provided the elite cavalry needed in any king's army. They
were highly mobile, skilled and determined soldiers. They
were expected to win the battle, fighting hand to hand,
risking all for glory and victory. They knew their efforts
would be amply rewarded, by their king or lord, after the
victory was secured. Their skills and attitude were
developed from early childhood. A boy could not inherit
knighthood but had to train and acquire the mental hardness
and fighting skills from an early age.
At the age of seven a boy left his home to live in the
castle of a relative or close friend of his family.
While there he had to learn:
....about armour, how it was made, how it was worn, the name
of each part.
....about weapons, how to hold a lance, spear and sword.
....to look after falcons.
....courtesy from the lady of the castle.
....running and wrestling.
....sword play, how to slash and parry with a blunt sword.
....horse riding, the balance required to fight on
There was little
time for formal studies as other could do the reading, writing and
mathematics if the knight required it.
At 14 years of age a boy would become the personal servant of a
knight. Sometimes the start of this service was marked with a
blessing from a priest.
Galerie des armes et armures,
Metropolitan Museum of Art,