Biography of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke 1146-1219

Paternal Family Tree: Marshall

 Temple Church, London Tintern Abbey, County Wexford Cilgerran Castle Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire Lincoln, Lincolnshire Tintern Abbey Ware, Hertfordshire Hertford Priory

1168 Eleanor Ambushed by Guy de Lusignan

1216 Death of King John

1217 Second Battle of Lincoln

In 1130 [his father] John Fitzgilbert (age 25) and Adelina Pipard were married.

Around 1141 [his father] John Fitzgilbert (age 36) and [his mother] Sybil of Salisbury were married.

In 1146 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke was born to John Fitzgilbert (age 41) and Sybil of Salisbury.

In 1165 [his father] John Fitzgilbert (age 60) died.

Eleanor Ambushed by Guy de Lusignan

On 27 Mar 1168 Eleanor of Aquitaine Queen Consort Franks and England (age 46) and her party were ambushed by brothers Guy I King Jerusalem (age 18) and Geoffrey Lusignan (age 18).

[his uncle] Patrick of Salisbury 1st Earl Salisbury (age 46) was killed. His son William of Salisbury 2nd Earl Salisbury (age 18) succeeded 2nd Earl Salisbury.

William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 22) held off the enemy, was wounded and captured whilst Eleanor escaped. Eleanor subsequently paid his ransom.

In 1185 Gilbert Clare 3rd Earl Pembroke (age 8) died. Earl Pembroke extinct. It is possible his sister [his future wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 13) inherited the title. Her husband William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 39) was created 1st Earl of Pembroke in 1199 which suggests she didn't inherit the title.

In Aug 1189 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 43) and Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 17) were married at Temple Church, London [Map]. The title Earl Pembroke (1C 1138) was not included in the settlement since it had been rescinded as a consequence of Isabel's (age 17) father having supported King Stephen. The difference in their ages was 26 years. She the daughter of Richard "Strongbow" Clare 2nd Earl Pembroke and Aoife NI Diarmait Macmurrough Countess Pembroke and Buckingham.

In 1190 [his son] William "The Younger" Marshal 2nd Earl Pembroke was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 44) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 18).

In 1191 [his son] Richard Marshal 3rd Earl Pembroke was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 45) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 19).

In 1194 [his daughter] Maud Marshal Countess Norfolk and Surrey was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 48) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 22).

In 1197 [his son] Gilbert Marshal 4th Earl Pembroke was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 51) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 25).

Around 1199 [his son] Walter Marshal 5th Earl Pembroke was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 53) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 27).

In 1199 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 53) was created 1st Earl Pembroke.

Around 1199 Stephen Devereux (age 8) was placed in the retinue of retinue of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 53) for training as a knight, and over the years became trusted a member of the earl's inner circle.

Tintern Abbey: History. Tintern Abbey, County Wexford [Map] was founded around 1200 by William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 54), as the result of a vow he had made when his boat was caught in a storm nearby. Once established, the abbey was colonised by monks from the Cistercian abbey at Tintern in Monmouthshire, Wales, of which Marshal was also patron. To distinguish the two, the mother house in Wales was sometimes known as "Tintern Major" and the abbey in Ireland as "Tintern de Voto" (Tintern of the vow).

On 09 Oct 1200 [his daughter] Isabel Marshal Countess Cornwall, Gloucester and Hertford was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 54) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 28).

Around 1201 [his daughter] Sibyl Marshal was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 55) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 29).

In May 1202 Stephen Devereux (age 11) accompanied William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 56) to Normandy to counter a French invasion.

In 1203 [his daughter] Eva Marshal was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 57) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 31).

In 1204 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 58) was captured at Cilgerran Castle [Map].

Around Dec 1206 [his son-in-law] Hugh Bigod 3rd Earl Norfolk (age 24) and [his daughter] Maud Marshal Countess Norfolk and Surrey (age 12) were married. She the daughter of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 60) and Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 34). He the son of Roger Bigod 2nd Earl Norfolk (age 62) and Ida Tosny Countess Norfolk (age 50). They were third cousins.

Around 1208 [his son] Anselm Marshal 6th Earl Pembroke was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 62) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 36). His name was probably Ansel or Hansel rather than Anselm.

In 1210 [his daughter] Joan Marshal was born to William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 64) and [his wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 38).

Death of King John

On 19 Oct 1216 King John "Lackland" of England (age 49) died at Newark Castle, Nottinghamshire [Map]. His son King Henry III of England (age 9) succeeded III King England.

John Monmouth (age 34) was present.

On his deathbed, John appointed a council of thirteen executors to help Henry reclaim the kingdom and requested that his son be placed into the guardianship of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 70).

