The name Sir Lancelot is instantly recognizable to virtually everyone within European civilization. This great Arthurian Knight of the Round Table is reputed to be the most brave, skilled, and chivalrous of Arthur’s knights. Lancelot is reputed to be the greatest jouster, swordsman, and tournament champion of his age. The legendary Lancelot was the son of King Ban of Benwick and Queen Elaine, but raised by the Lady of the Lake and presented to King Arthur’s court in Camelot. Lancelot is a tragic figure whose affair with Arthur’s wife, Queen Guinevere, is said to bring about Arthur’s downfall and force Guinevere into a life of penitence. Lancelot is the father of Sir Galahad, the noble knight made famous for his quest for the Holy Grail.
Lancelot is considered to be an entirely fictitious character in Arthurian lore, even among many scholars that find some historical basis for King Arthur. As I have stated previously, Adam Ardrey makes a compelling case for a historical Arthur and Merlin in his books, Finding Arthur and Finding Merlin. In Finding Arthur, Ardrey suggests that the character of Lancelot is almost entirely fictional, but is thinly based upon a dispossessed Saxon prince named Hering. Hering was the son of Hussa, king of the Saxon kingdom of Bernicia. Hering was superseded by his cousin Æthelfrith. Hering defected to Dál Riata under the protection of Áedán mac Gabráin, Arthur’s father. Hering took command of the Scottish army after Arthur’s death c. 596 and attempted to retake the kingdom of Bernicia from Æthelfrith, but was killed in the Battle of Degsastan in 603. Ardrey suggests that Hering may have married Guinevere after Arthur’s death, and later writers transformed this into the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot. Ardrey admits that his case for Hering as Lancelot is thin, and I agree.
Ardrey suggests that Lancelot was invented by medieval Christian writers who hoped that he would overshadow the anti-Christian Druid warrior Arthur mac Aedan. This is nothing more than a prominent example of Ardrey’s anti-Christian axe-grinding. The preponderance of historical evidence suggests that Arthur was a Christian, or at the very least a warrior allied to Christians, who fought against pagan invaders. Even supposing that Arthur was a Druid, Arthur was obviously a prominent figure in the writings of European Christians for centuries after his death. That the legends of Sir Lancelot were grafted into the world of Arthurian romance demonstrates esteem for Arthur, not an attempt to diminish or overshadow him. I believe that Sir Lancelot is rooted in an actual historical figure, even as Arthur and Merlin are rooted in historical figures. Lancelot was likely a twelfth- and thirteenth-century Anglo-Norman knight who served several English monarchs in succession, and eventually became Guardian of the Realm during a time of great peril following the death of King John. This man is named Sir William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, and serves as the historic basis for Sir Lancelot, his exploits being retrofitted back into the world of King Arthur, a popular figure in medieval Britain.
William and Henry the Young King
Like Sir Lancelot, Marshal was a knight distinguished for bravery, gallantry, and excellence in combat. Marshal was the son of a minor Anglo-Norman nobleman named John Marshal, and his second wife Sybil of Salisbury, who was the sister to Patrick, Earl of Salisbury. William’s father was descended from the original Normans who invaded England with William the Conqueror. His life was eventful from the very beginning. He grew up amidst a time of political turmoil in England in which control of the throne was contested by Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, and her cousin King Stephen during a time known as The Shipwreck or The Anarchy. Initially William’s father John supported Stephen, but eventually switched to supporting Matilda. The five-year-old William was offered by his father John to Stephen as a hostage during the 1152 siege of Newbury Castle with the promise that the castle would be surrendered to Stephen. John stalled in order to give Matilda’s forces time to provide reinforcements. When Stephen threatened to hang his son William, John allegedly replied that Stephen could do so: “I still have the hammer and the anvil with which to forge still more and better sons!”1 Stephen was naturally outraged, and threatened to catapult young William into the walls of Newbury Castle. Eventually Stephen relented, believing that it was not right to harm a young child, but William remained a royal captive for several months afterwards.
