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Was Kit Marlowe a page or squire?...

the world of pages, squires and knights in Tudor times







from the following, it doesn't seem likely that
a boy of a shoemaker family could become a page...
but if he was the son of William Parr, Marquess of Northampton?? *then*, all would fit...





(quote)


http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Chasm/7207/page.html


Boys destined to become knights are trained from early childhood in the knightly arts. The first stage in their military apprenticeship was served as a page in a noble's household. A page learned not only about military matters but also about honor and courteous behavior, especially towards women.


The son of a knight spent his earliest years with his nurse and other women in the castle. During this time, he learned manners and how to behave. Sometimes he was taught to read, but rarely to write. In addition he started to learn to sing and play a musical instrument. The turning point in his life came when he was given his first pony. He was taught to look after horses and ride them expertly.


When he was about seven or eight, he was sent away from home to be a page at the court of the king or some lord. A page's main duties were to run errands, help the lady of the household with the chores, and learn to come when he was called.


As he grew older, he was trained in the use of weapons, particularly the sword and bow. He learned to handle a lance by tilting (riding full speed) at the quintain, an upright post with a pivoted crossbar with a shield on one end and a sack on another. The idea is to hit the shield with his lance, and duck under the swinging sack most beginners are swept out of the saddle.


The page also started to learn the art of venery, or hunting. He had to be able to recognize the spoor (footmarks) and the fewmets (droppings) of the forest animals so that he could track them to their lairs. To find his way safely through dense forest, he had to know how to follow and leave a trail. Animals hunted included the otter, badger, wild boar, red squirrel, roe deer, and bear. Hunting was regarded as the ideal preparation for war. It required quick wits to deal with unexpected developments.


A page also became familiar with falconry. When not hunting, the falcon was kept hooded, and wore bells attached to its feet.


The Squire a Knight in Training


At about 14, if the page had made satisfactory progress he became a squire. He had the right to carry a shield emblazoned with armorial bearings and to wear a helmet like a knight.


At this stage of training, he was placed with a knight who continued his education and treated him as a companion and servant.


(unquote)


well, it's all most fascinating stuff, anyway, isn't it!


I have enjoyed learning from this and other sites...


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I'm adding, on this subject, the following from John Baker...


(quote)


"Sidney was there too. And for good reasons I have suggested that young Marlowe was Sidney's page and thus was also there in the flesh. Here are the reasons. A page begins at about age seven and Marlowe was seven. Marlowe is missing from Canterbury until 1579, seven years later, when he reappears ready to attend the KS's. Marlowe father never counted on Chris to be a shoemaker and hired his own apprtces in the absence of young Chris..something none of the biog. have noticed, but important nevertheless. His father had an undisclosed source of income and something that made him self important, but about which he couldn't talk. I think it was his son's job. Someone pays his fees at the K.S."


(unquote)


my notes to this...


1. Seven was the age Christopher Marlowe was when William Parr died... who is likely to be Christopher Marlowe's real father.


This would leave him without his father's help, and indeed no Will was ever found.


2. Marlowe's (Canterbury) father would indeed not have counted on him to be a shoemaker.


3. The undisclosed source of income and something that made (John Marlowe) self important... how about payments from Parr's widow, or granted to the Marlowes before Parr's death, or from relatives of William Parr...


4. School fees paid... see number 3, same thing.


This to me is all most interesting!


* * * * * *


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"Pages and Squires


Of course, it wasn't always war and chores. The squire also took part in other important knightly duties such as singing, dancing, and entertaining the ladies. He also learned how to read, write poetry, and manage his business affairs. A squire's favorite pastime was wrestling, fencing, boxing, and swimming. He enjoyed playing backgammon and chess, too."


http://victorian.fortunecity.com/manet/394/page4b.htm


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"Page The lowest rank on the road to becoming a knight. Beginning at age 7, a page runs errands, waits tables, and is taught etiquette by the Lady of the castle. The page would accompany his knight on the field to help however he could. Already knowing how to ride, he now learned horsemanship, training by leaping over ditches and walls, being able to spring into the saddle without touching the stirrup, and how to be as home on the back of a horse as on his own feet. He practiced with light weapons: sword, lance, and bow.


He learned swimming and fencing and boxing, fighting mock contests with other boys. He learned the arts of hunting and hawking"


http://www.bladezone.com/marshal/childhood.html


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"Page


Only a boy born into a family with royal ties or nobility and power was ever given the opportunity to become a knight. Training began as early as the age of seven when the boy would be sent to live in the castle of the lord, who would often be a close friend or relative of the boy's father.


The boy was now a Page, and learned a great deal through service to his lord. He would run errands throughout the castle, perform numerous services for the lord, noblemen, and ladies, and in general spend his day in service.


His education included manners, reading, writing, arithmetic, singing, dancing, playing the lute and sometimes other instruments, religion, fencing skills, and especially equestrian skills. As he grew older he helped his lord dress, served him his meals, and brought him his food and drink throughout the day. He also served special quests staying at the castle."


http://ok.quoteright.com/knighthoodhistory.htm


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It would require of course a noble connection... easy in Kit Marlowe's case if he was the illegitimate son of the Parr family or their relatives, the Herbert/Earl of Pembroke family...


Maybe Shakespeare has some link like this too, or it is true that his mother descends from the Earl of Warwick (de Arden).


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