Born in Ireland (1146), William's father was a “Marshal” to The King. Responsible for the supervision of his palace and keeping track of vassals conscripted to military service – William grew up in a life of good food and respectability. At 13 years of age, William was sent to his father's Cousin in France (to serve as his Squire). Learning first hand “The Arts of War”, the young Marshal soon was shown to be a force in the Tournaments. Well trained in the military arts, William grew into the “model” of Chivalry. Falling under the eye of Eleanor of Aquitaine (wife of King Henry II), William was given the title of military to the King's son (Henry The Younger).
The young man's death in 1183 would have finished his career. However, he had made such an impression in Court that Henry kept him on as his military adviser. During the civil war between Henry and his older son (Richard - over succession), William met him in battle (unhorsing him). Sparing his life, William did not know that he had save the future “Lionheart”. Upon the eventual succession of Richard as King, William would become his most loyal servant. Richard rewarded him with vast land tracts, wealth and a beautiful wife.
When Richard left for The Crusades, William was made one of 4 Justiciars (tasked with advising Richard's “temporary” replacement. It was Richard who raised the enormous “ransom” for Richard (when he was captured).With Richard's death later in battle (1199), William still served his brother John (the new King). Sent to fight in France, William remained until the last of English control of France fell. This caused a “Baronal War” in England over King John's inability to protect his Lords and Nobles French properties. Throughout this Period, William still remained loyal to his King.
Made Regent to John's son (upon his death), he restored some of The Plantagenet Line in England. After Baronal Wars, William reconciled most of the Houses that were in rebellion with The Crown. William also stabilized the Royal finances. Always admiring The Templar Order, upon his death in 1219 – he was made an honorary Knight. William is often shown as what a “Knight” should (and was) meant to be.