We often hear about the Feudal System in the context of the middle ages, but do we actually understand what it is and what it entailed? Putting it simply the Feudal system was just a way of structuring and organising society. It looked pretty much like a pyramid. Sitting at the very top of the pyramid was the King, who had absolute power and sovereignty over the whole of the rest of the country. The king (or queen) was said to be appointed by God to be his representative on earth. You can tell that these monarchs were very modest people!
Right at the very bottom of this social structure pyramid sat the many hundreds of thousands of peasants. These were the very poorest people in society and they made up the vast majority of the population. They had no land of their own, they had no power or voting rights, and they led pretty miserable existences in the main, and generally died quite young (medical facilities weren’t great in the medieval era!)
In the middle of this social structure were the knights and nobility. These were appointed by court, and they were essentially the landowners in Britain. They also had to pay homage to the monarch and go off and fight battles on their behalf! It certainly wasn’t easy being a knight, but it was a much more pleasant life than being a peasant. The peasants were ruled over by the knights who in turn had to pay homage to the monarch. So, in a very real sense, it was the knights that were the ‘glue’ that held feudal society together!