Eventually, young William was sent to live in Normandy with his kinsman William of Tancarville to apprentice as a knight. Eventually William joined the household of his Uncle Patrick, Earl of Salisbury. Patrick was killed in an ambush by Guy de Lusignan in 1168, and William was wounded and taken captive in the skirmish. Eventually William was ransomed by Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine for reasons that are unclear. Perhaps she had heard of William’s bravery during the ambush of Lusignans. In 1170 Henry, the oldest surviving son of King Henry II and Queen Eleanor, was crowned as king to secure the future succession of the throne of England and to make peace with King Louis VII of France by marrying his daughter Margaret. William was assigned as a knight in Henry the Young King’s household as a mentor. The two quickly became friends, serving perhaps as the historical basis for the friendship of Arthur and Lancelot.
King Henry II was an excellent administrator who presided over the height of the Angevin Empire encompassing England, Ireland, and much of western France. For all of his ability and ambition, Henry II distrusted anyone else with power. This included even his sons, who were supposed to take over power in the territories that they believed were rightfully theirs by birth. In 1173-74, Henry’s sons finally revolted against him, save for John, who didn’t have an inheritance for which to fight. William remained loyal to Henry the Younger during the revolt of Henry and his younger brothers, Richard and Geoffrey, against their father Henry II. An unsteady peace was agreed to in September of 1174, with Henry the Young King receiving an additional allowance. Nevertheless the overbearing nature of Henry II, as perceived by his sons, would bring about additional conflict in the years ahead. William’s reputation for bravery and prowess at tournaments was established during the mid- to late 1170s as a member of Young King Henry’s household. William managed to win several tournaments, take many competing knights captive, and extract ransoms for their release. This made William a wealthy and well-respected knight among the courts of Western Europe. The friendship of Henry and William grew steadily during this period, and they seem to have formed a genuine and lasting friendship. This friendship would be tested in the early 1180s with the circulation of a rumor that William had an affair with Henry’s wife.
In 1182, a few knights in the household of Young Henry accused William Marshal of an illicit affair with Henry’s wife Queen Marguerite. This accusation created a rift between the two close friends and resulted in William’s temporary banishment from Henry’s court. This episode may serve as the basis for the love triangle between King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, and Sir Lancelot in later Arthurian lore. Was this accusation against William Marshal credible? I agree with Marshal’s contemporary biographer Thomas Asbridge2 that the accusation was likely a fabrication by William’s enemies due to jealousy over the place that he attained in Young King Henry’s court. According to Asbridge there is little historical evidence that William Marshal had much interaction with Queen Marguerite. William’s dismissal from Henry’s court was very brief, and the two were reconciled in short order. Marguerite was sent away to her father’s court in Paris in February 1183, but this was well after the rumors of an affair with William Marshal and can easily be explained by the developing political circumstances.
The summer of 1183 witnessed renewed hostilities between Young Henry and his father Henry II. William Marshal was recalled to Young Henry’s court, and the two friends were reconciled. Their renewed friendship was unfortunately short-lived, for Young Henry contracted dysentery while fighting against his father’s forces in the Limousin in western France. Young Henry died on June 14 at the age of 28, but not before asking William to take his Crusader’s cloak to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem to fulfill his crusading vow. William agreed and kept his promise by immediately departing to fight in the Crusades for the next two years of his life. William arrived in Palestine, which had been conquered by Christian Europeans during the First Crusade. He would have visited holy sites in Jerusalem such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is built upon the purported location of Christ’s burial. The ancient biography, known today as the History of William Marshal, states that during his tenure in the Holy Land Marshal achieved “many feats of bravery and valor.”
Thomas Asbridge is skeptical of this claim, noting that Marshal’s time on crusade was one of relative inactivity prior to the fall of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187. William likely witnessed the political infighting and squabbling among the Christian leaders that brought about the eventual downfall of Christian Jerusalem shortly after his departure. While William’s brief crusading career may have been uneventful, it is possible that his pilgrimage to the Holy Land can be tied to the legends concerning Sir Galahad. Sir Lancelot is said to have been baptized as Galahad, and was later claimed to have been the father of the famous Sir Galahad who succeeded in his quest for the Holy Grail. Sir Galahad is associated in the Vulgate Cycle with a white shield with a vermilion cross, the same emblem given to the Knights Templar by Pope Eugene III. William worked closely with the Knights Templar during his stay in the Holy Land, and he promised to join the order before he died. Sir Galahad is likely an idealized type of the Knights Templar, a crusader whose mission it was to protect the Holy Land for Christian pilgrims.
William and King Henry II
After his return to England from the Crusades, William Marshal was invited to join the household of King Henry II. William was regarded as a loyal and accomplished knight and was rewarded accordingly. William was granted the wardship of a wealthy heir named John de Earley. Earley would become William’s squire and remain an important part of William’s household for the rest of his life. Earley would ultimately serve as executor of William’s estate and was likely a source of information for William’s medieval biography known as the History of William Marshal. The late 1180s also witnessed the renewal of hostilities between Henry II and his sons, particularly his eldest surviving son Richard. Henry II resisted naming Richard as his heir or having a coronation ceremony, as he had done with Richard’s older brother Henry. This led Richard to seek out an alliance with the French King Phillip II Augustus.
The campaign was a disaster for Henry II, but William remained loyal to the very end. Henry’s health was failing him, and he was forced to retreat from Richard and Phillip at Le Mans in western France. William was covering Henry’s retreat when he encountered Richard. William charged straight ahead as Richard shouted that he was unarmed. William diverted his lance and drove it through Richard’s horse, killing it instantly but sparing Richard’s life. Henry died shortly after his retreat, and was buried with his family in Fontevraud Abbey. After visiting his deceased father, Richard requested Marshal’s presence. During this tense encounter Richard said, “Marshal, the other day you intended to kill me, and you would have, without a doubt, if I hadn’t deflected your lance with my arm.” To which William bravely responded, “It was never my intention to kill you . . . . I am still strong enough to direct my lance [and] if I had wanted to, I could have driven it straight through your body, just as I did that horse of yours.” Instead of responding in anger, Richard simply replied, “Marshal, you are forgiven, I shall never be angry with you over that matter.”3 Richard would gain fame and the moniker Lionheart as a warrior-king during the Third Crusade, winning many battles against impressive odds.
William and King Richard the Lionheart
King Richard demonstrated his wisdom by kindly receiving those who had been loyal to his father Henry II into his own retinue. This included William Marshal, who rose to prominence during Richard’s reign. William was married in 1189 to a wealthy heiress named Isabel de Clare. Her father was the Anglo-Norman knight and nobleman Richard de Clare, Earl of Pembroke, who was known as Strongbow due to his reputation as an excellent warrior. Isabel’s mother was Aoife MacMurrough, the daughter of Diarmid, the deposed King of Leinster in Ireland who was restored to his kingdom through the aid of his future son-in-law Richard de Clare.4 William was about 26 years older than Isabel at the time of their marriage, but they were a happy couple whose marriage produced five sons and five daughters. William’s marriage to Isabel brought him vast estates in Wales and Ireland. William was named to the regency council that governed England during the absence of King Richard on a Crusade beginning in 1190. Richard’s absence during the Third Crusade was marred by the treachery of his younger brother John. John sought to establish himself as Richard’s heir and ingratiate himself into the government of England in his brother Richard’s absence. He was resisted by William Marshal and the chancellor and chief justiciar William Longchamp.
John sought an alliance with the French King Phillip Augustus, who had returned from the Crusades in the winter of 1191 after a dispute with Richard. John surrendered much of the Angevin land in western France to Phillip in his effort to gain the English throne for himself. John’s efforts were successfully resisted by Marshal and other loyalists to King Richard, but the kingdom remained in a state of relative turmoil until Richard’s return to England. Richard had departed from the Holy Land in September of 1192, but was detained in Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria, whom he had offended during their tenure during the Crusades. Richard would remain a captive in Germany until February 1194. John pleaded with his older brother Richard for forgiveness for his treachery during Richard’s absence, and was forgiven by Richard on account of his youth. Richard took up the task of recovering territory lost by John. William spent the next several years fighting alongside King Richard in their successful effort to restore Angevin lands in western France. Richard’s campaigns were highly successful until disaster struck in Limoges in March of 1199. Richard was inspecting his besieging forces outside the Castle of Châlus when he was struck in the shoulder by a crossbow bolt from one of the castle’s archers named Peter Basilius. The wound became infected and resulted in King Richard’s untimely death at age 41.
Richard’s death was a disaster for England, and most of England’s powerful magnates understood this well. Opinions were divided as to who ought to be Richard’s successor. The most natural option was Richard’s younger brother John, but John had a well-deserved reputation for treachery and plotting. The other alternative candidate was the young Duke of Brittany named Arthur, whose father Geoffrey was the deceased third son of Henry II. Some argued that Arthur’s claim should take precedence over John’s claim to the throne. The downside is that Arthur was a boy of only 12 years old, while John was a man of 32. Ultimately, William Marshal gave guarded support for John’s claim to the throne, believing that a boy king would be too easily manipulated. This argument in favor carried the day in light of the specter of a renewed war with France.
