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Transcript of Medieval Times
Middle Ages encompass one of the most exciting periods in English History. Starting with the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest in England - when William the Conqueror effectively took all of the lands from the Saxon English and gave them to French nobles. The Kings and Queens of England in the Middle Ages included Richard the Lionheart and the great Plantagenet English Kings from King Henry II (1154-1189) to King Edward III (1327-1377). The Hundred Years War between England and France. The Medieval Kings and Queens of the Royal Houses of Lancaster and York and the Wars of the Roses. The English Kings in the Middle Ages cover the periods from 1066 - 1485.
It was the duty of a Middle Ages Knight to learn how to fight and so serve their liege Lord according to the Code of Chivalry. The Code of Chivalry dictated that a Knight should be brave and fearless in battle but would also exhibit cultured Knightly qualities showing themselves to be devout, loyal, courteous and generous. Weapon practise included enhancing skills in the two-handed sword, battle axe, mace, dagger and lance. A Knight would be expected to guard the Castle and support his liege lord in Middle Ages warfare. Details of the life of Middle Ages knights in a castle, together with castle warfare, are covered in the section about Middle Ages Castles.
This section detailing information about Middle Ages castles illustrate the strength, magnificence and power of the Medieval warlords. The architecture of the Middle Ages castles moved from the early wooden Motte and Bailey castles hastily built by the Normans during their conquest and invasion of England to their fortification in stone with the addition of the great Norman stone keeps. The kings, knights and warlords who travelled to the crusades and who embarked on siege warfare in the Holy Land were influenced by the design and architecture of the fortresses in the far East. King Edward I of England used this information and knowledge to design and build the massive concentric castles in England. His policy enabled the conquest of Wales. Siege warfare, the development of medieval weapons demanded that a castle was built considering the possibilities of both attack and defence. The designs of the Middle Ages Castles therefore altered during the Medieval centuries when castle building was at its pinnacle.
A medieval village or manor usually contained several classes of laborers, consisting of serfs and peasants. There might be a number of freemen, who paid a fixed rent, either in money or produce, for the use of their land. Then there were serfs who laboured in the lord's household or at work on his domain. Most of the peasants were serfs or villeins. The other labourers were called Cottagers or small holders. Under feudalism the lords and nobles of the land had certain rights over Medieval Serfs and Peasants which included the right of jurisdiction, which gave judicial power to the nobles and lords and the right of hunting.
The lord of a fief was the supreme ruler over his territory. From the feudal agreement he gained these rights. The lord's duties were many. He had to set up taxes and laws, oversee the day to day business of the castle and fief, and make decisions over punishments and other issues. Besides this, he had to serve his king by appearing in his court or fighting at his side. To cover the day to day tasks of managing the castle, a lord often hired a steward. The steward was the head of all the castle's staff, except for the military personnel. Sometimes there were two stewards; one in charge of all of the lord's estates, and the other in charge of just the castle. In either case, the steward was the lord's main adviser on issues that the lord was to decide. The steward often helped with the lord's accounts and books. He calculated the revenue from taxes and the money spent by the lord. The steward was also the head of the lord's court in his absence. In this way, the lord had an immense load taken off his shoulders through the help of a steward or stewards. The steward gave the lord time to fulfill his other obligations. The lord usually traveled for a good part of the year around to the far corners of his land holdings. This allowed him to get an idea of how well the people were, and to assess the possibility of revolt in the other areas of his fief. Other responsibilities that the use of a steward gave him time for were to fight alongside his king in battle, to train and compete in tournaments if he was a knight, and to appear in his lord's court to pay him "homage and fealty".