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Hoe het William Marshal die Slag van Lincoln gewen?

Hoe het William Marshal die Slag van Lincoln gewen?


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Die inval van William the Conqueror in Engeland is onvermydelik in enige vyf minute lange geskiedenis van die land, maar wat min bekend is, is dat prins Louis van Frankryk 150 jaar later amper by sy voorganger pas.

Die prins se inval het byna die helfte van die land geëis, insluitend Londen, en slegs die glans van die koning se regent William Marshal het die koninkryk van Engeland eeue lank bewaar tydens die beslissende slag van Lincoln.

Vreemd genoeg het die inval eintlik begin met die einste Engelse dokument - die Magna Carta. Teen Junie 1215, toe dit deur koning John onderteken is, het die heersende monarg al sy vader se grond in Frankryk verloor en die baronne vervreem, wat daartoe gelei het dat hy vernederend gedwing is om hierdie dokument te onderteken wat sy mag beperk.

'N Kort film oor die temas en gebeure rondom koning John se ondertekening van die Magna Carta in 1215.

Kyk nou

Die begin van die oorlog

Slegs maande later het John se versuim om hom by die Magna Carta te hou, egter opskudding veroorsaak onder sy magtige here en wat bekend staan ​​as die Eerste Baronne -oorlog het begin.

'N Opstand van die adel in 1215 was vir die heersende monarg nog ernstiger as wat dit mag klink, want die feodale stelsel van die dag beteken dat hy op hierdie manne vertrou het om sy mag te behou.

Elkeen van hulle was in wese 'n mini-koning, met hul eie trotse geslagte, private leërs en byna onbeperkte gesag oor hul domeine. Sonder hulle kon John nie effektief oorlog voer of beheer oor sy land behou nie, en die situasie was vinnig desperaat.

Engeland was egter 'n land wat 'n nuwe koning nodig gehad het om die Baronne legitimiteit te hê om John te probeer afdank, en daarom wend hulle hulle tot Louis, seun van die koning van Frankryk - wie se militêre bekwaamheid hom die titel "die leeu" besorg het .

In daardie jare, net 150 nadat die Saksiese Engeland deur Normandiese indringers verower is, sou die Franse koninklike familie nie uitgenooi word om te heers nie as dieselfde verraderlike optrede as in latere eeue.

Die heersende adel van beide Engeland en Frankryk het Frans gepraat, Franse name gehad en dikwels bloedlyne gedeel, wat beteken dat die twee lande meer verwisselbaar was as op enige ander tydstip in die geskiedenis.

Louis was aanvanklik huiwerig om by 'n Engelse burgeroorlog betrokke te raak, en stuur slegs 'n groep ridders oor, maar het gou van plan verander en in Mei 1216 met 'n magtige leër vertrek.

John was nou in groot getal en het weinig ander keuse as om na die ou Saksiese hoofstad Winchester te vlug en die pad na Londen oop te maak vir Louis se leër.

Louis het homself vinnig in die hoofstad gevestig, waar baie rebelleiers, waaronder die koning van Skotland, hulde gebring het en hom as koning van Engeland in die St Paul's Cathedral verklaar het.

Baie van John se oorblywende ondersteuners het die vloed laat draai en het by Louis aangesluit, wat einde Junie Winchester ingeneem het en die koning gedwing het om noordwaarts te vlug. Teen die laat somer was die hele suidoostelike helfte van Engeland onder Franse besetting.

Draai van die gety

Twee gebeurtenisse in die laaste maande van 1216 het egter gehelp om hoop vir die lojaliste op te wek. Die eerste was die voortbestaan ​​van Dover Castle. Louis se vader, die koning van Frankryk, het 'n passievolle belangstelling getoon in die stryd oor die kanaal en het aan sy seun geskryf dat hy hom bespot omdat hy die hele suidooste geneem het, behalwe die belangrikste hawe.

In Julie het die prins by die kasteel aangekom, maar die goed versorgde en vasberade garnisoen weerstaan ​​al sy pogings om dit met geweld te neem in die komende maande, terwyl die graafskap William van Cassingham 'n mag van rebelle boogskutters oprig om Louis se belegermagte te teister. .

Teen Oktober het die prins opgegee en teruggekeer na Londen, en met Dover wat nog steeds lojaal aan John was, sou die Franse versterkings baie moeiliker wees om aan die Engelse oewer te land. Die tweede gebeurtenis, later daardie maand, was die dood van koning John, wat sy negejarige seun Henry as enigste erfgenaam agtergelaat het.

Die bewind van Henry

Die Baronne het besef dat Henry baie makliker sou kon beheer as die toenemend eiesinnige Louis, en hul steun aan die Franse begin afneem.

Die nuwe koning se regent, die formidabele 70-jarige ridder William Marshal, het hom toe vinnig in Gloucester laat kroon en die wankelende baronne belowe dat die Magna Carta gehou sal word, beide deur hom en Henry as hy volwasse word. Hierna het die oorlog 'n eenvoudiger saak geword van die meestal verenigde Engelse teen die indringende Franse.

Temple Church in Sentraal -Londen is die fisiese verpersoonliking van die Knights Templar, 'n godsdienstige orde wat ook as krygsmonnike opgelei is. Dit is 'n geskiedenis wat sterk is in die narratief en bars met gevegte en bloedlust.

Kyk nou

Louis was intussen nie ledig nie en het die eerste paar weke van 1217 in Frankryk deurgebring om versterkings te versamel, maar meer vasberade weerstand teen sy heerskappy - aangemoedig deur die gewilde marskalk - het op sy leër se krag neergeslaan. Hy was woedend en het die helfte van sy leër weer geneem om Dover te beleër en die ander helfte gestuur om die strategies belangrike noordelike stad Lincoln in te neem.

Die tweede Slag van Lincoln

'N Versterkte stad met 'n kasteel in die middel, Lincoln was 'n moeilike moer om te kraak, maar die Franse magte - onder bevel van Thomas, graaf van Perche - het die hele stad vinnig van die kasteel verwyder, wat hardnekkig uitgehou het.

Marshal was bewus van hierdie verwikkelinge en het 'n beroep op al die Engelse baronne van die noorde gedoen om hul manne bymekaar te bring by Newark, waar hy 'n mag van 400 ridders, 250 kruisboogskutters en 'n onbekende aantal gereelde infanterie bymekaargemaak het.

Die graaf van Perche het besluit dat sy beste optrede sou wees om Lincoln Castle te neem en dan uit te hou totdat Louis hom kom versterk, en het daarom nie vir Marshal op die slagveld ontmoet nie. Dit was 'n ernstige fout, want hy het die grootte van Marshal se leër oorskat.

Die geveg het plaasgevind op 20 Mei 1217. Terwyl Thomas se magte die kasteel aanstootlik aangeval het, het Marshal se kruisboogmense die stadspoort bereik en dit met vuil vuurwapen geneem, voordat hulle hulself op dakke geplaas het en skote op die beleërende magte neergegooi het.

Gevang tussen die vyandige kasteel en die marskalk se ridders en infanterie, is baie daarna geslag, waaronder die graaf. Thomas is oorgawe aangebied, maar het verkies om eerder dood te veg, 'n dapper besluit wat seker die eer van die ervare soldaat Marshal moes wen.

David Carpenter het by Dan op die podcast aangesluit om een ​​van Engeland se merkwaardigste monarge te ondersoek. Net nege jaar oud toe hy in 1216 op die troon kom, verduidelik David hoe Henry vreedsaam, versoenend en diep gelowig was. Sy bewind is beperk deur die perke wat deur die Magna Carta gestel is en die opkoms van die parlement.

Luister nou

Die koninklikes het ook daarin geslaag om die meeste Engelse baronne vas te vang wat nog steeds aan die prins lojaal was, en verseker dat die nuwe koning Hendrik III minder teenstand sou kry as die oorlog verby was.

