Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chivalry, a word having reference to mediaeval knighthood, may mean the general body of knights, as when the poet tells us how the English army "met France and all her chivalry in the valley of Poitiers," or, as is more usual, may denote the set of principles which were supposed to animate the knight. Bravery, truth, love of honour, devotion to woman, were its leading features. Sir Galahad, Sir Lancelot, the Chevalier Bayard, were examples of the chivalrous knight. In later times it came to signify a lofty and generous self-devotion, such as that shown by Sir Philip Sidney, and although Burke lamented in the 18th century that "the age of chivalry is gone," our modern life is not unacquainted with the quality. General Gordon, for example, may well rank with those mentioned above. The term is also used in ancient English law to denote tenancy by knight-service. The Court of Chivalry of Edward III.'s time took cognisance under the Earl Marshal of questions of honour, and, under the Earl Marshal together with the Lord High Constable, might deal with criminal cases.