Discover the Dedication and Sacrifice needed on the long journey to Knighthood culminating in the Dubbing Ceremony Read more about the Becoming a Knight >>
Discover Legendary and Galant Knights such as *Richard the LionHeart *The Black Prince Read more about the Famous Knights >>
What is the Definition of a Medieval Knight of the Middle Ages Read more about the Knight Definition >>
The Galant Knight - Protector of Magnificent Castles - Fearless Feudal Warrior of the Medieval Lord Read more about the Knights and Castles >>
Discover Battle Armour *Tournament Armour & Clothing *Coat of Arms Symbols & Meanings Read more about the Knights Armour – Clothing >>
The code of Chivalry for Knights was introduced around the 11th century Read more about the Knights Code of Chivalry >>
The first jousting event took place in France in 1066. Each tournament had rules for the jousting and mêlée competition. Read more about the Knights Jousting >>
A warhorse was trained to fight, biting and kicking, it was a frightening presence on the battlefield. Read more about the Knights Warhorse Destrier >>
Knighthood - Highest Honour for years of Dedicated and Hardwork Occurred During the Dubbing Ceremony Read more about the Medieval Knighthood >>
A knight's armor became a defining characteristic of Knights in battle, representing the military unit Read more about the Medieval Knights Armor >>
Knights provided military services to a Lord within the workings of the feudal system Read more about the Medieval Knights Feudalism >>
Knights helmets were also designed in many cases to scare and intimidate a foe Read more about the Medieval Knights Helmets >>
Heraldry was used as a way to identify knights and Lords families, usually a coat of arms Read more about the Medieval Knights Heraldry >>
The history of Medieval knights has its roots in the ancient world Read more about the Medieval Knights History >>
Medieval knights were the battle tank of medieval times, with a wide range of weapons Read more about the Medieval Knights Weapons >>
Medieval Squires started their training around 14 years of age and knighted in a dubbing ceremony around 21 years of age! Read more about the Medieval Squire >>
Tournaments - Mêlée Mock Battles & Jousting Competition helped prepare the Galant Knight for Battle Read more about the Medieval Tournaments >>
Learn about the Top 10 Most Important Knights of the Middle AgesRead more about the Top 10 Medieval Knights >>
Becoming a knight required great wealth to buy the expensive armour and weaponry. It also took a great deal of training to become a knight and only the wealthiest members of medieval society were afforded this luxury.
Although non nobles could achieve knighthood it was a rare occurence.
It was possible for lower level members of society to become knights but it was very difficult and uncommon.
In medieval Europe a page or page boy was classed a being a young nobleman who left home at a very young age (around 7 years) to learn how to become a knight (assisting a Squire) in another royal or noble household.
Commonly a page boy would be under the wing of a Squire who was himself being trained by an established Knight.
The page boy usually became a Squire himself at the age of 14 *he was a page for around 7 years
At the end of this training a Page Boy would become a Squire around the age of 14 on his journey to becoming a knight.
A succesful page boy would become a Squire, historians also provide evidence that it was also common for knights to start as a Squire without becoming a page.
The Legendary knight William Marshall for example was 12 years of age when he was sent to be trained by a knight for 8 years until around the age of 20 years when he was knighted.
Training was stepped up a level *The Squire now served an established knight and learned his trade directly from him.
Ground Training Practice on the Pell *Sword and Other Weapons
Mounted Training on the Quintain *Lance and Other Weapons
One – One Sparring *Wooden Swords *Blunted Walebone Weapons
Swordsmanship Practice *Using Smaller Buckler Shield
Participation in Behourds (Spontaneous Mock Fights or Battles)
If a squire was worthy of becoming a knight and had passed all the tests that were given to him during his many years of training, he would be knighted in an elaborate dubbing ceremony, a squire would commonly kneel before the lord of the manor who would tap the squires shoulders with a sword as he was proclaimed a knight.
The Squire would recieve his Sword and Spurs and was now classed as a Knight who was ready to serve his Lord in battle.
Heavily armed cavalry soldiers have existed since ancient times, however none have captured the imagination as much as the gallant medieval knight in shining armour of the medieval period, the knight gained in popularity and became much more established and defined during the high and late medieval times.
However this type of chivalrous knight donned in a suit of shinning armour did not come into play until around the 14th century, during the earlier periods of medieval times knights commonly wore chainmail and a simple conical helmet of spangenhelm construction.
For centuries Germanic warriors had been mercenaries in the Roman armies that had conquered England, many settled and mixed with the local populations.