Die paar Franse oorlewendes vlug toe suidwaarts na Londen, terwyl die seëvierende troepe van Marshal die stad ontslaan het weens skynbare lojaliteit aan die Louis, wat eufemisties bekend geword het as "die Lincoln Fair." Die meeste van die ontsnapte Franse het nooit hul doel bereik nie, aangesien hulle op hul pad deur 'n hinderlaag deur 'n lokval en 'n bloedbad geblaas is.

Louis se nederlaag

Aangesien die helfte van sy leër weg is en Dover steeds verset het, het Louis se posisie onhoudbaar geword. Nadat nog twee versterkingsvlote gesink is tydens die seegevegte van Dover en Sandwich, moes hy Londen verlaat en sy aanspraak op die troon by die Verdrag van Lambeth prysgee.

Marshal sterf intussen in 1219 na 'n onskatbare diens aan vyf verskillende konings van Engeland, en Henry sou nog vyftig jaar regeer en 'n ander Baron se opstand in die 1260's oorleef.

Oor die volgende paar eeue sou die resultaat van die Slag van Lincoln verseker dat die karakter van Engeland se regerende elite steeds meer Saksies en minder Frans word; 'n proses deur koning Henry wat sy seun en erfgenaam Edward noem, 'n koninklike Engelse naam wat so oud was as die tyd.


William Marshal, 2de graaf van Pembroke

William Marshal, 2de graaf van Pembroke (Frans: Guillaume le Maréchal) (1190 - 6 April 1231) was 'n Middeleeuse Engelse edelman en was een van Magna Carta -borge. Hy het tydens die Eerste Baronsoorlog geveg en was teenwoordig in die Slag van Lincoln (1217) saam met sy vader William Marshal, 1ste graaf van Pembroke, wat die Engelse troepe in die geveg gelei het. Hy het die eerste biografie van 'n Middeleeuse ridder laat skryf, genaamd L'Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal, ter ere van sy vader.


INLEIDING

Die Engelse het vrolik geveg, asof hulle na 'n toernooi was. Die oggendsonskyn van die eerste Saterdag na Pinkster skyn op die wit kruise wat aan hul onderbaadjies vasgemaak is, want hierdie manne was kruisvaarders, nuut ingekrimp en verseker van die hemel as hulle in aksie val. Voor hulle lê die uitgestrekte massa van Lincoln Castle, baie geteister deur vyandige beleërmotors, vir die blokkerende leër in die stad verder, insluitend Franse ridders en ingenieurs, die beste in Europa. Maar waar was die Franse, gewoonlik so vorentoe in 'n toernooi? Miskien het hulle die krag van die naderende gasheer verkeerd getel, minder as 'n duisend almal vertel, mislei deur die ekstra skilde en baniere wat vlieg uit die waens wat die vegtende manne volg.

Verkenners het heen en weer gery, met die kasteel gepraat en getroue verdedigers van die rsquos, die ou stadsmure ondersoek om 'n pad in te kom. Kruisboogmense infiltreer die kasteel en die buitenste hek van rsquos, maar dit was 'n te smal pad vir ridders. Die graaf van Chester & rsquos -voorhoede het na die noordelike hek gegaan, terwyl die hoofliggaam van die verligte leër reguit na die westelike muur gery het. Daar het die oorlogsugtige biskop van Winchester 'n onbeskermde hek gevind, te sorgeloos ommuur, te naby die kasteel sodat die belegers dit kon dophou. Toe die voorste sersante, professionele soldate wat betaal word, afklim om die los klippe wat teen die hout van die ou West Gate gestapel is, weg te trek, was daar geen vyandige oë om dit te sien nie.

Die aanvallers bars so skielik deur dat hul eie leier nog sy helm moet aantrek. William Marshal, graaf van Pembroke, en lsquoThe Marshal & rsquo, was sewentig jaar oud, maar sterk genoeg om gekies te word as voog van die koninkryk en sy seuntjie koning, Henry III. & lsquo Wag vir my, en rsquo het hy uitgeroep, en terwyl ek my roer kry. & rsquo William en rsquos -mans het egter nie opgehou nie. Hulle druk die stad binne en vermoor die beleërhoofingenieur terwyl hy 'n vars klip in die slinger van sy masjien plaas. Om nie agter te bly nie, het die maarskalk op sy perd aangespoor, 'n pad wat drie lans diep in die vyand se geledere gekerf is, alles voor hom gery. Terwyl hulle verby die kasteel loop, draai die Engelse regs in die oop ruimte voor die katedraal om 'n groot massa Franse en opstandige Engelse ridders te vind. Een van laasgenoemde breek sy lans na William Longsword, graaf van Salisbury, maar die maarskalk het hom so 'n slag geslaan dat hy van sy perd afgegly het en weggekruip het om weg te kruip. Kruisboogskutters verskyn op die kasteelmure en dakke en haal die perde van die vyandelike ridders daaronder af soos soveel geslagte varke. Die graaf van Chester en die rsquos -manne het deur 'n ander hek geslaan en hul gewig in die stryd gewerp. Ruiters sonder perd is in kettings weggesleep. Vonke vlieg toe swaarde teen swaarde bots of helms af kyk.

Terwyl die opponerende ridders terugdeins, gryp William die toom van hul bevelvoerder, Thomas, graaf de la Perche, en 'n man met 'n swaar wapen en uit koninklike bloed, wat nog nie die ouderdom van dertig bereik het nie (rsquo (Waverley Annals). Hy het tot oorgawe geroep en geweier om dit te doen, en hy het groot eed afgelê. Sir Reginald Croc, 'n dapper ridder, het sy geduld verloor en sy swaardpunt deur die telling en rsquos-helmooggate gehardloop. In 'n laaste kramp slaan Thomas die marskalk drie dubbele houe oor die kop, buig sy helm en val dood neer. Dit was 'n onverwagte afwyking van die draaiboek: leidende ridders is selde uit die hand geslaan William en die graaf was eerste neefs, en almal was bedroef toe hy hom vermoor sien.

Die verlies van hul bevelvoerder was 'n noodlottige slag vir die belegers, wat teruggetrek het teen die steil helling na die Withamrivier. Hulle het halfpad bymekaargekom, net om weer te breek toe die Marshal & rsquos -manne tussen die kasteel en die katedraal opdaag, en die graaf van Chester op hul regterflank verskyn. Die gebroke leër vlug suidwaarts in die High Street na die Bargate, gelukkig deur 'n verdwaalde koei geblokkeer. Meer as 300 Franse en rebelle ridders is gevange geneem, alhoewel slegs drie opvallende mans tydens die geveg dood is. Tweehonderd paniekbevange ridders het na Londen ontsnap en Marshals in elke bos gesien. Die mees beslissende stryd van die Middeleeuse Engelse geskiedenis, na Hastings, is in die menslike lewe teen minder koste gewen as baie toernooie.

William Marshal & rsquos hel-skelter-oorwinning op Lincoln op Saterdag 20 Mei 1217 was die laaste uitbuiting van een van die merkwaardigste mans van 'n ouderdom gevul met groter as lewensgetalle: Henry II, koning van Engeland, sy gemalin Eleanor van Aquitanië, en hul seuns : Henry & lsquoThe Young King & rsquo, Richard & lsquoCoeur de Lion & rsquo en John & lsquoSoftsword & rsquo. Meer twyfelagtige karakters sluit in John & rsquos se huurlingleier Fawkes van Br & eacuteaut & eacute, vernoem na die seis wat hy na bewering gebruik het om sy eerste man dood te maak, of die Franse meester seerower en nekromansier Eustace the Monk, wie se vermoë om homself onsigbaar te maak, hom nie van summiere onthoofding gered het nie ingewande van sy vlagskip.

