Dating medieval chivalry

Despite this, when Richard ascended the English throne later that year, William became one of his most dependable generals and was left to govern England when Richard departed for the Holy Land.

Nearly thirty years later in 1217, a 70-year-old William Marshall defeated an invading French army at Lincoln.

This term refers to the religious motivations held by some knights in the Middle Ages – motivations that were so strong that their plunder was often donated to churches and monasteries.

This sense of religious duty inspired knights to fight in wars deemed “holy”, such as the Crusades, but their piety was characterised as distinct from that of the clergy.

Known as the Order of the Golden Fleece, this order was founded in Bruges by the Duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good, to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Isabella.

Chivalry was, in addition, a religious, moral and social code which helped distinguish the higher classes from those below them and which provided a means by which knights could earn themselves a favourable reputation so that they might progress in their careers and personal relations.

Evolving from the late 11th century CE onwards, essential chivalric qualities to be displayed included courage, military prowess, honour, loyalty, justice, good manners, and generosity - especially to those less fortunate than oneself.

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