Today 800 years ago, one of the greatest knights of his age died. William Marshal was in his early 70s when he died on the 14th of May 1219 (his birthdate was probably 1147 but it is not known for certain). This was a remarkable age for his era and in his lifetime he had ten children, was a knight errant, a commander, an Earl, went to the Holy Land, served five kings and rose from the fourth son of a non-hierarchically important baron to be Regent of England at his death.
There are very few of us who leave our mark on the landscape in the way that William Marshal (or William the Marshal) did. So on the 800th anniversary of his death, we can reflect on what it took to be a man in which people reposed such trust.
Uncompromising honor in the face of so many who lived without it; Fidelity in battle; A generous heart; a loving father who paid attention to raising his children to honorable adulthood; and bravery to a fault were hallmarks of this remarkable man.
What ‘er thou art, act well thy part. RIP Sir William.