William het sy lewe begin tydens die sogenaamde Anargie van die middel van die twaalfde eeu, die geldlose jonger seun van 'n Wiltshire-grondeienaar: 'n rowerbaron wat deur 'n plaaslike biskop beskryf is as 'n helkom en die wortel van alle kwaad. William moes sy eie pad maak, en kombineer 'n sterk arm met 'n berekende oog en koel kop. Ons weet van sy opkoms uit 'n epiese gedig: l & rsquoHistoire de Guillaume le Mar & eacutechal, hieronder na verwys as die Geskiedenis. Dit is saamgestel kort na die onderwerp en die dood van Rsquos in 1219, en dit is die eerste oorlewende biografie van die Middeleeue wat 'n nie-koninklike leek bevat. Geskryf deur 'n professionele digter of trov & egravere John genoem, waarskynlik uit Touraine, die bronne daarvan was herinneringe aan die Marshal se eie verhale oor sy vroeë dae, die ooggetuie van sy intieme volgelinge en verlore dokumente. Saam maak hierdie die Geskiedenis 'n unieke rekord van die lewe van 'n ervare ridder en 'n groot feodale magnaat.

William het op vyfjarige leeftyd as gyselaar uit die dood ontsnap, en hy was in Normandië as vakleerling op die been gebring. Sulke lof van 'n Franse waarnemer is merkwaardig: spring was 'n Frans-gedomineerde sport. Engeland word beskou as 'n arm land om ridders te teel. William & rsquos se loopbaan het begin met sy toetrede tot die koninklike diens. Hy is gewond om koningin Eleanor te verdedig teen afvalliges van Poitevin, losgekoop en aangestel as militêre tutor vir Henry II en die erfgenaam van rsquos, bekend as die & lsquoYoung King & rsquo, wat as sy toernooi bestuurder optree. Na die vroeë dood van die Young King en rsquos, het William sy Crusader & rsquos -mantel na die Heilige Land gedra. Toe die toekomstige Richard I in 1189 in opstand kom, was William een ​​van die min wat tot die bitter einde by die & lsquoOld King gestaan ​​het.

Ten spyte hiervan het William 'n sleutelfiguur geword by die Richard & rsquos-hof, met die erfgenaam van uitgestrekte boedels in Wallis en Ierland, en as koninklike regter tydens die afwesigheid van koning en rsquos op die kruistog en as militêre adviseur in die nimmereindigende oorlog met koning Philip Augustus van Frankryk . By die dood van Richard en rsquos het William 'n leidende rol gespeel in die toetreding van sy broer John, beloon met die Graafskap van Pembroke. Sy reputasie en terughoudendheid het hom gehelp om beskuldigings van verraad te oorleef na die verlies van Normandië. Ten spyte van John & rsquos se vyandskap, het William getrou gebly gedurende die versteurings wat die onwillige koning daartoe gebring het om die ongekende toegewings in Magna Carta te maak.

Dit was William & rsquos -getrouheid, sowel as sy bekwaamheid en lang lewe, wat die lojale baronne van Engeland oorreed het om die regentskap by John & rsquos se dood aan hom toe te vertrou. Dit was geen algemene noodgeval nie. Johannes het sy baronne tot opstand gedryf tot op die punt dat hy die kroon aan Louis die Dauphin, oudste seun van Philip Augustus, gebring het. Teen die lente van 1217 het Franse en rebelle-troepe die grootste deel van Suidoos-Engeland gehad, waaronder Londen, Windsor en Winchester. Dover en Lincoln is beleër. Die krisis was die grootste bedreiging vir die onafhanklikheid van Engeland en die rsquos tussen die Normandiese verowering en die Spaanse Armada. As Louis dit reggekry het, sou Engeland dalk 'n Franse provinsie geword het, net soos Languedoc gedoen het na die slag van Muret in 1213. Maar toe hy sy oomblik aangryp, het die Noordelike leër van Dauphin & rsquos by Lincoln geslaan en in strate wat te steil was vir moderne verkeer. Louis het paniekbevange teruggetrek uit Dover en het versterkings uit Frankryk ontbied. Twee maande later is dit op see onderskep en vernietig, wat Louis genoop het. Buitelandse indringers sou nooit weer so diep in die Engelse gebied kom nie.

Die oorwinning van William & rsquos was meer as net 'n militêre sukses. Hy het Magna Carta reeds heruitgereik, binne 'n maand na die dood van John en rsquos, wat die politieke platform van die rebelle ondermyn. Hy het dit weer bevestig nadat Lincoln die permanente mag van die koning aan die oppergesag van die reg onderwerp het. Sonder Magna Carta sou die parlementêre regering en die Engelse gemenereg nie ontwikkel het soos dit was nie. Amerikaanse en Franse revolusionêre van die agtiende eeu sou geen grondwetlike voorbeeld gehad het om hulle te inspireer nie. Daar was moontlik geen Gettysburg -toespraak of Europese verklaring van menseregte nie. Ten tyde van die geveg het Engeland en rsquos -heersers Frans gepraat, soos hulle sedert 1066 gehad het. 'N Franse oorwinning in Lincoln kon die opkoms van 'n kenmerkende Engelse kulturele identiteit nog 'n eeu vertraag het. Sonder die beskerming van 'n Engelse adel sou daar moontlik geen Chaucer en dus geen Shakespeare gewees het nie.

William & rsquos se aanklag by Lincoln verhef hom van die status van 'n internasionale sportkampioen, of 'n ander selfsoekende magnaat, tot die van die redder van sy land. As sy vroeë loopbaan hom in sy eie tyd 'n superster gemaak het, sou sy dramatiese gevolgtrekking, met sy langtermynbetekenis vir Engeland en die wêreld, hom vandag 'n nasionale held moes maak. William & rsquos se oorwinnings is egter moreel ambivalent. Soos dié van Oliver Cromwell, het dit tydens 'n burgeroorlog tussen Engelse plaasgevind, wat tradisionele vertellings uit die Engelse geskiedenis as 'n glorieryke toernooi ondermyn. Henry III was 'n vreedsame koning wat skilderye verkies het bo spring. Hy het die toernooi -kampioen wat sy troon behou het, gegrief en verneder. Die Marshal -stam het in onguns geraak, en sonder gebrek aan manlike erfgename, historiese vergetelheid.

Lincoln is 'n seldsame voorbeeld van 'n Middeleeuse stryd met langdurige gevolge. Die meeste oorloë in die Middeleeue is deur aanvalle en beleëringe gewen. In die enigste groot stryd van sy loopbaan het William 'n merkwaardige begrip van die militêre beginsels van mobiliteit, konsentrasie en verrassing getoon, terwyl Lincoln opvallend was terwyl die Dauphin & rsquos -magte verdeeld was om toegang tot die stad te verkry deur 'n ou hek wat die vyand oor die hoof gesien het. Toe hy binne was, kombineer hy suksesvol missielaksie deur kruisboogskutters op dakke met skokaksie in die strate daaronder. Lincoln is meer 'n aanduiding van hoe Engelse soldate in die hoë Middeleeue geveg het as die eindelose oorwinnings van die Honderdjarige Oorlog wat soveel aandag trek.

Bestaande studies van die maarskalk skenk onvoldoende aandag aan die militêre aspekte van sy lewe. Sidney Painter & rsquos William Marshal: Knight Errant, baron en regent van Engeland bied 'n geromantiseerde beeld van die Marshal & rsquos -loopbaan: sy ridderlikheid was berekenend en soms brutaal. Georges Duby en rsquos Guillaume le Marechal ou le meilleure chevalier du monde (vertaal as Die blom van ridderlikheid) behandel die Marshal as 'n gespierde eenvoud. David Crouch en rsquos William the Marshal: Knightood, War and Chivalry fokus op die politieke en administratiewe aspekte van William & rsquos se loopbaan, en beskou gevegte en veldtogte as toevallig.

