7 Pages


In 1484 Caxton published the work entitled the' Book of the Order of Chivalry or Knighthood,' in which he deplores the apathy of gentlemen living in his day to the charms and glories of chivalry. He wrote it with a view of exciting them to its noble pursuits; but this was in vain, for he himself was the means of directing their attention to other studiesnamely, those of literature. But chivalry as an institution began to decline in England in the beginning of the fifteenth century, though several of the Henrys did much to uphold it. Queen Elizabeth appointed him her champion in all her tilting matches from the thirtythird year of her reign, and in all the exercises of tiltings and courses of the field and turnings, he excelled all the nobility of his time. His magnificent armour worn on those occasions was adorned with roses and fleurs-de-lis.'