1902 Encyclopedia > Knighthood

Knighthood




KNIGHTHOOD and CHIVALRY are two words which are nearly but not quite synonymous; that is, they may often, although they cannot always, be used precisely in the same way and exactly in the same sense. What we mean by the order of knighthood is to all intents and pur-poses what we mean by the order of chivalry. But in some of the more special applications of the several terms diversi-ties in their respective significations manifest themselves. We could not, for example, say of anybody that he had received the honour of chivalry, or that he had lived in the age of knighthood. Again, we should speak of lands as held in chivalry not in knighthood, and of the rank or degree of knighthood not of chivalry. But taken together the two words knighthood and chivalry designate a single subject of inquiry, which presents itself under three dif-ferent although connected and in a measure intermingled aspects. It may be regarded in the first place as a mode or variety of feudal tenure, in the second place as a personal attribute or dignity, and in the third place as a scheme of manners or social arrangements. It is under these three general aspects that the subject is to be dealt with here. For the more important religious as distinguished from the military orders of knighthood or chivalry the reader is referred to the headings ST JOHN (KNIGHTS OF), TEUTONIC KNIGHTS, and TEMPLARS.

Our words knight and knighthood are merely the modern Deriva-f orms of the Anglo-Saxon or Old English cniht and cnihthdd. tion ot Of these the primary signification of the first was a boy or kni9ht-youth, and of the second that period of life which intervenes between childhood and manhood. But some time before the middle of the 12th century they had acquired the mean-ing they still retain of the French chevalier and chevalerie. In a secondary sense cniht meant a servant or attendant answering to the German Knecht, and in the Anglo-Saxon Gospels a disciple is described as a homing cniht. In a tertiary sense the word appears to have been occasionally employed as equivalent to the Latin miles—usually trans-lated by thegn—which in the earlier Middle Ages was used as the designation of the domestic as well as of the martial officers or retainers of sovereigns and princes or great per-sonages. Sharon Turner suggests that cniht from meaning The an attendant simply may have come to mean more especially Saxon a military attendant, and that in this sense it may have cmht-gradually superseded the word thegn. But the word thegn itself, that is, when it was used as the description of an attendant of the king, appears to have meant more espe-cially a military attendant. As Dr Stubbs says, " the thegn seems to be primarily the warrior gesith "—the gesithas forming the chosen band of companions (comités) of the German chiefs (principes) noticed by Tacitus—" he is pro-bably the gesith who had a particular military duty in his master's service"; and he adds that from the reign of Athelstan "the gesith is lost sight of except very occasion-ally, the more importaut class having become thegns, and the lesser sort sinking into the rank of mere servants of the king."1 It is pretty clear, therefore, that the word cniht could never have superseded the word thegn in the sense of a military attendant, at all events of the king. But besides the king, the ealdormen, bishops, and king's thegns themselves had their thegns, and to these it is more than probable that the name of cniht was applied. Under the singular system of joint responsibility and suretyship which was characteristic of the Anglo-Saxon government, the practice of commendation had attained to extraordinary dimensions. He who was unattached to some superior—the lordless man—was indeed regarded as a kind of outlaw ; and, if he refused or neglected to choose a lord for himself, his kindred were bound to present him to the county court and select a lord for him. Hence a relation which was for the most part merely personal, but which only required the addition of land holding—an ad-dition, it can scarcely be doubted, sometimes made—to render it in all respects feudal, was widely and firmly established in England long before the Norman Conquest. The mutual rights and obligations of lord and man, in a far more advanced condition than they appear as between hlaford and gesith at an earlier period, were perfectly familiar to the Anglo-Saxons, and it was only in part due to the influence of the Normans that they were subse-quently transformed into the mutual rights and obligations of lord and tenant. Around the Anglo-Saxon magnates were collected a crowd of retainers and dependants of all ranks and conditions ; and there is evidence enough to show that among them were some called cnihias who were not always the humblest or least considerable of their number.2 The testimony of Domesday also establishes the existence in the reign of Edward the Confessor of what Dr Stubbs describes as a " large class " of landholders who had commended themselves to some lord, and he regards it as doubtful whether their tenure had not already assumed a really feudal character. But in any event it is manifest that their condition was in many respects similar to that of a vast number of unquestionably feudal and military tenants who made their appearance after the Norman Con-quest. If consequently the former were called cnihtas under the Anglo-Saxon régime, it seems sufficiently pro-bable that the appellation should have been continued to the latter—practically their successors—under the Anglo-Norman régime. And if the designation of knights was first applied to the military tenants of the earls, bishops, and barons—who although they held their lands of mesne lords owed their services to the king—the extension of that designation to the whole body of military tenants need not have been a very violent or prolonged process. Assuming, however, that knight was originally used to describe the military tenant of a noble person, as cniht had sometimes been used to describe the thegn of a noble person, it would, to begin with, have defined rather his Cheva- social status than the nature of his services. But those tier. whom the English called knights the Normans called chevaliers, by which term the nature of their services was defined, while their social status was left out of consideration. And at first chevalier in its general and honorary signification seems to have been rendered not by knight but by rider, as may be inferred from the Saxon Chronicle, wherein it is recorded under the year 1085 that William the Conqueror " dubbade his sunu Henric to ridere."3 But, as Mr Freeman says, " no such title is heard of in the earlier days of England. The thegn, the ealdorman, the king himself, fought on foot; the horse might bear him to the field, but when the fighting itself came he stood on his native earth to receive the onslaught of her enemies." In this perhaps we may behold one of the most ancient of British insular prejudices, for on the Continent the im-portance of cavalry in warfare was already abundantly understood. It was by means of their horsemen that the Austrasian Franks established their superiority over their neighbours, and in time created the Western empire anew, while from the word caballarius, which occurs in the Capitularies in the reign of Charlemagne, came the words for knight in all the Bomance languages. In Germany the chevalier was called Hitter, but neither rider nor chevalier prevailed against knight among ourselves. And it was long after knighthood had acquired its present mean-ing with us that chivalry was incorporated into our lan-guage. It may be remarked too in passing that in official Latin, not only in England but all over Europe, miles held its own against both eques and caballarius.

Concerning the origin of knighthood or chivalry as it Origin ot existed in the Middle Ages,—implying as it did a formal medieval assumption of and initiation into the profession of arms,— ho^*" nothing beyond more or less probable conjecture is possible. The mediaeval knights had nothing to do in the way of derivation with the " equites " of Rome, the knights of King Arthur's Round Table, or the Paladins of Charlemagne. But there are grounds for believing that some of the rudiments of chivalry are to be detected in early Teutonic customs, and that they may have made some advance among the Franks of Gaul. We know from Tacitus that the German tribes in his day were wont to celebrate the admission of their young men into the ranks of their warriors with much circumstance and ceremony. The people of the district to which the candidate belonged were called together; his qualifications for the privileges about to be conferred upon him were inquired into; and, if he were deemed fitted and worthy to receive them, his chief, his father, or one of his near kinsmen presented him with a shield and a lance. Another custom apparently common to the Goths and the Franks was the ceremony of adoption by arms. By means of a solemn investiture with warlike weapons, the two parties to the formality or rite thenceforth acquired the artificial characters of father and son, not, as in the Boman practice of adoption, for any purpose of succession or in-heritance, but in a purely honorary and complimentary manner. Selden and Du Cange concur in tracing the cere-mony of " dubbing to knighthood" directly to the ceremony of the "adoptio per arma." Among the Lombards the sons of their kings were forbidden to sit at the tables of their fathers until they had been invested with arms, and this, it is further said, by some foreign prince or potentate. But among the Franks we find, from the authorities cited by Du Cange, Charlemagne girding his son Louis the Pious, and Louis the Pious girding his son Charles the Bald with the sword, when they arrived at manhood. These cases can hardly be referred, as the Lombard usages may, to the " adoptio per arma." Yet it is indisputable that in the investiture of Louis and Charles with the sword some ceremony was observed which was deemed worthy of record, not for its novelty, but as a thing of recognized importance. It does not follow that a similar ceremony extended to personages less exalted than the sons of kings and emperors. But if it did we must naturally suppose that it applied in the first instance to the mounted warriors who formed the most formidable portion of the warlike array of the Franks. It was among the Franks indeed, and possibly through their experiences in war with the Saracens, that cavalry first acquired the pre-eminent place which it long main-tained in every European country. In early society, where the army is not a paid force but the armed nation, the cavalry must necessarily consist of the noble and wealthy, and cavalry and chivalry, as Mr Freeman observes, will be the same. Since then we discover in the Capitularies of Charlemagne actual mention of "caballarii" as a class of warriors, it may reasonably be coucluded that formal investiture with arms applied to the "caballarii," if it was a usage extending beyond the sovereign and his heir ap-parent. " But," as Hallam says, " he who fought on horseback and had been invested with peculiar arms in a solemn manner wanted nothing more to render him a knight;" and so he concludes, in view of the verbal identityof "chevalier" and "caballarius,"that "we may refer chivalry in a general sense to the age of Charlemagne." Yet, if the " caballarii" of the Capitularies are really the precursors of the later knights, it remains a difficulty that the Latin name for a knight is " miles," although " cabal-larius " became in various forms the vernacular designation. Knight- Before it was known that the chronicle ascribed to Ingulf hood in 0f Croyland is really a fiction of the 13th or 14th century, England. tne jjjjjgjjtjug 0f JLeward or Hereward by Brand, abbot of Burgh (now Peterborough), was accepted from Selden to Hallam as an historical fact, and knighthood was supposed, not only to have been known among the Anglo-Saxons, but to have had a distinctively religious character which was contemned by the Norman invaders. The genuine evidence at our command altogether fails to support this view. When William of Malmesbury describes the knighting of Athel-stan by his grandfather Alfred the Great, that is, his investiture " with a purple garment set with gems and a Saxon sword with a golden sheath," there is no hint of any religious observance. In spite of the silence of our records, Dr Stubbs thinks that kings so well acquainted with foreign usages as Ethelred, Canute, and Edward the Confessor could hardly have failed to introduce into England the institution of chivalry then springing up in every country of Europe; and he is supported in this opinion by the circumstance that it is nowhere mentioned as a Norman innovation. Yet the fact that Harold received knighthood from William of Normandy makes it clear either that Harold was not yet a knight, which in the case of so tried a warrior would imply that "dubbing to knighthood" was not yet known in England even under Edward the Confessor, or, as Mr Freeman thinks, that in the middle of the 11th century the custom had grown in Normandy into " some-thing of a more special meaning " than it bore in England. William of Normandy was knighted by his overlord Henry I. of France, and of the Conqueror's sons he himself, as we have already seen, knighted Henry Beauclerc, while William Rufus was knighted by Archbishop Lanfranc.

It was under William Rufus, according to Mr Freeman, that the chivalrous and financial sides of feudalism sprang together into sudden prominence in England—the first as represented by the Red King, and the second as represented by his minister Ranulf Flambard.