William and King John
William’s loyalty to John was rewarded when he was finally named as Earl of Pembroke in 1199, a title he inherited from his late father-in-law. William had emerged as the obscure fourth son of a minor nobleman to become one of the most powerful men in Britain. The Marshal estates spanned from Leinster in Ireland through Wales and England to several estates in western France. Nevertheless the reign of King John was a tumultuous time for the entire Angevin realm. King Phillip Augustus of France backed the claim of the young Duke Arthur of Brittany for the throne of England in the hopes that this would weaken Angevin authority in western France. Duke Arthur was captured during a defensive campaign in western France in 1202. Sadly, the young boy Arthur was murdered while in captivity, and rumors circulated that the perpetrator was none other than his drunken uncle King John. The death of Arthur proved damaging to John’s reputation, and many nobles defected to the side of France. King John lost virtually all of the Angevin lands in western France from 1202 to 1204. William was forced into a delicate political situation when he paid homage to King Phillip Augustus as his liege lord in France for his Longueville estate in upper Normandy. This meant that William would not be permitted to take up arms against Phillip in the territory of France, and obviously went beyond what King John had authorized him to do during peace negotiations. This brought about a falling out between William and the capricious King John. William saw himself exiled from court and forced to retreat to his estates in Wales and Ireland.
William controlled estates at Striguil (now known as Chepstow Castle) and Pembroke. He also travelled to Ireland in 1206 to reaffirm his wife’s claims to the lordship of Leinster. William and Isabel were warmly received by the native Irish, but had to fight against many of the other Norman lords who had established themselves in Ireland. Open conflict began when men under the leadership of Meiler FitzHenry attacked Leinster. King John summoned both Meiler and William to England in order to settle the dispute. William left three retainers – John de Early, Stephen d’Evreux, and Jordan de Sauqueville – in charge of Leinster’s defense. King John mildly rebuked Meiler while allowing him to return to Ireland with summons for William’s three retainers, thereby depriving William of his knights in Ireland. William was required by the King to remain with him in England during this time, providing Meiler with a clear opportunity to spoil William’s hold in Leinster.
Instead of obeying the King’s summons, the three noble knights refused to leave, and successfully defended Kilkenny from Meiler’s forces. The three knights said that they had no desire to “lose the love of our lord” who had “committed [his estate] to us to guard.” John de Earley provides us with a fascinating example of the values of chivalry that once defined the honor and conduct of Christian soldiers. John stated that it would be a “most disgraceful thing to leave the earl’s land,” because to do so would mean that “our own honour would be diminished.” While King John would ruin these faithful knights for their defiance, the honor that they would gain for their fidelity far outweighed the worldly rewards that the King could offer; as John concluded, “shame lasts longer than destitution.” King John, in an attempt to dispirit William or goad him into cursing the King in outrage, told William that his three loyal retainers had been killed in the siege of Kilkenny in early 1208. William was despondent but kept a cool head. The truth was much different. William’s men had triumphed, and Leinster was saved. News reached King John’s court, and he was forced to relent and allow William to return to Ireland.5 Meiler FitzHenry was forced to make peace and William Marshal was now the undisputed lord of Leinster.
The intervening years saw King John alienate himself more and more from his subjects. He pursued the family of William de Briouze, most likely over comments that had been made concerning the death of John’s nephew, Duke Arthur of Brittany. William Marshal was brought into conflict with the King when he sheltered the Briouze family in his Irish lands. Briouze managed to escape to France, but his wife Maud and his son William were captured and cruelly starved to death in captivity. This episode revealed to John’s barons his capacity for barbarity, and brought him into open conflict with many who had only tolerated his reign to that point. William Marshal remained loyal to John throughout his conflicts with powerful barons. William did not hold a personal grudge against the king who had treated him so poorly at times, and would be one of King John’s most important allies during the final years of his reign. John sought to retake lands lost in western France during the early part of his reign, but this campaign in 1214 was a disaster. Many barons now took up the position that England would be better off throwing off the yoke of King John, and turned to England’s longtime enemy Phillip Augustus for aid. Phillip’s plan was to invade England and place his son Prince Louis on the throne.