After the fall of Rome around c. 476 there was a power vacuum in Europe which resulted in more of these Germanic tribes migrating and settling in England.
In time these tribes of Angles, Saxons and Jutes would join forces to dominate England, they became collectively known as the Anglo Saxons.
The Anglo-Saxons had many stuggles with invaders such as the Vikings who they managed to contain for many centuries. In the 11th century however they would come up against the formidable Norman knights and their leader the Duke of Normandy.
In the 11 century the Normans who were desendants of the vikings invaded England from their base in Normandy (Francia) they conquered and replaced the Anglo Saxon nobility. The Normans brought their ruling class and feudal system with them.
Norman knights helped the Norman nobility dominate England for almost a century.
Norman Knights wore simple conical shaped helmets of spangenhelm construction and a chainmail shirt known as a Hauberk, they carried a large kite shield that helped protect the lower body on horseback.
It wasn’t until later in the medieval period when knighthood became more of a social rank providing a distinction between non-noble cavalrymen (milites gregarii) and the true knights (milites nobiles) In the later medieval period, knighthood was commonly associated with a code of conduct and chivalry.
In medieval knights’ history, it was during the high medieval times that knighthood attained the higher social status of note.
This was the era that started when Crusades were fought and various orders of knights such as Knights Hospitaller, Knights Templar, Order of Saint Lazarus, Teutonic Knights, and others took birth. Rules and ceremonies of knighthood were also formed mainly during this age.
In the high medieval period the exact role of the medieval knight became more clear and the following was more established
Medieval Knights were well placed in the Feudal system, they were usually bodyguards or mercenary fighters for wealthy nobility and Kings and often received landholdings for their military services, they could have been granted parts of conquered lands which was divided up or they could have been paid in coins, precious metals or given some other rewards.
Knights all throughout the medieval period had made several kinds of vows. Most of these vows revolved around the common concept which was chivalry.
One famous document that provided historical eveidence of these knightly vows is the Song of Roland. According to the Song of Roland, the Knight’s Code of Chivalry included the following Vows.
Medieval armourers were in a constant struggle against the medieval arms makers and manufacturers, this led to the evolution of medieval armour from the typical chainmail hauberk shirts and open faced helmets worn by Norman knights, to the more sophisticated plate armour with closed helmets that covered the entire head worn by later knights.
Norman Knights from the 11 century wore a simple spangenhelm construction conical shaped open helmet called the ‘Nasal Helmet’ this was a very popular helmet and variations of it were worn by knights and infantry soldiers throughout the medieval period.
Later medieval knights wore full suits of white armour ‘Knight in Shining Armour’ that completely protected the body including the hands (Gauntlets) and feet (Sabatons)
Knights in full plate armour also wore closed helmets that totally encased the head such as the ‘Great Helm’, Bascinet or Sallet helmet.
The most popular helmets amongst medieval knights in early times was the Spangenhlem, in later medieval periods the ‘Great Helm’, Bascinet or Sallet helmet rose to prominence in that order.
Medieval knights were the most important portion of a medieval army on the battlefield, typically a medieval army would first deploy the bowmen and infantry to make a way through the enemy lines.
Once this was done, the knights would launch their charge and sweep across the field to destroy any remaining enemy lines, routing the enemy and forcing it to flee.
In many cases, both sides would agree to honorable combat between one or more sets of knights. The outcome of these combats would then be taken as the outcome of the battle itself.
In such combats, the winning knight would usually capture the vanquished knightly opponent rather than kill him, in order to ransom him later.
A medieval knight was trained in a wide range of weapons. Most significant among these were the lance and the sword. The lance was important for a knight because it helped him counter an enemy knight on horseback.
Once in close quarters, the knight would often use his sword, or in some cases, daggers. Other types of weapons used by a medieval knight on the battlefield included maces and flails.
Medieval knights honed their skills during tournaments which became more advanced as the medieval period progressed.
Mock ground battles and mounted Jousts allowed the perfect enviroment to practice hand to hand combat with the use of swords and other weapons.
Early fights or battles between rival knights and soldiers were called béhourds and could be fought on horseback or on the ground, these early war games lacked the competitive edge and discipline needed to train knights for warfare but these mock battles led to the creation of the more advanced medieval tournament.
This led to the creation of medieval tournaments or tourneys’ in which a mock battle called a mêlée and a joust, a one-to-one mounted contest took place.
Around the 11th century, the mêlée and the joust were combined and this created the first medieval tournament, the first tournament of this type was held in France in 1066.