In one sense tenure in chivalry was practically co-extensive with European feudalism, while in another sense it was strictly speaking peculiar to England after the Norman Conquest, and Ireland after the English Conquest. We have no earlier information of the details of the feudal organization of Normandy than we have of the feudal organization of England, and therefore it is impossible to say how far the second was copied from the first, or the first assimilated to the second. But at all periods there was apparently sufficient difference between the Norman " fief de hauberc " and the English knight's fee to prevent the one from being pronounced in the proper meaning of the term the counterpart of the other. Into Ireland, however, the English system of tenures was imported without change of conditions. But the process of feudalization commenced in England under William I. was otdy completed under Henry II., and at the time of the subjugation of Ireland there was already established a distinction between the feudal arrangements which had been made before and after the death of Henry I., as the "old" and the "new" feoffments. That Henry II. 's method of dealing with the conquered lands of Ireland was an exact imitation of William I.'s method of dealing with the conquered lands in England cannot therefore be assumed. But both kings Knight's had at their disposal a large extent of territory which they lee-granted to their vassals on terms necessarily very similar. In the reign of Henry II. the knight's fee was what may be called the " unit" of the system of tenures which had grown up in England since the Norman Conquest. In the Modus Tenendi Parliament^ for instance, a treatise which pretended to date from the 11th and which really dates from the 14th century, it is laid down that an earldom consisted of twenty knights' fees, and that a barony consisted of thirteen and a third knights' fees, a statement which seems to have been accepted without misgiving until it was refuted by Selden. It is, how-ever, beyond question that some, although not all, of the feudal services and obligations of the tenants of earl-doms and baronies were determined by the number of the knights' fees which they comprised. It was certainly not a fixed number, for it varied in every or nearly every recorded example.10 But it was in each instance a specified number, by which the earl's or baron's military contribution to the king's army was settled and the amerciaments payable in the event of its being absent or incomplete were computed.11 Hallam is inclined to attribute the invention of what he terms the " reasonable and convenient" principle of the knight's fee to the administrative genius of William the Conqueror.12 But Domesday proves that at the time when the survey was made nothing approaching to a regular distribution of the country into knights' fees had been attempted. On two occasions indeed the expression " servitium unius militis," which was afterwards the techni-cal designation of a knight's fee in legal phraseology, is employed. But even the word " miles" had not as yet acquired the special meaning which was subsequently assigned to it. Among the "milites" of Domesday are persons of very various conditions, from ordinary soldiers and the inferior tenants of manors to Hamo the sheriff and the earl of Eu. But when the returns contained in the Black Book of the Exchequer were made in the reign of Henry II., both the principle and system of knights' fees were fully and definitively established. Hence this change must have been effected in the interval between the compilation of these two records. It cannot be supposed that the numerous grants of land made by William I. to his adherents were exempt from military obligation of one kind or another. But no original grant of his or of either of his immediate successors to any lay vassal is in existence to inform us what the exact nature of those military obligations was ; aud, arguing from the grants to various ecclesiasti-cal vassals, Dr Stubbs regards it as unlikely that such gifts were made on any expressed condition or accepted with a distinct pledge to provide a certain contingent of knights for the king's service. Before the Norman Conquest, he contends, all landholders having been bound to the duty of national defence, and a certain quantity of land having customarily furnished a fully armed man, the old rate of military obligation was in all probability continued in the case of the new grantees after the Conquest. Nothing in Domesday implies that the conditions of military service differed under the old and the new monarchy, and hence Dr Stubbs concludes that " the form in which knights' fees appear when called on by Henry II. for scutage was most probably the result of a series of compositions by which the great vassals relieved their lands from a general burden by carving out particular estates the holders of which performed the services due from the whole ; it was a matter of convenience and not of tyrannical pressure." And, although Selden, and Madox after him, adhere to the common and ancient tradition that William the Conqueror made his grants conditional on the service of some particular number of knights in every case, they substanti-ally agree in regarding the knight's fee in its special meaning as the consequence of subinfeudation. From the reign of Henry II. to the reign of Edward I., indeed, what may be called grants in gross from the king and grants in detail from the mesne lords were the ordinary methods of erecting knights' fees and providing for the discharge of the personal and pecuniary obligations with which they were burdened.

Although the feudal services and incidents of a knight's fee appear to hive been ascertained with perfect clearness, the exact nature of a knight's fee itself—what it was or in what it consisted—has been the subject of a great deal of controversy. As the demands both personal and pecuniary which were made on the holder of each knight's fee were uniform, it is reasonable to conclude that all such fees were in some way equivalent to one another. But whether their equivalence was inferred from the quantity of land they contained or from the amount of revenue derived from them has been much debated, and cannot be said to be even now finally settled. Selden, indeed, roundly affirms that " the legal value of knights' fees was never in truth estimable either by any certain number of acres or quantity of revenue (though some have erroneously determined them by both), but only by the services or number of knights reserved." But if this were the case it is difficult to understand how parts of a knight's fee such as a half or a third could have been held, as they unquestionably were held, under reduced burdens calculated in proportion to the full burdens of a whole knight's fee. According to the analogies of the Anglo-Norman policy in other departments of its manifestation, it might have been expected with some degree of confidence that the knight's fee would have been a combination of the property qualification of the thegn and the feudal attributes of the "fief de hauberc," that is, of the latter superinduced upon the former. Before the Norman Conquest the property qualification of a thegn was five hides of land, for which a fully equipped warrior was to be furnished for the national defence in the king's host or "fyrd"; and there is no evidence to rebut the presumption that after the Norman Conquest a similar rate of military obligation was continued. It is not, however, without hesitation that Dr Stubbs arrives at what seems to be rather a provisional than a final determination on the sub-ject. In one passage he observes that " the name of thegn covers the whole class which after the Conquest appears under the name of knights, with the same qualification in land and nearly the same obligations." In another passage, on the contrary, he says that " it cannot even be granted that a definite area of land was necessary to con-stitute a knight's fee; for although at a later period and in local computations we may find four or five hides adopted as a basis of calculation, where the particular knight's fee is given exactly, it affords no ground for such a con-clusion." 8 On the whole he thinks it must be held that its extent was determined not by acreage but by rent or valuation, and that " the common quantity was really expressed in the twenty librates, the twenty pounds' worth of annual value, which until the reign of Edward I. was the qualification for knighthood." That this was the established appraisement of the knight's fee very soon after the Norman Conquest Dr Stubbs infers from the circumstance that Archbishop Lanfranc maintained ten knights to answer for the military service due from the convent of Christ Church in consideration of land worth two hundred pounds a year which on that account was assigned to him. But, although, as Coke says, the annual value of a knight's fee was twenty pounds at the enactment of both Magna Charta and the statute " De Militibus," he cites various writs for distraint of knight-hood which, if indeed some of them were not merely writs of array, would show that it varied irregularly from ten to forty pounds in amount between the reigns of Edward I. and Henry VI.7 It was computed at forty pounds in the reign of Elizabeth, and again when Charles I. resorted to " knight-money " as a means of raising a revenue. The aggregate number of knights' fees throughout England in feudal times is very variously stated by tradition. The assertion of Ordericus Vitalis in the reign of Stephen that the Conqueror settled his military fiefs so as to pro-vide 60,000 knights for his service was accepted, not only popularly and in an uncritical age, but by writers of weight from Selden to Hallam. But 60,000 knights' fees at £20 a year gives about twelve times the whole national income from land as it appears in Domesday; or, if the knight's fee is reckoned at five hides, the aggregate amounts to thirty millions of acres, leaving something more than two millions for royal demesnes, all other tenures, forests, waste, and the rest. The Red Book of the Exchequer, which dates from the first third of the 13th century, mentions a tradition, which the compiler himself rejects as unsupported by evidence, that William I. created not 60,000 but 32,000 knights' fees. According to the Black Book of the Exchequer the number of knights furnished at the date of its compilation by the tenants in chief of twenty counties taken at random was 3991, and of the ten counties south of the Thames and Avon 2047. As it is probable that these ten counties contained about a fourth of the population, and as the proportion of knights' fees is not very materially departed from in the twenty unselected counties, we should not be far wrong in assuming perhaps that the entire number of knights' fees in the kingdom was between eight and nine thousand. Kaight- All tenure in chivalry was founded on homage and fealty, service, to which were added the various services and liabilities under which the different fiefs or tenements were held. Homage consisted in the mutual acknowledgment by the lord and tenant that the latter was the vassal or man of the former, accompanied as evidence thereof by certain solemn acts of obeisance on the one hand and of accept-ance and patronage on the other. Hence homage could be done only by the tenant in person to the lord in person. Connected with and following on homage was fealty, which was an undertaking or oath on the part of the tenant that he would be true and faithful to his lord in consideration of the lands 'vhich he held of him, and that he would duly and fully observe the several conditions of his tenure, which declaration might be received on behalf of the lord by anybody whom he might appoint for the purpose. Every tenant in chivalry owed service to his lord in peace as well as in war, and was bound to attend him in his court not less than in the field. The civil obligations of tenants by knight-service were to assist their lords in the adminis-tration of justice and to support them on occasions of ceremony and display. The chief vassals of the king, the earls and barons, were the homagers and peers of the great court-baron of the kingdom, and in turn their under-tenants were the homagers and peers of their palatine and baronial courts. The military obligations of tenants by knight-service were discharged either in the king's armies or in the castles of the king and his principal feudatories. In the first case the holder of a knight's fee was bound to serve in the royal host fully equipped and on horseback at his own expense for forty days in every year when called upon,—a tenant in chief serving under the direct command of the sovereign or his officers, and an under tenant in the martial retinue of his immediate lord. But in the second case the duties of the tenant were not defined by any general rule or custom, and the terms of his service of " castle guard " depended on the special stipulations of his grant or feoffment. Besides all this, however, tenants by knight-service were subjected to various other burdens which in course of time became the most important incidents of their tenure. On the death of a tenant, his heir, if he was of full age, was compelled on taking up his inheritance to pay a fine to his lord. This was called a relief if he was an under tenant, or " primer seisin " if he was a tenant in chief, and amounted in the first instance to one quarter's profits, and in the second to one whole year's profits, of his estate. The tenant was also liable to render what were called aids to his lord for three purposes, namely, to ransom him from captivity, to make his eldest son a knight, and to provide a portion for his eldest daughter on her marriage. Of these three aids ransom was only a very rare and exceptional demand, while those "pur faire fitz chivaler" and " pur file marier " were of course of frequent and ordinary occurrence. Wardship and marriage, however, were the main incidents of tenure by knight-service after the military obligations which formed its essential characteristic, and they were always the most unpopular and oppressive of them. When on the death of the tenant the heir was under the age of twenty-one or the heiress under the age of fourteen, the lord became the " guardian in chivalry" of his or her person and lands until he reached the age of twenty-one or she reached the age of sixteen, when on the payment of half a year's income of their estate in lieu of all reliefs and " primer seisins " the wards were entitled to sue out their livery or " ouster-lemain." In the meantime the lord had all the profits of the lands, and was not bound to render any account of them, while he was at liberty to assign or sell his guardian-ship with its attendant rights and immunities unimpaired. Moreover, he was entitled to dispose of his male, as well as his female, wards in marriage to any person of equal or similar rank to their own, and if they rejected the match recommended by him, or married without his consent, they incurred the forfeiture to him of a sum of money equivalent to what was termed the value of their marriage, that is, the price which was to have been given or might have been reasonably expected to be given for it. Nor could the tenant by knight-service part with his lands without the payment of a fine on alienation to his lord, to whom they altogether passed on his neglect to fulfil his feudal obli-gations or on the extinction of his heirs. Again, whether he was an under tenant or a tenant in chief, his lands escheated to the king if he was convicted of treason, while if he was convicted of any other felony they escheated to his immediate lord, the king—if he were not the imme-diate lord-—entering into possession of them for a year and a day. It had also become customary from a comparatively early period to compel the tenants of knights' fees to take upon themselves the honorary distinction of knighthood, and it is remarkable that this appears to have been most systematically insisted on after the actual render of military service had been universally commuted to a money equi-valent, and when even that money equivalent itself under its original name of escuage or scutage was passing or had passed away. Neglect or refusal to be knighted by any tenant in chivalry who was thereunto commanded by the king's writ subjected the offender, if he was capable of bearing arms, and between the ages of twenty-one and sixty, to a fine. And thus in the progress of events knight-service tended to become more and more divorced from its primary uses and intentions, and to survive merely as a series of oppressive exactions and idle ceremonies. During the centuries which followed the enactment of the statute of " Quia Emptores," the king gradually added the character of immediate lord over nearly all the lands held in chivalry within the realm to the character of lord para-mount which had been his from the beginning. When feudalism was as firmly established and as fully developed as it ever was in England, a single officer in each county, called the king's escheator, who was appointed annually by the lord treasurer, was considered sufficient to watch over the royal " droits of seignory " and to prevent the evasion of them. But when nothing save the name and the hard-ships of feudalism remained, the Court of Wards and Liveries was erected, and the scandals and abuses to which its juris-diction gave rise under the Tudors and the first two Stuarts speedily assumed the proportions of an almost intolerable grievance. Towards the end of the reign of James I. the general discontent resulted in an attempt to abolish tenures in chivalry altogether, compensation being proposed to the king and the mesne lords in the form of a fixed rent in the place of their feudal dues, " which motion, though it proceeded not to effect," says Coke, "yet we thought it well to remember, hoping that so good a motion . . . will some time or other . . . take effect and be established." This hope was in part realized by the Long Parliament, which by resolution of both Houses in 1645 put an end to the Court of Wards and Liveries, and converted all tenures in chivalry into free and common soccage. But it was not until eleven years later that, by an Act of the Commonwealth in 1656, legislative sanction was conferred on these ordinances. Their substance, how-ever, had been embodied in one of the articles of the treaty of Newport between Charles I. and the Parliamentarians, and the king was then to have been indemnified by means of a revenue charged on the lands relieved, amounting to a hundred thousand pounds a year. At the Restoration a tax on lands held in chivalry was proposed in place of knight-service, but an alternative scheme for an excise on beer and some other liquors received the preference. It was not, however, until the abolition of purveyance as well as knight-service had been included in the measure, since known as the 12th Charles II. cap. 24, by way of concession to the claims of the yeomanry and peasantry, that it was permitted to pass, and then only amid vigorous protests from many quarters.





