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William Marshall is considered by many to be the epitome of knighthood and chivalry as well as being an outstanding ambassador for England during the turbulent twelfth and thirteenth centuries From a virtually obscure beginning William evolves into one of the most dominant stately figures of the time in England During his brilliant military and political career William served as knight for the courts of Kings Henry II Richard the Lion-hearted and John William was born around 1147 to John Marshall and Sybil of Salisbury during the reign of King Stephen His father John Marshall served as a court officer and eventually earned the status of a minor baron John Marshall was a shrewd soldier and a skilled negotiator He was the premier example of lordship in Williams life Williams relationship with his father would be brief and he would never experience him beyond his childhood John Marshall died in 1165 John would leave a legacy behind that would influence Williams life and spark the future of his outstanding career both as a soldier and a courtier At age thirteen William was sent to William De Tancarville to begin his military training for the knighthood William De Tancarville was known throughout Europe as one of the grander patrons of knighthood In the Tancarville household William would learn courtliness in addition to all other prerequisites found in a professional soldier of the day After six years of being a squire in the Tancarville Household Marshall was knighted in 1166 In 1170 King Henry II appointed William to the head of his sons mesnie or military household William was responsible for protecting training and maintaining the military household for Prince Henry In 1173 William knighted the young Henry becoming his lord of chivalry During this time period Marshall earns many victories on the tournament field and here he first establishes himself as one of the most prolific and gallant knights
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