Squires-n-CMA-art - 6/24/08
"Recreating the Position of Squire in These Current Middle Ages" by Master Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
RECREATING THE POSITION OF SQUIRE
IN THESE CURRENT MIDDLE AGES
by Ld. Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov
(AuthorŐs note: I wrote this article, as the copyright date says, in 1988. In the 20 years since then I have still found the information contained herein to be the most relevant advise I can give.
Master Rurik Petrovitch Stoianov O.L., O.Pel. 2008
The position of Squire in the S.C.A. is in some respects overrated, and in others underestimated or unacknowledged.
Allow me to clarify this statement. The part about being overrated is primarily done by those who are not Squires, and even some who are. A lot of fighters, and some other members of the populace, see a red belt as a mark of rank. In this, they are partially right. It holds a rank of being in fealty to a Knight, and thus to the King. However, it is important to remember that this is a position of an underling. Also, it carries no precedence in a court. It is an acknowledgment, by a Knight, that a fighter has the potential to be a Knight himself. The duty of a Knight to his Squire is to train and nurture him to one day be knighted, and to stand by him in times of need. The duty of a Squire to his Knight is far reaching and extensive. This is the part that is underestimated.
The duty to fight alongside your Knight in war is the most widely recognized. Some fighters feel this would be their only duty should they be squired, and occasionally afterwards, unfortunately. However, the primary duties of a Squire in these Current Middle Ages should be that of servitude. By this I do not mean slavery, for I know of no Knight who would require that. It is necessary for a Squire to recreate that title, to have an attitude of wanting to serve his Knight.
I have been a Squire for one year and was a man-at-arms to my Knight for two years before he was knighted. During that time I have strived to recreate this position of those titles with a desire to serve to the best of my abilities. This was not done solely because my Knight wished it, but because I did as well.
The duties I feel a Squire should undertake as far as the manual aspects are such things as helping your Knight set up and take down his camp, taking care of his armor and weapons and seeing that they are maintained in good condition. This includes polishing if necessary, putting it away properly so that nothing gets lost, re-taping weapons and making sure he has what he needs, when he needs it. Helping your Knight to armor up and unarmor is absolutely essential. The above items were required by a medieval Squire and cannot be forgotten when recreating that post.
Other duties should include setting up for feast, and cleaning up afterward, checking periodically throughout an event to see if your Knight needs or wants something. Be prepared to do anything at a moments notice and without delay. See to it that your Knight's needs are taken care of.
Probably the most important aspect of being a Squire is to make your Knight proud to be your Knight, and to have you as a squire. This can be accomplished in several ways beyond that which I have already stated. Part of the way you can accomplish this is to have the right attitude. Among them are Chivalry, Courtesy, Honor, and Courtliness. These are also aspects of Knighthood. I have hopes of one day being knighted, as does every other fighter in the Known World. But, without these very important ideals, Knighthood is impossible. Always carry yourself as a person of Honor, Courtesy, Courtliness and Integrity.
All this falls under the idea of self-improvement. Beyond the improvement in the arts of war (i.e., fighting) there are the arts of peace. To be a good fighter is not enough. A Knight should be able to be dropped in the middle of nowhere, start a shire and teach its members about all aspects of the Society. Obviously, this is not just fighting. Since the goal is to be a Knight, there are other things to be learned - these are the arts of peace. Among them are heraldry, dancing, entertainment (be it music, poetry, story telling, or what have you), costuming, persona development, armoring, brewing, and whatever Art or Science you can think of. Being a well-rounded person in these Current Middle Ages is the best way to make your Knight proud of you, and the best way to be pleased in yourself.
As I said, all this is a prelude to knighthood. But to be a good Knight to your future Squires, you must learn what it means to be a good Squire to your Knight. Now I do not claim to be the best, or the last authority on this subject. I can only speak from my own experiences and ideals. I encourage every Squire to discuss this with his own Knight, and get his views on the matter. However, I am certain that every Knight wants to be proud of his Squires, and would take the greatest pride in going before the Knights Circle and recommending his Squire for the Order of Chivalry. Be worthy of that pride in all you do.
Copyright 1988, 2008 by Steven G. Harrett, 2307 NW 121st Ave., Gainesville, FL 32609. <rurikps at cox.net>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.