Regarded as a method of military organization, the feudal system of tenures was always far better adapted to the purposes of defensive than of offensive warfare. Against invasion it furnished a permanent provision both in men-at-arms and strongholds ; nor was it unsuited for the cam-paigns of neighbouring counts and barons which lasted for only a few weeks, and extended over only a few leagues. But when kings and kingdoms were in conflict, and distant and prolonged expeditions became necessary, it was speedily discovered that the unassisted resources of feudalism were altogether inadequate. The barons and knights who fought on horseback were in their own country attended by the yeomen and townsmen who fought on foot. But in foreign wars the feudal cavalry alone were available, and the infantry were nearly all and always mercenary troops. Again, although the period for which the holders of fiefs were bound to military service had originally been uncertain and unlimited, it gradually became an estab-lished rule, to which the exceptions were everywhere trifling and rare, that it should be restricted in various countries to from forty to sixty days in each year. Hence warlike operations on anything like an extended scale would have been impossible if the terms of the feudal engagement had been strictly observed. In these circumstances it became customary to retain the feudal tenants under arms as stipendiaries after their ordinary and legitimate obligations had been fulfilled. But this arrangement was exceedingly inconvenient in practice to sovereigns and their feudatories alike. It implied to the former the expenditure of large sums of money, then very difficult to raise, on what was frequently an inferior com-modity, and to the latter the neglect of their estates and of all their peaceful duties and diversions. It became therefore the manifest interest of both parties that personal services should be commuted into pecuniary payments. In the early times of feudalism the refusal or omission to discharge the military obligations attached to a fief entailed immediate forfeiture. But the usage of fining the delin-quents in such cases, at first arbitrarily and afterwards in a fixed amount, grew up all over Europe, while in England from the reign of Henry II. to the reign of Edward II. escuage or scutage was regularly levied, originally as an amerciament and subsequently as an ordinary war-tax on tenants by knight-service. In this way funds for war were placed at the free disposal of sovereigns, and, although the feudatories and their retainers still formed the most considerable portion of their armies, the conditions under which they served were altogether changed. Their military service was now the result of special agreement, by which they undertook in consideration of certain payments to themselves and their followers, with whom they had entered into similar arrangements, to attend in a particular war or campaign with a retinue of stipulated composition and strength. In the reign of Edward I., whose warlike enterprises after he was king were confined within the four seas, this alteration does not seem to have proceeded very far, and Scotland and Wales were subjugated by what was in the main if not exclusively a feudal militia raised as of old by writ to the earls and barons and the sheriffs. But the armies of Edward III., Henry V., and Henry VI. during the century of intermittent warfare between England and France were recruited and sustained entirely on the principle of contract. On the Continent the systematic employment of mercenaries was both an early and a common practice. But the transition from the feudal regime to the regime of standing armies was every-where sudden and abrupt as compared with the same process among ourselves.

