and the opening of the Hundred Years' War greatly contributed to the same end by necessitating the residence of increasing numbers of English officers in the Duchy, by making it a base for hostilities and a dépôt for supplies. The connection between the two countries was moreover not merely political, it was also economic, and it was for this reason 1 chiefly that the Gascons valued the union with the English Crown.