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Some medieval occupations

Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:45 pm
by Keith
A list of medieval occupations:

Acrobat - entertainment, raise morale, and source of income in some cities.

Apothecarist - those trained in formal medical practice, physicians, were expensive and usually worked for noblemen. Common people relied on apothecaries. Often a religious person, a monk, would require some donation to his sect for his services. Laymen apothecaries could charge what they liked.

Architect - built houses, buildings and towns. They were expensive and in high demand. During medieval times, it was important for a king to have an architect who could build strong, reliable and defensible towns, buildings and castles. In many cases is a city or castle was conquered by an enemy the architect would be put to death. Having his buildings mastered by an enemy was the ultimate sign of failure.

Armorer - highly skilled blacksmiths that specialized in making suits of armor for which they were highly paid. In today's money a suit of armor might go for as much a $100,000. Amorers were typically from the "middle class" and very wealthy.

Artist - Roving artists travelled from town to town seeking a patron. Usually painting portraits of nobles for their posterity. They mixed various agents with berry juice to make paints. Watercolors were also in use. Enamel paints were in the early stages of use.

Astrologer - stuidied the earth and heavenly bodies, weather and seasonal patterns. It was believed by studying these things better understanding for agriculture and social successes could be gained.

Baker - a common and important occupation. The bread they made was a important staple of life and they knew it. Baker's began cheating their customers and charged high prices for miniscule portions of their goods. Such an outcry went out that kings issued laws requiring that they keep their prices low and that they keep honest. Any baker issuing less than a even dozen was severely punished. Bakers begain issuing 13 loaves of bread to ensure they had the required 12, hence the term "a baker's dozen", refering to 13 of some bakery item.

Barrister - Legal arbitration was popular during the Medieval Ages as people challenged claims to land, inherited holdings and even common law. Different provincial territories were usually subjected to the laws of the local lord who governed them. As such, litigation could easily arise between the residents of two neighboring communities. The Barrister was a professional lawyer. Often a local priest would be consulted to act as a Barrister but as times progressed people realized that there were high wages to be earned for the skilled and professional lawyer. After much litigation and arbitration arose and as disputes became difficult to settle under the umbrella of conflicting laws, a new system for order was instituted. A policy called "The King's Law" became the sole source of legal behavior permissable throughout sovereign lands. Each successive king could change any law he deemed fit but the people were bound legally to adhere to it. Barristers became well respected during the Medieval Ages and helped to write and form many of the laws that we still practice today.

Bookbinder - This skill was very important as diaries, journals and manifests were being written during the time period. News of discoveries, law, science, medicine, technology and industry were recorded on paper and were then bound together in the format of a book by professional binders. Most manuscripts were hand written so great care had to be taken when binding them so as not to damage the work. Most bookbinders learned their skill as an apprentice in a guild.

Bowyer - The Bowyer (also called a Bower or Fletcher), crafted and manufactured bows, arrows, crossbows and bolts. The skill was much in demand and remained a premier trade until the 1600s.

Brewer - the maker of beer and ales. The process was completed through combining and aging hops, barley, wheat, malt and grain. Brewers were permitted their own enterprise during the Medieval Ages but since their product was so highly in demand it often fell to heavy taxes and levies being placed upon its sale and at times, even its consumption.

Bricklayer - didn't require special skills, but good ones could garner a lot of business and make a decent living. Brickmakers could also build walls and ducts to avert floods and fires sparing a entire town or castle. Bricklayers though quite common throughout the Medieval Ages were highly respected members of their social orders.

Candlemaker - [FONT=Verdana]The Candlemaker was a specialist with many talents. Though making candles was (and still is) a relatively easy project, the craftsman also had to have a knowledge of the bees that provided him with the substance to complete his work. Though specific skills were required, candlemaking was an easy craft and it was never known to provide more than a modest income. [/FONT]

Carpenter - Carpenters were highly skilled and considered to be elite tradesmen. To become a Carpenter it was usually necessary to join a guild as an apprentice and learn the craft.They crafted homes, wagons, tables, furniture, tools and utensils. Knowledge of math, woodworking and the use of tools was required. Kings and nobles often sought out the finest carpenters and kept them retained on their staffs as specialists. A master carpenter was always in demand and could stand to earn high wages.

