John Hawkwood (1320 – 1394)
John Hawkwood was a son of a tanner and served the English army during the Hundred Years’ War against the French. According to the legend Hawkwood was knighted for his achievements in the battles of Crecy and Poitiers by King Edward III of England although there is no direct evidence neither of his participation in the battles of Crecy and Poitiers neither of Hawkwood being knighted by Edward III of England. Even more, different legends claim that John Hawkwood was knighted by Edward the Black Prince but there is no evidence of that event either. However, his service to the English ended in 1360 when Hawkwood became commander of the Italian mercenary company known as the White Company which fought for the cities of Pisa and Florence. John Hawkwood died in Florence in 1394 and was buried with state honors in the Florence Cathedral.