To most people these days, the mention of a Knight will conjure up images of a time in ancient history when men spent their time carrying out daring exploits and rescuing damsels in distress - the age of chivalry. The reality of course is vastly different, and this book sets out the key facts relating to the various Orders of Chivalry in existence in Britain and sets them in their historical context. It introduces the beginnings of the orders of knighthood in the early years of warriors on horses and the origins of chivalry, then investigates in turn the main Western orders of knighthood which have a connection in this country - the Knights of St John (also known as the Hospitalers or Knights of Malta), the Knights Templar (the Poor Soldiers of Christ), the Golden Fleece, the Roman Eagle, the Most Noble Order of the Garter - as well as summarising the other significant orders of chivalry. The author explores the history of each order from its foundation to its present day incarnation. He also looks at the cultural legacy of each order, and the buildings and artifacts that remain today, as well as its connections with Masonry and its place in present day life.
There is growing interest today in the history of these orders and a desire to re-examine many of the myths that have grown up around them. The author has researched these subjects in depth using primary sources, in many cases producing compelling evidence to contradict popular myth to produce the first book that surveys the orders of knighthood for the general reader, including some Masonic connections.
Qualified in engineering related studies, the author's professional career was in senior management in the electronics industry, and he lectured on various management issues. Management studies later qualified him for admission to the Chartered Institute of Marketing; the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Directors, all in the United Kingdom. He lived in Australia for 10 years and has travelled extensively through the Far East and Indian sub-continent. He began writing seriously with the approach of retirement from corporate life, taking particular satisfaction in background research and problem solving and the international traveling that is sometimes involved to visit ancient sites and cultures to gain first-hand experience.