Nobility, Knighthood, and Chivalry in Medieval Britain: William Marshal and Simon de Montfort, 1150-1265
Chivalry is a word which holds complex meanings. During the Middle Ages, the idea of chivalry was at the heart of the conception of what it meant to be both a knight and a noble. In this thesis, I argue that through comparing the careers of William Marshal, earl of Pembroke (c.1147-1219) and Simon de Montfort, earl of Leicester (c.1208-1265), one may see how chivalry evolved in Britain during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Originally chivalry was purely military in its outlook, but by the mid-thirteenth century other elements such as courtly behavior and administrative service had contributed to an alteration of its original conception. By examining the political changes that occurred in the lives of William Marshal and Simon de Montfort, I demonstrate how the political role of the nobility changed. This provides another way of looking at the constitutional history of medieval England during this period.