Chivalry and warfare in medieval Scotland, 15 November 2022

12 August 2022
Dr Callum Watson explores the contrast between the idealised portrayals of medieval Scottish knights and the brutal realities of being involved in long-running conflicts.


15 November 2022, 6.30pm UK time


Chivalry was a powerful motivator for the late medieval nobility, influencing their behaviour in warfare, politics, and social interactions. Authors from across western Europe produced extensive - if often varied - literature expounding the perceived benefits of a chivalric lifestyle, and detailing what virtues a truly chivalrous knight ought to embody. 

The ideal Scottish knight

Scotland was no exception to this trend. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Scotland's chivalric literature tended to be informed by the experiences of the long-running Anglo-Scottish conflicts of the 14th- and 15th-centuries. As such, Scottish chivalry often placed greater emphasis on prudence, planning, and calculation than in other kingdoms, promoting qualities that were best suited to the kind of guerrilla warfare that proved so useful in the defence of the realm in this period. 

This live illustrated talk by Dr Callum Watson will examine the connections between the practicalities of Scottish warfare in the late medieval period and the ways in which Scottish writers presented idealised forms of knighthood during this period. 

Event details

Join Dr Callum Watson for a c.45-minute online talk on 15 November, followed by approximately 30 minutes of questions from the audience. The webinar will be recorded and made available to ticket-holders for 7 days after the broadcast.

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The event will be chaired by Dr Allan Kennedy, Lecturer in History at the University of Dundee and consultant editor of History Scotland magazine.

Registration fee: £10. Starts 6.30pm UK time. To find the start time in your time zone, visit TimeAndDate.

Speaker details

Dr Callum Watson completed a PhD at the University of Edinburgh on attitudes towards chivalry in Barbour’s Bruce and Blind Hary’s Wallace.

He runs the Knight of the Two Ls blog, where he writes about various aspects of medieval Scotland.