The Feudal System : Nobleman in the Middle AgesPosted: November 10, 2011
What is the Feudal System?
To understand this post, you must first understand the feudal system. The feudal
system was a system that broke down the medieval people in a
hierarchy that ranges from a king to a peasant. Firstly, the king would give
land to a lower rank for loyalty and allegiance. This lower rank would
then give land to another lower rank for allegiance and loyalty, and
so on. In this post, I will inform you about a set of questions.
Nobility in the Middle Ages
1. What are the levels of nobility?
2. How did they live their life?
3. How did they become that level?
What are the levels of Nobility?
The nobility has many levels and are addressed accordingly to their title. A chart
below shows what the titles are called, the female equivalent and how to
|Knight/ Baronet||Lady (Dame)||Sir and Lady|
|Baron||Baroness||Lord and Lady|
|Viscount||Viscountess||Lord and Lady|
|Earl||Countess||Lord and Lady|
|Marquess||Marchioness||Lord and Lady|
|Duke||Duchess||His Grace, Lord and Her Grace,|
This chart ranges from knight being the lowest rank and duke being the highest.
Now that the ranking has been cleared, allow me to explain what some of these ranks are.
A knight in the middle ages was one of the three types of soldiers, the three
being archers, foot soldiers and knights. Knights were heavily armoured and
armed, this made them the strongest out of the three. Being a knight was
expensive, this is because they had to pay for a warhorse that could cost the
equivalent of a small airplane, armour, shields, and weapons. Becoming a knight
was part of the feudal agreement, which I will talk about later. In return for
military service, the knight received land. Knights usually pillaged. When
they captured a city, they were allowed to loot from it, taking valuables.
A duke or duchess in the middle ages was the highest rank in the nobility before
the monarch. Dukes were the rulers of the land outside the capital cities and
the superiors of the counts in the cities. Later on in the middle ages, in the
feudal monarchies, a duke was the highest-ranking peer of the king.
How did live their life?
The daily life of a noble was a complex life and usually followed the same general
process. A nobleman’s life stared when waking up at dawn. Mass would then
be attended and prayers would be mad, he would then have his first meal of the
day which usually just bread and wine. He would then attend to business in
relation to land that he has leased. People would be heard regarding crops,
taxes and rent. He would then train his administrative power over his peasants.
Complaints and disputes within given land will be solved by the noble. When the
Middle Ages advanced more, nobleman would then practice the arts; this includes
music and poetry etc. The lord would then go on to practising who skills in
weaponry. The nobleman would then have his midmorning prayers and how midday
meal. In the afternoon, the nobleman would then go on to hunt or inspect his
estate. Then he will have his evening prayer and eat supper. After supper there
would sometimes be entertainment such as dancing, music, jugglers and acrobats
etc. The nobleman would then have his bedtime prayers and then he will go to
sleep. And thus completing a nobleman’s day.
How did they become that level?
Becoming a nobleman was usually by birth. Nobleman were just born into being a noble
family, of course, there are exceptions to this. Since a knight is a nobleman,
becoming a knight was becoming a noble and technically any free man could
become a knight. When a boy was eight years old, he was sent to a castle
to commence his training as a page. He spent most of his time bulking up,
wrestling and riding horses. The boy would also learn how to fight with a spear
and a sword. He practiced with dummies called a quintain. A quintain was a
heavy sack in the form of a human. The boy had to hit the shield in the middle.
When it was hit, the whole quintain would spin around. The boy had to dodge
quickly without getting hit. He would be taught to read and write by a teacher.
He was also be taught Latin and French. The lady of the castle taught the boy
how to sing and dance and how to behave in the king’s court.
At the age of fifteen, a page became a squire to help out a knight. His work
included dressing the knight in the morning, serving the knight’s meals, caring
for his horse, and cleaning the knight’s armour and weapons. He followed the
knight to tournaments. A squire also prepared himself by learning how to use a
sword and lance while wearing forty pounds of armour and riding a horse. When
he was twenty, a squire could become a knight after proving himself worthy. A
lord would agree to knight him in a ceremony. The night before the ceremony,
the squire would dress in a white tunic and red robes. He would then fast and
pray all night to purify his soul. The chaplain would bless the future knight’s
sword and then lay it church’s altar.
This is a way to become a noble. Another was to pledge your allegiance to
another future king and when he becomes king, you move up in ranks. This does
not only apply to serfs, this applies to nobleman who want to rank up further.
Thank you for reading this post.