John attempted to placate his barons by discussing political reforms in early 1215. These discussions served as the basis for the renowned Magna Carta, with William Marshal and archbishop of Canterbury Stephen Langton acting as mediators between King John and the barons. What is remarkable about the Magna Carta, given its place in history, is that it was incredibly unsuccessful in bringing about short-term peace. Within three months both the baronial and royal parties were once again at war. King John’s position continued to deteriorate, and by 1216 most of the English nobility had abandoned his cause altogether. One of the few earls to remain loyal to the king was William Marshal, who guarded the Welsh border to prevent an opportunistic invasion. King John fell ill in the autumn of 1216, and his health quickly worsened to the point of death. Before he died King John repented of the many evil deeds that he had done. He made a grant to one of William of Briouze’s daughters, and asked William to forgive him of his many injustices.
William and King Henry III
King John’s death made the royalist position even more precarious. King John’s heir, Henry, was only a boy of nine years. The dying king entrusted his son and heir to the man he trusted most: William Marshal. William was effectively made England’s regent and was known as the guardian of the realm. William met young Henry on the road near Malmesbury in Wiltshire to escort Henry to Gloucester. Upon seeing William, young Henry is recorded to have said, “I give myself over to God and to you, so that in the Lord’s name you may take charge of me.” William responded, “I will be yours in good faith [and] there is nothing I will not to do to serve you while I have the strength.” The two embraced and wept; the weight of their present circumstances must have been a heavy burden for both of them to bear. The rebel barons allied to Prince Louis had already invaded England and they had every reason to believe that their mission would be a success. William’s faithful retainer John de Earley worried for his safety given the seemingly overwhelming odds that William and the other royalists faced.
William confided in John that he felt as if he had “embarked upon the open sea like a sailor who has no hope of finding the bottom or shore, and from which it is a miracle if he reaches port and a safe haven.” John suggested that in the event of a successful French conquest, William and other royalists could retreat to Ireland having gained “high honour” for their resolute loyalty. William remained steadfast in his devotion to Henry’s cause, stating, “If everyone abandons the boy but me, do you know what I shall do? I will carry him on my back, and if I can hold him up, I will hop from island to island, from country to country, even if I have to beg for my bread.”6
Circumstances were dire, but William was able to take gradual steps in towards success. In November 1216, William and the papal legate, Guala Bicchieri, reissued the Magna Carta. The original charter had been issued by King John under duress as a peace treaty, whereas the reissued version was freely offered as a guarantee of rights. The original charter was denounced by Pope Innocent III, but this edition of the charter also enjoyed papal support through Guala the papal legate. In addition to reissuing the Magna Carta, William took a conciliatory approach to the rebel barons as he had in Leinster. Men were offered safe conduct to discuss terms and those who joined the royal cause would be forgiven of all wrongdoing. This strategy did not have immediate success, but the royalist cause was bolstered in early 1217 when Prince Louis returned to France for reinforcements. Many rebel barons reconsidered their position during Louis’s absence. Many barons were reasonably concerned that Prince Louis would distribute the lion’s share of the coming conquests to French Capetian followers, leaving the English barons worse off than they had been before. The papal legate even went so far as to declare the royalist cause in England as a Crusade, and permitted royalists to wear the cross of a Crusader.
The Battle of Lincoln
The rebel faction still held the upper hand, and the return of Prince Louis in late April 1217 brought the conflict to a head. Louis determined to subdue royalist holdouts in eastern England before marching west. He led troops in an assault on Dover Castle, and sent a contingent north to attack Lincoln. The outer walls of Lincoln had fallen, but the royalists held out in the town’s heavily fortified castle. William decided to assemble royalist troops and meet the baronial assault at Lincoln when it was not at full strength. William made an impassioned appeal to the royalist forces assembled for battle. He told his men to fight “in order to defend our name, for ourselves and for the sake of our loved ones, our wives and our children,” but also “to defend our land and win for ourselves the highest honour.”7
The Battle of Lincoln would be fought on May 20, 1217. William Marshal at seventy years old was determined to lead men into battle. He devised a plan to breach the walls of Lincoln without the knowledge of the rebel barons. Ranulf, the royalist Earl of Chester led men in an attack on the northern gate, while crossbowmen were sent into the castle to wreak havoc on the French and baronial troops inside the city walls. While this was going on, an effort was being made to breach the walls on the northwestern side of the city. This was accomplished without the rebels noticing, and allowed William to lead a surprise attack on the soldiers inside the city. The French rallied in front of Lincoln Cathedral, but after a day of bitter fighting the royalist forces under the command of William Marshal were triumphant.
