Monday, September 1, 2014

Renaissance Knights

Renaissance Knighthood

 in England

With news that Much Ado About Sebastopol is getting ready for its 5th annual Renaissance faire, I looked into the world of knights. Turns out, I knew very little about them.

A knight was appointed by a king or a queen for bravery, loyalty, and remarkable military service. This was perhaps the highest position an average guy could achieve  during the Renaissance. In exchange he was rewarded with land holdings that improved his position in society.

I found out that becoming an English knight required the following:

  1. Connections – Anyone could become a knight. However, since the weapons and horses were very expensive, knights generally inherited the honor (and the tools) that was passed down to them from their father.
  2.  Basic Education – Good manners, ethics, and the basics of knighthood were taught. Friendly combat and practicing with expected responsibilities were part of this.
  3. The Page –This training for seven to 14 year old boys included taking care of a nobleman – even the monarch – by assisting them in getting dressed as well as other tasks. They wore uniforms watched real training combat, occasionally participating.
  4. The Squire – This was considered to be the most important part of their training as they served knights during battles. While they learned much about being a knight in combat (especially the importance of serving their King or Queen) many of them were killed during battle.
  5. The Knight –After years of training and hardships they would be appointed with a knighthood.

All of the above were important because they ensured the knight would remain loyal to and protective of his monarch even if it risking his own life for the monarch’s safety.

Much Ado About Sebastopol re-enacts this period in time. If you want to meet an English Renaissance Knight ala St.George’s Guild, then be sure to go September 13 & 14 faire.

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