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Knights, Squires & Tournaments
What's that all about?

Sir John Foxley jousting at a Windsor Tournament -  Nash Ford Publishing 

  • A knight was an important soldier who rode a horse in the King's army.
  • A man became a knight during a knighting ceremony. He would kneel down and his lord or the King would touch him lightly on each shoulder with their sword. This is called being knighted.
  • A knight was given the title Sir before his Christian name.
  • These days, men are still knighted by the Queen, but they do not have to be soldiers. She gives people this title to show that they have done good things for the country.

 *     *     *

  • A squire was a knight in training.
  • He would learn how to ride and and how to fight. He would also learn good manners.
  • He would also have to work for a particular knight and learn by watching him.
  • A squire would serve dinner to his knight, look after his horse, polish his armour, run errands and do everything needed to get ready for battle.
  • You could become a squire from a young age.
  • Only boys from families who owned land could become squires and knights. They would have a coat of arms to show they were important. Peasants were not invited.

 *     *     *

  • Chivalry was a set of rules that knights followed. They had to:
    • always be honourable & never do anything unlawful
    • be a good Christian
    • always flee from treason
    • never be cruel, but always be merciful
    • always be nice and helpful to ladies
    • defend the rights of the weak
    • never do battle for a bad cause, for love or for worldly goods
    • give their lives for the safety of their country  

 *     *     *

  • A tournament was a big festival when knights would get together and fight each other. This was good practice for battle.
  • Knights would joust. This meant that two of them rode towards each other on their horses very fast. They would try and knock each other off using long poles called lances.
  • Knights might also fight in single combat at a tournament.
  • Or in a tourney or melly with lots of knights in a pretend battle.
  • The tournament would be held by a rich lord or the King.
  • Peasants were allowed to watch and there was lots of other entertainment put on for them too.

 

    Nash Ford Publishing 2010. All Rights Reserved.