Cartographer - Cartographers (or map-makers) held a very important position in service to a king or noble. As information of terrain and the oceans became known and available, it was the job of the Cartographer to draw a detailed map of a given area.The cartographer had to be an artist as well, versed in reading and writing and skilled with math and geography.

Clothier - Clothing was not an available commodity to the lower classes and peasantry until the 12th Century. In contrast, as the elite and members of the nobility could afford the lavish prices of clothing, those who made garments (called Clothiers) were sought after for their skills. The Clothier had to be experienced with mathematics, design and skill for assembly. If serving the nobility a handsome profit could be made. But when fabrics became available to all classes, the Clothier earned a modest living.

Cook - Cooks often used salt to preserve meats and fish. The winter weather provided snow and ice to act as refrigeration but often preparing a meal was no easy task. Spices and extracts that we take for granted today were highly expensive during the Medieval Ages. Trade routes were still being discovered and items such as saffrin, ginger and cinnamon came from the Far East. Thus, a delicious meal was usually enjoyed by only those who could afford the components to make one. It was a difficult occupation and a good Cook only earned an average living with fair wages.

Diplomat - Those fortunate enough to possess the skills to become political Diplomats were often on the road to nobility and positions of title. The Medieval Diplomat served as a royal messenger and ambassador to the king, queen or noble he served. Diplomats would often be sent on missions to speak on behalf of the monarchy to rival kings or ruling houses. The Diplomat would negotiate political deals such as peace treaties, hostage or prisoner releases and matters of trade, commerce and economics. The Diplomat needed to be firm, loyal and dedicated to the master he served and it was also required that he have excellent speaking skills, the knowledge of reading and writing and a shrewd manner. If a Diplomat successfully delegated a trade or commerce pact he was often entitled to a percentage of the revenue this new deal generated. Therefore Diplomats were often wealthy people. However the astute Diplomat knew how to negotiate deals that not only favored both rival parties but also was to his own benefit. The Diplomat could reap financial reward from both factions if he curtailed the deals to fit his own interests. Often Diplomats were the educated members of the Upper Class and elite societies. They often held titles such as Count, Duke or Baron and normally retired with great wealth and prestige.

Dyer - Dyers used their skills to mix different components to form inks, dyes and colorful stains that could add tint and hue to clothing, furniture, fabrics, materials and artwork. Not only did they possess the ability to decorate fashionable wear but they also provided scribes and artists with the materials necessary for them to complete their work. Different berries and plants used to create the pigments often contained a degree of poison that was lethal if handled, inhaled or accidentally ingested. Most women held the positions of Dyers and though some were elevated to strictly work for the elite and nobility, most worked in small towns and communities.

Engineer - Difficult tasks such as building expansion bridges, reinforcing the subterranian foundations of castle walls, building powerful siege engines for use in battle and even irrigation and aquaducts were a few of the jobs Engineers were called upon to perform. Engineers did most of their work by 'trial and error' and though kings and nobles recognized and acknowledged the wide margin for potential failure, such could end the life or career of a skilled Engineer. Though many feats were undertaken for the very first time, such enterprises were costly and put a strain on the financial reserves of a kingdom. However, Engineers were highly respected and were usually employed by the most rich and powerful kings and queens of Medieval society.

Engraver - An Engraver was a specialist who was often called upon to etch messages and designs into swords, shields, armor and metal plaques. An artist in his own right, he worked with a variety of custom tools to produce his trade. If the results of his work were unattractive or undesirable, the customer would often not pay or even had legal grounds to sue the Engraver for ruining a piece of private property. As such the Engraver had to produce quality work.Engravers were quite common throughout the Medieval Ages. The wages earned were generally modest but being conscripted or hired by a noble or monarch for a custom project could find him the recipient of high pay.

