Another Moderate Republican's Reputation Bites the Dust?
One Swallow Does Not Make a Summer, But...

William Gates and William Marshall

I have long wanted to write a paper comparing the careers of William Marshall in the twelfth century and William Gates in the twentieth, as a way of making points about the embedding of the economy in society and about the different channels into which entrepreneurship and enterprise are directed--what a young man on the make who wants to be seriously upwardly mobile does and where he goes in different eras.

Now I find myself sitting next to David Hult of the French Department, who may be the person here at Berkeley to talk to about L'Histoire de Guillaume le Maréchal...

From Wikipedia:

William Marshal, 1st Earl of Pembroke (1146 – 14 May 1219), also called William the Marshal (Guillaume le Maréchal), was an Anglo Norman soldier and statesman. He has been described as the "greatest knight that ever lived."... He served five kings — Henry the Young King, Henry II, Richard the Lionheart, John and Henry III — and rose from obscurity to become one of the most powerful men in Europe....

As a younger son of a minor nobleman, William had no lands or fortune to inherit, and had to make his own way in life... serve[d] in the household of William de Tancarville... then served in the household of his mother's brother, Patrick, Earl of Salisbury. In 1168 William's uncle was killed in an ambush by Guy of Lusignan. William was injured and captured... ransomed by Eleanor of Aquitaine... knighted in 1167... [made] a good living out of winning tournaments... by capturing and ransoming opponents.... By 1170 his stature had risen so far that he was appointed tutor in chivalry for Henry the Young King, son of Henry II of England.... William stood by Henry during the Revolt of 1173–1174, during which he knighted the Young King.... William Marshal was accused of undue familiarity with Marguerite of France... ask[ed] for trial by combat... but was refused... crusading in the Holy Land from 1183 to 1186... rejoined the court of King Henry II, and now served the father through the many rebellions of his remaining sons (Richard, Geoffrey, and John)... unhorsed the undutiful Richard in a skirmish. William could have killed the prince but killed his horse instead, to make that point clear....

In August 1189, when he was 43, King Richard arranged for him to marry the second-richest heiress in England, Isabel de Clare (1172-1240), the 17-year-old daughter of Strongbow. Her father had been Earl of Pembroke, and this title was granted to William.... The marriage transformed the landless knight from a minor family into one of the richest men in the kingdom... included in the council of regency which the King appointed on his departure for the Third Crusade in 1190....

William supported King John when he became king in 1199, but they had a falling out when William did homage to King Philip II of France for his Norman lands.... Despite these differences, it was William on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede who dealt with the barons who made King John agree to the Magna Carta, and he was one of the few English noblemen to remain loyal to the royal side through the First Barons' War. It was William whom King John trusted on his deathbed to make sure John's nine-year-old son Henry would get the throne... named by the king's council (the chief barons who had remained loyal to King John in the First Barons' War) to serve as both regent of the 9 year old King Henry III, and regent of the kingdom... prosecuted the war against Prince Louis and the rebel barons... battle of Lincoln.... Self-restraint and compromise were the key-notes of Marshal's policy... reissued Magna Carta....

Fulfilling the vow he had made while on crusade, he was invested into the order of the Knights Templar on his deathbed. He died on May 14, 1219 at Caversham, and was buried in the Temple Church in London.... After his death, his eldest son, also named William, commissioned a biography of his father to be written called L'Histoire de Guillaume le Marechal. This book, written so soon after his death, has preserved (and probably enhanced) the legend of William Marshal for posterity...

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