This photograph of the effigy of William Marshall, Templar Knight, appears in a new educational textbook. This is one of the Templar Knight effigies in Temple Church, London, recently famous thanks to The Da Vinci Code.
William Marshall is great textbook material because of his remarkable life and experiences. As a young man he made a living winning tournaments: the Heath Ledger movie A Knight’s Tale is loosely based on this period of his life. But William Marshall is perhaps best known for brokering the deal to ensure King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnymeade. In doing so he prevented civil war, set England on a course towards a parliamentary system, and paved the way for the US bill of rights.