William Marshal

William Marshal 1147-1219 Founder of New Ross , The Hook Lighthouse and Numerous other important structures which are still standing today. William Marshal :- Politician, Baron, Magna Carta, Regent of the Realm, Earl of Pembroke, Knight Templar, The greatest Knight of the Medieval Period. William Marshal became a celebrated tournament champion, winning over 500 tournaments. […]

William Marshal 1147-1219 Founder of New Ross , The Hook Lighthouse and Numerous other important structures which are still standing today. William Marshal :- Politician, Baron, Magna Carta, Regent of the Realm, Earl of Pembroke, Knight Templar, The greatest Knight of the Medieval Period. William Marshal became a celebrated tournament champion, winning over 500 tournaments. William Marshal rose from obscurity to the highest position in the land.

Hook Lighthouse - The oldest operational lighthouse in the world
Hook Lighthouse – The oldest operational lighthouse in the world

He was A real life Lancelot – Brave, Chivalrous and a powerful character behind the Throne. In the middle ages it was a time of Kings and Queens and court nobility, brutal battles and barbarity. William Marshal befriended the great figures of the day, from King Henry II , Richard the Lionheart and the infamous King John. He also helped to negotiate the terms of the Magna Carta in June 1215-The first Bill of Rights, Which, within 10 weeks was rescinded by King John and Pope Innocent III. William Marshal Re-introduced the Magna Carta with his own Seal in 1217 .

It was knights like William Marshal, who stemmed the tide of Royal tyranny, ensuring that no one person is above the law and helped to create the world we now live in. History records many posthumous tributes to William Marshal, all Laudable. William Marshal died on the 14th May 1219 aged 72 .(803 Years ago) Most Famous people in history both men and women after a period of time are generally forgotten, with the exception of very few.

William Marshal would also have been forgotten. But nearly six and a half centuries later, 642 years after William Marshal’s death in 1219. Peter Meyler walked into Sotheby’s Auction House in London on Wednesday 6th February 1861. Peter discovered the sole surviving copy of the Thirteenth (13th ) century Biography “The History of William Marshal” which was published 1226 (7 years after his death) This discovery brought the famous exploits of the world’s greatest Knight “William Marshal” to a whole new audience. This was a thrilling, intimate portrait of one of history’s most illustrious Knights.

A remarkable man. The birth of the knightly class to which he belonged. The forging of the English and Irish nations. He promoted the rule of law and shaped history. SO , the man that founded the town of New Ross County Wexford in (1207) along with his wife princess Isabel de Clare, also built St. Marys church, the first bridge over the river Barrow, The Hook Lighthouse, Tintern Abbey, Duiske Abbey, Carlow Castle, Kilkenny Castle and numerous other structures.

St Mary's Church - New Ross
St Mary’s Church – New Ross

As a great historical medieval figure, we should continue to remember William Marshal who contributed so much to the south east of Ireland. He had the Hook lighthouse built over 800 years ago and is the oldest working lighthouse in the world and still stands tall helping ships to safely sail our south east coast for over eight centuries. Of all the historical figures that came to Ireland, William Marshal left an indelible footprint on the whole of the south east of Ireland A proud tribute to William Marshal to this day.

A newly formed group, New Ross History Group are holding an event celebrating the life of this great man. This remembrance weekend will be an interesting insight into this story and an emergence of a twist to the story which will link some of the names mentioned to people you would never have thought.

If you are interested in attending, you can book here: Book Now 

If you would rather book in person, you can drop in to the Visit New Ross office at 4 Mary Street, New Ross.

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