11 May 2019 - 3:00pm

Venue: Reading Museum
£5, booking essential


This May is the 800th anniversary of the death at Caversham of William Marshal, regent of England, 1216-19. His body lay in state at the Abbey on its way for burial at Temple Church in London. Discover more about his fascinating career and final weeks in this talk with Dr Elizabeth Matthew of Reading University.

In January 1219, William Marshal, earl of Pembroke, fell mortally ill. The surviving vernacular verse biography celebrating his long and eventful career includes an exceptionally detailed account of the weeks preceding his death on 14 May at his Thameside manor of Caversham. This talk will review the light this sheds on the experience of terminal illness in this early thirteenth-century context, and on the surroundings and preoccupations of the sufferer, whose regency for the young Henry III briefly made Caversham the focal point of English politics.