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Sir William McManus presents “Knights, Armor and Weapons of the Middle Ages”

Sir William McManus, right, an expert on the Middle Ages, acquired a “squire,” Nate Woods, left in helmet, to help him during his demonstration to students at APW Middle School recently. McManus’ demonstration provided the sixth grade students with a personal look at life during the Dark Ages.
Sir William McManus, right, an expert on the Middle Ages, acquired a “squire,” Nate Woods, left in helmet, to help him during his demonstration to students at APW Middle School recently. McManus’ demonstration provided the sixth grade students with a personal look at life during the Dark Ages.

How often are we given the opportunity to experience a knight right from the Middle Ages? Sixth graders at Altmar-Parish-Williamstown Middle School recently had that opportunity or the closest thing to it when William McManus visited the school to lecture about the Middle Ages. McManus brought with him replicas of chain mail, armor, helmets, weapons and more in a hands-on demonstration about life during the Dark Ages.

The sixth grade socials studies classes have studied the era, but the days’ presentation brought much of the time period to life right in their classroom. McManus brought several pieces of armor and weapons similar to those used by Knights in the Middle Ages. Students were introduced to chain mail, armor plates, gauntlets, helmets, and the like. He explained how the armor was made as some pieces were passed around for students to examine and try on. As the presentation continued, he put on a full suit of armor. He discussed the steps in becoming a knight as well as the duties of knighthood.

McManus’ presentation also included a discussion on the cottage industries, manor systems, Charlemagne, Medieval life, and the origins of knighthood. McManus has traveled throughout the east coast to speak with schools and groups about life in the Middle Ages.