Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 36.djvu/237

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Marshal
Marshal
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petuity should be issued till he was of full age. On 14 May 1219 Marshal died at Caversham, near Reading. Shortly before his death he had assumed the habit of a Templar (Hist. des Ducs de Normandie, p. 207; Histoire, 18119-982), and by his own directions he was buried in the Temple Church at London, where his recumbent effigy is still preserved. Camden quotes one line of his epitaph thus:

  Miles eram Martis, Mars omnes vicerat armis.

Marshal's biographer refers constantly to his master with manifest pride as one

Qui tant esteit proc & leials,

and elsewhere makes Richard say of him,

li Mar.
Ne fu unques malveis ne fals.
(Hist. l. 9857.)

Uncompromising fidelity appears, indeed, to have been the most marked feature of Marshal's character. For fifty years he served Henry II, his three sons, and his grandson, and to each in the hour of his bitterest need proved himself the most faithful of friends. In his youth and to his contemporaries he was the most perfect type of chivalry; in his old age and in history he appears as one of the noblest of medieval soldier-statesmen. From the time that he acquired his earldom he filled the foremost place in England and Ireland, but while he never faltered in his loyalty he never, even in the worst days of John, compromised his honour. His regency was the worthy finish of his long life. In the attainment of the Great Charter he did not play a specially prominent part, for though he wisely recognised its need, he belonged by training and sympathy more to the age that was past than to that which was just beginning. His great and special work was the pacification of the realm after the period of disorder. This task he accomplished by the firm but conciliatory policy of his three short years of rule, and it is because he thus made possible the realisation of the charters that he deserves an honourable place among the founders of English liberty.

In person Marshal was tall and well made, with comely features and brown hair; so dignified in carriage that he might have been emperor of Rome (ib. ll. 715-36). One chronicler calls him ‘a most valiant soldier of world-wide renown’ (Ann. Mon. iv. 61). Matthew Paris (iii. 43; iv. 493) quotes two lines from some verses by one Gervase de Melkely:
Sum, quem Saturnum sibi sensit Hibernia, Solem Anglia, Mercurium Normannia, Gallia Martem.

Matthew Paris also refers to an epitaph by Henry of Avranches, which is now lost. Marshal's fame was hardly less great in France than at home, and on his death Philip Augustus said of him:

                              mes li Mar.
       Fui, al mein dit, li plus leials,
       Veir, que jeo unques connuisse
       En nul lui ou je unques fuisse.
                        (Hist. ll. 19149-52.)

By the death of his elder brother in 1194 Marshal had acquired the lands of his family, chiefly in Berkshire and Wiltshire. They were not, however, to be compared with the vast inheritance of his wife, which comprised in Ireland almost the whole of Leinster, great estates in South Wales and in the Welsh marches, and the lands of Orbec and Longueville in Normandy. From the last he seems to have held the title of Count of Longueville (Recueil des Historiens de la France, xxiii. 435). His only important foundation was the priory of Cartmel, which he established for the souls of Henry II and King Henry the younger ‘his lord,’ and also for those of King Richard, his ancestors, and his wife. He also founded Graiguenamanagh or Duisk, in co. Kilkenny, for Cistercians, in 1212; an abbey at Bannow Bay, Wexford, which was called Tintern, and commemorated his deliverance from a storm by sea; the priory of St. Augustine at Kilkenny; and a house for the Hospitallers at Lough Garmon. To many other houses he made lesser benefactions.

Marshal married in August 1189 Isabella or Eva, daughter of Richard de Clare, earl of Pembroke and Striguil (d. 1176), by Eva, daughter of Dermot, king of Leinster. Isabella was born in 1173, and, dying in 1220, was buried at Tintern, Monmouthshire (Chart. St. Mary, Dublin, ii. 142). By her Marshal had five sons and five daughters. Of the former, who were all successively earls of Pembroke and marshals of England, the two elder, William, second earl, and Richard, third earl, are noticed separately.

Gilbert Marshal, fourth Earl of Pembroke and Striguil (d. 1241), the third son, was of weakly constitution, and originally intended for an ecclesiastical career. He took minor orders, and received the livings of Orford, Suffolk, 30 May 1225, and Wingham, Kent, 19 Sept. 1228 (cf. Histoire, ll. 14889-14892). He joined his brother Richard in his opposition to the king's foreign advisers in 1233, and acted for his brother in Ireland, where he won over all except the Lacys and their followers to his side. After his brother's death he passed over to Wales (Ann. Mon. iv. 80; Sweetman, i. 2109), and through the