Before You Ask for Her Hand 

Kneeling Engagement Ring

Engagement Ring – Before You Ask for Her Hand

Why do brides dream of marrying a Knight in Shining Armor?

The answer to this question lies in the Middle Ages, specifically the Code of Chivalry.

A hobby for David Board was metal detecting. In 2019 while exploring the countryside in South West of England his machine pinged on what he thought was something of little or no value.  “It was once I got home and washed it off that we realized it was a lot better than we thought,” he explained to CNN. Examined by medieval historical experts is when the true importance of the discovery was made clear.

A ring featuring two entwined bands seemingly symbolizing marriage. The focal point was an inverted diamond set into the gold. The band was inscription in medieval French “ieo vos * tien * foi * tenes * le moy” meaning “As I hold your faith, hold mine.”

Medieval Ring

14th Century diamond gold ring. (Photo: Noonans)

 

An example of medieval love and chivalry, the ring possibly belonged to Joan Brook, wife of  Sir Thomas Brook(a knight). They married in 1388.

Early eleventh-century poets composed tales about the conception and birth of Arthur at Tintagel, Arthur’s marriage to Guinevere, the knights of King Arthur’s court and the Round Table, Excalibur, Camelot, Lancelot, and the Holy Grail.

Knights in the beginning were anything but shining. Then came the Code of Conduct for the Knights, which changed everything.

King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table were on a quest for holiness, hoping to be protectors of damsels in distress. They saw themselves as knights in pursuit of love, which they would often lose, then fight to get it back again.

Code of Chivalry:

    • To worship God and uphold his Church
    • To respect the honor of women
    • To protect those who are weak and defenseless
    • To assist widows and orphans
    • To live honorably and for glory
    • To despise monetary reward
    • To fight for the benefit of all
    • To obey those in positions of authority
    • To guard the honor of fellow knights
    • To always speak truthfully
    • To persevere to the end in any enterprise begun
    • To never refuse a challenge from an equal
    • To never turn one’s back upon an enemy
  • “Knighthood” and “chivalry” are not one and the same, but it is impossible to speak of one without addressing the other. It is within this code we find many of our traditions of chivalry, romance, marriage and the engagement.

    Kneeling as an act of humility and service
    A man removes his hat in the presence of a lady because knights removed their helmets
    Even words like “courting”, as Knights were the protectors of the Kings courts

Just a Few of Anne Dale's Shining Knights