Note: See also the files: knighthood-msg, chivalry-art, fealty-msg, fealty-art, armor-msg, chainmail-msg, 2Squire-r-Not-art, Fealty-n-t-sca-art

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Comments on SCA and period squires.
NOTE: See also the files: knighthood-msg, chivalry-msg, Chivalry-art, fealty-msg, fealty-art, armor-msg, chainmail-msg, 2Squire-r-Not-art, Fealty-n-t-SCA-art.

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at:
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Thank you,

Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous

Stefan at




Subject: Re: SCA Digest V7 #15

Date: 7 Jan 1994 12:57:14 -0500

Greetings unto all from Lord Guillaume, Squire of Irontree

Gwydion asked several things as to what being a sqire means and

I feel that I must respond as follows:
Every Knight in choosing a sqire does so for a different reason. I have seen

knights who see the number of red belts attached to them as a symbol of status

and power (In my early days of the SCA I was approached by such a knight but

I strongly feel that a sqire should at least have armor and fighting before

they accept a belt, even my personal man-at-arms has asked that he finishes

his armor before we make his belt.) Other Knights choose aspiring fighters whom

the Knight feels he(she) could help guide in both fighting and in the courtly

graces (including dancing if they so desire)

Every squire has a different reason for putting on the red belt of

a Knight. I choose to become a sqire to Sir Seionin Irontree because he

is my friend. He has helped me learn a lot about myself, both in SCA and

in mundanity, he has been a teacher, friend, student(yes, I have taught him

on occasion) and in general what I would expect out of a Knight in period.

Each of my sqire brothers have come to Our Knight along different paths and

we each have different goals. When Sir Seionin was a squire, the head sqire

only desired to serve their Knight and did not wish anything further from

being a squire.
I am very saddened when I hear of individuals taking a red belt because

they see it as a means to further themselves politically, as a tool to hold

over lesser fighters ("You must fight this way because in Shire BFAtneveldt

Im the Sqire and I know More" observed at a fighter practice many years ago)

I take my status as a Sqire very seriously, my friends may not think so

with they way I and my Knight joke and kid around, but I do. As an Irontree

I serve the Prince of Artemesia and the King of Atenveldt, as a Squire I serve

my Knight. I did not seek the red belt for politics, I did not seek the red

belt as a way to become a servant. I sought my red belt as a way to further

my progression as a person, to hone (sp) my abilities as a fighter and to

become a Knight, I feel that any goals less would tarnish my knight and I would stay his friend instead if being his squire.
Lord Guillaume dela Vallee del'Ouest du Lac Sale, Squire of Irontree

From: ansteorra at (11/2/95)

>I have a question first directed to Knights and then to the general populace.

>Do you make your squire's belt or do you ask them to make it themselves?

>What kind of artwork do you put on the belt, your device - their device -


>Do you have a ceremony for the belting?

>What do you look for in a squire?

>How many squires do you limit yourself to?

>How do you feel about Knights that have too many squires?

>And, what constitues too many squires?

>If you rather that the general populace not know your answers please email me

>privately. I am Knight in another of the many LARP's out there and wish to be

>informed beyond the books and letters I have read on the subject before I


>someone. From the general populace I would like to hear how you *perceive*

>these things occur.



>E-mail: Ches at

I may not be aknight, but I am a Baroness and was a knight's lady. A

squire's belt by tradition is given to the squire by the knight, therefore,

the knight should make it. I used to weave the belts for my lord's squires.

Some were embroidered, others left plain. You may put artwork on the belt;

it is very appropriate for the knight to put both his and his squire's arms

on the belt. Usually there is a ceremony; not nearly as elaborate as a

knighting, but after all, it is the first step to the gold chain and white

belt, and does deserve some recognition. As for what to look for in a

squire, I guess that depends on the knight. Some are just looking for more

people to wait on them. Some are looking for the prestige of having a lot of

eager young people around them answering their every beck and call. One

knight I know here, an arch-Duke, looks for those who have the heart to

become a knight. He doesn't look for skill, he looks into the candidate's

heart and sees whether the belt and chain are there. Unfortunately, my lord

just wanted bodies. He didn't even bother to really oversee their training.