Prince Louis learned of the defeat of his forces at Lincoln five days after the conclusion of the battle. He broke off his siege of Dover and returned north to London. William desired to bring the baronial war to a swift conclusion, so he offered generous terms. Prince Louis would leave England immediately, and in return prisoners on both sides would be released, rebel barons would have their English lands restored, and the sentence of excommunication against the French and their allies would be lifted. This arrangement allowed many barons to return to the cause of King Henry III. Prince Louis made one last attempt to capture the English crown in August 1217. The French set sail from Calais and were met by the English off the coast of Dover. For once, William Marshal was not leading troops in this battle, but was watching with King Henry off the coast as the English achieved another victory. Prince Louis was finally ejected from England, and King Henry’s position was finally secure.
The End of William Marshal’s Illustrious Life
William Marshal’s life finally drew to a close in 1219. His health began to fail at the beginning of the year, and he resigned his guardianship of King Henry and his regency over the kingdom of England. He spent his last days with his family at his estate in Caversham, Berkshire. He divided up his estate among his sons and also left money for the marriage of his daughters in his will. William also joined the Templar Order, fulfilling a promise he had made while away on Crusade. William died peacefully in the presence of his family on May 14, 1219. He was buried in the Temple Church in London, and his tomb is still there to this day. William’s death marked the end of the career of one of the most famous men of the Middle Ages. His biography, known today as the History of William Marshal, was lost for centuries after his male children failed to produce heirs to carry on the Marshal bloodline.
Knowledge of Marshal’s exploits was almost entirely lost to history until a French philologist by the name of Paul Meyer discovered the ancient manuscript at a sale at Sotheby’s Auction House in London in 1861. The manuscript was bought by a collector named Sir Thomas Phillipps, and stored in his private library for the next twenty years until Meyer could convince members of Phillipps’s family to grant him access after Thomas’s death. Finally, in 1881 William Marshal’s story was rediscovered by the world after having remained in obscurity for so many centuries. Even though his official biography was lost for so long, William’s exploits were remembered and praised by his contemporaries to the extent that I believe William served as a basis for the character of Sir Lancelot, who was grafted onto the Arthurian romances that were authored shortly after William’s death. Marie de France dedicated her translation of Aesop’s Fables to “Count Guillaume” (Count William), and William Marshal is a likely candidate for this dedication. Marie, Countess of Champagne, was a daughter of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine and patron of the famous Arthurian author Chrétien de Troyes, who published many of the legends that we associate with Sir Lancelot for the first time.
William Marshal lived a life worthy of the legends that have become associated with the character Sir Lancelot. William was the power behind five English thrones, and a man who faithfully served his masters and became a renowned paragon of chivalry. William certainly had his personal flaws as we all do, but I am amazed to read of the loyalty that he demonstrated in the face of great difficulty, and whose example inspired other knights in his household. William Marshal’s example should inspire us to remain faithful to God, our people, and our heritage in the midst of our own fight against modernity, multiculturalism, and egalitarianism. Perhaps William Marshal’s contemporary Archbishop Stephen Langton was correct when he praised William as “the greatest knight who ever lived,” an apt description for history’s true Sir Lancelot.
- This statement is eerily similar to a statement uttered centuries later by the Italian noblewoman Caterina Sforza. ↩
- Thomas Asbridge is the author of The Greatest Knight: The Remarkable Life of William Marshal, The Power Behind Five English Thrones. ↩
- This exchange is recorded in the History of William Marshal and is taken from Asbridge, The Greatest Knight, pg. 205-206. ↩
- The marriage of Richard de Clare to Aoife MacMurrough is celebrated in the painting “The Marriage of Strongbow and Aoife” (1854) by Daniel Maclise. ↩
- Quotes from The History of William Marshal taken from Asbridge, The Greatest Knight, pp. 306-307. ↩
- Ibid., pp. 345-346 ↩
- Ibid., p. 353 ↩