This article is focused on the definition of the Knight who lived in the Middle Ages and not the modern version of Knights and Knighthood.
A knight is a man who has been given the ‘honorary title of knighthood’, in medieval times Knights could be given Knighthood by other Knights, bishops, religious, political people, or other important people and leaders in medieval society!
The Knight in the main provides a military service to a noble, monarch, or Christian church usually for ‘land holdings’ within the feudal system.
In early medieval history, a knight was a mounted warrior and an ‘Elite Fighter’.
In the high and late medieval periods, the exact role of the medieval knight became more established and connected with ‘Chivalry’ and the ‘Code of Chivalry’, Courtly Love, Knighthood, Plate Armor, and Medieval Tournaments.
Medieval Knights were well placed in the Feudal system, they were usually bodyguards or mercenary fighters for a wealthy nobility, lords, and Kings and received landholdings for their military services.
Knights could also be described as vassals within the Feudal system. A Vassal was a ‘Land Holder’ a person who had land given to them in return for military services, loyalty, and allegiance.
Although Knights were well regarded in medieval society, they were classed as lower-level nobility.
Knights can also be described as ‘elite mounted warriors’ who were skilled in horsemanship.
Knighthoods are still given today but modern knights are nothing like and have no connection to the traditional warrior knight of the Middle Ages.
In later times Queen Elizabeth ruled that a Knighthood could only be granted by the ruling monarch.