William the Marshal (c.1146-1219) (don’t shout at me about the ‘the’. William THE Marshall. Winnie THE Poo. This is the way life is for me) was a younger son of a minor lord in a backwater of England. His lack of importance was made quite clear when, strapped to a trebuchet at the age of 4, he heard his father chose his castle rather than his own son’s life. We love the story of William because it is about how honesty, constancy, and can sometimes win the keys to the kingdom. Of course, William’s reputation has been coloured by the glowing contemporary poem of his life, and we’ve come to realise that he was not simply a bluff military man – he was also a master player of the medieval game of chivalry and the more pragmatic dance of land and power.