It was a terrible waste of both a good knight and a lot of people with

strong potential. As for how many are too many- How many squires can you

oversee without having any one of them lack? That to me seemed to be the

best rule. The knights that I admire the most followed that dictum.

Now you have an answer from not a knight and not general populace. I am a

founding Baroness and ex-Kingdom officer (twice). I was also lady to knights

from at least 2 different kingdoms and found that traditions are pretty much

the same. I would have been squired myself, but since I outranked in

precedence the knight, we decided that that would not be a good idea.

Probably for the best.
Good luck in your quest-

Morag NicGhille Eoin, Baroness Raven's Fort.

From: ansteorra at (11/2/95)

At 10:54 AM 11/2/95 PST, you wrote:

>Do you make your squire's belt or do you ask them to make it themselves?

Ches, although we never quite seem to see things eye-to-eye I'll respond as

a squire. I received my first belt from my knight in 1980. It got lost in

a move and his lady replaced it for me. That one was destroyed by water

damage and i have yet to provide a suitable replacement (I have a custom one

>What kind of artwork do you put on the belt, your device - their device -

On my belt at the tip of the tongue is a symbol related to my knights

device, I have seen in Caid and the west a few that have a kingdom icon &

their knights device, and I have seen those that are un-marked.

>Do you have a ceremony for the belting?
In my own case, there was no cerimony, but that was 15 years ago.
>What do you look for in a squire?
Heh, I feel funny answering this one. Dedication. A squire is dedicated in

many ways. Fighting and the art of fighting. Persistance and the ability

to keep trying even at great odds. Friendship, a squire is a close personal

bond with his knight. They have to work together and learn from each other,

these two will be in close situations and events for many years. Honor to

duty and civility, I no longer have a knight because he died, however this

does not preclude me from the duties I was charged with. I am his squire

'til death take me or the world end' as the oath I took goes. Well, I'm

still alive and it appears to be the same world. I am his squire and shall

do duty in his name.

This is not as easy as it may sound, what duties do you do for someone who's

not there? Some knights (or non-knights) go to events and they have

squires, sometimes the squire is unable to attend, I try to fill in that gap

for my fellow squires in aiding that knight or fighter as best I can and

still discharge other household or event duties I may have. I must dedicate

myself to service of the group as a whole and to any station or office I may

hold and I do so in honor to my knight. To serve thoe whole is to serve him.
>How many squires do you limit yourself to?
My knight had only one, but he did speak of 3 as the most he could deal with.
>How do you feel about Knights that have too many squires?
I feel that the squires may not be fully able to benefit from service if

there are too many. Part of being a squire is knowing you are the chosen of

a knight and therefor special, it is somewhat defeating to be 'just another

squire' of a throng.

>And, what constitues too many squires?
That can only be up to what the knight is looking for IN a squire. If the

knight is in a Household of squires the more the better for him, but it

loses the charm for the individual squire. My own knight said 3 would max

him out, so I think 2 would be best and when one gets promoted get another

and start anew and watch how your own treat THEIR new squire(s).

Lord Squire elitist-militant-waterbearer Crispin Lechtscaerpne Starblade

Bryn Gwlad - Ansteorra - House Starblade (aka-Fox Anton Purtill)

blackfox at | starblad at | {anyname} at

From: ansteorra at (11/3/95)


Though I am a lowly personage I have been chance

to observe many behaviors of (and talk to) knights

from this and other kingdoms and have

read much about the squire subject (mostly in

Thinkwell and the Rialto).
From what I have seen all your questions would be

answered differently by different knights, but

different liniages of knights tend to use similar

traditions. My lord for the most part chooses his

squires for their heart.( I will let him explain his

processes on his own.) Most of the other knights

I know do also. A few choose theirs for fighting and

trainability. Some because they are friends. Some

knights expect their squires to have great honour,

some to be "winners".