Farmer - A local lord or master would grant portions of his land to commoners and serfs and in exchange the people would till, cultivate and maintain the property to produce crops. What was grown was eventually sold at local markets at which the peasants were allowed to keep a share. Most revenue went to the local lord however through taxes and levies. In the society of the Middle Ages, a man's status was based on how much land and livestock he owned. As both of these elements were critical for revenue, a private farmer who owned his own land could become quite rich. Crops were varied and depended greatly on how fertile the plot of farmed land was.

Fisherman - Fisherman - The Fisherman was much like the farmer in that he provided food as a commodity and thus sustained the survival of towns and villages. Usually a professional fisherman worked on a boat owned by a noble or local lord. The work would begin at sunrise as the boats would depart to cast lines and nets into oceans, lakes, rivers and causeways. Fish tended to fetch a higher price in the market because of the rapid rate at which they deteriorated and spoiled. A fisherman who had his own boat was not necessarily in a position to capitalize on free enterprise. Though he was entitled to operate legally by himself, most waterways were the legal right and claim of kings and nobles. Therefore limits were imposed on the private fisherman as to how much bounty he could haul out of the waters. Even then, higher taxes were assessed on him in the markets to ensure that the regent or local master got his due share.

Forester - The Forester usually held a position equal to a sheriff or local law enforcer. He was responsible for patrolling the woodlands on a lord or noble's property. His duties included negotiating deals for the sale of lumber and timber and to stop poachers from illegally killing animals in the forest. Many times wanted criminals would flee their arrest warrants and seek the safety of hiding in a forest. When this would occur it was the duty of the Forester to oragnize roving gangs of armed men to flush out the criminal and capture him. Often Foresters held titles of prominence in their local communities and also acted as barristers and arbitrators. Their pay was usually above average and they could stand to make a decent and profitable living.

Fortune-Teller - Fortune-tellers were often looked upon with disapproval from the ruling classes but their services were highly in demand. The Medieval Ages were full of superstition and very real belief in supernatural forces and powers. Most things that could not be explained by science or technology was thought to be the direct influences of these powers at work. The common people were normally quite poor and therefore they viewed the Fortune-teller as a potential advantage to overcoming future difficulties.Most Fortune-tellers were common rogues and tricksters who used a variety of simple illusions to create dramatic effects. They would be careful to use basic events and information to project a scenario that was generic enough to fit into anyone's situation. Once embellished with mild promises of prosperity it seemed a true magical experience had taken place. Often though the Fortune-teller's success was based on how much the person getting the reading wanted to believe. Some Fortune-tellers did use lunar and celestial patterns to predict probable and basic outcomes in terms of weather. These natural signs could foretell famine or draught or even bad storms. A few kings and monarchs did enlist the services of seers and Fortune-tellers to predict the future of their kingdoms and even the outcome of battles. However, most were treated as witches or dark practitioners. And in some cases when their foretold events did not ring true, they were hunted down and killed.Fortune-Teller

Furrier - The Furrier worked with the pelts and hides from animals. not only did he use the fur to make clothing but also rugs, blankets and even inner linings for armor. A skilled Furrier could become quite wealthy.With careful and legal trapping a furrier would import and export furs to regions that considered the pelts as exotic and hard to get. The sking of a pelt was coated with a oiled substance and allowed to dry in the sun. The fur side of the pelt was treated with various powders and a liquid lye solution to preserve it. Furrier was a common occupation that only paid moderately, but with skill and care he could become quite wealthy.

Gardener - The Medieval Gardener was considered a specialist at his trade. He was mainly responsible for the upkeep and cosmetic appearance of castles and estates but he was also called upon to build defensive ditches and barriers during times of war. In England many types of Ivy and vines grow and would creep up castle walls. Attackers could use such vines to help them scale the walls, so it was a gardners job to cut down any vines growing on the castle walls. A knowledge of herbs, plants and flowers was essential. Most gardners were employed by nobles or lord. Despite their critical role in maintaining the defenses of an estate or castle, their pay was very small.

Glassblower - Glassblower was a specialy trade that required years of training.Glass was made my heating sand and water at extremely high temperatures and melting it into a near liquid. Using his breath the glassblower would shape the molten material in the desired shape. Glassblowers were part of a guild. Glassblowers were usually paid high wages.

Grain Merchant - Grain Merchants needed to be wise in mathematics and negotiations. He needed to develop a client list and then keep a reputation for quality and timely service.Most travelling merchants either sold grain, wheat, barley, oats, hops or other commodities that could benefit a town or community. Maintaining a decent business ethic with established customers was essential. Grain merchants often became quite wealthy and many retired with a title and rank.

Gravedigger - No special skills were required for the profession but it did call for a careful handling of the tools. Due to disease and war a gravedigger was never short of business. During the Black Plague a gravedigger named Marshal de Clare became so wealthy that he obtaine estates, castles, land and livestock. Marshal de Clare became a lord, hired a contingent of knights and became a lesser ruling house in Southern England.

Herald - A herald was usually appointed by a king and did not require any special training, just the ability to read and have a good speaking voice. Usually, a domestic servant of the castle would be elevated to the position. It was his job to keep the townspeople informed on what was happening and proclamations made by the king. Two famous men, Geoffrey Chaucer and Nigel Gray, were both heralds at one time in their lives.

Herbalist - A Herbalist was usually a member of a religious order such as a monk or friar. His main duties included the planting and maintaining of medicinal plants, roots and herbs. The Herbalist enveloped himself in the deep studies of medicine. The Medieval Herbalist was a much respected person. The church would provide a plot of land where the herbalist would plant and maintain his crop of plants.The herbalist would boils, dry, steep, and steam and combine his plants to get the desired results. Most monks practicing the art didn't get wealthy being bound by vows of poverty, but layment could do quite well.

Hunter - Hunting was a special skill and though most people had the basic knowledge needed for survival, professionals often circulated among the elite nobility. Hunting was popular in the Medieval times. Game included animals like wildboar, wolves, and bear, which could be quite dangerous and deadly. Other species hunted were rabbits, foxes, and deer, which were more tame. There are many tales of Medieval nobles being killed during a hunt. The Hunter not only served as a guide and expert, but he also had a knowledge of skinning, tanning and preparing the meats that were captured on the hunt.He would often use the bones and teeth of animals to make dagger hilts and jewelry and other items. The hunter made money by not only hiring out his services but also made additional money from his skills and resourceful talents.

Innkeeper - One of the most lucrative and profitable occupations was that of the Medieval Innkeeper. Anyone with a structure and land could open a Inn. However, Inns were faced heavy taxes and levies from lords and nobles. Most Inns had dining halls and taverns or alehouses. Food was often included with the cost of a room. Innkeepers had to be good with math and money and be able to handle bookings as well as ordering supplies and inventory. Many innkeepers hired a small staff of armed security guards to hold down on the violence and roudiness, especially from men returing with spoils of war anxious to spend it. At some inns a armed guard was posted and customers had to pay a coin to get. The coin would cover the cost of any potential damage that might be caused inside. The coin was usually made of copper and was bounced off a piece of wet wood. If it bounced the coin was good. Many times people would forge their own coins out of lead or cheaper metals and since Europe saw a wide variety of foreign money, it was often difficult to prove the authenticity of a coin. The practice of bouncing the coin off of a wet piece of wood is what eventually led to modern day doormen at bars and pubs being called "Bouncers". Nobles and elite personnel were often exempt from paying any fees at an Inn or hostel.Most innkeepers resented this, but they did get protection in return. A properly maintained Inn could earn high profits.

Interpreter - Interpreters usually earned excellent wages.They were highly sought after by monarchs and kings. Interpreters could provide information about foreign troops, compose letters, laws and doctrines that helped with the subjugation of foreign territories. Meetings, conversations, and gatherings of many foreign diplomats would require their services.An interpreter was an elite position and the person was often give rank, a title and land.