King John's will is the earliest English royal will to survive in its original form. The document is quite small, roughly the size of a postcard and the seals of those who were present at the time would have been attached to it. Translation of the will taken from an article by Professor S.D. Church in the English Historical Review, June 2010:

I, John, by the grace of God king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, count of Anjou, hindered by grave infirmity and not being able at this time of my infirmity to itemize all my things so that I may make a testament, commit the arbitration and administration of my testament to the trust and to the legitimate administration of my faithful men whose names are written below, without whose counsel, even in good health, I would have by no means arranged my testament in their presence, so that what they will faithfully arrange and determine concerning my things as much as in making satisfaction to God and to holy Church for damages and injuries done to them as in sending succour to the land of Jerusalem and in providing support to my sons towards obtaining and defending their inheritance and in making reward to those who have served us faithfully and in making distribution to the poor and to religious houses for the salvation of my soul, be right and sure. I ask, furthermore, that whoever shall give them counsel and assistance in the arranging of my testament shall receive the grace and favour of God. Whoever shall infringe their arrangement and disposition, may he incur the curse and indignation of almighty God and the blessed Mary and all the saints.

In the first place, therefore, I desire that my body be buried in the church of St Mary and St Wulfstan at Worcester. I appoint, moreover, the following arbiters and administrators: the lord Guala, by the grace of God, cardinal-priest of the title of St Martin and legate of the apostolic see; the lord Peter bishop of Winchester; the lord Richard bishop of Chichester; the lord Silvester bishop of Worcester; Brother Aimery de St-Maur; William Marshal earl of Pembroke; Ranulf earl of Chester; William earl Ferrers; William Brewer; Walter de Lacy and John of Monmouth; Savaric de Mauléon; Falkes de Bréauté.

The signatories were:

Guala Bicchieri (ca 1150 - 1227) Papal Legate.

Bishop Peter de Roches, Bishop of Winchester.

Richard le Poer (? - 1237), Bishop of Chichester.

Sylvester of Worcester, Bishop of Worcester.

Aimery de St-Maur (? -?1219), Master of the English Templars.

William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 70).

Ranulf de Blondeville Gernon 6th Earl Chester 1st Earl Lincoln (age 46).

William Ferrers 4th Earl of Derby (age 48).

William Brewer (? - 1226), 1st Baron Brewer.

Walter de Lacy (ca 1172-1241) Lord of Meath.

John: (1182 - 1248) Lord of Monmouth.

Savaric de Mauléon (? - 1236) Seneschal of Poitou from 1205.

Falkes de Bréauté (? - 1226) Seneschal of Cardiff Castle.

Second Battle of Lincoln

On 20 May 1217 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 71) and Ranulf de Blondeville Gernon 6th Earl Chester 1st Earl Lincoln (age 47) fought at Lincoln, Lincolnshire [Map] during the Second Battle of Lincoln.

Rebels William Mowbray 6th Baron Thirsk (age 44) and William Ros (age 17) were captured. William D'Aubigny (age 66) fought for the rebels. Thomas Chateaudun I Count Perche (age 22) died fighting for the rebels.

Bishop Peter de Roches led a division of the royal army and earned some distinction by his valour.

In or before 1218 [his son-in-law] Gilbert Clare 5th Earl Gloucester 4th Earl Hertford (age 38) and [his daughter] Isabel Marshal Countess Cornwall, Gloucester and Hertford (age 17) were married. She by marriage Countess Gloucester, Countess Hertford. The difference in their ages was 20 years. She the daughter of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 71) and Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 45). He the son of Richard Clare 3rd Earl Hertford and Amice Fitzrobert Countess Hertford. They were third cousins. He a great x 2 grandson of King Henry I "Beauclerc" England.

On 14 May 1219 William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke (age 73) died. On 14 May 1219 His son [his son] William "The Younger" Marshal 2nd Earl Pembroke (age 29) succeeded 2nd Earl Pembroke.

In 1220 [his former wife] Isabel Clare Countess Pembroke (age 48) died. She was buried in the choir of Tintern Abbey [Map].

