People in History: A Medieval Lord or Lady

Main page: The Middle Ages

The lord or lady of a medieval castle.

A lord and lady being married.
The lord and lady are the first two people you learn about when you study the Middle Ages. They're near the top in the feudal system in which medieval society was organised, coming under the King. The King would grant the lord land, which the lord would take charge of for the King. The lord would also help the King to defend the land.

When a lord got married, his wife became the lady of the castle or manor (depending on which the lord lived in). Marriage between lords and ladies was arranged by their parents.

The Lord or Lady option has come up twice in recent years, and will very likely do so again in the next few years. So now that you're moving on from describing a whole civilisation to describing the lives of certain people, how do you do it?

  • First of all you must decide if you are a lord or a lady! Then explain your place in the feudal system. Who are you under? Who are you above? Talk about how you met your husband/wife. Who arranged the marriage? What is a dowry?
    • Next, talk about your castle. In this chapter you learn about two different types of castle, the wooden motte and bailey, and the stronger stone castles. In order to mention both, you could say that you used to live in a motte and bailey, but that was burned down and now you live in a stone castle. Explain the different parts of the castle, and describe how you (or your husband) and your knights would defend it if it was attacked or put under siege.
      • Once you've finished talking about your castle, go on to talk about your roles and duties. What are your jobs? What does the king expect you to do for him? This part will have different answers depending on whether you choose to be a lord or a lady.
        • Next, talk about life inside the castle - especially feasts. What food do you eat? What kind of entertainment is provided?
          • You can finish by talking about how you (or your husband) organise tournaments and jousts for the knights, and why this is important.

            So, in short...

            1. Are you a lord or a lady? Explain your part in the feudal system.
            2. How you met your husband/wife and who arranged the marriage.
            3. Your castle: the parts of it, how it can be defended, how attackers might try to capture it.
            4. Your roles and duties as either a lord or a lady.
            5. Talk about feasts.
            6. Talk about organising tournaments and jousts for the knights.
              • Talk about anything that isn't based around a solid fact like you learn in class. No small talk! 

              Making mistakes like that will cost you marks, as the information you write down must be relevant (important). You get 2 marks for every relevant point you make, so try to make sure you have at least 10 relevant points in each answer. The more you have, the less chance you have of losing too many marks if you get anything wrong or mix anything up.


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