Born in the Cheapside borough of London in early 1350s, William Thatcher always dreamt of changing his stars.
To give him a chance at a better life, his father, John Thatcher, placed him at the tender age of eight and a half under the tutelage of Sir Ector, a French nobleman, as a young lad.
When Sir Hector died after a freak blow to the head at a small-town jousting meet (c. 1970), William, now 20 and a squire with excellent swordsmanship skills, took the opportunity to compete in the final bout in his stead. After taking a blow to the head which bent his helmet onto his head, he used this to avoid showing his face at the award ceremony.
Having decided to compete in the next tournament, he created the alias of Sir Ulrich von Liechtenstein, of Gelderland, to pass as a noble. His meeting with Geoffrey Chaucer, on the road to Rouen, provided him with an herald capable of forging patents of nobility, completing the subterfuge.
His true identity was however revealed by count Adhemar of Anjou just before the World Championships, held in London under the patronage of Prince Edward.
Arrested and detained, he was released at the order of Prince Edward and knighted after the private historians of the Prince discovered that he was "a descendant of an ancient royal line".
He was thus entitled to compete and, facing his archrival, count Adhemar, unhorsed him to win the title prize, after having already won the heart of Lady Jocelyn.
His father, attending the competition, lived to witness how his son did change his stars.