by AJ Mullowney
14th May 2019 marks the 800th anniversary of the death of William Marshal. He was known as the greatest knight of England and served as regent of the kingdom during the boyhood of King Henry III. At the age of 43 he married Isabel de Clare, aged 17, the daughter of Strongbow, Lord of Leinster. He thus eventually inherited Leinster. While in Leinster he made Kilkenny his centre of power and built the castle there. He also built the castles at Carlow, Ferns and Kildare. He had 5 sons and 5 daughters during his 30 year marriage to Isabel. As a result of a dispute with the bishop of Ferns, the bishop is said to have placed a curse on the sons of William to the effect that they would never have sons. None of William’s sons had male heirs. William’s last son, Richard, died of wounds he received in battle on the Curragh on 1st April 1234. The lordship of Leinster was divided amongst William’s 5 daughters. William Marshal died at Caversham in Berkshire and was buried in the Temple Church in London where his tomb is still to be seen.