The Duties of a Medieval Squire
Whilst working for his knight, a squire had different jobs to learn and many of these could only be obtained by observing the knight go about his daily life. The squire’s job was to maintain and care for all the knight’s belongings, including his horse and armour, a knight’s most important possessions for fighting and jousting.
Maintaining the knight’s armour and looking after his horse were important training for when the squire was eventually out on a battlefield, as a knight. The squire was expected to be with his knight throughout the day, helping him to dress, serving him at table, running errands and messages and sleeping by his door at night, ready to help fight off any intruders.
The Training of a Medieval Squire
The first step for a boy to become a knight was when he was sent to live with another household before the age of ten, working as a page. In his new home, he learnt the skills of horse riding, sword play, reading, writing and court etiquette. All these were training, both physical and mental, for his future role as a squire, and then a knight.
Once a boy had reached the age of fourteen, he was considered an adult and could become a squire, for a knight with whom he would work closely, learning as he watched.
How Could a Squire Become a Knight?
Generally, a squire could expect to attain the status of knight after satisfactory progress for seven years. However, in exceptional circumstances, for example, when a squire had performed heroically during a siege at his castle, or on the battlefield accompanying his knight, he could become a knight at an earlier age.
Battle of Hastings
Animals on trial
Produce their own food
Gravett, Christopher, Turner, Graham English Medieval Knight 1300 – 1400[Osprey, 2002]Jones,
Terry Chaucer’s Knight: Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary [Methuen, 1994]