William Marshal was one of 16 Illustrious Men, counselors to King John, who were listed in the preamble to Magna Carta.
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The titles of Sir William Marshal, Knight, as per Douglas Richardson on Royal Ancestry, (2013, Vol. IV p.40):
William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke was an Anglo-Norman warrior and statesman, called the "greatest knight that ever lived" by Stephen Langton, Archbishop of Canterbury.
As a young man, William was not heir of his father's lordships and marshalcy, but made his name as a knight fighting in the great tournaments in northern Europe. He first became a squire and then knight in Normandy in the military household of his relative William de Tancarville. He then participated very successfully in tournaments, and skirmishes, but he was eventually let go. The young William was then working under his relative Patrick the Earl of Salisbury when Patrick was murdered by the Lusignans. William made a desperate effort to avenge his uncle but was cornered on foot, wounded and captured.
He thus came to the attention of Queen Eleanor, who bought his freedom and retained him in her own household. Thus, as Crouch (p.38) writes, "at the age of but twenty-one, he entered the golden circle of royalty". He continued to fight in tournaments, achieving professional fame in Prince Henry's household. William Marshal served four kings (or five if we count young Henry who was crowned before he died): Henry II, his sons Richard the Lionheart and John Lackland (the younger brothers of young Henry) and John's son Henry III. As he became older his experience as a magnate became more important than his fighting skills.
William Marshal was King John's counselor and chief negotiator in 1215 at Runnymede, urging the king to approve Magna Carta. After King John's death in 1217, William Marshal became Regent to John's nine year old son, Henry III, retaining the regency until he died in 1219. After the death of John he led the resistance to the supporters of a French takeover of the kingdom. As regent for the child-king Henry the III, Marshal became a man of great power in Europe.
After William's death, his eldest son, also named William, commissioned a biography of his father called the History of William Marshall. This book, written relatively soon after his death, has preserved (and probably enhanced) the legend of William Marshal for posterity.  While few contemporary records of William Marshal's main years (1176 - 1185) of tourney success remain,  there is ample documentation of his impact on the history and politics of England, from his stalwart defense of the realm to his support of the Magna Carta.
William Marshal married Isabel de Clare, 4th Countess of Pembroke, in July or August of 1189, in London where she lived in the Tower (for her protection against abduction and a forced marriage).
William and Isabel had ten children - five sons and five daughters - who lived to adulthood, but none of his sons had any legitimate heirs, and all modern descendants are via the daughters. The division of his estate between the heirs was a matter of national controversy in the time of Simon de Montfort.
In William's lifetime, no one actually called him 'the 4th Earl of Pembroke' nor did they call him 'the 1st Earl of Pembroke' - "re-created" or otherwise. He was simply the Earl of Pembroke. Whether The Marshal was the 4th or the 1st of Pembroke is a distinction which scholars of modern time debate. Isabel de Clare's father, Gilbert de Clare (Strongbow) was Earl of Pembroke. After her brother died, Isabel became Countess of Pembroke.
The Castle at Pembroke was built in 1093, a timber palisade with earthen ramparts. The Marshal built in stone after his 1189 marriage to the heiress of Pembroke, Isabel. He began by constructing the magnificent round keep with its domed roof.
It is doubtful that William was born at Pembroke, which he obtained through his wife's inheritance later in his life, not from Williams father. It is doubtful he was born in France, while his father was fighting Earl Patrick and King Stephen for his castles in England. It is likely he was born in England, but it is not stated in a known record.
"Marshal" originally referred to a function of "horse servant", which is what the word meant in the old language of the Franks. By William's lifetime, the work of the king's Marshal had grown far away from its original tasks. There were thus many marshals, but William's family held the highest marshalcy in the royal household.
"Marshal" was apparently becoming a family name in William's family already when he was young, but it was still an hereditary title which came to William after the death of his elder brother, who inherited it from their father, Duties of the Master Marshall "involved the keeping of certain royal records" and the management of "four other lesser marshals, both clerks and knights, assistants called sergeants, the knight ushers and common ushers of the royal hall, the usher of the king's chamber, the watchmen of court, the tent-keeper and the keeper of the king's hearth".
Even before he inherited the office William was apparently referred to as "the Marshal" (li Mareschal in the French of the time). By the time William died, all of Europe referred to him this way, and he had given the position a new status, leading in later generations to the peerage title of "Earl Marshall", something William had sometimes been called (comes mareschallus in Latin).
Edited for Style Standards adopted January 2014. Gedcoms in Changes.
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On 20 Feb 2019 at 21:25 GMT April (Dellinger) Dauenhauer wrote:
On 20 Feb 2019 at 21:16 GMT Lisa Javorka wrote:
On 12 Sep 2018 at 05:02 GMT Keith Mann Spencer wrote:
If this isn't already in his Sources, it should be.
On 27 Mar 2017 at 02:02 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:
This makes Richard's father Gilbert the 1st Earl of Pembroke, Richard the 2nd, Gilbert the 3rd & Isabel's husband William Marshal the 4th. So I'm not sure where 5th comes from for this profile.
On 27 Mar 2017 at 01:49 GMT Liz (Noland) Shifflett wrote:
On 27 Mar 2017 at 00:30 GMT Kenneth Kinman wrote:
Any objections to making that change?? Douglas Richardson apparently refers to him as Earl of Pembroke without a number.
On 26 Sep 2015 at 13:35 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:
On 23 Sep 2015 at 22:10 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:
On 23 Sep 2015 at 11:35 GMT Andrew Lancaster wrote:
On 25 Aug 2015 at 16:27 GMT Peter Roberts wrote: