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Bill Marshal of Both Sides
Jolly Hostage Makes Good

William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke -  Nash Ford Publishing


  • William was a son of John the Marshal. He lived in Medieval times.
  • The job of Marshal was an important one at the Royal Court. The Marshal was in charge of the cavalry in the King's army. He also controlled the use of coats of arms on knights' shields.
  • John the Marshal thought the Empress Matilda should be Queen. So, during the Civil War with her cousin, King Stephen, he was attacked in his castle at Hamstead Marshall, near Newbury. John was forced to surrender.
  • He had to give up his son, William, as a Royal hostage to make sure that he didn't help the Empress any more. Although William was only 7-years-old, King Stephen threatened to kill him many times. The boy made him laugh though and he was spared.
  • William grew up to be a good man and a great warrior. However, he was always having to decide which of the Royal family to support in their arguments with each other. He was often on the loosing side, but was always forgiven.
  • He married the daughter of the old Earl of Pembroke and was made Earl of Pembroke himself. He inherited lots of castles and land in Wales from her. After his brother's death, he became the new Royal Marshal too.
  • William had lots of arguments with Bad King John. He besieged him at Windsor Castle in King Richard's reign, but later stuck by him during the Barons' War. After the King's death, he ruled the country for the 9-year-old King Henry III.
  • He threw out the King of France who had invaded England and he defeated the Rebel Barons.
  • The Earl was the foster-father of John de Earley from Whiteknights. His favourite home was his castle at nearby Caversham. He died there in 1219.


    Nash Ford Publishing 2004. All Rights Reserved.