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Re: disc: ONE Peerage, Different Orders, or No Order (fwd)

Poster: clevin@rci.ripco.com (Craig Levin)


> Lord Aedric writes:
> > In fact, my only comment disagreeing with you is that only fighters would
> > have knights.  I see no reason in history why we could not have artistic
> > knights and service knights (A good reason for knighthood in period, no?)
> > and scientific knights and the like.  It might be stretching it some to
> > achieve equality, but I do not see the great harm in this as opposed to
> > the current system.
> Actually, once you go back to the point where knighthood is no longer 
> connected to the peerage, I think you go back to the point where the 
> title knight is used fairly exclusively for a mounted warrior (yes, I 
> know we don't ride horses).

It's also something that didn't mean very much, early on. Most
pre-1100 knights (_miles_ or _ministeriales_ in Latin) were very 
low on the social scale. In fact, some _ministeriales_ were refer-
red to in German records as serfs.

> The knighting of people like Sir John Gilguld (modern actor) and so on 
> happened mostly because there had been the creation of Royal Orders of 
> knighthood, like the Garter and the Bath, in which the Crown wanted to 
> include non-fighters (mostly because there weren't enough really 
> knightly people around).  In the Society we have plenty of people who 
> whack each other while in heavy armour.

You're confusing the drop in the number of belted knights with
the start of the royal/noble orders of chivalry. They have
nothing to do with each other. Bath is a postmediaeval order, for
one thing. Garter was not a "non-fighting" order. Please look at
Boulton's _Kinghts of the Crown_ for more on the Garter. If
anything, the Garter was an attempt to revive the Round Table by
the romance-stricken Edward III. Not that I see that, or Edward,
as bad.

The drop in belted knights was due to the high cost of the
ceremony itself, and, in England, the fact that the kings
depended upon knights of the shires to act as his unpaid
officials. It paid to not be a knight, because that rendered you
ineligible for these dubious honors. The kings got around this by
"distraint for knighthood," in effect taxing men who chose not to
be knights who were of knightly quality, or getting them to
undergo the ceremony, and the restriction of office to belted
knights was lifted. See Keen's _Chivalry_ and any good history of
late mediaeval England for more. I suggest that of Tierney and

> France late in period had two types of nobility.  Nobles of the sword, 
> fighters like our knights and half or so of our royal peers, and nobles 
> of the Robe, who basically ran the government, and were much like our 
> order of the Pelican.

_Very_ late.

> Just don't ask ME where Laurels fit historically.

Not in the noblesse, for the most part, saving heralds and a few
others. Mostly in the ranks of the bourgeois.
Craig Levin
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