In our kingdom knights usually choose squires that

they are or can be friends with. They tend to hold

their squires to the chivalric ideal of knighthood as

put forth in the front of the Pleasure Booke

(available from the SCA stockclerk). These ideals

include not only fighting ability but ability at courtly

graces, chess, arts and sciences, dance, bardic,

service and heraldry. Their squires are not to step

and fetch but to grow and learn to become a

I have seen like behavior in other kingdoms and

have also seen the knights that require their

squires to cater to their (the knight's) every need.

Disgusting as it is to watch it is definitely period


Some Knights make the Squire's belt for them, or

the Knight's lady does it, or the lady or a friend of

the Squire makes it and even sometimes the

Squire makes his first belt to prove his desire for

that path. Some have the Knight's device on the

end or other emblem of that Knight, some are

plain, some are decorated, and a few have bottle

openers on the inside. Some are short, some are

dragging the ground (so much better for belt wars

and stupid squire tricks). The initial belt (and belts

from those dear to the squire) are usually kept as

legacies to be passed down to the next generation

of squires.
As far as ceremonies, I have seen them in court (recently Sir Karl took his newest squire this way), or off to the side (as I have seen Duke Patrick do

on several occaisions), or privately in camp (and even

once by letter). They can be elaborate or just simple and heartfelt.

All include a swearing of fealty (squire to knight)

and statement of commitment (both parties) (!!!! all

this should be worked out before hand, different

people have different expectations and needs!!!!!).

The belt is presented (no matter who it is made by)

from the Knight to the Squire as a symbol of that

relationship. Most include the proto-squire's

significant other in some way.
Lots of things need to be worked out in the

relationship beforehand and re-worked as the

relationship changes. Does the proto-squire need

lots of physical training from you directly, or will

you send them to train occaisionally (or even

primarily depending upon distance and time

restraints) with other knights for diverse instruction?

Does the P-S need more mental work

and/or behavioral adjustments? Is the P-S a

go-getter and need gentle direction and a voice in

the circle or does that person need attention and

diligent effort all along the way? Lastly or maybe

firstly, what are you willing to give in relation to

your P-S needs? I am assuming of course that you

take the roles of Knight/Squire as those of

Teacher/Student. Not playing Amtgard and

knowing you have many kinds of Knighthoods and

are a LAPG (not many SCAers consider

themselves such) I don't know if this is what you

Lorraine DeerSlayer,

Raven's Fort, Ansteorra

Amatuer Anthropologist

From: ansteorra at (11/7/95)


Greetings all! Being a Knight of this fine Kingdom is a "good thing" I was

once a Squire to a Knight, well, two different Knights. The first was Sir

John the Plain of Shern...we knew that I would not receive a lot of personal

attention. Our agreement was such that if either of us felt that we were not

being trained or represented properly then we would end our contract. In time

this came to pass, Sir John passed me along to Sir Ian MacBaird, there were no

hard feelings between us and we remained friends until the untimely death of

Sir John. Sir Ian had many, many Squires...I was one of but a dozen or so. We

were a diverse lot...and we did not receive all the personal training each of

us needed. Usually because of distance and time constraints. The point I'm

slowly driving towards is this. I pick my Squires for their heart, not just

their ability with a sword. I expect each of them to do no less than I did.

To strive to be the best artsian, to serve their Kingdom to the limits of

their ability and beyond, and to seek out their train in the Way of Rattan

from _all_ members of our Circle. Some of my 9 1/2 Squires ('Tis a long story

that...*smile*) might never be Knights. That is just the way it is. But, they

do have one thing from example to follow. I am not the most accessable

person, nor am I the best for their physical training, but I do train them. In

many different ways. The Knights and Master in the Chivalric Circle are the

best in the Known World, on average. All of us are versed in the Arts of

Courtly grace, the Arts & Sciences, service to our Crown and Kingdom, and the Arts of Tournament and War. I don't just take "bodies" to say that I have a

lot of Squires, no, I have those folk "in my stable" that have Heart and

Desire, those that can operate, mostly, by themselves. Those that do not need

to have their steps guided every moment of the day. They are independent and

individuals, and I want them that way. Well, this rant is over for now. Thank

you all for the space and time to state my feelings. With respect and love to

each of you, my Squires, and Ansteorra,
Sir Arenvald Kief av Kiersted, Baron Ravens Fort, Lion of Ansteorra

From: ansteorra at (11/25/95)

To: ansteorra at


Russell writes:
> Its pretty simple. A Knight-Squire relationship is a personal one and

> not bounded by any Kingdom border. It is fairly common to see a Squire

> to a "foreign" Knight. This often happens because the Squire used to

> live in that other Kingdom, and moved.

Or if the knight and squire(s) in question happen to live near the

border of the two kingdoms. Although such a situation hasn't existed

here for a while, it would be very easy to do where I live in St.

Louis. The Missouri side is the Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir, and

the Illinois side is the Barony of Shattered Crystal, Midrealm. There

have been several instances in past years of a knight in one group

taking a squire in the other.
Calontir and the Midrealm even have a treaty to address the issue of

those that live on one side of the border and play enough on the other

side to garner awards and recognition from the Crowns of that kingdom.

Individuals listed on the treaty (which is periodically updated) are

recognized by both Crowns as participants in both kingdoms, and

inclusion on the treaty constitutes prior notification for awards, so

that seperate permission isn't needed for each honor said individuals

might receive from the "foreign" monarchs.

Mikjal Annarbjorn


Michael A. Chance St. Louis, Missouri, USA "At play in the fields

Work: mc307a at of St. Vidicon"

Play: mchance at

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 13:55:00 -0500

From: "Mitchell, Paul T"

Subject: RE: You *can* sometimes get what you wan


> I think such techniques work better for peerages -- fewer candidates

> and, well, I don't want to say "more important", because many people

> just get an AoA and it's *their* most important award, but ...

> Anyway. I've heard that knights will sometimes ask oh so casually

> when a candidate's name starts getting mentioned "what do you think of

> surprise awards? or field knightings?" or some such.

> --

> Daniel de Lincoln

> Tim McDaniel; Reply-To: tmcd at

This is one of the advantages of being a squire/protege/apprentice, too.

Usually, "your" peer will have some idea of your preference, and can advise the

Crown. This is also true in the case of cadets and their Dons.
- Galen of Bristol

pmitchel at

paul.t.mitchell at

From: "Mitchell, Paul (DALLAS)"

To: "'Ansteorra mailing list'"

Subject: RE: ANST - Proteges, Squires, Apprentices

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 15:59:00 -0400

From: Bill Sholar
>As a newcomer to the SCA, the recent discussion of Peers has raised some

>questions. How does one become a Protege, Squire or Apprentice? (Or

>Cadet for that matter?) Are those titles recognition of achievement? Are

>they 'half-way' to the full blown Peerage (or Grant)? Are they merely a

>declaration that the individual has set foot on that road? In other

>words do they recognize skill/merit or intentions? Something in the

>middle? Who is involved in the decision to award the red/green/yellow

>belt? Is there a ceremony like there is with a Peerage or is it a

>private matter?

