In medieval times, a page was an attendant to a knight; an apprentice squire. A young boy served as a page for about seven years, running messages, serving, cleaning, and even learning the basics of combat, and the lord he was working for would usually treat him fairly but they went through intensive training. A page could be generously rewarded if he or she did a great act of service.The lord sometimes gave the page private combat training from the age of seven until he was fourteen. At age fourteen, he could graduate to become a squire, and by age 21, perhaps a knight himself. Similar pages served in castles and great houses, fetching things and running messages for aristocrats and royalty. These boys were often the scions of other great families who were sent to learn the ways of the manorial system by observation. Their residence in the house served as a goodwill gesture between the two families involved and helped them gain political contacts for their adult lives. A reference to this kind of page is found in the Christmas carol Good King Wenceslaus: "Hither, page, and stand by me, if thou know'st it, telling..."
This type of page is almost unheard of today outside of royal residences, although the functions and status of legislative pages are a clear continuation of the earlier role.