Nie een hiervan maak gebruik van die Geskiedenis& rsquos uitgebreide detail van werklike en skyngevegte om William & rsquos se loopbaan in die militêre konteks van sy tyd te plaas, of kyk verder as die verhaal van die Marshal-familie om sy bydrae tot die eindelose Anglo-Franse oorloë van die 1190's en 1200's te evalueer. Wat was die verhouding tussen die & lsquofinest ridder & rsquo met die slinkse monarge John en Philip Augustus? Hoe het hy die teenstrydigheid opgelos tussen die individualisme van die ridderfout en die omsigtigheid wat die koninklike raadgewer vereis? Die baroniale klas word dikwels uitgebeeld as stomp reaksionêrs. Die Geskiedenis& rsquos lucky survival bied 'n unieke geleentheid om hierdie karikatuur uit te daag. Dit was voorheen slegs in die Middelfrans beskikbaar, of in 'n negentiende-eeuse pr & eacutecis, en het onlangs verskyn in moderne Engelse vers met elke geleerdheid. Namate die 800ste verjaardag van Lincoln en rsquos nader kom, lyk dit asof die tyd reg is om die reputasie van die vergete kampioen in Engeland te heroorweeg.


800 -jarige bestaan ​​- 2019

Daar is verskeie geleenthede ter herdenking van William se herdenking:

Saterdag 11 Mei 2019 Opspring William Marshal-uitstalling by die Abbey Gateway, Reading

Sluit aan by die Friends of Caversham Court Gardens en kyk na die nuut gerestoureerde middeleeuse Abbey Gateway. Hierdie Mei is die 800ste herdenking van die dood van William Marshal in Caversham. Lees meer oor 'The Greatest Knight', wat as regent van die seuntjie koning Henry III 'n Franse invalmag verslaan en die voortbestaan ​​van Magna Carta verseker het. Let daarop dat die Gateway geen trappe -vrye toegang het nie en dat daar ongelyke trappe en vloere is.

Gratis, kom in (maksimum 30 plekke per sessie, daar kan 'n kort wag wees)

Saterdag 11 Mei 2019 Middaggesprek: William Marshal, Reading Museum

Mei is die 800ste herdenking van die dood van William Marshall in Caversham. Sy liggaam lê in die staat in die Reading Abbey totdat dit in die Temple Church in Londen begrawe is. Ontdek meer oor sy lewe in hierdie fassinerende gesprek met dr Elizabeth Matthew van die Reading University.

Dinsdag 11 Junie Aandpraatjie: Die lewe van William Marshal, Thameside School, Harley Rd

Sluit aan by die Caversham and District Residents Association vir 'n geïllustreerde toespraak van Tom Asbridge van Queen Mary University of London, skrywer van The Greatest Knight.


Die Slag van Lincoln Fair

HOEKOM
Koning John se konflik met sy magtige baronne was die oorsprong van die konflik, bekend as die Slag van Lincoln Fair. Die koning is deur sy baronne gedwing om die Magna Carta in Runnymede in 1215 te onderteken. Louis, Dauphin van Frankryk, het troepe gestuur om die baronne te help.

Die Franse troepe het die kasteel beleër, maar is deur die destydse konstabel, Nichola de la Haye, gekoop. Koning John sterf in Oktober 1216, en die Franse troepe keer terug na Lincoln, neem die stad namens die rebellebaronne en beleër die kasteel.

DIE VELDSLAG
William Marshall, graaf van Pembroke, wat namens die kind-koning Henry III optree, het met 'n leër op Lincoln gevorder en die oggend van 19 Mei aangekom. Die Franse het hul troepe verdeel, sommige om die aanval op die kasteel voort te sit, en sommige om die opkomende royalistiese leër die hoof te bied. Marshall se leër het op twee fronte gevorder, die een het deur die Newport Arch die stad binnegedring, en die ander het deur die westelike hek 'n toegang tot die kasteel gedwing.

Laasgenoemde mag het kruisboogmanne op die kasteelmure ontplooi en 'n vuurreën op die beleërde Franse laat neerval en baie van die Franse ridders se perde doodgemaak. Die Franse bevelvoerder, die graaf van Perche, is in die geveg dood, en die Franse troepe is op die vlug geslaan. Hulle trek terug deur die borgtog, in High Street af, en na Wigtown, buite die stadsmure.

Volgens die hedendaagse kroniekskrywer Roger van Wendover is meer as 300 ridders uit die baronne se leër gevange geneem, maar daar was slegs drie sterftes: die graaf van Perche, Reginald Crocus, 'n ridder van die koning se party en 'n onbekende soldaat wat vir die rebelle veg.

DIE RESULTATE
Die seëvierende koninklike leër het min genade teenoor die inwoners van die stad betoon. Lincoln is geplunder en baie van sy inwoners is wreed vermoor. Selfs die katedraal is geplunder. Die oorwinnende koninklike troepe het die kort konflik 'Lincoln Fair' genoem. Die Battle of Lincoln Fair het waarskynlik die oorwinning van die koninklike faksie oor die baronne bevestig, hoewel die sukses van die baron om koning John te dwing om die Magna Carta te onderteken 'n meer blywende sukses kan word!

Let wel: Moenie hierdie tweede Slag van Lincoln verwar met die Eerste Slag van Lincoln nie, andersins bekend as die 'Joust of Lincoln', wat in 1141 plaasgevind het.


Die Slag van Lincoln 1217

Melvyn Bragg en gaste bespreek die geveg by Lincoln op 20 Mei 1217 tussen die magte van die seun-koning Henry III, onder leiding van William Marshal, en ondersteuners van Louis van Frankryk.

Melvyn Bragg en gaste bespreek The Battle of Lincoln op 20 Mei 1217, toe twee leërs geveg het om die Engelse kroon te behou of te wen. Dit was 'n stryd tussen die Angevin- en die Kapeniese dinastieë, 'n stryd wat gevolg het op die Kapetaanse suksesse oor die Angevins in Frankryk. Die magte van die nuwe seuntjie-koning, Henry III, val die van Louis van Frankryk aan, die eiser wat deur die rebelle Barons gesteun word. Henry se regent, William Marshal, was byna sewentig toe hy die dag op Lincoln gelei het, en sy oorwinning bevestig sy reputasie as Engeland se grootste ridder. Louis het versterkings na Frankryk gestuur, maar ook in Augustus is dit tydens die Slag van Sandwich op see verslaan. As deel van die vredesooreenkoms heruitgegee Henry Magna Carta, wat koning John in 1215 toegestaan ​​het, maar spoedig teruggetrek het, en Louis het huis toe gegaan en Engeland se Anglo-Franse heersers meer Anglo en minder Frans gelaat as wat hy beplan het.

Die prent hierbo is deur Matthew Paris (c1200-1259) uit sy Chronica Majora (MS 16, f. 55v) en verskyn met die vriendelike toestemming van die Master and Fellows van Corpus Christi College, Cambridge

Louise Wilkinson
Professor in die Middeleeuse geskiedenis aan die Canterbury Christ Church University

Stephen Kerk
Professor in die Middeleeuse geskiedenis aan die Universiteit van East Anglia

Thomas Asbridge
Leser in Middeleeuse geskiedenis aan Queen Mary, Universiteit van Londen


Die maarskalk in die Courts of Kings

Hy sou as 'n swaard opgetree het om huise en kastele van hoër adellikes te huur en te bewaak en as persoonlike beskerming daarvan gewerk. Dit was gedurende hierdie tydperk dat William Marshal bloot per toeval sy stempel afdruk. Hy en 'n ander ridder is daarvan beskuldig dat hulle 'n welgestelde vrou van een van haar kastele na 'n ander begelei het. Op die pad is hulle aangeval en sy metgesel is dood, William het teen 'n geskatte 60 mans gewapen en die edele vrou genoeg tyd gekoop om na haar kasteel te ontsnap.

