Chivalry and Knighthood

By: Katie Pitchford, Hannah Etris, and Katelyn Poole

What is Chivalry?

Chivalry is the medieval knightly system with its religious, moral, and social code. Knighthood is the rank, dignity, or vocation of a knight. "Chivalry" comes from the Old French word "chevalerie" meaning "horseman". It came from the middle ages. It traditionally described the knights who were very brave in battle. Chivalry protects and defends people. It is a code of conduct (it teaches men the right way to act). It was originally called the aristocratic warrior code. Different terms for the word chivalry are: troubadours, trouveres, and minnesinger. The Code of Chivalry: To follow the church and defend it with his life. To protect women and the weak. To serve and defend the king. To be generous and honest. To never lie. To live by honor and for glory. To help widows and orphans. Many knights took vows that they would follow the code. Knight Armor: a full armor plate suit weighed more than 50 pounds, but because the weight was evenly distributed all over the body, the knights had remarkable mobility.

Some Armor Pieces are:

1. Male Coif (male hood)

2. Great Helm (used to deflect crushing blows)

3. Cervelliere (steel skullcap worn underneath the Great Helm)

4. Bassinate (used to protect the nose)

5. Armet (a helmet that encloses entire head)

6. Gorget (steel collar to protect neck)

7. Brigandine (cloth garment)

8. Hauberk (male shirt with sleeves reaching to the mid-thigh)

9. Cuirass (breastplate; protects chest)

10. Faulds (protects waist)

11. Gauntlet (protects arms and fingers)


1. Two- Handed Sword

2. Battle Axe

3. Mace

4. Dagger

5. Lance

To become a knight it was a long and arduous task. There were many steps and years of training to become a knight.

The Steps to knighthood:

1. The right connections- Knights generally came from noble or wealthy families a would be knight had to have the right connections to be succesfull in becoming a knight.

2. Upbringing- From the age of 7 a young boy would be brought up in the home of his parents. He would be expected to learn basic good manners and to understand the role of a knight and the chivalry code.

3. The Page- The page is the next step. A young boy would be sent to learn at a home or castle of a noble. The Page was expected to act as a servant to the ladies of the court or castle.

4. The Squire-The Squire was a servant to the knights. The Squire was the most important role to knighthood and started when a Page reached the age of 14. The duties of a squire were to learn about Chivalry, Heraldry, horsemanship and practice using weapons.

5. The Knight- After many years of training were completed there was a ceremony that was given to the Squire to dub him as a knight. The ceremony marked the final knighthood made by a medieval Squire.


Dubbing- To tap lightly on the shoulder by way of conferring knighthood.