Medieval knights were courageous, dedicated to God and love. They were known to rescue damsels in distress and gave chivalry its name. At least, that's how we picture the Knights as fairy tales have shown us. But were they like that? Today, we hear the recounts of Sir Henry William, Knight of Windsor.
Disclaimer: This is a work of contemporary fiction, based on historical facts. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
“I dub thee, Sir Henry William, Knight of Windsor.”
In the year c. 1200, I was appointed as a Knight of Windsor. I remembered it clearly. The journey to becoming a knight was not easy. There were a lot of challenges I had to face. I must say; I was lucky to be the son of a nobleman, an advantage from birth. The sons of the nobles, including me, were sent to live in the castle of the Lords. This commenced our education of learning the skills required to be a Knight. For me, training began when I was only 9 years old. Combat training includes archery and hand to hand combat using swords and other weapons. These were part of the training to prepare my comrades and I to become a skillful Knight, and to prepare us for future jousting tournaments. At that time, as a mere nine-year-old, I was petrified. I was afraid that I would execute a wrong move and endanger my comrades. But God has been good. Not only were we taught about combat fighting, but we were also taught about Christianity and our Heavenly Father Himself.
We started our duties as a Knight at the age of 16. Practicing in heavy armor, tending to my horse, and cleaning my weapon were all part of my daily activities. This was before I was dubbed as an official Knight of the Land. At the age of 20, I was then made a Knight in a ceremony.
I had to go through a ritual bathing before my formal entry to Knighthood. My body was thoroughly cleansed as a symbol of purification. We were told to wear a white vesture that represented purity, covered by a red robe that symbolized nobility. The black shoes and hose stood for death. A sword and shield were placed on the altar. I, then knelt at the Chapel altar, in silent prayer for ten hours. Following the next morning, I was joined by others to hear Mass and a lengthy sermon on the duties of a Knight. A sponsor then took possession of the sword and shield that had been blessed by the priest and was passed to the Lord who was to conduct the Knighthood ceremony. Finally, my comrades and I swore an oath of allegiance to the Lord.
My armor was part of what made me a Knight. It showed the people how I was always prepared to serve my Land, my people, and to protect them from vice. With the armor being made up of many different parts, it was not the easiest thing to put on daily.
My fellow comrades and I began to follow the practice of chivalry. We were expected to have not only the strength and skills to face combat, but also a chivalrous heart to accompany this aggressive side of ours. I was expected to follow morals and virtues, such as:
- Live to serve his King and his Country
- Avoid Lying
- Cheating or Torture
- Believe in Justice for All
- Respect Women
- Avenge Wrongs
As a Knight, I fell in love with someone I should not have. I sworn to secrecy, a relationship that only two of us could share. It was because her life belonged to a King, but her heart was mine. Her marriage did not deter my undying love for her. My lady and I would exchange tokens of gifts. I would write her poems, and serenade her in the gardens. I’d give her flowers and make grand gestures. Everything I did, I had her in mind. She made my world beautiful.
As I ponder of the lives that will come after me, I can only hope that the Knighthood can continue its glory and importance in the future. With the progress of the Kingdom, our society could become very different from what we have now. Knighthood, with all possibility, could be abolished in the coming future. If it is continued, it might not have the same meaning or purpose anymore.