The medieval days were between the 11th and 15th centuries, and it was a period marked by difficult times for the people. The common man was subjected to what could be likened to the Feudal System, thus obliged to obey the local lord to whom an oath of obedience had been sworn. Most people worked as farmers on the fields belonging to the lords, making the farming year to control their lives. There were also some jobs which needed to be done during a particular period of the year. Though life was harsh then, rebellions were not common because of the existence of a harsh system of law and order.
The Jobs in the Medieval Days
- Cottar – A Cottar involved being a construction worker, a farmer and a prison guard. Though a lot of strength was needed, and there were always risks of the peasant dying from diseases and infections, the jobs were not paying well.
- Blacksmith – Being a blacksmith was common during the medieval days, requiring the manufacture and sharpening of the weapons of war and household wares such as pots and pans, construction tools (including the hammer, locks, nails and keys). The common weapons produced then were breastplates, chainmail, gauntlets and helmets. He must ensure that the armor was well made to fit the wearer. Thus, it was a popular specialist job during those days.
- Falconer – The falconer was the trainer and breeder of falcons for communication and sports. In communication, the birds were used in sending letters to allies and foes across distant lands.
- Barber – The barber had duties which involved more than a haircut. He as also a dentist and a surgeon, helping to cure all kinds of diseases.
- Porter – Castles were the symbol of wealth and social status, and somebody needed to provide security by standing at the door always. This was the duty of the porter. He also had the responsibility of watching over the guardrooms, preventing anybody from stealing any of the weapons.
- Apothecary – The apothecary was involved in dispensing remedies made from plants, roots and herbs. This was often the job of a priest, serving as the last resort for the sick, poor people, as physicians were expensive at that time
- Artist – In the 13th and 14th centuries, the kings and nobles used to hire artists to pain their fashionable portraits. A more glorious position than the earlier-century job of making designs on furniture.
- Astrologer – The astrologer was involved in drawing a horoscope for the time an event would take place, for instance, the birth of a person. He would also interpret the celestial bodies and where they would be placed at the time of the event to determine the success of an undertaking, to better understand someone, and so on.
- Chaplain – This was the person in charge of the religious activities of men at arms and castle servants. He might also perform the duties of a bookkeeper and a clerk.
- Harker or herald – This was the assistant of a knight and an expert advisor. The harker or herald often made announcements to the public on behalf of the king or noble. It was usually done on a given day when the public assembled in the town square or at the base of a castle tower.
- Knight – The knight had the duty of learning all warfare techniques, serving his lord based on to the code of chivalry. He would be involved in enhancing skills in the two-handed sword, mace, dagger, lance and battle axe.
- Gardener – The gardener often kept herbs and plants, an important position for protecting castles. In addition to digging defensive ditches, the walls of a castle needed to be kept clear of ivy or any other thing that could be used in climbing the walls.
There were many jobs during the medieval days. Some other popular ones were being a bailiff, bottler, candle maker, butler, carpenter, chamberlain, clothier, constable, cook, ditcher cordwainer, ewerer, potter, reeve, painter, moneylender, minstrel, messenger, scribe, sheriff, shoemaker, spinster and steward.
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If you’re interested in seeing what kind of clothes people wore in the medieval days, check out http://www.medievalcostume.com/ for information and pictures!