Hy is beseer en gevange geneem, maar die edele vrou was niemand anders nie dan Eleanor van Aquitanië, die vrou van koning Henry II, wat sy lot vir ewig verseël het om die konings van Engeland, Frankryk en Ierland lojaal te dien. Sy het William se losprys betaal en hy het deel geword van die magtigste koninklike hof in Europa. Daar word ook in die geskiedenis gerugte dat Marshal en Eleanor 'n liefdesverhouding gehad het. Marshal was 'n aantreklike, lang en opvallende figuur, meer as 6 voet lank toe die gemiddelde lengte van 'n man gedurende die Middeleeue ongeveer 5'7 was, Marshall moes 'n intimiderende gesig op die slagveld gewees het.

Eleanor van Aquitanië het William Marshal aangestel om haar tweede seun se tutor te wees in die wêreld van Middeleeuse toernooie wat William jare lank aan sy sy gedien het. Henry die jongste was die tweede seun van Eleanor van Aquitanië en koning Henry II, hy is tydens sy pa se leeftyd gekroon en was bekend as koning Henry the Younger, maar hy was 'n koning sonder koninkryk.

Hy het nooit 'n betekenisvolle mag van sy vader gekry nie, en dit het 'n skeuring tussen hulle veroorsaak. Hy was versot op Middeleeuse toernooie en is gelei deur The Marshal. Hy het met sy vader en broer baklei en gesterf sonder om ooit vrede te maak met koning Henry II. Hy het die eed van die kruisvaarders afgelê en op sy sterfbed het hy sy mantel aan William Marshall gegee, vermoedelik dat hy die kruisvaarderskruis van die Tempeliers gehou het. Hy het die getroue maarskalk gevra om hierdie mantel na die Heilige Graf in Jerusalem te herlei, en daar word vermoed dat die maarskalk aan sy sterwende versoek voldoen het.


William Marshal

U kan nie romans oor die Middeleeue skryf sonder om verwysings na die Marshal -familie teëkom nie. Ek het 'n opmerking gelees waarin gesê word dat die gesin soos wonderlike vuurwerke oor die lug van Engeland uit die 12de en vroeë 13de eeu bars en so vinnig weg is. Dit is 'n baie gepaste beskrywing. Die bekendste deel van die familie is die groot William Marshal en sy verhaal lees soos die draaiboek van 'n epiese film.

William het grootgeword in 'n wêreld wat onseker was oor die burgeroorlog tussen koninklike neefs Stephen en Matilda. Sy pa het egter 'n sterk greep op sy landerye in die Kennetvallei gehad, en vir die vormingsjare in die kwekery sou William 'n stabiele gesinslewe gehad het, omring deur broers en susters en naby sy ouers. John Marshal was geen afwesige pa nie.

Die groot verandering het gebeur toe William vyf of ses jaar oud was. John Marshal het sy kasteel in Newbury versterk. Niemand weet nou waar hierdie kasteel gestaan ​​het nie, alhoewel ek 'n sterk persoonlike vermoede het dat dit by Speen aan die buitewyke van die moderne stad is. Waar dit ook al presies geleë was, het hierdie kasteel in die pad van koning Stephen gestaan. Sy leër het voor sy mure opgetrek en beleër. Die verdedigers het egter dapper geveg en dit sou duidelik 'n moeilike moer wees om te kraak - alhoewel dit uiteindelik gebeur het. 'N Wapenstilstand is gereël en John Marshal het gevra of hy toestemming van sy dame, die keiserin Matilda, kon kry om oor te gee, want dit was die eerbare ding om te doen (soek toestemming). Stephen het ingestem, maar hy vertrou John nie en het gesê dat hy gyselaars van hom sou hê, insluitend 'n seun van sy huis. Hy het William geneem - wat interessant is. My eie gevoel is dat hy nie een van die ouer seuns geneem het nie, omdat hulle nie uit die bloed van Patrick Earl van Salisbury was nie, maar kleiner braai na Stephen se gedagtes.

Toe John die gyselaars oorhandig het, het hy die manne en voorrade aan die balke gestop omdat hy nie van plan was om oor te gee nie. Die oomblik toe hy dit doen, word die pad na Wallingford oop en John Marshal was nie die soort man om terug te draai nie. 'N Paar jaar tevore het hy 'n oog verloor in swaar gevegte om 'n ontsnappingsroete vir die keiserin te verdedig. Toe Stephen op die vasgestelde tyd terugkom om die kasteel te eis, het John hom uitgedaag en geweier om dit te oorhandig. 'N Woedende Stephen stuur 'n boodskap aan John dat hy sy seun sal ophang. John made the infamous reply that he did not care about his little boy because had the ‘anvils and hammers’ to produce even finer sons. Personally I believe there was far more to this speech than meets the eye, but that’s for discussion in my forthcoming notes on John Marshal.

William was duly taken off to the gallows, but King Stephen couldn’t bring himself to hang the child. William was full of charm and perky questions. He wanted to play games with Stephen’s barons and with Stephen himself. There’s an epic poem about William’s life called The Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal. It’s from this we know about the Anvils and hammers speech and the entire hostage situation. There is a delightful scene in the poem where William and the King play ‘Knights’ with some plantain leaves.

Stephen’s tent was ‘Strewn with grass and flowers of a variety of colours. William looked at the flowers, examining them from top to bottom. Happily and cheerfully he went about gathering the ‘knights’ growing on the plaintain with its broad, pointed leaves. When he had gathered enough to make a good handful, he said to the King: My dear lord, would you like to play ‘knights?’
‘Yes,’ he said, ‘my little friend.’
The child immediately placed some on the King’s lap. Then he asked: ‘Who has the first go?’
‘You my dear little friend,’ replied the King. So then he took one of the knights and put his own against it. But it turned out that in the contest, the King’s knight lost its head, which made William overjoyed.’ Stephen seems to have become attached to Willliam and took him into his own household and there the boy remained for around two years, serving as a page.

The war ended with agreement between King Stephen and the Empress Matilda’s son, Henry, that Henry should inherit the throne when Stephen died. This happened in 1154 and William’s boyhood now continued on a level course – presumably at home – until he reached his mid teens. At this stage he was sent away to be trained in the household of Guillaume de Tancarville, chamberlain of Normandy, to whom he was distantly related. William remained here in training, learning the knightly arts and was eventually knighted around the age of 21. We are told that he was tall, well made, had a good seat in the saddle and was brown-haired with an olive complexion. We are also told that he had a reputation for a big appetite and being a slugabed. His nick-name was apparently ‘Gaste-viande’ or ‘Greedy guts.’ I can’t help thinking of adolescent youths I have known not so far from home with prodigious appetites and a capacity for slumber until midday if allowed. Nothing changes!

As the situation in Normandy calmed down, Guillaume de Tancarville found himself with an embarrassment of knights on his hand and William was basically made redundant. He shipped himself home and went to see his family, including his older full brother John (his two older half brothers having died) and his sisters. By the time he returned home his father was dead. We don’t know his mother’s death date. John Marshal junior doesn’t seem to have wanted young William at home – perhaps he was jealous of this young gun with his charmed life, home from the wars, trailing flash war horses and glory behind him. Perhaps William cramped his style. Whatever the reason, William didn’t stay long but sought employment with his uncle Patrick, Earl of Salisbury who was preparing to go to Poitou and was on the lookout for likely knights. William being kin and with proven battle experience went straight onto the shipping manifesto.

While in Poitou, the young William came into frequent contact with the Queen of England, the famous and infamous Eleanor of Aquitaine. She had several of her children with her, including her eldest sons Henry and Richard. The latter was her designated heir and later to become the great Coeur de Lion.

