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Becoming a Knight in the Middle Ages

Updated on May 24, 2016

Becoming a Knight in the Middle Ages

Turnierbuch des Rene von Anjou 23 by Unkowen Public Domain
Turnierbuch des Rene von Anjou 23 by Unkowen Public Domain | Source

In the Middle Ages, a man had 2 ways he could become a knight. A man could earn the right to become a knight in the battlefield. A soldier could earn the knighthood if he fought well and was brave on the battlefield. Knighthood could be awarded by the king, a lord and occasionally another knight. Another way to become a knight was to be an apprentice to a knight and get to be a knight by hard work and training.

Young men that were growing up in the Middle Ages wanted to grow up to be knights. There were very few that could afford the expense. If you wanted to become a knight you had to be able to afford to buy the knight's weapons, armor and warhorse. These items were very expensive, and most people could ot afford them. Knights most often came from a noble or wealthy class.

NakNakNak CCO Public Domain
NakNakNak CCO Public Domain | Source

A boy that wanted to be a knight would go and live with a knight when he was around 7 years old. The boy would be a page and do the knights bidding. He would bring the knight, his meals, clean his clothes and deliver his messages and whatever else that needed to be done. When the boy was working for the knight, he would learn how to behave and good manners.

The boy would also get training on how to fight. He would use wooden shields and swards and practice with other pages. The page would also learn to ride a horse and carry a lance. He would learn to ride without using his hands.

When the page was 15 years old, he would become a squire. He would not get a new set of things to do. His new duties would be to take care of the knight's horses, clean weapons and armor, and he would go with the knight when he went off to war.

Etrairnstochten CCO Public Domain
Etrairnstochten CCO Public Domain | Source

The squire was required to be ready to fight if needed. The knight trained the squire to fight. The squire trained with real weapons. The squire needed to be strong and in good shape. The squire would do a lot of practicing. He would usually work as a squire for 5 to 6 years. I

If a squire was lucky and he had proven, he was brave and skillful in battle, he would become a knight when he was 21 years old. He would get the title of knight at what was called a dubbing ceremony. This was where the would be knight kneels before a knight, lord or king and would be tapped on the shoulder thus making him a knight.

At the end of the ceremony, the new knight would promise to honor and protect the king and the church. The new knight would be given a pair of spurs and a sword. Some squires became knights on the battlefield.

The Making of a Knight


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