Knights and Knighthood By Olivia Purcell 8CPosted: November 11, 2011
On you’re way to
becoming a knight
Before becoming a knight you had to be a page and then a squire. It could take as long as twelve years to become a
knight. But it was well worth it.
To become a page and even be considered to become a knight you had to be from a noble family, but sometimes
exceptions were made.
Another way to become a knight was to do a great act of courage in battle.
Being a page you had to help your master around the house doing jobs such as serving meals, wait on the table,
care for the Lord’s clothes and help him with getting dressed. A page was also
required to act as a servant to the ladies of the castle he served in. He was
provided a uniform in the colours (heraldry) of his Lord.
A page would receive an education and was taught religion, manners, riding, hunting, hawking, chess and backgammon.
His fighting training would involve using a lance on a horse, wooden swordplay with fellow squires and watching the
training of older squires.
jobs that he needed him to do such as dressing his master for tournaments, keeping his armour clean and polished and following him
into battle so that if by chance his master was injured the squire could help
The squire also had to do some training to become a knight he would practise with armour on a dummy called a quintain
quintain, If you hit the quintain dead on the target you where fine, but if you missed and hit someplace else it would hit you back.
After over thirteen years of service it is finally time for the young page, now squire to become aknight.
On the eve of a knighthood the squire
had to confess his sins to a priest. He was then given a symbolic bath
afterwards dressing in all white. He the fasted the night, prayed and kept
watch over his armours and weapons.
On the day of the ceremony the knight
would be dressed in symbolic clothes as shown below:
|Red||For his blood|
|Brown||For the return to the earth when he
At the ceremony
the squire’s amour was blessed by the priest and then given to the Lord who
would conduct the ceremony. The Knight would then say his vows and oath of
allegiance, to the priest, before God. The vows are below:
- Never traffic with traitors
- Never give evil counsel to a lady, whether married or not; he must treat her with great respect and defend her against all.
- To observe and abstinences, and every day hear Mass and make an offering in church
The squire was then ‘dubbed’ by the Lord (Dubbing was being struck on the shoulder with either a flat hand or the side of a sword.)
After the dubbing a squire the Lord said, “I dub thee Sir, Knight.” And then he became a Knight.
After the ceremony a knight was then allowed to take on the title ‘Sir.’
If a knight was caught breaking any vows he was stripped of his knighthood in another ceremony where he was buried. (When a
knight was stripped of his knighthood it was considered that he was dead.)
Code of Chivalry
The middle age knight ‘Code of Chivalry’ was part of the culture during the middle ages. Everyone knew what was expected of
a knight and the knights had a big role to play. They had to follow the vows of their ceremony, live by the virtues and have a faith/belief in God.
The code of chivalry was:
- To fear the Lord and to maintain his church.
- To serve his Lord with bravery and faith.
- To protect the weak.
- To help the widows and orphans
- To live by glory and honour.
- To reject rewards of any financial gain.
- To fight for the well being of others.
- To obey those placed in higher authority.
- To guard and honour other knights.
- To keep faith.
- To respect and honour women.
- To never refuse a challenge from an equal.
- To never turn a back on a rival.
- To refrain from
- speaking rashly.
- To stay away from unfairness, meanness and deceit.
The virtues a Knight were expected to portray: