During the Middle Ages, young boys that were training to be a knight went through three phases before they achieved their knighthood. During the early years, candidates for knighthood spent most of their time being cared for by the women of the family. During that time, the mostly learned to ride and care for horses. That is, until they reached the age of about seven. Then they became.......

The Page

When a candidate reached the age of about 7, they left home to begin their training. Usually they were placed in the household or family of another knight or a noblemen. They were taught how to use some of the smaller weapons of the day and also learned the code of courtesy and the behavior that was expected of them when they became a knight. This stage lasted until about the age of sixteen when they became......

The Squire

As a squire, the candidate acted as a valet and personal servant to the knight or noblemen who was his master. He usually did the chores such as setting the table and serving meals. He also had more practical training for his profession in the form of serious weapons and mounted soldier. As a squire, he rode with his master into battle and took part in the fight. To distinguish him from a knight during battles, the squire wore silvered spurs on his boots as opposed to knights, whose boots were gilted. This stage lasted about five years, unless of course the he had the unfortunate luck of being either killed or injured seriously. After this period was over, the squire then was elgible to become......

The Knight

During the Middle Ages, any knight had the privilege of bestowing knighthood upon another. Usually the ceremony of knighthood took place during times of peace but there were occasions when knighthood was bestowed on the field of battle.

The original ceremony was actaully pretty simple. The knight buckled on the armor of the squire and proclaimed him a knight. Later, the ceremonies became more complicated. One man buckled on the sword as another fastened the gilted spurs to the boots. The squire knelt before the the man who was knighting him (called a parrain). The parrain struck the squire on the back of his neck with the palm of his hand. This was later replaced in the ceremony by a tap of the sword. The tap of the sword is called the "accolade". It was then followed by the words " I dub you knight".

As Christianity became more popular, religious ceremonies were included and became closely linked to the ceremony of knighthood. Before a squire could be knighted he had to keep a vigil in the church. He had to confess his sins, fast , pray and pledge that his weapons would be used for sacred causes and ideals. He also pledged to live by the Code of Chivalry.

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