The Medieval Ages have seen many a knight come and go with some knights remembered in history such as Richard the Lionheart, King Arthur, Edward the black Prince, Sir Lancelot of Camelot, and many more. But one knight that is considered to be the Greatest Knight is Sir William Marshal: 1st Earl of Pembroke.
Often talking to people, when ever I have brought up the name of Sir William marshal, the response has been “Who?” It is amazing that so little is known about the Marshal as compared to others that have been fantasised and romanticised in novels and legends.
William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1147-1219) is often referred to as the greatest medieval knight who rose to prominence for his bravery in tournaments and warfare. He early entered the service of King Henry II who made him a guardian to his eldest son in 1170. But during the revolt of Henry’s sons, he remained loyal to the father and helped him put down the rebellion. When Richard the Lionheart became King of England, he kept Marshal at his side which turned out to be a very good idea. During his absence, Marshal prevented the King’s brother John from seizing the throne. But after Richard’s death in 1199, he helped John to ensure succession and became one of his closest counselors. He remained loyal to John during the First Barons’ War (1215-17) and after his death, helped ensure the throne for John’s son Henry III.
Here is a little documentary about The Greatest Knight in history: