Cavalier: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Prince Rupert, an archetypical Cavalier

Cavalier was the name used by Parliamentarians for a Royalist supporter of King Charles I during the English Civil War (1642–1651). Prince Rupert, commander of much of Charles I's cavalry, is often considered an archetypical Cavalier.[1]


Early usage

Cavalier derives from the same Latin root as the Spanish word caballero, the Vulgar Latin word caballarius, meaning “horseman”. Shakespeare used the word cavaleros to describe an overbearing swashbuckler or swaggering gallant in Henry IV, Part 2, in which Shallow says "I'll drink to Master Bardolph, and to all the cavaleros about London."[2]

The Wounded Cavalier by William Shakespeare Burton.

English Civil War

Sir Anthony van Dyck ca.1638, Lord John Stuart and his brother Lord Bernard. Both died fighting for the King

"Cavalier" is chiefly associated with the Royalist supporters of King Charles I in his struggle with Parliament in the English Civil War. It first appears as a term of reproach and contempt, applied by the opponents of King Charles I during the summer of 1642:

1642 (June 10) Propositions of Parlt. in Clarendon v. (1702) I. 504 Several sorts of malignant Men, who were about the King; some whereof, under the name of Cavaliers, without having respect to the Laws of the Land, or any fear either of God or Man, were ready to commit all manner of Outrage and Violence. 1642 Petition Lords & Com. 17 June in Rushw. Coll. III. (1721) I. 631 That your Majesty..would please to dismiss your extraordinary Guards, and the Cavaliers and others of that Quality, who seem to have little Interest or Affection to the publick Good, their Language and Behaviour speaking nothing but Division and War.

Charles, in the Answer to the Petition June 13, 1642 speaks of Cavaliers as a "word by what mistake soever it seemes much in disfavour".[3] It was soon adopted (as a title of honour) by the king's party, who in return applied Roundhead to their opponents, and at the Restoration the court party preserved the name, which survived till the rise of the term Tory.[3]

Cavalier was not understood at the time as primarily a term describing a style of dress, but a whole political and social attitude. However, in modern times the word has become more particularly associated with the court fashions of the period, which included long flowing hair in ringlets, brightly coloured clothes with elaborate trimmings and lace collars and cuffs, and plumed hats.[4] This contrasted with the dress of at least the most extreme "Roundhead" supporters of Parliament, with their preference for shorter hair and plainer dress, although neither side conformed to the stereotypical images entirely. Most Parliamentarian generals wore their hair at much the same length as their Royalist counterparts, though Cromwell was something of an exception. In fact the best patrons in the nobility of the archetypal recorder of the Cavalier image, Charles I's court painter Sir Anthony van Dyck, all took the Parliamentary side in the Civil War. Probably the most famous image identified as of a "cavalier", Frans Hals' Laughing Cavalier, in fact shows a gentleman from the strongly Calvinist Dutch town of Haarlem, and is dated 1624. These derogatory terms (for at the time they were so intended) also showed what the typical Parliamentarian thought of the Royalist side – capricious men who cared more for vanity than the nation at large.

Engraving depicting Charles I and his adherents.

The chaplain to King Charles I, Edward Simmons described a Cavalier as "a Child of Honour, a Gentleman well borne and bred, that loves his king for conscience sake, of a clearer countenance, and bolder look than other men, because of a more loyal Heart."[5] There were many men in the Royalist armies who fit this description since most of the Royalist field officers were typically in their early thirties, married with rural estates which had to be managed. Although they did not share the same outlook on how to worship God as the English Independents of the New Model Army, God was often central to their lives. This type of Cavalier was personified by Lord Jacob Astley whose prayer at the start of the Battle of Edgehill has become famous "O Lord, Thou knowest how busy I must be this day. If I forget Thee, do not forget me."[6] At the end of the First Civil War Astley gave his word that he would not take up arms again against Parliament and having given his word he felt duty bound to refuse to help the Royalist cause in the Second Civil War.

Cromwell's soldiers breaking into the house of a Cavalier - drawing by J. Williamson for the book "More Pictures of British History" by E.L.Hoskyn, London, 1914.

However, the word was coined by the Roundheads as a pejorative propaganda image of a licentious, hard drinking and frivolous man, who rarely, if ever, thought of God. It is this image which has survived and many Royalists, for example Henry Wilmot, 1st Earl of Rochester, fitted this description to a tee.[7] Of another Cavalier, Lord Goring a general in the Royalist army,[8] the principal advisor to Charles II, Edward Hyde, 1st Earl of Clarendon, said that he "would, without hesitation, have broken any trust, or done any act of treachery to have satisfied an ordinary passion or appetite; and in truth wanted nothing but industry (for he had wit, and courage, and understanding and ambition, uncontrolled by any fear of God or man) to have been as eminent and successful in the highest attempt of wickedness as any man in the age he lived in or before. Of all his qualifications dissimulation was his masterpiece; in which he so much excelled, that men were not ordinarily ashamed, or out of countenance, with being deceived but twice by him."[9] This sense has developed into the modern English use of "cavalier" to describe a recklessly nonchalant attitude, although still with a suggestion of stylishness.

Cavaliers in the arts

Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles. The famous triple portrait of Charles I by Anthony van Dyck.
See also 1600-1650 in fashion and Cavalier poets

An example of the Cavalier style can be seen in the painting "Charles I, King of England, from Three Angles" by Anthony van Dyck.


  1. ^ , Manganiello, p. 476
  2. ^ a b OED. "Cavalier"
  3. ^ a b Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Article: CAVALIER
  4. ^ OED "Cavalier", Meaning 4. attrib., First quotation "1666 EVELYN Dairy 13 Sept., The Queene was now in her cavalier riding habite, hat and feather, and horseman's coate."
  5. ^ Carlton p. 52
  6. ^ Hume p. 216 See footnote r. cites Warwick 229.
  7. ^ Barratt, 177
  8. ^ Memegalos, inside front cover
  9. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica Eleventh Edition Article: GEORGE GORING GORING


  • Barratt, John. Cavalier Generals: King Charles I and His Commanders in the English Civil War, 1642-46, Pen & Sword Military, 2005
  • Carlton, Charles. Going to the Wars: The Experience of the British Civil Wars, 1638-1651, Routledge, 1994 ISBN 0415103916.
  • Hume David. The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution 1688 (Volume V).T. Cadell, 1841
  • Manganiello Stephen C. The Concise Encyclopedia of the Revolutions and Wars of England, Scotland, and Ireland, 1639-1660, Scarecrow Press, 2004, ISBN 0810851008
  • Memegalos, Florene S. George Goring (1608-1657): Caroline Courtier and Royalist General, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2007 ISBN 0754652998
  • Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition 1989 (OED).

Further reading

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Cavalier [1] is the county seat of Pembina County, in the northeast corner of North Dakota, on the Tongue River. It has a population of approximately 1,537 people. Its map coordinates are latitude 48.79N & Longitude 97.62W

  • By Car: from exit 203 on I-29, take US highway 81 west for 10 miles, then continue west on state highway 5 for 9 more miles. Cavalier is at the junction of state highways 5 and 18.
  • By air: Cavalier Municipal Airport for private aircraft. Runway 16/34 is 3,300 feet long.
  • Pembina County Historical Museum next to Icelandic State Park, where exhibits, restored buildings, pioneer machinery and a library tell the history of Pembina County agriculture. Open from Memorial day to October 1, daily 1:00 to 5:00PM. Tel: (701) 265-4941. Fax: (701) 265-4691
  • Pioneer Heritage Museum, in Icelandic State Park, you can see the state's pioneer heritage. Open year-round, but hors vary. From mid-May to Labor Day, the Museum is open every Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM to 8:00AM, and on Friday through Sunday from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM. The admission fee to Icelandic State Park is $5 daily. Tel: (701) 265-4561. Fax: (701) 265-4443
  • Boating: at * Icelandic State Park, see below.
  • Fishing: at * Icelandic State Park, 5 miles west of Cavalier on Highway 5, on the north shore of Lake Renwick, this park offers fishing for northern pike and others. Admission fee is $5 daily. Tel: (701) 265-4561. Fax: (701) 265-4443. Email: [2]
  • Golf: Cavalier Country Club. Tel: (701) 265-4506
  • Hiking, Wildwood Trail is a National Recreation Trail that winds through the preserve and provides an enjoyable educational tour. Located within Icelandic State Park, this wooded area along the Tongue River is a sanctuary for plants, birds and wildlife.
  • Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling on groomed trails in Icelandic State Park.
  • Cedar Inn Steak House 502 Division Ave S, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-8341
  • Chuckwagon Cafe, 210 Main St W, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-4537
  • Thompson's Cafe, 1301 Main St W, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-4848
  • Sammy's Bar 107 Main St W, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-4145
  • Ugly's Tavern PO Box 61, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-8850
  • Cedar Inn Motel, 502 Division Ave S, Cavalier, ND 58421. Tel: (701) 265-8341
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CAVALIER, a horseman, particularly a horse-soldier or one of gentle birth trained in knightly exercises. The word is taken from one of the French words which derived ultimately from the Late Lat. caballarius, a horseman, from Lat. caballus, properly a pack-horse, which gave the Fr. cheval, a chevalier. This last word is the regular French for "knight," and is chiefly used in English for a member of certain foreign military or other orders, particularly of the Legion of Honour. Cavalier in English was early applied in a contemptuous sense to an overbearing swashbuckler - a roisterer or swaggering gallant. In Shakespeare (2 Henry IV. v. iii. 62) Shallow calls Bardolph's companions "cavaleros." "Cavalier" is chiefly associated with the Royalists, the supporters of Charles I. in the struggle with the Parliament in the Great Rebellion. Here again it first appears as a term of reproach and contempt, applied by the opponents of the king. Charles in the Answer to the Petition (June 13, 1642) speaks of cavaliers as a "word by what mistake soever it seemes much in disfavour." Further quotations of the use of the word by the Parliamentary party are given in the New English Dictionary. It was soon adopted (as a title of honour) by the king's party, who in return applied Roundhead to their opponents, and at the Restoration the court party preserved the name, which survived till the rise of the term Tory (see Whig And Tor y). The term "cavalier" has been adopted from the French as a term in fortification for a work of great command constructed in the interior of a fort, bastion or other defence, so as to fire over the main parapet without interfering with the fire of the latter. A greater volume of fire can thus be obtained, but the great height of the cavalier makes it an easy target for a besieger's guns.

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