Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

Elizabethan Knights

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

Elizabethan Knights

The Medieval Feudal system declined during the Elizabethan era and although Elizabethan Knights fought as soldiers for the Queen the title was conferred upon Elizabethans as a matter of prestige. Courtiers and Nobles still took part in Tournaments and were expected to be able to use the weapons of the era.

Codes of Conduct  and the strict etiquette of everyday court life revolved around the Code of Chivalry, courtly manners and courtly love. A young noble would start their life as a Page and then move up to the role of a Squire and then a knight. It was the duty of a Knight to learn how to fight and so serve their Queen according to the Code of Chivalry. The Code of Chivalry dictated that Elizabethan Knights should be brave and fearless in battle but would also exhibit cultured Knightly qualities showing themselves to be devout, courteous and generous. Weapon practise included enhancing skills in the two-handed sword, battle axe, mace, dagger and lance.

Interesting Facts and Information about Elizabethan Knights Armor
Elizabethan Knights armor was still worn at tournaments.  The elements of Knights Armor are as follows:

  • Linen Under-shirt and under-pants. Woollen stockings
  • Sabatons - armor for the foot and consisted of riveted iron plates on the boots
  • The Aketon - arming doublet
  • Armor protecting the arms
    • Layer of chain mail over the arms
    • Besagues which were small round 'shields' laced to the mail at the shoulder to defend the armpit
    • Rerebrace covering the upper arm
    • Vambrace for the defence of the lower arm
    • Armor protecting the legs
      • Greaves - Protecting the calf and ankles
      • Poleyns - Protecting the knee cap
      • Cuisses - Protecting the thigh
    • Chest Armor - Breast Plate - Faulds were rings of armour which were attached to the breast plate and protected the hips, abdomen and lower back
    • Back Armor - The Backplate
    • Face protection - A Visor was a detachable piece of armor which protected the face and eyes
    • Hand Armor - The Knights wore gloves called Gauntlets
    • Spurs were attached to the heel by straps and used to 'spur' the Knights horse on in battle
    • Surcoat: A robe, with a belt around the waist, was placed over the body armor. The Knight'ssurcoat was emblazoned with the cote of arms or device of the Knight in order for identification purposes
    • Weapons - A Dagger and Sword were attached to the Knights belt and a shield was carried in defence displaying the Knights heraldic blazon
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