Robin Hood Outlaw Legend of Loxley
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Robin Hood Loxley
Robin Hood Home Loxley
Robin Hood Territory
Robin Hoods Grave
Little John Hathersage
Outlaws in Hathersage
Royal Forest of the Peak
Tickhill Castle
Sheriff of Nottingham
Maid Marian
Robin Hood Nottingham
May Day Celebrations
The Hunting
Church Lees
Pictures of Derbyshire
King Richard I
King John
The Crusades
Sheriffs and Bishops
Robin Hood Candidates
The Geste
Forest Life
Hereward The Wake
Poll Tax Riots
Loxley History
Loxley Genealogy
Family Trees
Whats in a Name
Nottingham Sheriffs
Steepest Sheffield Hill
Norman Conquest

The Age of Chivalry and Romance

The conferring of the knighthood was usually done by another knight or a lord, later it was only the monarch who could confer a knighthood and in this picture it was the Queen.


1. The concept of chivalry developed within a fairly brief period from a simple warriors code to a sophisticated system of values in which the principles of personal integrity, the duty to defend the weak from oppression, and the practice of knightly virtues, such as largesse (generosity), pite (compassion) franchise (a free and frank spirit) and courtoisie (courtliness, especially to women) combined with the more traditional virtues of loyalty and prowess. These qualities are repeatedly stressed in medieval accounts of knights, where the conduct of both real knights and fictional heroes is measured against this standard which was expressed by Sir Philip Sidney in the line, “Love of honour and honour of love. 

2. The chivalrous ideal as portrayed in literature is of course only one side of the coin. Equally, the conclusions of modern historian about the grim realities of medieval knighthood produce an incomplete and distorted picture. Fictional ideal and historical reality must be seen together. Medieval commentators themselves were aware that there were bad knights who brought knighthood into disrepute and in the romances the hero knights also encountered their sinister mirror images. These were the wicked knights who terrorised the helpless peasants, they dishonoured ladies and even desecrated churches.Just as these “black knights” certainly had their counterparts in real life among the robber barons, freebooters and mercenaries of medieval Europe, so to it is clear that thousands of knights felt themselves contributing to a tradition of chivalry stretching back hundreds of years.

Knights in romances spent much time engaged in quests designed to test their knightly qualities or prove them worthy of their ladies and the favourite sport of chivalry was the tournament or joust in which a knight sought to win his lady’s favour. An example of chivalry is the unknown Middle English knight Sir Amadace, who, having been all but bankrupted by his knightly generosity sets forth to repair his fortunes by adventure, only to spend his last forty pounds on a deed of charity – burying the decaying corpse of an indebted merchant whose creditors are denying him burial. For this of course he is later rewarded.

3.The concept of romance and chivalry spread across the nations; and in the Middle Ages the nobles of Europe often lived in lonely castles which were usually perched in some inaccessible position. There were few books end even fewer who could read them. Travel was dangerous and rarely undertaken except for a pilgrimage or a crusade and one can understand that visitors were eagerly welcomed. Peddlers, jugglers and mountbacks of all sorts were constantly being entertained. Most welcome of all was the minstrel or singer. The lord and lady, the children and the servants would gather round the fireplace of the great hall to hear the minstrel chant his thrilling tales of love, of war, and of his mighty deeds. Through his songs ran the spirit of chivalry which was the social ideal of the feudal age and which taught knights to defend the Church, to make war against the infidel unceasingly, to be courteous, and to keep their word no matter what difficulties arose.


Around these ideals and around the stories of history and legend th

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