Besides consideration for the mutual convenience of The sovereigns and their feudatories, there were other causes crusades, which materially contributed towards bringing about the changes in the military system of Europe which were finally accomplished in the 13th and 14th centuries. During the crusades vast armies were set on foot in which feudal rights and obligations had no place, and it was seen that the volunteers who flocked to the standards of the various commanders were not less but even more effi-cient in the field than the vassals they had hitherto been accustomed to lead. It was thus established that pay, the love of enterprise, and the prospect of plunder,—if we leave zeal for the sacred cause which they had espoused for the moment out of sight,—were quite as useful for the purpose of enlisting troops and keeping them together as the tenure of land and the solemnities of homage and fealty. Moreover, the crusaders who survived the difficulties and dangers of an expedition to Palestine were seasoned and experienced although frequently im-poverished and landless soldiers, ready to hire themselves to the highest bidder, and well worth the wages they received. Again, it was owing to the crusades that the church took the profession of arms under her peculiar protection, and thenceforward the ceremonies of initiation into it assumed a religious as well as a martial character. Nor was this by any means a merely gratuitous patronage of bloodshed on her part. In the ages of faith and chivalry, magic and sorcery were the terrors alike of the pious and the brave, and the blessings of the priest on the warrior, his weapons, and his armour were always regarded as the surest safeguards against the influence of hostile spells and enchantments. To distinguished soldiers of the cross the honours and benefits of knighthood could hardly be refused on the ground that they did not possess a sufficient property qualification,—of which perhaps they had in fact denuded themselves in order to their own and their retinue's Knight- equipment for the Holy War. And thus the conception hood in- 0f knighthood as of something wholly distinct from and ent of " "'dependent of feudalism both as a social condition and a feudal- personal dignity arose and rapidly gained ground. It was ism. then that the analogy was first detected which was after-wards more fully developed between the order of knight-hood and the order of priesthood, and that an actual union of monachism and chivalry was effected by the establishment of the religious orders of which the Knights Templars and the Knights Hospitallers were the most eminent examples. As comprehensive in their polity as the Benedictines or Franciscans, they gathered their members from, and soon scattered their possessions over, every country in Europe. And in their indifference to the distinctions of race and nationality they merely accommodated themselves to the spirit which had become characteristic of chivalry itself, already recognized, like the church, as a universal institution which comprised and knit together the whole warrior caste of Christendom into one great fraternity irrespective alike of feudal sub-ordination and territorial boundaries. Somewhat later the adoption of hereditary surnames and armorial bearings marked the existence of a large and noble class who either from the subdivision of fiefs or from, the effects of the custom of primogeniture were very insufficiently provided for. To them only two callings were generally open, that of the churchman and that of the soldier, and the latter as a rule offered greater attractions than the former in an era of much licence and little learning. Hence the favourite expedient for men of birth, although not of fortune, was to attach themselves to some prince or magnate in whose military service they were sure of an adequate maintenance, and might hope for even a rich reward in the shape of booty or of ransom. It is probably to this period and these circumstances that we must look for at all events the rudimentary beginnings of the military as well as the religious orders of chivalry. Of the existence of any regularly constituted companionships of the first kind there is no trustworthy evidence until between two and three centuries after fraternities of the second kind had been organized. Soon after the greater crusading societies had been formed similar orders, such as those of St James of Compostella, Calatrava, and Alcantara, were established to fight the Moors in Spain instead of the Saracens in the Holy Land. But the members of these orders were not less monks than knights, their statutes embodied the rules of the cloister, and they were bound by the ecclesiastical vows of celibacy, poverty, and obedience. From a very early stage in the development of chivalry, however, we meet with the singular institution of brotherhood in arms; and from it the ultimate origin if not of the religious frater-nities at any rate of the military companionships is usually derived. By this institution a relation was created between two or more knights by voluntary agreement which was regarded as of far more intimacy and stringency than any which the mere accident of consanguinity implied. Brothers in arms were supposed to be partners in all things save the affections of their "lady-loves." They shared in every danger and every success, and each was ex-pected to vindicate the honour of another as promptly and zealously as his own. Their engagements usually lasted through life, but sometimes only for a specified period or during the continuance of specified circumstances, and they were always ratified by oath, occasionally reduced to writing in the shape of a solemn bond and often sanctified by their reception of the eucharist together. Romance and tradition speak of strange rites—the mingling and even the drinking of blood—as having in remote and rude ages marked the inception of these martial and fraternal associations. But in later and less barbarous times they were generally evidenced and celebrated by a formal and reciprocal exchange of weapons and armour. In warfare it was customary for knights who were thus allied to appear similarly accoutred and bearing the same badges or cognizances, to the end that their enemies might not know with which of them they were in conflict, and that their friends might be unable to accord more applause to one than to another for his prowess in the field. It seems likely enough therefore that, at or soon after the period when the crusades had initiated the transformation of feudalism into chivalry as a military system, bodies banded together by engagements of fidelity, although free from monastic obligations, wearing a uniform or livery, and naming them-selves after some special symbol or some patron saint of their adoption, were neither unknown nor even uncommon. And such bodies raised by or placed under the command of a sovereign or grand master, regulated by statutes, and enriched by ecclesiastical endowments would have been precisely what in after times such orders as the Garter in England, the Golden Fleece in Burgundy, the Annunciation in Savoy, and the St Michael and Holy Ghost in France actually were. The knight too who had " won his spurs " was very differently esteemed from the knight who succeeded to them as an incident of his feudal tenure. In rank and the external ensigns of rank under the sumptuary'regula-tions of the age they were equal. But it was the first and not the second who was welcomed in court and camp, who was invited to the " round tables " which the Arthurian romances brought into fashion among the potentates of mediaeval Europe, and more particularly Edward III. and Philip VI. And thus it became the ambition of every aspirant to knighthood to gain it by his exploits rather than to claim it merely as his right by virtue of his position and estate. But there was one qualification for knighthood which was theoretically exacted even in England, and which was rigorously exacted abroad. Nobody could be legitimately created a knight who was not a gentleman of " name and arms," that is, who was not descended on both sides at the least from grandparents who were entitled to armorial bearings. And this condition is embodied in the statutes of every order of knighthood, religious or military, which can trace its origin to a period when chivalry was a social institution. Grades During the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as some-what earlier and later, the general arrangements of a Euro-pean army were always and everywhere pretty much the same. Under the sovereign the constable and the marshal or marshals held the chief commands, their authority being partly joint and partly several. Attendant on them were the heralds, who were the officers of their military court, wherein offences committed in the camp and field were tried and adjudged, and among whose duties it was to carry orders and messages, to deliver challenges and call truces, and to identify and number the wounded and the slain. The main divisions of the army were distributed under the royal and other principal standards, smaller divisions under the banners of some of the greater nobility or of knights banneret, and smaller divisions still under the pennons of knights or, as in distinction from knights banneret they came to be called, knights bachelors. All knights whether bachelors or bannerets were escorted by their squires. But the banner of the banneret always implied a more or less extensive command, while every knight was entitled to bear a pennon and every squire a pencel. All three flags were of such a size as to be conveniently attached to and carried on a lance, and were emblazoned with the arms or some portion of the bearings of their owners. But while the banner was square the pennon, which resembled it in other respects, was either pointed or forked at its extremity, and the pencel, which was considerably less than the others, always terminated in a single tail or streamer. As we have already indicated, it became the custom from the time of the crusades to seek out and as far as possible to establish analogies be-tween the institutions of chivalry and the church. In the military grades of the squire, the knight, and the banneret, therefore, were of course seen the representatives of the clerical grades of the deacon, the priest, and the bishop. But despite that the ceremonies of ordination were unques-tionably imitated in the ceremonies of knighting, there is no reason for supposing that the resemblance, such as it was, which obtained between the chivalrous and the eccle-siastical series of degrees was otherwise than accidental. Moreover, it failed in at least two material respects, namely, that squirehood although the usual was not the necessary preliminary to knighthood, and that in all the attributes of knighthood as knighthood a knight bachelor was as fully and completely a knight as a knight banneret. If indeed we look at the scale of chivalric subordination from another point of view, it seems to be more properly divisible into four than into three stages, of which two may be called provisional and two final. The bachelor and the banneret were both equally knights, only the one was of greater distinction and authority than the other. In like manner the squire and the page were both in training for knighthood, but the first had advanced further in the process than the second. It is true that the squire was a combatant while the page was not, and that many squires voluntarily served as squires all their lives owing to the insufficiency of their fortunes to support the costs and charges of knighthood. But in the ordinary course of a chivalrous education the successive conditions of page and squire were passed through in boyhood and youth, and the condition of knighthood was reached in early manhood. Every feudal court and castle was 'in fact a school of chivalry in which the sons of the sovereign and his vassals, or of the feudatory and his vassals, together commonly with those of some of their allies or friends, were reared in its principles and habituated to its customs and observances. And, although princes and great personages were rarely actually pages or squires, the moral and physical discipline through which they passed was not in any important particular different from that to which less exalted candi-dates for knighthood were subjected.•' The page, or, as he was more anciently and more correctly called, the " valet " or " damoiseau," commenced his service and instruction when he was between seven and eight years old, and the initial phase continued for seven or eight years longer. He acted as the constant personal attendant of both his master and mistress. He waited on them in their hall and. accompanied them in the chase, served the lady in her bower and followed the lord to the camp. From the chaplain and his mistress and her damsels he learnt the rudiments of religion, of rectitude, and of love ; from his master and his squires the elements of military exercise, to cast a spear or dart, to sustain a shield, and to march with the measured tread of a soldier ; and from his master and his huntsmen and falconers the " mysteries of the woods and rivers," or in other words the rules and prac-tices of hunting and hawking. When he was between fifteen and sixteen he became a squire. But no sudden or great alteration was made in his mode of life. He con-tinued to wait at dinner with the pages, although in a manner more dignified according to the notions of the age. He not only served but carved and helped the dishes, proffered the first or principal cup of wine to his master and his guests, and carried to them the basin, ewer, or napkin when they washed their hands before and after meat. ' He assisted in clearing the hall for dancing or minstrelsy, and laid the tables for chess or draughts, and he also shared in the pastimes for which he had made preparation. He brought his master the "vin de coucher" at night, and made his early refection ready for him in the morning. But his military exercises and athletic sports occupied an always increasing portion of the day. He accustomed himself to ride the " great horse," to tilt at the quintain, to wield the sword and battle-axe, to swim and climb, to run and leap, and to bear the weight and overcome the embarrassments of armour. He inured him-self to the vicissitudes of heat and cold, and voluntarily suffered the pains or inconveniences of hunger and thirst, fatigue, and sleeplessness. It was then too that he chose his " lady-love," whom he was expected to regard with an adoration at once earnest, respectful, and the more meri-torious if concealed. And when it was considered that he had made sufficient advancement in his military accom-plishments, he took his sword to the priest, who laid it on the altar, blessed it, and returned it to him. Afterwards he either remained with his early master, relegating most of his domestic duties to his younger companions, or he entered the service of some valiant and adventurous lord or knight of his own selection. He now became a " squire of the body," and truly an "armiger" or "scutifer," for he bore the shield and armour of his leader to the field, and, what was a task of no small difficulty and hazard, cased and secured him in his panoply of war before assisting him to mount his courser or charger. It was his function also to display and guard in battle the banner of the baron or banneret or the pennon of the knight he served, to raise him from the ground if he were unhorsed, to supply him with another or his own horse if his was disabled or killed, to receive and keep any prisoners he might take, to fight by his side if he was unequally matched, to rescue him if captured, to bear him to a place of safety if wounded, and to bury him honourably when dead. And after he had worthily and bravely borne himself for six or seven years as a squire, the time came when it was fitting that he should be made a knight. Modes of Two modes of conferring knighthood appear to have confer- prevailed from a very early period in all countries where knfht cnlvalry was known. In both of them the essential hood. portion seems to have been the accolade. But while in the one the accolade constituted the whole or nearly the whole of the ceremony, in the other it was surrounded with many additional observances. As soon as we have any historical evidence of their separate and distinct existence, we discover them as severally appropriated, the first to time of war and the second to time of peace.

In one of the oldest records of chivalry quoted by Selden, under the heading of " Comment on doit f aire et creer ung Chivalier," it is stated that, " quant ung Escuier que a longement voyage et este en plusiers faicts d'armes et que a de quoy entretenir son estate et qu'il est de grant maison et rich et qu'il se trouve en un battaile on recounter il doit adviser le chiefe de l'arme ou vaillant chivalier. Alors doit venir devant luy et demander ' chivalier au nom de Dieu et de Sainct George donnez moy le ordre' et le dit chivalier cu chiefe de guerre doit tirer l'espee nue vers le diet demaundeur et doit dire en frappant trois fois sur iceuly : ' Je te fais chivalier au nom de Dieu et de mon seigneur Sainct George, pour la foy et justice loyalment garder et l'eglise, femes, vesves, et orphelins defender." But the words of creation were various as well as the words of the exhortation. Sometimes the first were " avaucez chevalier au nom de Dieu," or " au nom de Dieu, Saint Michel, et Saint George je te fais chevalier"; and the second "soyez preux, hardi, et loyal," "be a good knight in the name of God"; or " soyez bon chevalier," or "be a good knight," merely. In this form a number of knights were made before and after almost every battle between the 11th and the 16th centuries, and its advantages on the score of both convenience and economy gradually led to its general adoption both in time of peace and time of war. On extraordinary occasions indeed the more elaborate ritual continued to be observed. But recourse was had to it so rarely that among us about the beginning of the 15th century it came to be exclusively appropriated to a special kind of knighthood. When Segar, garter king of arms, wrote in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, this had been accomplished with such completeness that he does not even mention that there were two ways of creating knights bachelors. " He that is to be made a knight," he says, " is striken by the prince with a sword drawn upon his back or shoulder, the prince saying, ' Soys Chevalier,' and in times past was added ' Saint George.' And when the knight rises the prince sayeth ' Avencez.' This is the manner of dubbing knights at this present, and that term 'dubbing' was the old term in this point, not 'creating.' This sort of knights are by the heralds called knights bachelors." In our days when a knight is personally made he kneels before the sovereign, who lays a sword drawn, ordinarily the sword of state, on either of his shoulders, and says, " Bise," calling him by his Christian name with the addition of " Sir " before it.

Very different were the solemnities which attended the creation of a knight when the complete procedure was observed. "The ceremonies and circumstances at the giving this dignity," says Selden, "in the elder time were of two kinds especially, which we may call courtly and sacred. The courtly were the feasts held at the creation, giving of robes, arms, spurs, and the like, whence in the stories of other nations so in those of ours ' armis militaribus donare' or ' cingulo militari,' and such more phrases are the same with ' militem facere' or to make a knight. The sacred were the holy devotions and what else was used in the church at or before the re-ceiving of the dignity, whence also ' consecrare militem' was to make a knight. Those of the first kind are various in the memories that preserve them, and yet they were rarely or never without the girding with a sword until in the later ages wherein only the stroke on the neck or shoulder according to the use at this day hath most commonly supplied it." Of these " ceremonies and circumstances" Selden gives several examples, especially those of the knighting of Geoffrey of Anjou by Henry I., of Alexander III. of Scotland by Henry III. of England, and of Edward Prince of Wales (afterwards Edward II.) by his father Edward I. But the leading authority on the subject is an ancient tract written in French, which will be found at length either in the original or translated by Segar, Dugdale, Byshe, and Nicolas, among other English writers. Daniel explains his reasons for transcribing it, "tant á cause du detail que de la naivete du stile et encore plus de la bisarrerie des ceremonies que se faisoient pourtant alors fort serieusement," while he adds that these ceremonies were essentially identical in England, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy.

The process of inauguration was commenced in the evening by the placing of the candidate under the care of two "esquires of honour grave and well seen in courtship and nurture and also in the feats of chivalry," who were to be "governors in all things relating to him." Under their direction, to begin with, a barber shaved him and cut his hair. He was then conducted by them to his appointed chamber, where a bath was prepared hung within and without with linen and covered with rich cloths, into which after they had undressed him he entered. While he was in the bath two "ancient and grave knights" attended him "to inform, instruct, and counsel him touching the order and feats of chivalry," and when they had fulfilled their mission they poured some of the water of the bath over his shoulders, signing the left shoulder with the cross, and retired. He was then taken from the bath and put into a plain bed without hangings, in which he remained until his body was dry, when the two esquires put on him a wdiite shirt and over that '' a robe of russet with long sleeves having a hood thereto like unto that of an hermit." Then the "two ancient and grave knights " returned and led him to the chapel, the esquires going before them "sporting and dancing" with "the minstrels making melody." And when they had been served with wines and spices they went away leaving only the candidate, the esquires, "the priest, the chandler, and the watch " who kept the vigil of arms until sunrise, the candidate passing the night "bestowing himself in orisons and prayers." At daybreak he confessed to the priest, heard matins, and communicated in the mass, offering a taper and a piece of money stuck in it as near the lighted end as possible, the first "to the honour of God " and the second "to the honour of the person that makes him a knight." Afterwards he was taken back to his chamber, and remained in bed until the knights, esquires, and minstrels went to him and aroused him. The knights then dressed him in distinctive garments, and they then mounted their horses and rode to the hall where the candidate was to receive knighthood ; his future squire was to ride before him bareheaded bearing his sword by the point in its scabbard with his spurs hang-ing from its hilt. And when everything was prepared the prince or subject who was to knight him came into the hall, and, the candidate's sword and spurs having been presented to him, he delivered the right spur to the "most noble and gentle" knight present, and directed him to fasten it on the candidate's right heel, which he kneeling on one knee and putting the candidate's right foot on his knee accordingly did, signing the candidate's knee with the cross, and in like manner by another "noble and gentle" knight the left spur was fastened to his left heel. And then he who was to create the knight took the sword and girded him with it, and then embracing him he lifted his right hand and smote him on the neck or shoulder, saying, " Be thou a good knight," and kissed him. When this was done they all went to the chapel with much music, and the new knight laying his right hand on the altar pro-mised to support and defend the church, and ungirding his sword offered it on the altar. And as he came out from the chapel the master cook awaited him at the door and claimed his spurs as his fee, and said, " If you do anything contrary to the order of chivalry (which God forbid), I shall hack the spurs from your heels."





As may be gathered from Selden, Favyn, La Colombiers, Menestrier, and Sainte Palaye, there were several differ-ences of detail in the ceremony at different times and in different places. But in the main it was everywhere the same both in its military and its ecclesiastical elements. In the Pontificale Romanum, the old Ordo Romanus, and the manual or Common Prayer Book in use in England before the Reformation forms for the blessing or consecra-tion of new knights are included, and of these the first aud the last are quoted by Selden. But the full solemnities for conferring knighthood seem to have been so largely and so early superseded by the practice of dubbing or giving the accolade alone that in England it became at last restricted to such knights as were made at coronations and some other occasions of state. And to them the particular name of knights of the bath was assigned, while knights made in the ordinary way were called in distinction from them knights of the sword, as they were also called knights bachelors in distinction from knights banneret. It is usually supposed that the first creation of Knights of the Bath under that designation was at the coronation of Henry IV. ; and before the Order of the Bath as a com-panionship or capitular body was instituted the last creation of them was at the coronation of Charles II. But all knights were also knights of the spur or " équités aurati," because their spurs were golden or gilt,—the spurs of squires being of silver or white metal,—and these became their peculiar badge in popular estimation and proverbial speech. In the form of their solemn inauguration too, as we have noticed, the spurs together with the sword were always employed as the leading and most characteristic ensigns of knighthood.

With regard to knights banneret various opinions have been entertained as to both the nature of their dignity and the qualifications they were required to possess for receiv-ing it at different periods and in different countries. On the Continent the distinction which is commonly but in-correctly made by us between the nobility and the gentry has never arisen, and it was unknown here while chivalry existed and heraldry was understood. Here, as elsewhere in the old time, a nobleman and a gentleman meant the same thing, namely, a man who under certain conditions of descent was entitled to armorial bearings. Hence Du Cange divides the mediaeval nobility of France and Spain into three classes :—first, barons or ricos hombres ; secondly, chevaliers or caballeros; and thirdly, ecuyers or infanzons; and to the first, who with their several special titles constituted the greater nobility of either country, he limits the designation of banneret and the right of leading their followers to war under a banner, otherwise a "drapeau quarre " or square flag. Selden mentions as an instance of " the nearness and sometimes community of the title of banneret and baron " the " bannerherr " or "dominus vexillifer" of the empire. And he also shows especially from the parliament rolls that the term banneret has been occasionally employed in England as equivalent to baron, where, for example, in the reign of Eichard II. among " divers other earls and barons there mentioned by name ; plusiers autres barons et bannerets esteants au dit parlament assemblez' " are referred to. In Scotland even as late as the reign of James VI., lords of parliament were always created bannerets as well as barons at their investi-ture, " part of the ceremony consisting in the display of a banner, and such ' barones majores ' were thereby entitled to the privilege of having one borne by a retainer before them to the field of a quadrilateral form." In Scotland, too, lords of parliament and bannerets were also called batmerents, banrents, or baronets, and in England ban-neret was often corrupted to baronet. " Even in a patent passed to Sir Kalph Fane, knight under Edward VI., he is called 'baronettus'for ' bannerettus.'" In this man-ner it is not improbable that the title of baronet may have been suggested to the advisers of James I. when the Order of Baronets was originally created by him, for it was a question whether the recipients of the new dignity should be designated by that or some other name. But there is no doubt that as previously used it was merely a corrupt synonym for banneret, and not the name of any separate dignity. On the Continent, however, there are several re-corded examples of bannerets who had an hereditary claim to that honour and its attendant privileges on the ground of the nature of their feudal tenure. And generally, at any rate to commence with, it seems probable that bannerets were in every country merely the more important class of feudatories, the "ricos hombres" in contrast to the knights bachelors, who in France in the time of St Louis were known as " pauvres hommes." In England all the barons or greater nobility were entitled to bear banners, and there-fore Du Cange's observations would apply to them as well as to the barons or greater nobility of France and Spain. But it is clear that from a comparatively early period ban-nerets whose claims were founded on personal distinction rather than on feudal tenure gradually came to the front, and much the same process of substitution appears to have gone on in their case as that which we have marked in the case of simple knights. According to the Sallade and the Division du Monde, as cited by Selden, bannerets were clearly in the beginning feudal tenants of a certain magni-tude and importance and nothing more, and different forms for their creation are given in time of peace and in time of war. But in the French Gesta Romanorum the warlike form alone is given, and it is quoted by both Selden and Du Cange. From the latter a more modern version of it is given by Daniel as the only one generally in force. " Quand un bachelier," says the ceremonial in question, " a grandement servi et suivi la guerre et que il a terre assez et qu'il puisse avoir gentilshommes ses hommes et pour accom-pagner sa bannière il peut licitement lever bannière et non autrement ; car nul homme ne doit lever bannière en bataille s'il n'a du moins cinquante hommes d'armes, tous ses hommes, et les archiers et les arbelestriers qui y appartien-nent, et s'il les a, il doit à la première bataille ou il se trouvera apporter un pennon de ses armes et doit venir au connétable ou aux maréchaux ou à celui qui sera lieu-tenant de l'ost pour le prince et requirir qu'il porte ban-nière, et s'il lui octroyent doit sommer les hérauts pour témoignage et doivent couper la queue du pennon." The earliest contemporary mention of knights banneret is in France, Daniel says, in the reign of Philip Augustus, and in England, Selden says, in the reign of Edward I. But in neither case is reference made to them in such a manner as to suggest that the dignity was then regarded as new or even uncommon, and it seems pretty certain that its existence on one side could not have long pre-ceded its existence on the other side of the Channel. Sir Alan Plokenet, Sir Ealph Daubeney, and Sir Philip Daubeney are entered as bannerets on the roll of the garrison of Caermarthen castle in 1282, and the roll of Carlaverock records the names and arms of eighty-five bannerets who accompanied Edward I. in his expedition into Scotland in 1300. Selden quotes some and refers to many of the wardrobe accounts of Edward II. in which contracts with and payments to bannerets are mentioned, observing that " under these bannerets divers knights bachelors and esquires usually served, and according to the number of them the bannerets received wages." What the exact contingent was which they were expected to supply to the royal host is doubtful. In the authorities collected by Selden, Du Cange, and Daniel it varies from ten and twenty-five to fifty men-at-arms with their attend-ants. Grose seems to prefer the medium estimate of a hundred mounted combatants in all, that number forming a square of ten in each face, and being the lowest equi-valent of the more modern squadron. But, however this may be, in the reign of Edward III. and afterwards bannerets appear as the commanders of a military force raised by themselves and marshalled under their banners— although paid through them by the sovereign—who were moreover always persons of property and soldiers of dis-tinction. At the same time their status and their rela-tions both to the crown and their followers were the conse-quences of voluntary contract not of feudal tenure. It is from the reigns of Edward III. and Bichard II. also that the two best descriptions we possess of the actual creation of a banneret have been transmitted to us. During Edward the Black Prince's expedition of 1367 into Spain, Sir John Chandos, one of the founder Knights of the Garter, was made a banneret on the morning of the day on which the battle of Navarrete was fought. When the troops were drawn up in order before the action commenced, " Sir John Chandos," says Froissart, "advanced in front of the bat-talions with his banner uncased in his hand. He presented it to the prince, saying, ' My lord, here is my banner ; I present it to you that I may display it in whatever manner shall be most agreeable to you ; for, thanks to God, I have now sufficient lands to enable me to do so and maintain the rank which it ought to hold.' The prince, Don Pedro, being present took the banner in his hands, which was blazoned with a sharp stake gules on a field argent; after having cut off the tail to make it square, he displayed it, and returning it to him by the handle said, ' Sir John, I return you your banner ; God give you strength and honour to preserve it.' Upon this Sir John left the prince, went back to his men with the banner in his hand, and said to them, ' Gentlemen, behold my banner and yours; you will therefore guard it as it becomes you.' His companions taking the banner replied with much cheerfulness that ' if it pleased God and St George they would defend it well and act worthily of it to the utmost of their abilities.'" At a later period some distinction appears to have been made between bannerets who were created under the royal standard, the king himself being present with his army in open war, and bannerets who were created only by the king's lieutenants, as Sir John Chandos and Sir Thomas Trivet were created. But no such distinction seems to have existed in the reigns of Edward III. and Bichard II.; and, although it was doubtless of more ancient origin, the earliest contemporary evidence of its existence is of the reign of James I., when bannerets whether of one or two classes had practically disappeared. Sir Thomas Smith, writing towards the end of the 16th century, says, after noticing the conditions to be observed in the creation of bannerets, " but this order is almost grown out of use in England ;" and during the controversy which arose be-tween the new order of baronets and the crown early in the 17th century respecting their precedence it was alleged without contradiction in an argument on behalf of the baronets before the privy council that " there are not bannerets now in being, peradventure never shall be." Sir Balph Fane, Sir Francis Bryan, and Sir Balph Sadler were created bannerets by the Lord Protector Somerset after the battle of Pinkie in 1547, and the better opinion is that this was the last occasion on which the dignity was conferred. It has been stated indeed that Charles I. created Sir John Smith a banneret after the battle of Edgehill in 1642 for having rescued the royal standard from the enemy. But of this there is no sufficient proof. It was also supposed that George III. had created several naval officers bannerets towards the end of the last cen-tury, because he knighted them on board ship under the royal standard displayed. This, however, is unquestion-ably an error. Knights bannerets were not distinguished from knights bachelors merely because they were created under the standard or banner of the sovereign, but further because their own pennons were converted into or exchanged for banners.

On the Continent the degree of knight bachelor disappeared with the military system which had given rise to it. Existing It is now therefore peculiar to the United Kingdom, where, orders of although very frequently conferred by letters patent, it is yet JM ^jIt~ the only dignity which is still even occasionally created— as every dignity was formerly created—by means of a cere-mony in which the sovereign and the subject personally take part. Everywhere else dubbing or the accolade seems to have become obsolete, and no other species of knighthood, if knighthood it can be called, is known except that which is dependent on admission to some particular order. It is a common error to suppose that baronets are hereditary knights. Baronets are not knights unless they are knighted like anybody else; and, so far from being knights because they are baronets, one of the privileges granted to them shortly after the institution of their dignity was that they, not being knights, and their successors and their eldest sons and heirs apparent should, when they attained their majority, be entitled if they desired to receive knighthood. It is a maxim of the law indeed that, as Coke says, " the kuight is by creation and not by descent," and, although we hear of such designations as the " knight of Kerry " or the " knight of Glin," they are no more than traditional nick-names, and do not by any means imply that the persons to whom they are applied are knights in a legitimate sense. Notwithstanding, however, that simple knighthood has gone out of use abroad, there are innumerable grand crosses, commanders, and companions of a formidable assortment of orders in almost every part of the world, from that of the Golden Fleece of Spain and Austria to those of St Charles of Monaco and of King Kamehameha of the Sandwich Islands. But, with the exception of the orders of the Golden Fleece founded by Philip II., duke of Burgundy, in 1429, and of the Annunciation founded by Charles III., duke of Savoy, in 1518—now that the orders of St Michael founded by Louis XI. and of the Holy Ghost founded by Henry III. of France, in 1469 and 1578, are either extinct or in abeyance—none of the foreign military as distin-guished from the religious orders of knighthood have any actual historical connexion with chivalry. The orders of the Genet of France and the Oak of Navarre of course are to be classed as mere fictions with the order of the Bound Table of Britain. But the pretensions of almost every other foreign order to extreme antiquity, as for example of the Elephant and Danneborg of Denmark, the White Eagle of Poland, or the Seraphim of Sweden, if they are less obviously extravagant, are not more susceptible of verification. It has nearly always been the practice even in modern days to represent the establishment as the revival or reorganization of an order. England has seven orders of knighthood, the Garter, the Thistle, St Patrick, the Bath, the Star of India, St Michael and St George, and the Indian Empire; and, while the first is undoubtedly the oldest as well as the most illustrious anywhere existing, a fictitious antiquity has been claimed and is even still frequently conceded to the second and
fourth, although the third, fifth, sixth, and seventh appear to be as contentedly as they are unquestionably recent.

It is, however, certain that the " most noble" Order of the Garter at least was instituted in the middle of the century, when, to use Hallam's words, the court of England " was the sun as it were of that system which embraced the valour and nobility of the Christian world," when " chivalry was in its zenith, and in all the virtues which adorned the knightly character none were so conspicuous as Edward III. and the Black Prince." But in what particular year this event occurred is. and has been the subject of much difference of opinion. All the original records of the order until after 1416 have perished, and consequently the question depends for its settlement not on direct testimony but on inference from circumstances. The dates which have been selected vary from 1344 to 1351, and it is a matter of some historical interest and importance to determine so far as it is practi-cable which of them is probably accurate, since Dr Stubbs cites the fact of " Edward III. celebrating his great feast on the institution of the Order of the Garter in the midst of the Black Death" as a " typical illustration" of the heartlessness and want of sympathy between classes which he holds to have been characteristic of the age. The Biack Death made its appearance on the coast early in August 1348, reached the capital in the following Novem-ber, and spreading over the com try raged until the end of September 1349. Hence Dr Stubbs apparently agrees with Ashmole (who based his opinion on the preamble to the two earliest but evidently not contemporary copies of the statutes) in referring the institution of the order and the accompanying feast to St George's Day in the April of the second of these two years. Mr Longman thinks that the order was "finally established" in 1347, Mr Beltz contends that it was founded in 1344, as Froissart, who wrote in the reign of Edward III. and Bichard II., affirms, while Sir Harris Nicolas maintains that, although it is not impossible that Edward III. may have determined to found an order of knighthood in 1344, when he invited knights of all countries to jousts at Windsor and revived the feast of the Bound Table, of which Froissart speaks, yet " the details of the Order of the Garter were not settled (even if the institution itself was contemplated), the companions appointed, nor the name or ensigns established until the latter part of 1347 or early in 1348." And, without going fully into the evidence, which may be examined at length in Nicolas and Beltz, it is indisputable that in the wardrobe account from September 1347 to January 1349, the 21st and 231 Edward III., the issue of certain habits with garters and the motto embroidered on them is marked for St George's Day, that similar vestments for the king and others on occasions not connected with the order are re-corded as having been delivered in 1347 at the Christmas games at Guildford and the tournaments at Bury, Windsor, Lichfield, and Eltham, that the letters patent relating to the preparation of the royal chapel of Windsor are dated in August 1348, and that in the treasury accounts of the Prince of Wales there is an entry in November 1348 of the gift by him of " twenty-four garters to the knights of the Society of the Garter." But that the order, although from this manifestly already fully constituted in the autumn of 1348, was not in existence before the summer of 1346 Sir Harris Nicolas holds on the ground that nobody who was not a knight could under its statutes have been admitted to it, and that neither the.Prince of Wales nor several others of the original companions were knighted until the middle of that year. Mr Beltz, following a sug-gestion of Anstis, had endeavoured to overcome this difficulty by assuming that the Black Prince had been knighted in his infancy, and that he was made a banneret at the age of fifteen. But, although it was not unusual for the sons of sovereigns and great' feudatories to be knighted when they were children, and even at their bap-tism, it is beyoud question, as Sir Harris Nicolas points out, that in England only commoners could be formally created bannerets. All knights of or above the rank of a baron were at once entitled to bear their banners in the field. And that the Prince of Wales was knighted on the landing of Edward III.'s expedition against France at La Hogue in July 1346 there can be no doubt. It seems pretty clear, however, that the Order of the Garter was in-stituted and the great feast celebrated, not in the midst of the Black Death, but at any rate some months before its ravages commenced. Begarding the occasion there has been almost as much controversy as regarding the date of its foundation. The " vulgar and more general story," as Ashmole calls it, is that of the countess of Salisbury's garter. But commentators are not at one as to which countess of Salisbury was the heroine of the adventure, whether she was Katherine Montacute or Joan the Fair Maid of Kent, while Heylyn rejects the legend as "a vain and idle romance derogatory both to the founder and the order, first published by Polydor Vergil, a stranger to the affairs of England, and by him taken upon no better ground than' fama vulgi, the tradition of the common people, too trifling a foundation for so great a building," and Anstis says that " it is now no more credited than the absurd, ridiculous relation of Micheli Marquez that this order, termed from the Greek language Periscelidis Ordo, was erected to the memory of one Periscelide, a true fairy queen, or the whimsical dream of Mr Joshua Barnes in his far-fetched derivation of it from the Cabiri among the Samothracians." Ashmole, however, while denying that any such accident became the principal cause of creating the order, will not altogether repudiate the alle-gation that " the king may have picked up a garter at some solemn ball or festivity,"—the queen's garter, as some have said,—while she and not he made use of the memo-rable words " Honi soit qui mal y pense." Another legend is that contained in the preface to the Begister or Black Book of the order, compiled in the reign of Henry VIII., by what authority supported is unknown, that Bichard I., while his forces were employed against Cyprus and Acre, had been inspired through the instrumentality of St George with renewed courage and the means of animating his fatigued soldiers by the device of tying about the legs of a chosen number of knights a leathern thong or garter, to the end that being thereby reminded of the honour of their enterprise they might be encouraged to redoubled efforts for victory. This was supposed to have been in the mind of Edward III. when he fixed on the garter as the emblem of the order, and it was stated so to have been by Taylor, master of the rolls, in his address to Francis I. of France on his investiture in 1527.8 According to Ashmole the true account of the matter is that, "King Edward having given forth his own garter as the signal for a battle which sped fortunately (which with Du Chesne we conceive to be that of Cressy, fought almost three years after the setting up of the Round Table at Windsor, rather than with the author of the ' Nouveau Theatre du Monde' that of Poictiers, which happened above seven years after the foundation of the order and whereat King Edward was not present), the victory, we say, being happily gained, he thence took occasion to institute this order, and gave the garter (assumed by him for the symbol of unity and society) pre-eminence among the ensigns of it, whence that select number whom he incorporated into a fraternity are fre-quently styled 'equites aurere periscelidis ' and vulgarly knights of the garter." Ashmole and Beltz also see in the order a reference to the king's French claims, and remark that the colour of the garter is the tincture of the field of the French arms. But, as Sir Harris Nicolas points out,—although Ashmole is not open to the correction,— this hypothesis rests for its plausibility on the assump-tion that the order was established before the invasion of France in 1346. And he further observes that "a great variety of devices and mottoes were used by Edward III. ; they were chosen from the most trivial causes and were of an amorous rather than of a military character. Nothing," he adds, " is more likely than that in a crowded assembly a lady should accidentally have dropped her garter; that the circumstance should have caused a smile in the bystanders; and that on its being taken up by Edward he should have reproved the levity of his courtiers by so happy and chivalrous an exclamation, placing the garter at the same time on his own knee, as 'Dishonoured be he who thinks ill of it.' Such a circumstance occurring at a time of general festivity, when devices, mottoes, and conceits of all kinds were adopted as ornaments or badges of the habits worn at jousts and tournaments, would naturally have been commemorated as other royal expressions seem to have been by its conversion into a device and motto for the dresses at an approaching hastilude." Moreover, Sir Harris Nicolas contends that the order had no loftier immediate origin than a joust or tournament. It con-sisted of the king and the Black Prince, and twenty-four knights divided into two bands of twelve like the filters in a hastilude—at the head of the one being the first, and of the other the second; and to the companions belonging to each,' when the order had superseded the Round Table and had become a permanent institution, were assigned stalls either on the sovereign's or the prince's side of St George's Chapel. That Sir Harris Nicolas is accurate in this con-jecture seems probable from the selection which was made of the " founder knights." As Mr Beltz observes, the fame of Sir Reginald Cobliam, Sir Walter Manny, and the earls of Northampton, Hereford, and Suffolk was already estab-lished by their warlike exploits, and they would certainly have been among the original companions had the order been then regarded as the reward of military merit only. But, although these eminent warriors were subsequently elected as vacancies occurred, their admission was post-poned to that of several very young and in actual war-fare comparatively unknown knights, whose claims to the honour may be most rationally explained on the assumption that they had excelled in the particular feats of arms which preceded the institution of the order. The order was dedicated to St George of Cappadocia and St Edward the Confessor, and its feast or solemn annual convention was kept at Windsor on St George's Day, the 23d of April, with little interruption from the reign of Edward III. to the reign of Queen Elizabeth. But a few years after the Restoration the celebration was altogether discontinued. The original companionship had consisted of the sovereign and twenty-five knights, and no change was made in this respect until 1786, when the sons of George III, and his successors were made eligible notwithstanding that the chapter might be complete. In 1805 another alteration was effected by the provision that the lineal descendants of George II. should be eligible in the same manner, except the Prince of Wales for the time being, who was declared to be " a constituent part of the original institu-tion"; and again in 1831 it was further ordained that the privilege accorded to the lineal descendants of George II. should extend to the lineal descendants of George I. The power of making and modifying the statutes of the order as exemplified in these innovations had from the begin-ning belonged to the whole fraternity, and it was only in the reign of Charles II. that it was surrendered to the sovereign. But the knights still continued at any rate formally to elect their companions, and the gorgeous and elaborate ceremonies of installation were still regarded as requisite to the full reception of knights elect. Since the beginning of the reign of George III.,however, both chapters and installations became more and more occasional, and it is now the established custom for the sovereign altogether to dispense with them. Although, as Sir Harris Nicolas observes, nothing is now known of the form of admitting ladies into the order, the description applied to them in the records during the 14th and 15th centuries leaves no doubt that they were regularly received into it. The queen consort, the wives and daughters of knights, and some other women of exalted position, were designated " Dames de la Fraternite de St George," and entries of the delivery of robes and garters to them are found at intervals in the Wardrobe Accounts from the 50th Edward III. (1376) to the 10th of Henry VII. (1495), the first being Isabel, countess of Bedford, the daughter of the one king, and the last being Margaret and Elizabeth, the daughters of the other king. The effigies of Margaret Byron, wife of Sir Robert Harcourt, K.G., at Stanton Harcourt, and of Alice Chaucer, wife of William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, K.G., at Ewelmo, which date from the reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV., have garters on their left arms. At a chapter in 1637 an attempt was made to revive the practice of issuing the ensigns of the order to ladies. Sir James Palmer, acting as deputy for Sir Thomas Rowe, the chan-cellor of the order, moved the sovereign tl.it the wives of the knights companions might have the priv' ege of wearing " a garter of the order about their arms am_ an upper robe at festival times, according to ancient usage. The matter was referred by Charles I. to the queen, and another chapter was appointed for the purpose of taking it into final con-sideration. But owing to the civil war nothing further was done in the matter. At present the officers of the order are five—the prelate, chancellor, register, king of arms, and usher—the first, third, and fifth having been attached to it from the commencement, while the fourth was added by Henry V. and the second by Edward IV. The prelate has always been the bishop of Winchester ; the chancellor was formerly the bishop of Salisbury, but is now the bishop of Oxford ; the registership and the deanery of Windsor have been united since the reign of Charles I. ; the king of arms, whose duties were in the beginning discharged by Windsor herald is garter principal king of arms; and the usher is the gentleman usher of the Black Rod.

