The Death of Patrick of Salisbury and the Rise of William Marshal. A Guest Post for Medievalists.net
‘When the Marshal saw the blow delivered that killed his uncle, he almost went out of his mind in his grief, because he was unable to reach in good time the man who had killed him; he would have gladly avenged his death. He did not wait until he was fully armed. With only his hauberk on, but otherwise unarmed, he launched himself into a violent attack. With the lance he held in his hand he went to engage the first of them and knocked him off his horse. He was bent on exacting violent revenge; never was a starving lion so savage towards its prey…’ ~ from The History of William Marshal
27th March 1168 must have been one of the darkest days of William Marshal’s life. On this day his maternal uncle, Patrick, Earl of Salisbury, was killed in an ambush in Poitou, under William’s own eyes. William himself, who fought hard to avenge him, received a bad wound in his thigh and was taken captive with little prospect of winning his freedom. The killing of Earl Patrick was by far the most shocking incident of the 1168 revolt. In the long run, however, the day’s events turned out to be fortunate for his nephew. They were to be the first step towards William’s brilliant career...
Recently we have written an article for medievalists.net about the beginnings of William Marshal's career and how he became the tutor in arms of Henry the Young King. Check out the link: