Page and Squire Notes

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When a boy born by a knight turns six or seven he is sent from his home to a near by castle. There he is trained by the lord of the castle to become a knight. He is a page. A page helps his lord dress and put on armor. He plays many training games that include wrestling, piggy-back wrestling, sword practice with blunt wooden swords and tiny round shields called bucklers, and lance practice on a rolling log pulled by two other pages toward a quintain(A quintain is a target on one end of a swinging board. On the other end is a bag full of sand. When the lance hits the target the rider has to duck or the bag of sand will strike him on the back or the head.). A page rarely ever learned how to read or write because it wasn't thought to be very knightly. The ladies of the manor taught him table manners. (A manor is a castle.) The page waited on his lord and lady. It was his duty and privilege to accompany his lord and lady at all times. He learned how to hunt and hawk. When his lord's armor was rusty, the page rolled the armor in a barrel of sand so that the rust was gone. He was taught to be quick, graceful, and flexible. He received religious training from the chaplain. He sometimes received training-in-arms from the squires.


Note02.gif (247 bytes) Squire
If the page showed promise, then at the age of fourteen, he became a squire. A squire is a Knight's personal servant. In battle, a squire would bring his knight replacements of lances, swords, horses, or any item lost or damaged in battle. The squire had to become accustomed to heavy armor. A squire played games with real weapons against real knights! The squire learned to ride his war horse while keeping his weapon arm free. While he was a squire, he was allowed to carry a sword and a shield, which showed what rank he had achieved. The squire was taught not to kill many knights. Most knights held other knights for ransom. If he got through all of that, he was knighted or "dubbed". Before a squire was dubbed, he did lots of things in preparation. First, he prayed all night. He prayed without sleeping or eating. When morning came, he would take a nice, warm bath. Then he put on a special padded vest and hood so that his armor did not hurt him. Then he would have a page help him put on chain mail armor or plate armor. Then the almost knighted squire would put on a white tunic. The tunic was white because white is the color of peace. The tunic was so that his armor did not rust in the rust in the rain and sun. He knelt before his lord. Then his lord would slap him with his hand or the flat of the sword. As his lord was doing that, his lord would say, "I dub thee Sir Knight." Then the new knight would receive his sword, lance, and golden spurs. Each of the weapons had a good meaning. The lance had a saying. It was said, "As fear of the lance drives back the unarmed, so the knight drives back the enemies of the church." As for the sword, it was said that, "The two edges of the sword show that the knight serves God and the people." Then the knight was free to roam. He usually rode off on quests of adventure. He either stopped by the road and challenged any knight that passed by or he did battle for a damsel in need.