Chronica Majora. "Whilst the mutability of time was thus sporting with and deluding the world with its variable occurrences, [his son] Earl Gilbert, marshal (age 44), had, with some other nobles, arranged a sort of tilting-match, called by some adventure," but wliich might rather be called a "misadventure;" they tried their strength about a crossbow-shot from Hertford [Map]; where he by his skill in knightly tactics, gained for himself the praise of military science, and was declared by all, considering his small size of body, to have justly distinguished himself for his valour. This was what the said earl chiefly aimed at; for he was, in the first place, destined to clerical orders, and was reported to be weak and unskilful in warlike exercises. He was, at this tournament, mounted on a noble horse, an Italian charger, to which he was not accustomed, accoutred in handsome armour, and surrounded by a dense body of soldiers, who soon afterwards, however, left him, and dispersed, intent on gain. Whilst the earl, then, was amusing himself by checking his horse at full speed, and anon goring his sides with his sharp spurs, to urge him to greater speed, and, as the case required, suddenly drew rein, both the reins suddenly broke off at the junction with the bit. By this accident the horse became unmanageable, and tossing up his head, struck his rider a violent blow on the breast. Some there were who imhesitatingly asserted that the bridle had been treacherously cut by some jealous person, in order that, being thus left at the mercy of his horse, he might be dashed to pieces and killed; or, at least, that he might be taken by his adversaries at will. Moreover, he had dined, and was nearly blinded by the heat, dust, and sweat, and his head was oppressed by the weight of his heavy helmet. His horse, too, could not be restrained by him, or any one else; but he, at the same time, fainted away, began to totter in his saddle, and soon after fell, half-dead, from his horse-with one foot, however, fixed in the stirrup; and in this manner he was dragged some distance over the field, by which he suffered some internal injuries, which caused his death. He expired in the evening of the 27th of June, amidst the deep and loudly-expressed sorrow of those who beheld him, at a house [Map] of the monks of Hertford. When he was about to breathe his last, having just received the viaticum, he made a bequest to the church of the blessed Virgin at Hertford, for the redemption of his soul. His body was afterwards opened, when his liver was discovered to be black and broken, from the force of the blows he had received. His entrails were buried in the said church, before the altar of St. Mary, to whom he had committed his spirit when dying. On the following day, his body-preceded by his [his son] brother (age 42), and accompanied by the whole of his family - was carried to London, to be buried [Map] near his father. At this same tournament, also, was killed one of the earl's retinue, named Robert de Saye, and his bowels were buried with those of the earl. Many other knights and men-at-arms were also wounded and seriously injured with maces, at this same tournament, because the jealousy of many of the parties concerned had converted the sport into a battle. The affairs of the cross and the interests of the Holy Land suffered great loss by the death of the said earl, for he had intended to set out for Jerusalem in the next month, without fail, having collected money from all in the country who had assumed the cross; for permission to do which, he had paid two hundred marks to the pope; following the prudent example of Earl Richard (age 32).

Effigy of William Marshall, Earl of Pembroke. THIS nobleman derived his surname from his ancestors exercising the offices of Marshal in the King's court. He was the son of John Mareschal, who performed that service for King Henry the Second. He had an elder brother John, who on their fathers death was confirmed by the same King in that honourable post. This John dying in the reign of Richard the First, William became his heir. Richard gave him his ward Isabella, daughter of Richard de Clare (surnamed Strongbow), the Conqueror of Ireland, Earl of Striguil and Pembroke, in marriage, and with it the Earldom above mentioned. He distinguished himself by his adherence to King John in his adversity, and on his death became guardian to his son, Henry the Third. He speedily marched against the French Prince Lewis, the pretender to the Crown, raised the siege of Lincoln, routed his marauding forces, straitly beleaguered London, and soon compelled Lewis to forego his pretensions, and to evacuate the kingdom. He died in 1219, at his manor of Caversham, near Reading, in Berkshire. His body was conveyed to Reading, where it was received in solemn procession by the monks of the Abbey, and placed in the choir of their Church while a mass was said for his soul; thence to St. Peters, Westminster, where it underwent the same ceremony; and from thence to the Church of the New Temple [Map], where it was buried, on Ascension day. Matthew Paris assigns to him the following epitaph, which styles him a Saturn, as a severe castigator of the Irish; an Apollo, as the glory and honour of England; a Mercury, as a diplomatist in Normandy; and a Mars, as a warlike and invincible knight against the Frencha:

Sum quern Saturnum sibi sensit Hybernia, Solem

Anglia, Mercurium Normannia, Gallia Martem.

The costume of this figure very well accords with the period of William Mareschal the elder's decease. He wears a hauberk of chain-mail, long surcoat, and on his shield is a lion rampant. The Earls of Pembroke of this name bore, Party per pale Or and Vert, a lion rampant Gules, crowned and langued Azure.

Note a. Matt. Paris, edit. Watts, p. 304.

Royal Descendants of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke 1146-1219

Isabel Bruce Queen Norway x 1

Robert "The Bruce" I King Scotland x 1

Edward Balliol I King Scotland x 1

Philippa Lancaster Queen Consort Portugal x 1

King Henry IV of England x 1

King Henry V of England x 5

Philippa Lancaster Queen Consort Denmark x 5

Joan Beaufort Queen Consort Scotland x 3

King Edward IV of England x 13

King Richard III of England x 13

Anne Neville Queen Consort England x 23

King Henry VII of England and Ireland x 3

Queen Anne Boleyn of England x 22

Anne Jagiellon Holy Roman Empress x 5

Queen Jane Seymour x 27

Catherine Parr Queen Consort England x 30

Queen Catherine Howard of England x 20

Jane "Nine Days Queen" Grey I Queen England and Ireland x 39

King James I of England and Ireland and VI of Scotland x 2

President George Washington x 15

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom x 3680

Queen Consort Camilla Shand x 1355

Diana Spencer Princess Wales x 11489

Catherine Middleton Princess of Wales x 35

Ancestors of William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke 1146-1219

GrandFather: Gilbert Giffard

Father: John Fitzgilbert

William Marshal 1st Earl Pembroke

Mother: Sybil of Salisbury

GrandMother: Sybilla Chaworth Baroness Chitterne