One day in 1168, while escorting the Queen between castles in the company of his Uncle Patrick, they were attacked by members of the de Lusignan family who were in rebellion against Eleanor and the Angevin faction. Patrick, who was not wearing his mail, was ridden down and killed. Eleanor made a bid for freedom and William stood in the path of her attackers and gave her time to escape. Although he fought like a lion, he was eventually wounded in the thigh, overpowered and taken for ransom. He had a hard time of it and had to bandage his wounds with his own leg bindings. At one particular castle, a woman took pity on his plight and brought him fresh bandages hidden in a loaf of bread.

He hadn’t been abandoned by his own side though, and Queen Eleanor paid his ransom and took him into her household. William was soon appointed as a companion to her eldest son, Henry who, at 15 was crowned as official successor of King of England. This was done in his own father’s lifetime so that there would be no quibble about who inherited the throne. William quickly settled into the Young King’s household, becoming his tutor in chivalry.

As usual with the Angevin kings, there was inter-family strife and it wasn’t long before the Young King was kicking over the traces and deciding he would like more than just a title. He wanted the power to go with it and rebelled against his father. William stood by his young lord, and even knighted him as the conflict kicked off. As with most of the Young King’s ambitious designs, it came to a sticky end. His father was victorious and the rebellion fizzled out, having caused physical damage to land and property and emotional damage all round. The Young King was made to stay at his father’s side for a while to learn governance but found the whole thing tedious and sought permission to go to France and join the round of the tourney circuits. His father wasn’t best pleased but let him go.

Now came William’s heyday as he set out on the path to becoming the greatest tourney champion of his time. Under his tutelage and his command, the Young King’s ‘team’ became invincible on the European tourney circuit. Tourneying and jousting in the 12th century wasn’t what we imagine from seeing the Hollywood version – a show-piece pageant of one on one in an enclosed arena, but took place over several acres, often involving entire villages. It was big, joyous, brawling and reached its height in the 1170’s and 1180’s. By the 1220’s shortly after William’s death, his biographer said that ‘Errantry and tourneying have given way to formal contests.’

At first the ‘England’ team was soundly trounced because they were the new kids on the block and had to learn strategy and to work cohesively, but William was a good general as well as an extremely gifted individual fighter and he soon had his company knocked into shape so that they became invincible on the tourney field. William’s biographer details several fascinating incidents from this period of William’s life. There’s the well known one about William getting his head stuck inside his helm after a particularly vigorous tourney at Pleurs and having to put his head down on an anvil while a blacksmith worked the helmet off. ‘the smith with his hammers, wrenches and pincers, was going about the task of tearing off his helmet and cutting through the metal strips, which were quite staved in, smashed and battered.’ Another incident tells of knights all dancing together while waiting for the tourney to begin. A young herald who was singing an accompaniment, uttered the refrain ‘Marshal give me a horse!’ William promptly left the gathering, mounted his own horse, galloped off to where some knights were practising, and having tumbled one of the hapless men off his mount, brought the beast back and gave it to the herald. Another incident shows William at a post-tournament feast. He arrived there on a particularly large and handsome horse which he gave to a lad outside to look after. Unfortunately someone stole the horse and William had to run after the thief on foot. There followed a nocturnal chase through the streets and down side alleys. William finally caught his man, gave him a thrashing and recovered his horse. When the other party-goers wanted to string the man up, William dissuaded them, saying that the thrashing was enough punishment (since the man has lost the sight of an eye).

William success was a two-edged sword though. The other knights in the Young King’s retinue became jealous of his popularity and decided to put a fly in the ointment. The Young King himself was also peeved at William’s glory because he felt it put him in the shade, which was not the name of the game. William’s jealous rivals suggested to their young lord that William was having an affair with his wife, Marguerite, daughter of the King of France. William was denied the right to defend himself and banished in disgrace from the Angevin court. Did William have an affair with his lord’s wife? We don’t know. On the one hand there was the accusation and the banishment. Marguerite herself was sent back to Paris. On the other, William was known to have some very jealous rivals and would he have been mad enough to ruin his career by committing a treasonable offence? Whatever the story behind his banishment, William made use of his time by going on pilgrimage to the shrine of the Three Magi at Cologne. Other men offered him position in their retinues but he declined them.

The Young King rebelled against his father once more – the inter-family quarrelling about lands and power was as continuous as dusk following dawn, and suddenly William’s military skills were desperately needed. He was summoned to return by the Young King, and did so, although he arrived via visits to the English and French court and bearing letters confirming the established sovereigns’ trust in his good character. William served the Young King throughout the strife, even helping young Henry to rob shrines when the money to pay the mercenaries ran out, the most scandalous being the robbing of the shrine of Our Lady at Rocamadour. But if money was running out, so was luck and time. The Young King contracted dysentery and died in Martel in June of 1183. At the last he was repentant of his sins and begged William to take his mantle to Jerusalem and lay it at the tomb of the Holy Sepulchre in expiation. William agreed – he had sins of his own to atone for – and set out almost immediately, pausing only to see his lord buried and to have a meeting with King Henry II.

William spent two years in the Holy Land. Nothing is known about his time there, other than that he vowed his body to the Templars (although he didn’t take Templar vows as such) and he bought his own burial shrouds of fine silk. These he kept with him for more than thirty years and told no one about them, not even his closest companions or his family.

On his return around 1186, he took up service again with Henry II, who was glad to have him back and gave him lands in the north of England and the care of at least two wards to give him responsibility and income. One was Jean D’Earley, an adolescent youth in need of fostering until he came of age. William made him his squire. Jean, even after he came into his inheritance, remained with William and became one of his staunchest supporters and friends. Another was Heloise of Kendal, an heiress with lands around Lake Windermere. Henry II may well have expected William to marry the lady, settle down in the north and keep an eye to the Scots border for him. William did indeed spend some time in those parts and began the process of founding a priory there on his own lands at Cartmel. But he didn’t take Heloise to wife, and we know from a letter Henry II wrote to William, that William had his eye on a greater prize than the lady Heloise, with whom he remained ‘just good friends.’ Henry promised William the heiress Denise de Berri, if William would come and fight for him.

William duly emerged from his northern retreat and rejoined Henry on the front line, but his interest was not on Denise, but on another heiress, Isabelle de Clare, who had vast lands in Normandy, on the Welsh borders and in Southern Ireland. Her mother was an Irish Princess and her father was Richard Strongbow, a great Norman baron, adventurer and warrior. Henry promised William he could have Isabelle, but it went no further than a promise.

The usual family wars meant that Henry found himself fighting his son Richard, and Richard, with the help of King Philip of France had gained the upper hand. A sick, worn out, angry and dejected Henry had to flee from le Mans as his son moved in to take the city. Richard was keen to capture his father and dashed after him. William stayed back to cover Henry’s retreat and when Richard was in danger of catching up and pushing through, William charged him and killed his horse. ‘When the count saw him coming, he shouted out at the top of his voice: ‘God’s legs Marshal! Do not kill me, that would be a wicked thing to do, since you find me here completely unarmed.’ The Marshal replied ‘Indeed I won’t. Let the Devil kill you! I shall not be the one to do it.’ This said, he struck the count’s horse a blow with his lance, and the horse died instantly.’ When Richard later protested that the Marshal had tried to kill him, William replied that he was not so much in his dotage that he didn’t know where to stick a lance!

Henry died not long after this and Richard, recognising the value of the loyalty that William had shown, promoted him to the ranks of the magnates by giving him Isabelle de Clare. His father might have promised, but Richard actually gave.

There were more than 20 years between William and Isabelle. He was 41, she was about 17, but their match seems to have been compatible and love does seem to have grown from it, from what we can glean from meagre mentions in William’s biographical poem, the Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal. William married Isabelle in London, possibly at St Paul’s Cathedral in the summer of 1189 and then straightaway took her on honeymoon to a place called Stoke D’Abernon where one of his friends had a manor house. Here they stayed for several weeks getting to know each other and setting up their household, before returning to London to greet King Richard in the September.

