Home  About  Forum    Welcome, Guest. Login via the forum  

Sir Brian the Green Knight

(Last updated: 2013-06-10 21:32:09 ET)

[Facebook Photo Album of my armor]

My Thoughts on Knighthood

Upon reflection of my younger years throughout the journey of my life I had not always believed in a chivalric code nor behaved in a knightly manner, however those were times when I was a mere 'squire' and as such still learning and maturing.

In my lifetime and transition from 'squire' to knighthood I have learned not to fear death, but I have known fear in the loss of loved ones. I have told lies but it has taught me the value of truth. I have fought numerous battles; some were physical yet most were emotional or psychological and although for many of those battles they were not truly necessary to have been fought the others were fought for the very substance of my soul. I have been swindled out of money, time and stature but have come to appreciate the value of genuine friendships and simpler pleasures. I have been reckless and merciless in my ambitions and desires but have come to cherish the wisdom and compassion such foolishness has taught me.

If such reflections can be considered knightly then I suppose I am justified to consider myself to be a knight. Not solely by deeds or ideals or for the adherence to a prescribed set of morality. I consider myself to be a genuine knight simply by the fact of being unwilling to compromise my beliefs in God, of the love for my wife and in myself regardless of my virtues and vices.

About me

I have worked as a shipyard worker for the U.S. Coast Guard Yard since 1990. I have served in the Army as a combat medic and also in the Coast Guard as an Electronics technician. I have always been an avid reader and a history buff, although regrettably I never had the time or the extra funds to pursue any historical reenactment hobbies. It wasn't until my wife and I made our first visit to the Maryland renaissance fair in October 2006 that I even contemplated putting together any kind of knight garb. So even though I am relatively new to the renaissance fair scene, my lovely wife and I have been bitten hard you might say by the renfaire bug!

Since November of 2010 I have taken up the study of the longsword with the Mid-Atlantic Society for Historic Swordsmanship (MASHS), Larry Tom is the founder and head instructor whose teaching follows the Liechtenauer tradition. In June I expanded my studies to include I.33 sword and buckler and in January 2012 I took up the Italian dueling sabre and the dueling epee. I hope to eventually include the rapier, French smallsword and eventually polearms and battle axes. I also have a strong desire to learn how to joust in due time.

Persona and background story

Sir Brian FitzMatthais FitzGerald

Near the end of the 2007 renaissance faire season when I noticed that some patrons had posted pictures of me in my harness and had referred to me as the 'Green Knight', I had become curious if there was any other green knights besides the one from Arthurian literature 'Sir Gawain and the Green Knight'.

My online research revealed that there is in fact an Irish hereditary title of the green knight of Kerry that is still held to this day by Sir Adrian Fitzgerald. There are however conflicting accounts as to how the title had been originally bestowed. A further explanation of the title Knight of Kerry does not appear to correspond to a singular entitlement in the middle ages, but more of an acknowledgement to the lineage from the originating patriarch and region of Kerry, thus a more appropriate reference would be 'A Knight of Kerry' as opposed to 'The Knight of Kerry'.

One version claims that King Edward III conferred three brothers with knighthoods after the Battle of Halidon Hill in 1333. The three knighthoods being the White knight, The Knight of Kerry or the Green Knight, The Knight of Glin or the Black Knight. However I could not find very many collaborating references to this version.

The more likely version as to the origins of the three hereditary Irish knighthoods has far more cross references but also makes it extremely complicated and more than a bit confusing to the point that I decided to combine the two versions since trying to untangle the roots of the FitzGerald family tree is nigh to impossible.

My renfaire persona is further complicated by me escorting my lovely fairy wife and yet my research into the FitzGerald's revealed a legend concerning Gerald Fitzgerald (the third Earl of Desmond) who was romantically involved with and secreted away by the Celtic goddess Aine (pronounced as: awn-yah) in the year 1398.

