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 Earl William of Pembroke, William the Marshal, Norman French- Williame li Mareschal, French- Guillaume le Maréchal, Sir William Marshall
Sir , Norman French: , French: , Sir

  • Born 12 May 1146 - Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • Baptized 12 May 1146 - Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • Deceased 14 May 1219 - Caversham, Oxfordshire, England,aged 73 years old
  • Buried 16 May 1219 - Middlesex, England
  • Knight, Marshall of England

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-- GEDCOM (INDI) --1 EVEN2 CONC alled William the Marshal (Norman French: Williame le Mareschal), wa2 CONC s an English (or Anglo-Norman) soldier and statesman. He was describe2 CONC d as the "greatest knight that ever lived" by Stephen Langton. He serv2 CONC ed four kings — Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John, and Henry II2 CONC I - and rose from obscurity to become a regent of England for the las2 CONC t of the four, and so one of the most powerful men in Europe. Before h2 CONC im, the hereditary title of "Marshal" designated head of household sec2 CONC urity for the king of England; by the time he died, people throughou2 CONC t Europe (not just England) referred to him simply as "the Marshal". H2 CONC e received the title of "1st Earl of Pembroke" through marriage durin2 CONC g the second creation of the Pembroke Earldom. He is perhaps the mos2 CONC t studied and therefore most famous of the Pembroke Earls in modern po2 CONC pular culture.  Early life William's father, John Marshal, supported K2 CONC ing Stephen when he took the throne in 1135, but in about 1139 he chan2 CONC ged sides to back the Empress Matilda in the civil war of succession b2 CONC etween her and Stephen which led to the collapse of England into "th2 CONC e Anarchy".  When King Stephen besieged Newbury Castle in 1152, accord2 CONC ing to William's biographer, he used the young William as a hostage t2 CONC o ensure that John kept his promise to surrender the castle. John, how2 CONC ever, used the time allotted to reinforce the castle and alert Matilda2 CONC 's forces. When Stephen ordered John to surrender immediately or Willi2 CONC am would be hanged, John replied that he should go ahead saying, "I st2 CONC ill have the hammer and the anvil with which to forge still more and b2 CONC etter sons!" Subsequently there was a bluff made to launch William fro2 CONC m a pierrière, a type of trebuchet towards the castle. Fortunately fo2 CONC r the child, Stephen could not bring himself to harm young William.  K2 CONC night-Errant As a younger son of a minor nobleman, William had no land2 CONC s or fortune to inherit, and had to make his own way in life. Around t2 CONC he age of twelve, when his father's career was faltering, he was sen2 CONC t to Normandy to be brought up in the household of William de Tancarvi2 CONC lle, a great magnate and cousin of young William's mother. Here he beg2 CONC an his training as a knight. He was knighted in 1166 on campaign in Up2 CONC per Normandy, then being invaded from Flanders. His first experience o2 CONC f warfare was not a great success. He failed to take advantage of th2 CONC e knights he had managed to overcome in the street skirmish at Neufchâ2 CONC tel-en-Bray. In 1167 he was taken by William de Tancarville to his fir2 CONC st tournament where he found his true métier. Quitting the Tancarvill2 CONC e household he then served in the household of his mother's brother, P2 CONC atrick, Earl of Salisbury. In 1168 his uncle was killed in an ambush b2 CONC y Guy de Lusignan. William was injured and captured in the same skirmi2 CONC sh. It is known that William received a wound to his thigh and that so2 CONC meone in his captor's household took pity on the young knight. He rece2 CONC ived a loaf of bread in which were concealed several lengths of clea2 CONC n linen bandages with which he could dress his wounds. This act of kin2 CONC dness by an unknown person perhaps saved Marshal's life as infection s2 CONC etting into the wound could have killed him. After a period of time, h2 CONC e was ransomed by Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was apparently impressed b2 CONC y tales of his bravery. Thereafter he found he could make a good livin2 CONC g out of winning tournaments. At that time tournaments were dangerous2 CONC , often deadly, staged battles, not the jousting contests that would c2 CONC ome later, and money and valuable prizes could be won by capturing an2 CONC d ransoming opponents, their horses and armour. His record is legendar2 CONC y: on his deathbed he recalled besting 500 knights during his tourneyi2 CONC ng career.  Royal favour Upon his return during the course of 1185 Wil2 CONC liam rejoined the court of King Henry II, and now served the father a2 CONC s a loyal captain through the many difficulties of his final years. Th2 CONC e returns of royal favour were almost immediate. The king gave Willia2 CONC m the large royal estate of Cartmel in Cumbria, and the keeping of Hel2 CONC oise, the heiress of the northern barony of Lancaster. It may be tha2 CONC t the king expected him to take the opportunity to marry her and becom2 CONC e a northern baron, but William seems to have had grander ambitions fo2 CONC r his marriage. In 1188 faced with an attempt by Philip II to seize th2 CONC e disputed region of Berry, Henry II summoned the Marshal to his side2 CONC . The letter by which he did this survives, and makes some sarcastic c2 CONC omments about William's complaints that he had not been properly rewar2 CONC ded to date for his service to the king. Henry therefore promised hi2 CONC m the marriage and lands of Dionisia, lady of Châteauroux in Berry. I2 CONC n the resulting campaign, the king fell out with his heir Richard, cou2 CONC nt of Poitou, who consequently allied with Philip II against his fathe2 CONC r. In 1189, while covering the flight of Henry II from Le Mans to Chin2 CONC on, William unhorsed the undutiful Richard in a skirmish. William coul2 CONC d have killed the prince but killed his horse instead, to make that po2 CONC int clear. He is said to have been the only man ever to unhorse Richar2 CONC d. Nonetheless after Henry's death, Marshal was welcomed at court by h2 CONC is former adversary, now King Richard I, who was not foolish enough t2 CONC o exclude a man whose legendary loyalty and military accomplishments w2 CONC ere too useful to ignore, especially in a king who was intending to g2 CONC o on Crusade.  