Squires, proteges, apprentices and cadets are labels for kinds

of relationships. They each have much in common with the

others. Squires are in training to be members of the chivalry,

usually knights (Masters of Arms often call their squires

"students"), apprentices are in training to become Masters

or Mistresses of the Laurel, proteges aspire to the Order

of the Pelican, and cadets aspire to the Order of the White

I'll use squires as an example, as it's what I know best,

but I feel confident these generalities are true across the

Each knight-squire relationship is different. I have 5 squires

(going on 6) and each relationship is different from each of

the others. Each squire has different strengths, weaknesses

and needs, and each knight has different standards, styles

and methods.
How do you become one? Develop a relationship with a

peer (or Don). It should be a natural progression from there

to formalize it. Most (though not all) don't mind talking about

the subject if you want to get their point of view on it.

Theses are not titles like other SCA titles. They are

not recognition of achievement so much as they are

identifiers for those who've made a commitment to

strive for an ideal. They do NOT convey rank to

the holder.
They do not signify that the person is "half-way" to

anything. A King of Ansteorra once said, "all that

red belt really means is that some knight, somewhere,

thinks you can't make it on your own." Now, that's

a bit harsh, but you can use that line on any squires

that start trying to use their belt to take precedence.

You really can't look at a red belt and have any kind

of good idea of how good the fighter is. Last Saturday

morning, Sir Axel's squire Dieterich was a knight-

quality fighter (he was knighted that morning). Next

Saturday morning, Sir Axel's new squire Ozelay

will be, well, not ready for her spurs yet.

Each peer has his own standards for these

associates, and different things they look for.

some want more accomplished students, others

don't require that. The decision is solely between

the two individuals, although either may consult

others (I usually give my lady veto power over

new squires, and I usually give my other squires

a chance to raise objections, as well).

Ceremonies, too are a variable thing. I've seen

it done up big in court, and I've seen belts just

tossed to the new squire before a feast. It all

depends on the individuals' styles and desires.

- Galen of Bristol

pmitchel at (hm)

mitchell at (wk)

Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2000 19:30:16 MST

From: Brent Hanner

Subject: BG - A Medieval Tidbit - The squire in hall and bower

To: "bryn-gwlad at"
The Squire in Hall and Bower
Fair, and fairer still than I can say, was Blonde the Earl's daughter.

She sat at dinner, and was served by Jehan, fair and free of body, who

pained himself much to earn all men's grace by his courteous service.

He waited not on his lady alone, but up and down throughout the hall;

knight and lady, squire and page, groom and messenger, all he served

according to their desire, and thus from all he earned good-will. He

knew well to seize the moment for serving and honoring each guest, so

that Blonde, the fair and shapely, found her needs none the worse

After the dinner they washed their hands, and went to play , each as

he would, up in the forest or down by the river or in come other sort of

pastime. Jehan went with whom he would; and, on his return, oftentimes

would he go to play in the countess's bower, wherein the ladies, as it

were by main force, kept him to teach them French. He, as a courteous

youth, did and said ever according to their prayer, as one who well knew

how to comport himself. Well he knew all chamber games-- chess and

tables and dice, wherewith he diverted the lady Blonde; often said he

check and mate to her. Many other games he taught her; and taught her a

better French than she had known before his coming; wherefore she held

him full dear.....
One day, as Blonde sat at table, it was for Jehan to carve before

her...By chance he cast his eyes on her; yet he had seen her daily

these eighteen weeks past... From this look such thoughts came into his

head, that on his carving he thought no more. Blonde, who marked his

thoughts astray, took upon her to rebuke him therefore, and bad him

think on his carving without delay. Seeing then that Jehan heard her

not for the moment, then spake she again, "Carve, Jehan! are you

sleeping or dreaming here? I pray you, give me now to eat; of your

courtesy, dream now no more." At this word Jehan heard her voice;

therewith he started as one who is shaken suddenly from his sleep. He

marveled at this adventure; he seized the knife as a man in a dream,

and thought to carve well and fair, but so distraught was he that he cut

deep into two fingers: forth sprang blood as he rose from table, and sad

was Blonde at the sight. Jehan prayed another squire to carve before

his lady, and went forthwith to his own chamber.
Philippe de Reimes

Blonde of Oxford

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