Jester - The Jester seldom had an easy job. Though some were professionals and made their livings touring from kingdom to kingdom, most were forced into the position as an act of humiliation. Jesters lived precariously and often their success depended solely on the mood of their audience. They did not earn high wages but were often allowed a few benefits and luxuries of life inside a castle.

Jeweler - Jewelers held great positions of status within Medieval communities and towns. Men returning from foreign lands with precious stones did not know the value of them and the jeweler determined their worth. Diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires were the most common stones found during the Medieval Ages. Gold, silver and bronze were also held in high regard. The jeweler also had skills to set stones into rings, pendants, medallions, bracelets and amulets. Sometimes jewels were placed into sword hilts and other items as means of displaying the owner's wealth. Jewelers were respected but there were many who knew the advantages of being less than honest. They would accept a stone to be set into ring or pendant and then switch a diamond out for a polished piece of quartz, etc. giving the worthless stones back to the owner while the jeweler sold the reals stones for a quick high profit.

Leatherworker - Leatherworkers were common laborers but their skills were in high demand. They crafted such items as swordbelts, clothing, saddles and even leather armor. Though some preferred the protection and skill that guilds provided, many were able to learn the basics of the trade on their own. The tanning process was relatively simple and though most commoners knew how to do this, the products they made on their own didn't have the durability of those made by Leatherworkers. Leather had to be treated by a series of steps. Tanning, hiding and even treating the material with oils and softeners were necessary to make it last longer.Leatherworkers earned a modest living sometimes a decent living depending on their skills.

Locksmith - Locksmiths became important with the developments and security of castles. Locks that resisted tampering and picking were highly valued. Locksmiths were trained in guilds and the secrets of their craft were kept highly guarded. Locksmiths were considered to possess the knowledge and skills of a specialty organization and as a result earned high wages.

Messenger - Messengers had to be skilled in topographical knowledge, horsemanship and had to be articulate. They needed the skills of reading and writing and often received high wages for their dangerous services. Messenger were usually employed by lords and kings as a lesser diplomat when messages had to be passed to a ruling house. Often a unfortunate messenger with bad news got the worst of rulers wrath and paid the ultimate price. Later laws were passed to protect messengers regardless of the messages they relayed. Hence, the term "Don't kill the messenger."

Miner - Miners jobs were particularly dangerous. Their job was to mine gold and silver to increase the realm's reserves. Miners were relatively unskilled but had to be brave to work in the conditions that existed. Often working for several days underground they had to endure collapsing mines, deadly gases, cave ins, and possibly even floods.His wages were above the standard rate for difficult services. Miners led modest lives.

Minstrel - Minstrels were musicians. Various instruments included the mandolin, fife, flute, dulcimer, drums, violin and harpsichord. It required a great deal of training to be a professional minstrel and proficient ones often entertained kings and lords for high wages. They would often enshrine the deeds of a knights and heroes in song. Sometimes they were sought out by the doer of great deeds to have their exploit recorded in song. Deeds were often times exaggerated. Talented minstrels would often charge high wages for such services.

Moneylender - Kings needing to increase the size of his army would often turn to a moneylender to obtain the necessary funds. Moneylenders were allowed to set their own rules, since they were lending their own personal funds. His funds were referred to as his "interest". He would charge a percentage of the sum being borrowed to be paid back with the total sum owed. If he charged 25% for loaning 100 coins, he would get 125 coins in return in payment of the loan. If the debtor could not pay back the loan, the moneylender could seize land, livestock, and holdings equal to the amount owed him.The term "interest" still is used in banking today. Moneylenders could earn a lavish living.

Navigator - Navigators worked closely with cartographers. They worked on both land sea, guiding ships across the water using stars and planets and over land using topographical features to guide diplomats, messengers and soldiers. They were highly trained, highly regarded and highly paid.

Painter - The professional painter was regarded as a tradesman and brought new residents to a community and raise morale by making it an attractive place to live. Communities were often highly decorated with wreaths and color. Festivals and tournaments saw great need for the Painter as his services were in demand to produce lively environments. The trade required no training but did require some skill. Painters made a modest living but if hired by a king or noblemen they could be highly paid.

