In chivalry, the esquire was the shield-bearer or armour-bearer to the knight. Promoted from the rank of page at about the age of fourteen, esquires were further trained in knightly pursuits. The esquire was a candidate for the honor of knighthood, and thus stood to the knight in relation of a novice or an apprentice, performing any tasks that the knight might require. Typically, esquires were knighted at the age of 20-21. When fully equipped each knight was attended by two esquires. Also called a 'squire.'
Related term(s): Knight; Squire; Squire of the Body; Armiger; Damoiseau; Page
Category: Knighthood and Chivalry
Last modified: 08.05.05
Source information: Wilhelm, Thomas. A Military Dictionary and Gazetteer. Philadelphia: L.R. Hamersly & Co., 1881. 151; Wise, Terrence. Medieval Warfare. New York: Hastings House Publishers, Inc., 1976. 21.