Code of Chivalry – 15 Interesting Facts

Medieval Squire becoming a Knight

  • The word Chivalry itself comes from the French word chevalier (‘cavalier’).
  • Non-knights (archers, peasants, foot soldiers, etc.) did not follow the rules of Chivalry.
  • A rule in the chivalric code included taking an oath of loyalty to an overlord.
  • Chivalry code rules include never striking a defenseless opponent in battle.

Medieval Squire Picture

  • Chivalry started in Northern France
  • Chivalry started around the 12th century in the time period between 1101 – 1200
  • Chivalry was a kind of early set of standards ‘ethics and rules for the ‘warrior class
  • There is a famous medieval song called ‘Song of Roland’ which describes ‘the perfect knight

The Song of Rowland *Famous Medieval Song

  • Captured knights were never harmed or killed but exchanged for a ransom which was usually a very reasonable negotiation.
  • It appears that knights totally respected one another, a respect that they did not hold for other lower warrior classes.
  • Lower level foot-soldier would simply be killed and not taken captive by knights regardless of the Chivalry code.
  • Queen Elizabeth, I ended the tradition that any knight could create another and made it exclusively the preserve of the monarch.

Sir Edward Woodville The Last Knight

  • Historians consider ‘Sir Edward Woodville’ who died in 1488 in Brittany to be one of the ‘Last Knights in history
  • The fall of the ‘Age of Chivalry’ and the rise of modern European warfare is around the end of the 15th century
  • As the Middle Ages ended so did the ‘Age of Chivalry’.