William the Marshal, earl of Pembroke, was one of the most noteworthy knights of the Middle Ages. After almost being killed by King Stephen when he was a child, William grew up to be a prominent tournament competitor, and then a soldier, serving in several campaigns. After the death of King John in 1216, William fulfilled the task of regent for the young Henry III, and led English forces to victory at the Battle of Lincoln in 1217. For a more complete biography of William’s life click here.

History of William Marshal - From Matthew Paris's Chronica Major, Marshal unhorses Baldwin de Guisnes.

The deeds of William the Marshal were recorded for posterity a few years after his death in the Histoire Guillaume le Mareschal, a verse account of 19,214 lines in rhyming couplets, written in Middle French. The writer, only known to us as John, was commissioned to compose the poem by the earl’s family. The writer was familiar to William and could have been an eyewitness to some of the later exploits of the English knight.

The poem is an excellent source for medieval military history. By the count of one historian, there are about 3150 lines dealing with tournaments, and some 8350 dealing with war.

Here are three sections from the poem, in English translation and in the original Middle French text:

The tournament at Lagny-sur-Marne (lines 4750-4970) 

The taking of Le Mans and the flight of Henry II (lines 8381-8864) 

The Battle of Lincoln, 1217 (lines 16131-16976) 

These texts were translated by Stewart Gregory, with the assistance of David Crouch. The full text and translation of this work will be published soon by the Anglo-Norman Text Society in a three volume set. We thank Ian Short of the Anglo-Norman Text Society and David Crouch for their permission and assistance in republishing these section.

Several works maybe helpful for the reader when examining the life and career of William the Marshal:

Crouch, David, William Marshal: Court, Career and Chivalry in the Angevin Empire 1147-1219 (London, 1990)

Duby, Georges, William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry (London, 1986)

Gillingham, John, “War and Chivalry in the History of William the Marshal”, Thirteenth Century England v.2 (1991), p. 1-13.

Painter, Sidney, William Marshal: Knight-Errant, Baron, and Regent of England (New York, 1933)

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.


Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.


Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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