English Medieval knight, 1400-1500 by Christopher Gravett

By Christopher Gravett

The fifteenth century was once a time of switch for knighthood. Knights now not fought for his or her lords in go back for land, because the feudal summons had lengthy earlier than given technique to a method of contracts. furthermore, many knights now most well-liked the position of landowner, man-about-town or parliamentary consultant. notwithstanding, this used to be additionally the age of the knight in plate armour, of the conflict of Agincourt and the conquests of Henry V, and of the Wars of the Roses, the bloody internecine fight that tore medieval England aside. during this identify Christopher Gravett describes the lifetime of a fifteenth century knight, his apparatus and reports from his earliest days as a squire via to his studies at the battlefields of britain and France.

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And it is easy to understand how such a sense might develop on Dartmoor. Farmers living on and near Dartmoor had special rights of grazing which, although they did not exclude the commoning ‘foreigners’ or ‘strangers’, set their owners in a particularly privileged position. An inner group, the most privileged of them all in terms of grazing rights, had special duties when livestock on the central moor were rounded up and counted; although they lived in isolated farms and hamlets, they came together to cooperate on these occasions.

24 Always remembering that Fig. 5 is a map of only a small proportion of all of the boundaries which crossed the moorlands, we can make two basic points about the pattern that it shows. First, the moorlands have clearly been highly contested landscapes in the past. They have been important in the lives of many people who have staked out their interests and laid claim to tracts of moor, making them their own by setting out boundary stones and drawing lines to be remembered in the mind’s eye and perpetuated by perambulation.

Both references perhaps imply a popular concept of a blurred border zone. 17 Place-names with the affix ‘in the Moor’, including the definite article, are reflected in present-day usage. Dartmoor is known simply as ‘The Moor’—this was current usage when, as a boy, I first became aware of the lure of the region and still is for a considerable circuit around. ’ is never asked. 3 Modern Dartmoor. Moretonhampstead Lydford Boundary of parish of Lydford Bovey Tracey Tavistock Ashburton Denbury Totnes 0 Plympton 0 1 1 2 miles 2 km Medieval borough divide one type of land-use from another and others drawn for purposes of administration of manors, parishes, stannaries (jurisdictions for tinworkers) and of pastoral management (the bailiwicks of the herdsmen).

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