The following year, William brought Isabelle with him to Normandy where in April she gave birth to the first of their ten children – a son named William for his father. A second son, Richard, followed in approximately 1191, then a daughter Mahelt (or Matilda), then two more sons, Gilbert and Walter. During this time, William was busy in the field serving Richard. When Richard went on crusade, William remained in England as one of several co-justiciars, responsible for keep the peace, and it was perhaps partly for this reason that Richard had raised him on high. At the same time he also raised William’s cleric brother Henry to the bishopric of Exeter. Unfortunately, William’s older brother John, had cast his lot with Richard’s brother, John Count of Mortain, Prince John, and died in 1194 – probably killed at the siege of Marlborough castle.

Although a great magnate, who could play the magnificent lord, William was comfortable within his own skin. He knew the things that mattered. Although as a mighty lord of the realm he could have chosen to use a huge fancy seal on his documents, he continued to use the small equestrian one that had served him as a penniless young knight. Perhaps to remind him where he came from – who knows. John’s reign was a complex and troubled one. Due to matters of personality and politics, John lost Normandy to the French. This gave William a serious dilemma. In order to retain his Norman lands, he had to swear allegiance to Philip of France. But this compromised him because he was then unable to fight for John, should John invade Normandy and try to regain his lands. John was angry with William for swearing to Philip and to cut a long involved story short, he took William’s two oldest sons as hostages for William’s good behaviour. Thus, history repeated itself. William himself had been a hostage. Now William Junior and young Richard Marshal were being kept at the King’s pleasure. William handed over his sons with seeming insouciance, saying that he was loyal to John and that a finger that wasn’t cut, could be bandaged, and would still be whole once the bandage was removed. He decamped to Ireland with Isabelle and the rest of his family – except for Mahelt, whom he married off just before they sailed, to Hugh Bigod, heir to the Earldom of Norfolk. She would have been been at the oldest not quite fifteen, but it is likely that she was actually thirteen or fourteen.

Once in Ireland, William set about sorting out his wife’s inheritance of Leinster. It was her dowry and what she would live on when he died. Since there was a twenty year age gap, it behoved him to see her well provided for. He had begun founding a port on the River Barrow that was to become New Ross and was to bring increased income into Leinster. The Justiciar of Ireland, a lord called Meillyr FitzHenry, was King John’s man and William’s enemy. Like John, he saw William’s arrival in Ireland as worrying. Meillyr had been encroaching on Leinster lands and had been doing much as he liked, but all this was in jeopardy now that the absentee landlord had shown up.

William had a real struggle on his hands with Ireland. Many of the barons did not have affinity or kinship ties with him and they were insular. They didn’t want some Johnny come lately tourney champion muscling in on their territory. The King tried to bring William down. He ordered him and Meillyr back to England, to the court, to settle their differences. William suspected something was going down and he left his best men behind to guard Isabelle, who was by now pregnant with their ninth child. He was wise to do so. Within a week of his leaving for England, Meillyr’s men, under instruction from their master, descended on New Ross and burned it down. They also set about a programme of plundering William’s lands. Fortunately, Jean D’Earley and the knights William had prudently left behind, were able to see off Meillyr’s men.

This was not what John and Meillyr wanted. The latter was sent back to Ireland from the English court with orders that William’s best men were to join their master in England. They declined to do so. William asked John’s permission to return to Ireland as Meillyr had done, but he was refused with malicious glee.

As winter descended, sea crossings to Ireland became very rough, so no news was forthcoming. John taunted William, inventing stories about how he had heard that William’s men had been defeated and killed and how the Countess was now a prisoner. William had to bear all this, unable to retaliate, not knowing if it were true, but he kept his cool and used the lessons of implacable calm learned from his father. He didn’t kick over the traces and he didn’t reply to the provocation. When news finally did come from Ireland, it was good news. Meillyr had gone down to defeat and William’s family and his knights were all safe. William never put a step wrong. He didn’t crow about his victory, merely sought quiet permission to go back to Ireland. John yielded and William went.

The barons wanted a written guarantee that John would observe their rights and govern in a proper manner. This is vastly simplifying the case, but is part of the essential drive. John was brought to sign that most famous of all documents – The Magna Carta. William is thought to have been behind some of the points involved. Whether he was or not, he was certainly involved in the negotiations between the two sides. John made moves to have the charter annulled because he said he had signed it under duress. Many of the barons continued in rebellion because they said John wouldn’t abide by the terms of the charter and true civil war broke out. William remained loyal to King John but his son, William Junior, chose the other side, as did his daughter’s marriage family the Bigods. The French King’s ambitious son, Louis, made a play for the English throne and the rebel barons offered it to him. They had managed to seize London and were in a bullish mood. Louis invaded to a strong welcome and set about making Southern England his own.

William continued stoically and steadily to support John as the country lurched deeper into civil war. Louis wasn’t having it all his own way and was finding it impossible to take Dover Castle. But then, following a few days of severe illness related to a stomach problem, John died at Newark, leaving his nine year old son, Henry, as heir to the disputed throne. Something had to be done and fast. The young boy was hastily crowned at Gloucester Abbey, using a crown belonging to his mother and various bits of regalia cobbled from here and there (his father’s treasure having gone AWOL, either while crossing the treacherous sands of the Wellstream Estuary, or having been looted while John lay dying at Newark.

Someone had to take the reins on behalf of the young Henry III and William was voted into the job. The only other real candidate was the Earl of Chester and although he was the younger man (William was by now around seventy to Chester’s mid forties). Chester had a sharper personality and often rubbed people up the wrong way, whereas most barons could work with William.

William thus set about reclaiming the country for the young king. He had breaches to close, an economy that had to begin functioning again, and he had to get rid of the French. He re-issued Magna Carta and offered amnesties to all who were willing to come and talk. He paid the army in what was left of the royal treasure at Corfe, and when he heard that Louis of France had split his forces and sent half of them up to Lincoln, he saw his chance and went for it. Under his command, the royal army came to Lincoln and here was fought the most decisive battle on English soil between Hastings and the Battle of Britain. If William’s army had lost on that day, a French king would have sat on the English throne. As it was, the French were severely trounced and the royalists were victorious. Louis was brought to sue for peace, although he still wasn’t entirely convinced and the royal army had to gird itself for battle again – this time at sea. Louis’ wife had sent him reinforcements, but an English fleet put out from Sandwich and destroyed the French supply ships. Defeated and with no more aces up his sleeve, Louis sued for peace and departed from England, leaving the country to the process of healing and repair.

William remained at the helm of government for another couple of years, but at the end of 1218 he fell ill in London and it soon became clear that this was going to be his last illness. Knowing this, he faced up to it with the same steadfastness, courage and dignity he had brought to every aspect of his life, and he had himself rowed upriver to his favourite manner of Caversham. Here, surrounded by his family, he spent the late winter and spring of 1219, making arrangements for the governing of the country, gradually cutting his ties with the world. His daughters arrived from their various marital households. There is a very moving scene in the Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal where William asks for them to come to his chamber and sing for him, which they do, even though they are heartbroken.

Part of William’s preparation to die involved taking Templar vows. He must have known his death was on the cards – perhaps he’d started feeling unwell earlier than he let on to his family. A year before his death, he had Templar robes made, and kept them at the back of his wardrobe. ‘without anyone else knowing of its existence.’ Now, as death approached, he had them brought out and announced his intention of dying as a Templar. He also sent Jean D’Early to fetch the burial shrouds from a chest in Wales where they had been laid for safekeeping. After thirty years they once more saw the light of day and William told those gathered around him how he had brought them from the Holy Land. He was concerned that they weren’t ruined during the funeral journey and ordered his men to buy coarse grey burel cloth in which to cover them in case of rain.

