Sir William Marshal


The Englishman Sir William Marshal (c. 1146-1219 CE, aka William the Marshal), Earl of Pembroke, is one of the most celebrated knights of the Middle Ages. Renowned for his fighting skills, he remained undefeated in tournaments, spared the life of Richard I of England (r. 1189-1199 CE) in battle, and rose to become Marshal and then Protector of the Kingdom - king in all but name. Shortly after William's death, Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described him as 'the greatest knight that ever lived' and his deeds and titles are such that the claim still seems justified today.

More about: Sir William Marshal


  • c. 1146 - 1219
    The life of the great English knight Sir William Marshal.
  • 1166
    William Marshal is made a knight.
  • 1166
    William Marshal fights in the army of Henry II of England against the counts of Boulogne, Flanders and Ponthieu.
  • 1167 - 1183
    Sir William Marshal competes, and remains undefeated, in medieval tournaments.
  • 1167
    In a tournament in Le Mans, William Marshal captures several knights for ransom.
  • 1168
    Fighting in western France, William Marshal is captured and ransomed by Guy de Lusignan. He is freed by Eleanor of Aquitaine.
  • 1182
    William Marshal is banished from the English court where he was tutor to Henry the Young King.
  • 1184 - 1186
    William Marshall campaigns in the Holy Land.
  • 1188 - 1189
    William Marshal campaigns in France against the enemies of Henry II of England, who include his son, the future Richard I.
  • 1189
    William Marshal marries Isabel de Clare and through her, he will become the Earl of Pembroke.
  • c. 1190
    Sir William Marshal begins rebuilding Chepstow Castle in Wales.
  • 1215
    William Marshal is one of the creators and signatories of the Magna Carta which curbs the powers of the English monarchy.
  • 1216
    William Marshal is made the Protector of the Kingdom (of England), regent for the young king Henry III of England.
  • 20 May 1217
    William Marshal wins the battle of Lincoln against rebellious English barons and their French ally, the future King Louis VIII.
  • 14 May 1219
    Death of the great English knight and Protector of the Kingdom William Marshal.