Peddler - Peddlers were common merchants that would sell what ever they had by travelling from town to town. Their earnings were usually meager and they were highly taxes by the lords and nobles of the communities they did business with. Being a peddler was not a way to get rich, but more a means of basic subsistance.

Physician - Physicians were more skilled than an Apothecarist or Herbalist, the Physician was capable of prescribing new medicines and performing types of surgery. Most of their services were dispensed to the rich that could afford their services. Most common people that could not afford such services would just simply die.During the 13th century practices of bleeding, leaching, and surgery were deemed to be against the laws of the Church. Patients could risk punishment and excommunication from the Church for receiving treatment. During the 14th century the Church began to accept the merciful work of the Physicians. Physicians often became wealthy and live lavish lifestyles.

Playwright - Since most people could not read or write playwrights were important, because they could create plays to act out the stories of history and preserved them. This gave people a sense of "where they had come from." Acrobats and actors were higher to act out the playwright's script. Performances were held in places where the public could gather, like the town square.Playwrights the incurred the wrath of the lord, noble, or king by writing controversial play could find themselves arrested, in prison or executed. Playwrights that produce plays that were received favorably by a lord, noble or king would find themselves growing richer.

Politician - A local lord ruled the lands of his fifedom, the local people were often allowed to elect their own sheriffs, mayors and delegates to handle matters on smaller levels. A Sheriff was a minor political post that carried great weight and authority. Often answerable to the local lord his duties included the enforcement of law throughout the local communities. The Mayor was the voice of the people. He could resolve the matters personally or seek the counsel of a barrister or his local lord. Delegates operated between the Sheriff and Mayor and often were directly in contact with the people. When concerns or issues were raised the Delegates would call meetings between the Sheriff and Mayor and attempt to resolve the matters. Wages for politicians were above average.

Potter - Potters were crafters of earthenworks and dealt mainly in clay molds, porcelains and early forms of ceramics. Basically they produced pots for cooking and storage and at times sculpted icons and statues to order. Potters were usually members of guilds and worked closely with molds, tools and heating kilns. Their craft was well respected and though their products were much in demand on a daily basis, their wages were usually average.

Rat Catcher - Though the very name of this position seems like a menial occupation, Rat Catchers were very highly regarded in Medieval society. His work was highly respected. Rats, mice and vermin were often the cause of epidemics and disease. Therefore a crafty and skillful Rat Catcher could earn stunning wages in ridding a city or town of its pest problems. Often the work did take the professional Rat Catcher into undesirable places and he did risk his own health and safety by coming into contact with diseased and often rabid rodents. Rat Catchers employed cats and means of trapping to bring the problem under control.

Sailor - Sailors often led lonely and hard lives as vessels would often set sail for months or even a year at a time. Before the official formations of Navies, Sailors mainly sailed on ships owned by kings, nobles and monarchs. Their pay was based on their rank. A common Sailor earned very little while a First Mate or Boatswain earned much more substantial wages. Sailors needed training in the handling of the vessel, their duties at sea and even ocean combat. During the Crusades, Sailors ferried troops, supplies, horses and foodstores from secured ports, through hostile waters and resupplied the armies.

Scribe - To become a Scribe required skills in reading, writing and comprehension. They were often asked to research laws and other matters for kings and nobles. The Scribe was often a historian, poet and philosopher.Scribes usually were of nobility in that the education needed to attain the post was not affordable or available to peasant and common classes. Most Scribes came from religious abbeys where the skills were learned within the vast libraries of the church. Their wages were usually standard and average, however the Scribe was entitled to all the benefits and luxuries of castle life.

Servant - There were advantages and disadvantages of being a domestic Servant. Though the work was often tedious, menial and hard it was worthwhile if you were in service to a kind lord or master. Servants were conscripted if they possessed talents and abilities that were useful inside a castle. Such things as cooking, baking, sewing, dying, weaving or performing music could attract the attentions of a local lord. If these conditions were met and the service was satisfactory, the Servant enjoyed the mild benefit and protection of working within a castle.Sometimes victorious knights would take their prisoners back to their homelands and endenture them as Servants.This could be most embarrassing if the capture person was an enemy knight. While waiting to be ransomed, the enemy knight had no other choice but to lower himself to the dutiful position of a Servant.