With such a diverse and fanciful backdrop I decided I would become the oldest illegitimate son of Matthias Fitz-Maurice FitzGerald who was himself an illegitimate son of Maurice Fitz-Thomas FitzGerald, the 2nd Baron of Kerry. Matthias had usurped the title Baron of Kerry from his half-brother Nicolas (the legitimate heir) for two years shortly after the death of their father Maurice in 1305. The family name of FitzGerald was the only legacy Matthias provided to me his bastard son when I was born in 1301 until the year 1309 when he petitioned Donough O'Brien, the King of Thomond at the time, to accept me as a page in his court at Cahir Castle. In 1311 Murtough O'Brien became the King of Thomond after slaying Donough in an act of treason. I became a squire in 1313 and earned my spurs during the Irish Bruce Wars on May 10, 1318 at the battle of Dysert O'Dea after slaying three of the personal guards to Richard De Clare, who commanded the Anglo-Norman forces, thereby enabling King Murtough O'Brien to slay Richard De Clare and win the battle. I continued to serve King Murtough O'Brien until 1322 where upon I left his service in good standing to travel as a knight-errant throughout northern and central Europe competing in tournaments and serving various nobles in numerous border skirmishes and minor wars.

In the spring of 1326 I returned from the continent and came into the service of Henry Plantagenet, 3rd Earl of Lancaster whom I served throughout the deposition of King Edward II and had been both companion and protector for Edward of Windsor when the Earl of Lancaster was assigned guardianship over the newly crowned and underage king in 1327. On October 19, 1330 I joined a group of loyal followers to King Edward III in a nighttime raid of Nottingham castle and the subsequent capture of the king's regents, his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer the Earl of March. I was one of the knights who escorted Roger Mortimer to the Tower of London and also bore witness to his hanging on November 29, 1330. In that same year I took up service to my king and liege lord after my former lord released me from his service. In the year 1333 I had accompanied my king into Scotland when he broke the Scots ability to resist further subjugation at the battle of Halidon Hill on July 19th.

Over the next several years I served my liege well as a lieutenant of the garrisons for several of his castles throughout England, Ireland and Gascony. In the year 1340 I sailed with my king's fleet and fought in the battle of Sluys on June 24th, where I was greviously wounded and had to spend the better part of a year mending at Castle Rising in Norfolk.
In the year 1346 I accompanied my king and his heir the Prince of Wales, Edward of Woodstock into France and participated in several raids throughout the region and stood by my King as we watched the prince win his spurs of knighthood at the battle of Crecy on August 26th when his position came under attack.

On October 2, 1346 a month after the start of the siege of Calais, my king commissioned me to make due haste to Ireland and present his writ of summons to his vassals and my distant kinsmen, the Earl of Kildare and the Earl of Desmond to provide men at arms for the siege of Calais. Upon arrival to castle Kinsale I delivered my king's writ of summons to the Earl of Desmond and he bestowed upon me the title Knight of Kerry since the previous and last lord and Knight of Kerry (my half-uncle Nicolas) had died while imprisoned several years previously after he rebelled against the crown.

Upon my return journey to my king at the siege of Calais, I took a sentimental diversion and spent an evening camped by the shores of Loch Gair where I had fished and swam in my youth. Upon the rising of the moon I was visited by a beautiful lady who beguiled me to escort her back to her domain under an earthen mound not far from the stone circle that was on the western shore of the loch. My lady's domain was a gateway to the wondrous realm of the Tuatha de Danann and she was no less than a cousin to the goddess Aine!

My lady is an immortal and frolicsome spirit who has a fondness for the ways of mortals and their merry making and I am forever her enthralled knight and escort whenever she makes her frequent excursions into the mortal realm.

The Tuatha De Danaan

Tuatha De Danaan is pronounced as {thoo'a-haw day dah'-nawn}.

The Tuatha De Danaan are a highly advanced race of immortal beings that settled in Ireland thousands of years before the birth of Christ. Called by many names: Children of the Goddess Danu, the True Race, the Gentry, the Daoine Sidhe {pronounced as: Deena Shee}; they are most commonly referred to as the Fae, Faery or Fairy. Although frequently portrayed as shimmering, dainty creatures of diminutive size that flit about exuding effervescent good humor and a penchant for mild mischief, the true Tuatha De are neither so delicate nor so benevolent.

Why do I wear armor?