During the old king's last days he had promised the Mar2 CONC shal the hand and estates of Isabel de Clare (c.1172–1220), but had no2 CONC t completed the arrangements. King Richard however, confirmed the offe2 CONC r and so in August 1189, at the age of 43, the Marshal married the 17-2 CONC year-old daughter of Richard de Clare (Strongbow). Her father had bee2 CONC n Earl of Pembroke, and Marshal acquired large estates and claims in E2 CONC ngland, Wales, Normandy and Ireland. Some estates however were exclude2 CONC d from the deal. Marshal did not obtain Pembroke and the title of earl2 CONC , which his father-in-law had enjoyed, until 1199, as it had been take2 CONC n into the king's hand in 1154. However, the marriage transformed th2 CONC e landless knight from a minor family into one of the richest men in t2 CONC he kingdom, a sign of his power and prestige at court. They had five s2 CONC ons and five daughters, and have numerous descendants. William made nu2 CONC merous improvements to his wife's lands, including extensive addition2 CONC s to Pembroke Castle and Chepstow Castle.  William was included in th2 CONC e council of regency which the King appointed on his departure for th2 CONC e Third Crusade in 1190. He took the side of John, the king's brother2 CONC , when the latter expelled the justiciar, William Longchamp, from th2 CONC e kingdom, but he soon discovered that the interests of John were diff2 CONC erent from those of Richard. Hence in 1193 he joined with the loyalist2 CONC s in making war upon him. In spring 1194, during the course of the hos2 CONC tilities in England, before King Richard's return, William Marshal's e2 CONC lder brother John Marshal was killed defending Marlborough for John, w2 CONC hose seneschal he was. Richard allowed Marshal to succeed his brothe2 CONC r in the hereditary marshalship, and his paternal honour of Hamstead M2 CONC arshall. The Marshal served the king in his wars in Normandy against P2 CONC hilip II. On Richard's death-bed the king designated Marshal as custod2 CONC ian of Rouen and of the royal treasure during the interregnum.  King J2 CONC ohn and Magna Carta William supported King John when he became king i2 CONC n 1199, arguing against those who maintained the claims of Arthur of B2 CONC rittany, the teenage son of John's elder brother Geoffrey Plantagenet2 CONC . William was heavily engaged with the defence of Normandy against th2 CONC e growing pressure of the Capetian armies between 1200 and 1203. He sa2 CONC iled with King John when he abandoned the duchy in December 1203. He a2 CONC nd the king had a falling out in the aftermath of the loss of the duch2 CONC y, when he was sent with the earl of Leicester as ambassadors to negot2 CONC iate a truce with King Philip II of France in 1204. The Marshal took t2 CONC he opportunity to negotiate the continued possession of his Norman lan2 CONC ds. When William paid homage to King Philip, John took offence and the2 CONC re was a major row at court which led to cool relations between the tw2 CONC o men. This became outright hostility in 1207 when John began to mov2 CONC e against several major Irish magnates, including William. Though he l2 CONC eft for Leinster in 1207 William was recalled and humiliated at cour2 CONC t in the autumn of 1208, while John's justiciar in Ireland Meilyr Fitz2 CONC Henry invaded his lands, burning the town of New Ross.   Meilyr's defe2 CONC at by Countess Isabel led to her husband's return to Leinster. He wa2 CONC s once again in conflict with King John in his war with the Briouse an2 CONC d Lacy families in 1210, but managed to survive. He stayed in Irelan2 CONC d until 1213, during which time he had Carlow Castle erected and restr2 CONC uctured his honour of Leinster. Taken back into favour in 1212, he wa2 CONC s summoned in 1213 to return to the English court. Despite their diffe2 CONC rences, William remained loyal throughout the hostilities between Joh2 CONC n and his barons which culminated on 15 June 1215 at Runnymede with th2 CONC e sealing of Magna Carta. William was one of the few English earls t2 CONC o remain loyal to the king through the First Barons' War. It was Willi2 CONC am whom King John trusted on his deathbed to make sure John's nine-yea2 CONC r-old son Henry would get the throne. It was William who took responsi2 CONC bility for the king's funeral and burial at Worcester Cathedral.  On 12 CONC 1 November 1216 at Gloucester, upon the death of King John, William Ma2 CONC rshal was named by the king's council (the chief barons who had remain2 CONC ed loyal to King John in the First Barons' War) to serve as protecto2 CONC r of the nine-year-old King Henry III, and regent of the kingdom. In s2 CONC pite of his advanced age (around 70) he prosecuted the war against Pri2 CONC nce Louis and the rebel barons with remarkable energy. In the battle o2 CONC f Lincoln he charged and fought at the head of the young King's army2 CONC , leading them to victory.  [Extracted from Wikipedia.]2 TYPE LifeSketch1 EVEN2 CONC 000024598542092 TYPE Fact

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