Shipwright - The Shipwright (or Shipwane) was a skilled specialist who built and designed boats and vessels. Viking Longboats were the most effect design during the Dark Ages. Having great knowledge of mathematics, design and science, the Shipwright was a master craftsman. They were often sought after by kings and monarchs. They learned their craft in guilds but once they earned the status of Shipwright their profitable future was assured.

Shoemaker - Shoemakers (or cobblers) were often common laborers who designed and made footwear. They would make footwear from burlap, hide or leather to elaborate and fancy boots made from reptile skins.These materials cost a great deal so not every one could afford his work.Eventually they began designing shoes for the majority of people and designed footwear from cloth and wood. Despite his work being necessary, a shoemaker or cobbler would only make average wages.

Spies - A wise ruler would keep an eye on what his neighbors were doing. So the employment of spies was used to ferret out information. Most spies were wormen. It was felt that they could use their charms to coax information out of employees of a rival house and that they could move more easily among certain social circles.Spies were taught to read and write and to speak more than one language. They took an oath to take their own lives rather than be caught. Spies were highly paid and had access to all the luxuries of castle life.

Stone Carvers - Stone Carvers were important in Medieval society. Their work consisted of a broad range of talents from etching tombstones to carving tools and statues.They learned their skills through a guild, which included bricklayers and masons, but Stone Carvers were usually in a group by themselves. Their work to a great deal of time and often a Stone Carver was retained for many months. Crafty Stone Carvers would find ways to extend the project to extend their employment and earn more money. Wages were usually higher than average and a Stone Carver could earn a decent living.

Storytellers - Storytelling required no special abilitiess except a good memory. Most people could not read, so storytelling was a way of entertaining and informing the people about events and history. However, to make their tale more interesting, untrue fact would be added to a story quite often and over time history began to get distorted. If a Storyteller could read, he could expand his number of stories. Most storytellers were not paid, unless they were hired to perform by a king.

Weavers - A Weaver's work ranged from weaving clothes and baskets to making durable furniture and crafts. Though no guilds really existed to protect or train a Weaver, the skill was more acquired and passed on as an alternate means of a hobby. Most people knew how to weave to some extent but those who made a business out of it often enjoyed minimal success. In areas where weaving was not predominate, a Weaver could become successful by protecting the secrets of the trade.

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:20 am
by PantherX
Wow Keith, quite the list!

Did I miss Bar Wench? I'm sure there were Bar Wenches serving that mead and ale.

Are you going to flesh out the rest, I really enjoyed the specs.


Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:37 am
by Keith
I'll try. I ran out of time and just posted what I had finished to that point.

Edit: added Fortune-teller through Grain Merchant.
Edit: added Gravedigger through Hunter.
Edit: added Innkeeper through Locksmith.
Edit: added Messenger through Moneylender.
Edit: added Navigator through Peddler.
Edit: added Physician through Rat Catcher.
Edit: added Sailor through Servant.
Edit: addes Shipwright through Weaver.

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:38 pm
by Chris Beatrice
Wow Keith, this is fantastic! From your list we have Baker, Astrologer, (also Astronomer), Bookbinder, Brewer, Candlemaker, Clothier (we have Tailor), Engineer, Farmer, Fisherman, Engineer, Fortune Teller, Glass Blower (something like it), Herald, Hunter, Innkeeper, Leatherworker, Miner, Peddlers (several), Shoemaker (we have Cobbler), Weaver, and more!!

But what about beekeeper?

And btw, RAT CATCHER IS DEFINITELY GOING IN!! Thanks for that!

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:43 pm
by Keith
I didn't include the beekeeper on this list since I gave it it's own thread a while ago.

I'm glad the list is helpful. It was just put together for the fun of it.

