About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, March 17, 2017

K for KNIGHTS

Welcome to Round 20 of ABC Wednesday where, this week, we honour and celebrate the letter K as in kiss, kitchen, kneel, knife, kingdom, kindness, and knock.  This week, I'd like to tell you about Knights

The word Knight is a term to refer to a warrior or nobleman in former times or, in these days to refer to a person who has been given royal recognition. The roots of the word knight are connected to the Old English cniht, meaning boy, or German knecht, meaning servant.  During the Middle Ages, the term knight referred to a mounted and armoured soldier. Originally, knights were warriors on horse-back, but the title became increasingly connected to nobility and social status, most likely because of the cost of equipping oneself in the cavalry. Knighthood eventually became a formal title bestowed on those noblemen trained for active war duty.

In theory, knighthood could be bestowed on a man by any knight, but it was generally considered honourable to be dubbed knight by the hand of a monarch. By about the late 13th century, partly in conjunction with the focus on courtly behavior, a code of conduct and uniformity of dress for knights began to evolve. Knights were eligible to wear a white belt and golden spurs as signs of their status. Also, knights were also often required to swear allegiance to a liege lord.

A knight was to follow a strict set of rules of conduct. These were the knightly virtues. However, original knights had few of these qualities because the church deemed knights too bloodthirsty and unruly. The church then intervened and began stressing the importance of virtues until the church became an integrated part of knighthood and chivalry. The virtues included:
  • Mercy (Towards the poor and oppressed. They were supposed to be harsh with evil-doers.)
  • Humility
  • Honor
  • Sacrifice
  • Fear of God
  • Faithfulness
  • Courage
  • Utmost graciousness and courtesy to ladies
When in Wales last summer, I visited Chepstow Castle, the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain, where I found a replica of a knight on horseback prepared to do battle.  The knight carried a sword and shield with the image of the Welsh dragon on it.  And it was made of straw! 
Imagine hoards of Norman warriors coming on horseback across those fields ready to cross the River Wye and scale the cliffs to conquer the castle and its environs!

Now, those of you who read my posts probably know by now that I love history, especially anything to do with my ancestry (English, Welsh, Scottish).  However, one of my daughters and her husband have gone one step further and are members of the Society for Creative Anachronism.  This is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. It consists of 20 kingdoms with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, and various classes & workshops.

In fact, my son-in-law is becoming quite the artisan by creating leather armour not only for himself, but also for other members.  He makes every kind of armour that can be made from leather for from the neck down as well as purses, pouches, belts, and accessories. He has also given classes in making armour of all kinds and participates in the actual "battles" after many hours of practise.  He has worked his way to becoming a "Lord," which is the first of a slew of titles. Currently, he is known as Lord Ewen Mac Dughglas of Lions Gate. My daughter is Lady Eva de Lille, but not because of her association with her husband.  She attained the title of "Lady" through her own achievements by volunteering for behind the scenes and helping to organize events.  She finds hundreds of small ways to help others at all the practises and events she attends plus she and her husband run a kitchen and do the cooking and serving at events.

Here are a couple of really quick You-Tube videos SIL said I could show of a couple of practises.  He is in the red outfit in the first one.  Apparently, if you get hit in the leg, you must kneel, if you get hit in the arm, you have to forego using it, and if you get hit in the head or body, you're dead!
Hope you enjoyed this post.  I know I learned a lot more about knights and my daughter's and son-in-law's association with the Society for Creative Anachronism just by writing it.

14 comments:

photowannabe said...

Wow Leslie, this is fascinating. Your son in law is quite resourceful. thanks for showing the pictures of the battle.

Melody Steenkamp said...

fascinating topic and subject Leslie, it speaks to ones imagination, doesn't it.

I would like to go back in that time to take a look, but would not want to live in that period.

Have a nice ABC-day / -week
♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)
http://melodymusic.nl/20-k

zongrik said...

cool. very alternative.

i did knight too ;)

Hildred said...

We have a local (Similkameen and South Okanagan) group who dress in medieval costume and take part in such events, - I don't really know much about them, - just some of the members and their names and enthusiasm for what they do....

Rajesh said...

This is interesting. The meaning of the same word changes in every language.

Roger Owen Green said...

I've seen several SCA demonstrations in my time!
ROG, ABCW

Leslie: said...

Daughter thinks that's the Shire of Appledor. And they meet up sometimes at events.

Powell River Books said...

I love the picture of the knight with the green fields and river in the distance. - Margy

Trubes said...

Most interesting post Leslie,
I love the Straw Knight by the river Wye.
As the Wye is a very fast flowing river, I should imagine it would be most
difficult for Knights to traverse whilst wearing such heavy armour.
Ewen your son-in-law seems to have a lot of interests,
If I recall correctly he did some
photographic JAUNTS with you?
Best Regards,
Di, xxxx
ABCW team.

carol l mckenna said...

Love photos of the Knight ~ wonderful and your son is rather talented ~ thanks,

Wishing you a Happy Week ~ ^_^

Leslie: said...

That was the other son-in-law. But the Lord cooks great meals!

Leslie: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arnoldo L. Romero, MLA said...

As an artist, I'm fascinated by the Society for Creative Anachronism that you wrote about this week. When I lived in the DFW area, I used to love to go to the Renaissance Fair in Waxahachie, Texas, where people dressed in character, served foods of the time, and had arts from the time as well. Blessings!

Liz Hinds said...

Love the knight! The Society for what?! Sounds amazing. How right it is that people get rewarded for helping behind the scenes.