He duly took the Templar oath, which meant that he could no longer accept the embrace of a woman. No longer could Isabelle comfort him with her touch. In the Histoire, there is an immensely moving parting scene between Isabelle and William where he tells her to kiss him one final time because she will never be able to do so again. ‘The earl, who was generous, gentle and kind towards his wife, the countess, said to her: ‘Fair lady, kiss me now, for you will never be able to do it again.’ She stepped forward and kissed him, and both of them wept.’

His body was borne in procession to Reading, to Staines, to the Temple Church in London and there interred with other knights of the order. His effigy is still there for those who wish to visit and pay their respects, although William’s bones no longer lie beneath it. The graves were disturbed by Henry III’s building work a few decades after William’s burial, and there have been other upheavals since, including bomb damage in World War II. Incendiaries almost put paid to the Temple Church, but it survived, and so did William’s effigy – battered but unbroken. Two of his sons keep him company – Gilbert and Walter, and they do not lack for visitors. Some tourists, are drawn to the church because of The Da Vinci Code, not knowing the true greatness at their feet, but others are aware of their history, and come for William. Eight hundred years later, The Greatest Knight still lives and keeps vigil.


Short Biography

Marshall was the son of John FitzGilbert (a junior noble). Born somewhere around 1146-1147 in Newbury Castle, the knight’s early childhood passed through turbulent and unpredictable circumstances before he eventually became a great servant. His birth happened in the historical period known as “The Anarchy” – it was a time when two rivals – King Stephen & Empress Matilda – competed fiercely for the throne.

Young Marshall escapes death by the skin of his teeth

Initially, the father of Marshall put his weight behind Stephen’s struggles to claim the throne. But due to a later change of mind, Marshall’s father backed Matilda’s side. When Stephen’s army laid siege to his father’s castle, they took little Marshall and held him, hostage, hoping to force his father to surrender. At that time, Marshall was probably 4-5 years old.

Death nearly visited the young man due to his father’s hard-heartedness. With the boy in their hands, Stephen’s army threatened to kill him. They kept the young Marshall in a torturing device (trebuchet) and vowed to crush him dead.

In the long run, Stephen (probably out of compassion), decided to release the innocent kid back to his father under the Winchester Peace Agreement of 1153.

William Marshall’s Journey to Knighthood

When Marshall reached the age of 13, he was taken to his mother’s cousin – William de Tancarcille – to undergo knighthood training. Tancarcille’s home was the official training ground for knights. The knight school became the proving ground on which William Marshall’s rich story found its setting.

The training taught Marshall the knightly code of conduct – the chivalric codes. There, he learned military skills in horse riding, weaponry, medieval laws, and many other important military tactics.

Having mastered the art of knighthood, William Marshall was officially made a knight in 1166. He kicked off his career by being a tournament knight. This was a breakthrough moment for Marshall his accomplishments included winning several bouts, capturing enemies, taking ransom, and gaining reputation. After a while, Marshall became the best version of himself, exuding confidence, fearlessness, and dignity.



How Abraham Lincoln Won Re-Election During the Civil War

Despite presiding over the bloody and tumultuous Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln never tried to postpone either the 1862 midterm elections (in which his Republican Party lost seats in Congress) or the 1864 presidential election. 

“We cannot have free government without elections,” he explained, 𠇊nd if the rebellion could force us to forego or postpone a national election, it might fairly claim to have already conquered and ruined us.”

Fealty to democracy, however, did not automatically endear him to voters, and his popularity waned as the twin victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg became ever more distant. Critics particularly blasted a spring 1864 invasion of Virginia, when General Ulysses S. Grant’s force suffered so many casualties in such a short period that even Lincoln’s wife referred to him by the unflattering nickname, “the Butcher.” “The dissatisfaction with Mr. Lincoln grows to abhorrence,” an opponent wrote around that time.

Knowing that no president had won a second term since Andrew Jackson in 1832, challengers to Lincoln popped up both within the Republican Party and outside it. His own treasury secretary, Salmon P. Chase, began covertly campaigning against him as early as December 1863, garnering the support of several Republican congressmen who likewise believed in more aggressive measures to end slavery, use Black troops and implement Southern reconstruction. Chase soon was forced to drop out, done in by the release of two anti-Lincoln pamphlets that caused a public backlash against his candidacy.

Campaign poster depicting the Democratic ticket led by George McClellan

A few hundred Republicans unhappy with Lincoln, including abolitionist Frederick Douglass and suffragist Elizabeth Cady Stanton, next decided to form their own party, which they named Radical Democracy. Meeting in Cleveland in May 1864, they nominated for president General John C. Frémont, who had freed the slaves owned by Missouri rebels in 1861—well before the Emancipation Proclamation— only to be overturned by the White House. Among other things, the Radical Democracy Party called for equality regardless of race and confiscation of Confederate property.

Another, larger threat came from the Democrats, who mercilessly lambasted the military draft and emancipation of enslaved people, while also accusing Lincoln of violating civil liberties and strategically mismanaging the war. As part of their party platform, approved in late August at their convention in Chicago, they even called for a settlement with the Confederacy. 

�ter four years of failure to restore the Union by the experiment of war,” the platform stated, “justice, humanity, liberty and the public welfare demand that immediate efforts be made for a cessation of hostilities.”

For their presidential nominee, the Democrats chose George B. McClellan, Lincoln’s notoriously cautious former general-in-chief of the army who had been fired after failing to pursue the retreating Confederates from Antietam in 1862. An able organizer and trainer of troops, McClellan held a personal grudge against Lincoln. Yet he refused to endorse his party’s peace platform, writing that he 𠇌ould not look in the face of my gallant comrades … and tell them that their labors and the sacrifices of so many of our slain and wounded brethren had been in vain.”

Hoping to broaden his appeal among Democrats, Lincoln ran on the so-called National Unity ticket instead of as a Republican. At its convention in Baltimore, the party selected him a new running mate, rejecting Vice President Hannibal Hamlin in favor of Andrew Johnson, the Democratic governor of Union-occupied Tennessee. At the same time, it stole some of Frémont’s thunder by supporting a constitutional amendment to ban slavery and by insisting on the South’s unconditional surrender.

Anti-Lincoln campaign pamphlet

Nonetheless, Lincoln did not like his prospects, having received a number of pessimistic reports from political insiders. “I am going to be beaten … and unless some great change takes place, badly beaten,” he purportedly told a White House visitor. Reiterating on August 23 that defeat appeared 𠇎xceedingly probable,” he made the members of his cabinet sign a pledge to cooperate with the new president-elect to save the Union before the inauguration.

Just a week-and-a-half later, General William T. Sherman captured Atlanta, and this was followed up by a major Union victory in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Suddenly, with the Confederacy on the ropes, the Democratic platform seemed harebrained. Meanwhile, Lincoln received an added boost when the foundering Frémont withdrew from the race.

In keeping with the protocol of the era, neither Lincoln nor McClellan openly campaigned for the nation’s highest office. But their supporters let the vitriol fly, with Republicans attacking the Democrats as essentially traitorous, and with the Democrats playing on fears of racial intermingling. One prominent anti-Lincoln cartoon, for example, depicted white men dancing at a ball with Black women.

Citizens went to the polls on November 8, re-electing Lincoln with 55 percent of the popular vote. He won 22 states and 212 electoral votes, whereas McClellan triumphed in only Kentucky, New Jersey and Delaware (for a total of 21 electoral votes). Notably, Lincoln received overwhelming support from the men in uniform, who voted by absentee ballot or by traveling home on furlough. 

“The election having passed off quietly, no bloodshed or riot throughout the land, is a victory worth more to the country than a battle won,” Grant wrote afterwards. Indeed, with Lincoln at the helm, the Confederacy collapsed the following April.



Kommentaar:

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