Posted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:15 pm
by Chris Beatrice
"Keith" wrote:I didn't include the beekeeper on this list since I gave it it's own thread a while ago.

I'm glad the list is helpful. It was just put together for the fun of it.

Good to see we're on the same page, though. I find so much inspiration in the historical settings, the time and place, the lives of the people, vs. historical events.

Usually we find we have to blend together different periods so as not to leave anything interesting out... or to make the game function (you know, like having currency in ancient Egypt...).

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:41 am
by Keith
I have finished fleshing out the occupation list above.

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:04 am
by MoLAoS
This is quite and extensive and detailed list. I'll probably use this in some of my own projects.

Good work Keith.

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:12 pm
by PhilL
"Chris Beatrice" wrote:Wow Keith, this is fantastic! From your list we have Baker, Astrologer, (also Astronomer), Bookbinder, Brewer, Candlemaker, Clothier (we have Tailor), Engineer, Farmer, Fisherman, Engineer, Fortune Teller, Glass Blower (something like it), Herald, Hunter, Innkeeper, Leatherworker, Miner, Peddlers (several), Shoemaker (we have Cobbler), Weaver, and more!!

But what about beekeeper?

And btw, RAT CATCHER IS DEFINITELY GOING IN!! Thanks for that!

Wow this is gonna be one busy game. cant wait. and what is a game without a rat catcher. LOL

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:02 pm
by aeval99
"Keith" wrote:I didn't include the beekeeper on this list since I gave it it's own thread a while ago.

I'm glad the list is helpful. It was just put together for the fun of it.

Excellent list, Keith. I can't wait to see the rat-catcher.

I don't see the oldest profession listed though...perhaps it could be classed up to courtesan. :p

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:18 am
by Czech Centurian
"Chris Beatrice" wrote:
And btw, RAT CATCHER IS DEFINITELY GOING IN!! Thanks for that!


That fits in with one of the posts I made maybe not exactly, but there will be rats.


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:25 pm
by Keith
I've added more possibilities in a new thread. If you have not seen it, click here: Some medieval occupations - PART DEUX

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:59 pm
by PhilL
"aeval99" wrote:Excellent list, Keith. I can't wait to see the rat-catcher.

I don't see the oldest profession listed though...perhaps it could be classed up to courtesan. :p

Leave it to you to ask for a "courtesan"

Posted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:14 pm
by aeval99
"PhilL" wrote:Leave it to you to ask for a "courtesan"

Someone has to do the "dirty" work. :D

Now, be quiet or I'll shoot you in the ass and/or set you on fire. ;)

Re: Some medieval occupations

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:20 pm
by Keith
Here's a couple more occupations that were mentioned in a PBS program about "Filthy Cities" in the episode on medieval London.

Muckraker - London streets did double duty as sewers. Human waste, pieces of butchered animals ended up in the streets in early medieval London. The Muckraker was responsible to keep the gutters along the road clear by raking up the filth that collected in them on a daily basis.

Gong farmer (also gongfermor, gongfermour, gong-fayer, gong-fower or gong scourer) - was a term that entered use in Tudor England to describe someone who dug out and removed human excrement from privies and cesspits; the word "gong" was used for both a privy and its contents. A man came to homes at night, dug out all the feces under the privy, and carried it to a dump where it could be recycled as fertilizer and building materials. One gong farmer received special mention in historical documents for having removed six tons of material in one night. The basic tool used was a simple shovel.

Pigs were butchered in London in a area called a "shambles", which meant a place of slaughter or destruction in those times.

Re: Some medieval occupations

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2016 1:56 pm
by Herodotus
Keith wrote:
Pigs were butchered in London in a area called a "shambles", which meant a place of slaughter or destruction in those times.

York still has its Shambles - no butchers' shops there now - all tourist traps - but it does give a general idea of a medieval street.

You can wander down it on street view: ... 312!8i6656

Have a butcher's

(That's a joke BTW, Cockney Rhyming Slang, short for butcher's hook... rhymes with ... guess what)