The other orders of knighthood subsisting in the British Other empire must be spoken of more briefly. The "most ancient" British Order of the Thistle was founded by James II. in 1687,0rders-and dedicated to St Andrew. It consisted of the sovereign and eight knights companions, and fell into abeyance at the Bevolution of 1688. In 1703 it was revived by Queen Anne, when it was ordained to consist of the sovereign and twelve knights companions, the number being increased to sixteen by statute in 1827. The " most illustrious " Order of St Patrick was instituted by George III. in 1788, to consist of the sovereign, the lord lieutenant of Ireland as grand master, and fifteen knights companions, enlarged to twenty-two in 1833. The "most honourable" Order of the Bath was established by George I. in 1725, to consist of the sovereign, a grand master, and thirty-six knights companions. This was a pretended revival of an order supposed to have been created by Henry IV. at his coronation in 1399. But, as we have before shown, no such order existed. Knights of the Bath, although they were allowed precedence before knights bachelors, were merely knights bachelors who were knighted with more elaborate ceremonies than others and on certain great occasions. After the so-called revival the grand mastership merged in the crown on the death of John, duke of Mon-tagu, the first tenant of the office in 1749, and in 1815 and again in 1847 the constitution of the order was remodelled. Exclusive of the sovereign, royal princes, and distinguished foreigners, it is limited to fifty military and twenty-five civil knights grand crosses, one hundred and twenty-three mili-tary and eighty civil knights commanders, and six hundred and ninety military and two hundred and fifty civil com-panions. The " most distinguished " Order of St Michael and St George was founded by the prince regent, after-wards George IV., in 1818, in commemoration of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands, " for natives of the Ionian Islands and of the island of Malta and its depend-encies, and for such other subjects of his majesty as may hold high and confidential situations in the Mediter-ranean." By statute of 1832 the lord high commissioner of the Ionian Islands was to be the grand master, and the order was directed to consist of fifteen knights grand crosses, twenty knights commanders, and twenty-five cavaliers or companions. After the repudiation of the British protectorate of the Ionian Islands, the order was placed on a new basis, and by letters patent of 1868 and 1877 it was extended and provided for such of "the natural born subjects of the crown of the United Kingdom as may have held or shall hold high and confidential offices within her Majesty's colonial possessions, and in reward for services rendered to the crown in relation to the foreign affairs of the empire." It is now limited to fifty knights grand crosses, of whom the first or principal is grand master, exclusive of extra and honorary members, of one hundred and fifty knights companions, and two hundred and sixty companions. It ranks between the " most exalted " Order of the Star of India and the Order of the Indian Empire, of both of which the viceroy of India for the time being is ex officio grand master. Of these the first was instituted in 1861 and enlarged in 1876, and the second was established in 1878 in commemoration of the Queen's assumption of the imperial style and title of the empress of India. Of the Star of India there may be thirty knights grand commanders, seventy-two knights commanders, and one hundred and fifty-four companions, while of the Indian Empire there may be an unlimited number of companions, among whom the councillors of her majesty for her Indian empire are included by virtue of their office and for life. Persons It has been the general opinion, as expressed by Sainte em- Palaye and Mills, that formerly all knights were qualified to°œnfer to confer knighthood. But it maybe questioned whether knight- the privilege was thus indiscriminately enjoyed even in the hood. earlier days of chivalry. It is true that as much might be inferred from the testimony of the romance writers ; historical evidence, however, tends to limit the proposition, and the sounder conclusion appears to be, as Sir Harris Nicolas says, that the right was always restricted in opera-tion to sovereign princes, to those acting under their authority or sanction, and to a few other personages of exalted rank and station. In several of the writs for dis-traint of knighthood from Henry III. to Edward III. a distinction is drawn between those who are to be knighted by the king himself or by the sheriffs of counties respect-ively, and we have seen that bishops and abbots could make knights in the 11th and 12th centuries. At all periods the commanders of the royal armies had the power of conferring knighthood; as late as the reign of Elizabeth it was exercised among others by Sir Henry Sidney in 1583, and Bobert, earl of Essex, in 1595, while under James I. an ordinance of 1622, confirmed by a proclamation of 1623, for the registration of knights in the college of arms, is rendered applicable to all who should receive knighthood from either the king or any of his lieutenants. Many sovereigns, too, both of England and of France, have been knighted after their accession to the throne by their own subjects, as, for instance, Edward III. by Henry, earl of Lancaster, Edward VI. by the Lord Protector Somerset, Louis IX. by Philip, duke of Burgundy, and Francis I. by the Chevalier Bayard. But when in 1543 Henry VIII. appointed Sir John Wallop to be captain of Guisnes, it was considered necessary that he should be authorized in express terms to confer knight-hood, which was also done by Edward VI. in his own case when he received knighthood from the duke of Somerset. In like manner Henry, earl of Arundel, under special commission from the queen, created the Knights of the Bath and other knights at the coronation of Elizabeth in 1559, and in the patent from James II. nominating Christopher, duke of Albemarle, governor of Jamaica in 1686 he is empowered to confer knighthood on any persons "not exceeding six in number within the said island whom he may think deserving of the same in the king's service." But at present the only subject to whom the right of conferring knighthood belongs is the lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and to him it belongs merely by long usage and established custom. It was called in question in 1821 by the Lords of the Admiralty on the occasion of Earl Talbot knighting Sir John Phillimore, a captain in the navy, and the point, having been submitted to the law officers of the crown in England and Ireland, was the subject of contradictory opinions from them. In 1823, however, it was referred by order in council to the English judges, who unanimously reported in favour of the lord-lieutenant of Ireland's claims. But, by whomsoever con-ferred, knighthood at one time endowed the recipient with the same status and attributes in every country wherein chivalry was recognized. In the Middle Ages it was a common practice for sovereigns and princes to dub each Ovher knights much as they were afterwards, and are now, in the habit of exchanging the stars and ribands of their orders. Henry II. was knighted by his great-uncle David I. of Scotland, Alexander III. of Scotland by Henry III., Edward I. when he was prince by Alphonso X. of Castile, and Ferdinand of Portugal by Edmund of Langley, earl of Cambridge. And, long after the military importance of knighthood had practically disappeared, what maybe called its cosmopolitan character was maintained. Writing in the 17th century, Mr Justice Doddridge lays it down as a principle of law in which he is supported by all the older authorities that " the highest and the lowest dignities are universal, for if the king of a foreign nation come into England by leave of the king of this realm (as it ought to be), in this case he shall sue and be sued by the name of a king, so shall he sue and be sued by the name of a knight wheresoever he received that degree of dignity, but other-wise it is as of a duke, marquess, earl, or other title of honour given by any foreign king." The well-known story told by Camden about Queen Elizabeth and Sir Thomas Arundel afterwards Lord Arundel of Wardour, and her disinclination that " her sheep should bear a stranger's mark," and "dance after the whistle of every foreigner," had reference to a countship of the empire, and not to knighthood or an order of chivalry. Even to the end of the last century indeed any knight duly dubbed abroad was fully accepted as a knight in England. Hence when in 1792, at the request of the king of Sweden, George III. invested Sir Sidney Smith with the grand cross and collar of the Swedish Order of the Sword, it was ex-pressly announced that he " was not knighted on this occasion, that ceremony having been performed by his late Swedish majesty." By certain regulations, however, made in 1823, and repeated and enlarged in 1855, not only is it provided that the sovereign's permission by royal warrant shall be necessary for the reception by a British subject of any foreign order of knighthood, but further that such permission shall not authorize " the assumption of any style, appellation, rank, precedence, or privilege appertaining to a knight bachelor of the United Kingdom." Moreover, no permission of the kind will be granted " unless the foreign order shall have been conferred in consequence of active and distinguished service before the enemy either at sea or in the field," or unless the person receiving it shall have been " actually and entirely " em-ployed beyond the British dominions " in the service of the foreign sovereign by whom the order is conferred." Degrada- Since knighthood was accorded either by actual investi-tion. ture or its equivalent, a counter process of degradation was regarded as necessary for the purpose of depriving anybody who had once received it of the rank and condition it im-plied. And in this respect there can be no doubt that the order of chivalry was designedly assimilated to the order of priesthood. Hence, as Selden points out, " as by the canon laws the ceremony of degradation from any degree of any order is by the solemn taking away those things from the clerk wherewith he was so invested at his taking the order from which he is to be degraded, so the ceremonies of degra-dation of a knight were in ancient times such as that the sword with which he was girt at his knighting and the spurs that were put on him were to be publicly taken off from him, and some other solemnities were sometimes in it." The cases in which a knight has been formally de-graded, in England are exceedingly few, so few indeed that two only are mentioned by Segar, writing in 1602, and Dallaway says that only three were on record in the College of Arms when he wrote in 1793. But in illustration of the statement of Coke that " when a knight is degraded one of his punishments is ' quod clypeus suus gentilicius reversus erit,' and how his arms be reversed that he beareth none," Sir Harris Nicolas states that in an illuminated copy of Matthew Paris's Historia Major, among the royal manuscripts in the British Museum, there is a representa-tion of Sir William de Marisco, who was convicted of treason in the reign of Henry III., with his sword and the staff of his banner broken and his shield hewn asunder. With this exception, however, the earliest known example of degradation from knighthood is that of Sir Andrew Harclay, who was created earl of Carlisle by Edward II., and was attainted of high treason in the year following his creation. He was tried and condemned at Carlisle in 1323 by special commission under Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, the king's half-brother. A part of his sentence, as preserved in the record, was in the following words: "que vous soietz degrade, que vous perdetz noun de count pur vous et pur vous heirs a touts jours que vous soietz deceynt del espee que vous esporeuns d'orrees soient coupez de talouns," which having been done, according to Holingshed, Sir Anthony Lucy, the sheriff of Cumberland, said to him, " Andrew, thou art no knight, but thou art a knave," when judgment for treason was pronounced on him, and he was immediately beheaded. The next case was that of Sir Balph Grey, which occurred in the reign of Edward IV. He was tried and convicted of treason, before John Tiptoft, earl of Worcester, constable of England in 1468, but the sentence as preserved by Stowe seems to indicate that the ceremonies of degrada-tion were to be remitted. The last case was that of Sir Francis Michell in 1621, whose spurs were hacked from his heels, his sword belt cut, and his sword broken over his head by the heralds in Westminster Hall. The ceremony of de-grading a knight who is a companion of an order which as a capitular body has a chapel assigned to it applies to his achievements therein displayed more markedly than to him in person. On the degradation of a Knight of the Garter, indeed, a deputation of the companions are (Ashmole says) to go to him, attended by Garter king of arms, who " in a solemn manner first takes from him his George and riband and then his garter." But the principal observances are that his banner, helm, and armorial plate are torn down from above and from off his stall by the officers of arms, and are by them spurned or kicked out of the building. From the Order of the Garter William Lord Paget, who was subsequently rein-stated, was degraded in 1552, "chiefly," according to the diary of Edward VI., "because he was no gentleman of blood neither of father's side or mother's side." The degradation in due form of James, duke of Monmouth, and of James, duke of Ormond, for treason occurred severally in 1685 and 1716, Thomas Lord Cochrane and Sir Eyre Coote were similarly degraded from the Order of the Bath in 1814 and 1816. But in all these cases the knights retained their knighthood, although they were expelled from the orders to which they had belonged.

