Wednesday, 10 August 2011

"Feral Rats" - a New Breed of Knights Needed

What with that upset lady from Ealing who was on the news, annoyed at her clothes shop being trashed by what she termed "feral rats," it made me think of the old Code of Chivalry, with its strong sense of duty and honour, something alien to the rioters and looters.

Now I may be an old romantic (Yes! Ask Mrs. H), but I really long for the days when a pack of looters with their baggy-arse jeans, whooping down the road with their ill-gotten booty in their arms came up against a chivlrous knight. He would, in an old school medieval way, kick their baggy arses and dispatch them forthwith to meet their maker and account for their sins, or take them to be placed in a suitable dungeon.

Oh for some chivalrous knights today!

Here, from the Song of Roland, is the Code of Chivalry:

  • To fear God and maintain His Church
  • To serve the liege lord in valour and faith
  • To protect the weak and defenceless
  • To give succour to widows and orphans
  • To refrain from the wanton giving of offence
  • To live by honour and for glory
  • To despise pecuniary reward
  • To fight for the welfare of all
  • To obey those placed in authority
  • To guard the honour of fellow knights
  • To eschew unfairness, meanness and deceit
  • To keep faith
  • At all times to speak the truth
  • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
  • To respect the honour of women
  • Never to refuse a challenge from an equal
  • Never to turn the back upon a foe


  1. The romantic code of chivalry! but the real Knights tended to be arrogant killers who always thought might was right and loved killing each other and letting the peasants starve or die in their service in the course of a pointless war over territory the aim of which was to get rich by plunder, looting or ransoms.
    The Victorians glamorized the whole era with Gothic revival, Tennyson etc although the Troubadours and courtly love of medieval times did a fair job of that also. Romantic fantasy really.
    Nice though.

  2. Or is that a modern construct to dehumanise our Catholic forebears? Those who promise paradise on earth - but deliver the gulag - often portray pre-reformation England as a place of starvation and suffering, when that reality arose after the closure of the monasteries and the land enclosures which followed.

    I do not think all knights were saints in any way (though some were!), one thinks of those who killed St Thomas Beckett, but i do think we should look beyond the stereotypes of those usual suspects of today who also paint marriage as something that "chains wymmyn" or the Church as some monolith that keeps us as superstitious yokels or indeed widespread drug usage as a wonderful "freedom" which we can pick and choose with no repurcussions.

  3. Gareth - or the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders!

    Diddleymaz, you have a somewhat extreme left wing view of history, not all knights were as you describe, only the minority.

  4. Richard - quite so! The sight of a man in a kilt (or quilt as I said when wearing one as a pageboy aged 8) would have me running for cover!

    In all seriousness though I am reminded of Cardiff City centre on a Saturday night back in the 80s - often a place of lawless violent behaviour, roving gangs etc.

    It was never so safe as when the "rugby monsters" used to descend from the valleys, with their blazers, cauliflower ears and squashed noses.

    Those we would today term "gangstas" quickly disappered off the streets and one was aware thet a friendly atmosphere returned, with gentlemen imbibing the odd ale, but a jocular and friendly theme returned to streets that could be quite fearful otherwise.


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