Roughly speaking, the age of chivalry properly so called Decline may be said to have extended from the beginning of the °f crusades to the end of the Wars of the Roses. Within the cmvau7-limits of that period, which comprised about four hundred years, all that was peculiarly characteristic of it arose, at-tained to maturity, and fell into decay. It is true that some of its spirit and many of its external forms lingered on throughout the greater part of the 16th century. But the chivalry of Francis I. and Charles V. bore much the same relation to the chivalry of Edward III. and the Black Prince that the romance of Don Quixote bears to the romance of Amadis de Gaul. As a practical mili-tary system chivalry was entirely at an tion in the mode of warfare which had commenced under Edward III. was completed under Henry VIII., and it was on their infantry and artillery rather than on their cavalry that commanders had come principally to rely. Knights still disported themselves in the lists as bravely and gallantly as of old, but neither their arms nor their armour availed them aught against the cannon and muskets they were compelled to encounter in the field. And even in the way of pageantry and martial exercise chivalry was not destined to be of long continuance. In England tilts and tourneys, in Vfhich her father had so much excelled, were patronized to the last by Queen Elizabeth, and were even occasionally held until after the death of Henry, Prince of Wales. But on the Continent the Comte de Montgomerie's lance proved as fatal to them as it did to the French king Henry at Paris. By that time, however, chivalry had ceased to exist as a social institution as well as a military regime. Its standard of conduct, the code of honour, indeed remained as it in some measure still remains, the test of propriety and the guide of manners in the higher ranks of society all over Europe. But the order of knighthood as an order formally and particularly dedicated to the service of " God and the Ladies,"—" I blush," says Gibbon, " to unite such discordant names,"—and bound by solemn and express engagements to vindicate justice, to avenge wrong, and to defend the weak, the unprotected, and the oppressed, had disappeared. It was under this shape, however, that chivalry manifested itself during the earlier and more vigorous stages of its development, and played its part among the chief and certainly among the most remarkable of those influences which moulded the form and directed the course of Western civilization in mediaeval times. The common offspring of feudalism and the church, it derived its resources and its sanctions from each of its parents in turn, and stood forth as at once the spiritual representative of the one and the temporal representative of the other. Whatever may have been its inherent vices and defects, it is at any rate indis-putable that it embodied some of the noblest sentiments and engendered many of the worthiest actions of contem-porary mankind. It animated poetry and art; it created romance and heraldry; it determined individual ethics, modified the policy of states, and generally inspired the energies while it controlled the destinies of all those na-tions, especially England and France, which were then as they now are the most enlightened as well as the most powerful in the world. Under ecclesiastical teaching war came to be regarded from a judicial standpoint as, to use the words of Bacon, "the highest trial of right when princes and states that acknowledge no superior on earth shall put themselves upon the justice of God for the deciding of thoir controversies by such success as it please Him to give on either side." Battles were commenced with religious celebrations, and armies esteemed themselves happy if they^ marched beneath a consecrated standard. Even in the field and while engaged in mortal conflict Christian knights acknowledged the duties and courtesies of their order. And if thuy were taken prisoner they could count on con-sideration from their captors, and on their freedom when they paid their stipulated ransom. Moreover, when they took prisoners they knew that they could safely release them on parole to raise their ransom, and that they would return to captivity if their ransom could not be raised. It is indeed from the customs of chivalry that the best and most humane portions of the laws of war in so far as actualcombatants are concerned have their origin. But war, although it was the principal, was not the exclusive or the continuous occupation of mediaeval knighthood. When not in the camp the home of the knight was in the court or the castle, and it was there that his prowess in the past campaign or present tournament was rewarded, often it might be rather generously than discreetly by the ladies in whose cause he was partly enrolled. Hence, although at no period were women held in greater outward respect by men, it is probable that at no period did more licence in the association of the sexes prevail; and it is a strange comment on the manners of the times that the single word "gallantry" should have grown to signify both bravery and illicit love. But, if chastity was not among the car- dinal virtues of chivalry, the catalogue of them included valour, loyalty, courtesy, and munificence; and, had they been practised with the zeal with which they were inculcated, they would have gone far towards redeeming the dissoluteness of private manners with which they were connected. Valour was of course the primary qualification of a knight, and the imputationof cowardice the most damaging that could be cast upon him. But loyalty, which implied the strictest fidelity to all his engagements to his sovereign or lord, his "lady- love," and his friends and foes alike, was only second to it in importance. Next came courtesy, which meant not only ceremonious politeness but also spontaneous modesty of carriage, self-denial, and careful respect for the feelings of others. And last came munificence, a disdain for money, readiness to relieve want and reward services, hospitality, and liberality in all things. In a celebrated passage Burke describes chivalry as " the unbought grace of life, the cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sen- timent and heroic enterprise." " Never never more," he says, " shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart which kept alive even in ser- vitude itself the spirit of an exalted freedom;" and, he adds, "that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honour which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled what- ever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil by losing all its grossness." A very different estimate of chivalry is expressed by Mr Freeman. " The chivalrous spirit," he contends, " is above all things a class spirit. The good knight is bound to endless fantastic courtesies towards men and still more towards women of a certain rank; he may treat all below that rank with any degree of scorn and cruelty. The spirit of chivalry implies the arbitrary choice of one or two virtues to be practised in such an exaggerated degree as to become vices, while the ordinary laws of right and wrong are forgotten. The false code of honour supplants the laws of the commonwealth, the law of God, and the eternal principles of right. Chivalry again in its military aspect not only encourages the love of war for its own sake without regard to the cause for which war is waged, it encourages also an extra- vagant regard for a fantastic show of personal daring which cannot in any way advance the objects of the siege or campaign which is going on. Chivalry in short is in morals very much what feudalism is in law : each substi- tutes purely personal obligations, obligations devised in the interests of an exclusive class, for the more homely duties of an honest man and a good citizen." Between these two views,—which, indeed, may be taken to represent the extremes of praise and of depreciation,—it may be assumed that at all events an approximation to the truth concerning the ethical effects of chivalry or knighthood is somewhere to be found. (F. DE.)


Footnotes

1 Stubbs, Constitutional History, vol. i. p. 156.
2 Stubbs, vol. i. pp. 156, 366 ; Turner, vol. iii. pp. 125-129.
5 Baluze, Capitularia Regum Francorum. vol. ii. pp. 794, 1069.
0 Ibid., p. 262. 7 Coke, Second Institute, p. 596, ed. 1669.
6 Magna Carta, sect. 2.
5 Sainte Palaye, Mémoires, vol. i. p. 36 ; Froissart, bk. iii. chap. 9.
5 Nicojas, British Orders of Knighthood, p, yji.
4 Titles of Honor, pp. 369 and 648. See also p. 367 for the ceremonies observed at the knighting of William, count of Holland, when he was elected king of the Romans in 1247, and Selden's remarks and authorities with respect to the disuse of the ancient form of investiture with arms in the empire.
5 Selden, Titles of Honor, p. 678 ; Ashmole, Order of the Garter, p. 15 ; Favyn, Théâtre d'Honneur, vol. ii. p. 1035.
6 " If we sum up the principal ensigns of knighthood, ancient and modern, we shall find they have been or are a horse, gold ring, shield and lance, a belt and sword, gilt spurs, and a gold chain or collar. " —Ashmole, Qrcler of ffis Carter, pp. 12, 13.
6 Nicolas, British Orders of Knighthood, p. xxviii.
3 Hallam, Middle Ages, vol. iii. p. 398.
4 Burke, French Revolution, p. 113, ed. 1790.





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