A long time ago, in a land not so far away...

Adventuring in the Middle Ages is a lot of fun, not least because of its tendency to traipse freely across the line dividing what is known from what is mystery. From Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur to Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to the legends of Robin Hood, there is a wealth of stories for GM's and players to draw from.

Generally speaking, four social clichés dominated medieval Europe, each populated by a colourful variety of characters and professions:

  1. Nobility
  2. Clergy
  3. Merchant Guildsmen
  4. Craftsmen & Laborers

Out of the last two, a unique kind of association arose during the High Middle Ages.

Merchant

I

The Thing About Guilds

Guilds originally formed as "brotherhoods" of tradesmen operating in a single city and covering a single trade with the intention of safeguarding their common interests. There were several types of guilds, including the two main categories of Merchant Guilds and Craft Guilds, but Frith Guilds and Religious Guilds existed as well.

Organization

Guilds were organized as something between a Professional Association, a Trade Union, a Cartel, and a Secret Society. They sometimes depended on grants of letters patent from a Monarch to enforce the flow of trade to their self-employed members, and to retain ownership of tools and materials supply. But generally, guilds were overseen by the City Government.

Influence

In many cases, guilds rose to become the governing body of the town, in which case the guildhalls used for meetings doubled as magistrate seats and town halls. A notable consequence of the guild framework was the emergence of Universities at Bologna, Oxford and Paris in the 11ᵗʰ to 12ᵗʰ centuries. These originated as guilds of Students (Bologna) and Masters (Paris).

Guild Rules

In medieval cities, a key “privilege” was that only guild members were allowed to sell their goods or practice their skills within the city. There might be controls on minimum or maximum prices, hours of trading, numbers of Apprentices, among many other things. Guild members found guilty of cheating the public would be fined or banned from membership. Guilds of Textile Workers, Masons, Carpenters, Carvers, Glass-workers, etc. carefully controlled the impartation of their technological secrets—the “arts” or “mysteries” of their craft. Sometimes this had the effect of maintaining a good quality of work. Other times it reduced free competition, with rules making it difficult or impossible for women and new immigrants to run businesses or find work (note that Jews were a class of their own during the medieval period). Not all city economies were controlled by guilds; some, like Nuremberg, were “free.”

Composition

By the mid-13ᵗʰ century there were no less than 100 guilds in Paris, a figure which by the 14ᵗʰ century had risen to 350. Individual kinds of metalworkers—Farriers, Knife-makers, Locksmiths, Chain-forgers, Nail-makers)—and armourers—Helmet-makers, Escutcheon-makers, Harness-makers, Harness-polishers—often chose to form separate and distinct corporations. Some cities grouped trades functionally—e.g. Butchers, Leatherworkers and Furriers—while guilds that were not large enough to sustain a full complement of officers were linked in peculiar combinations. At Cologne, the Saddlers were grouped together with the Artists, Escutcheon-makers and Glassblowers, probably because they decorated their saddles. The guild of Doctors and Druggists at Florence included Painters, who in turn included subgroups ranging from Artists to Mattress-workers to Box-makers. Some guilds grew more powerful and wielded greater influence than others. Later, the merchant class increasingly came to sway the means of production and venture capital away from the more conservative craft guilds.

Greater and Lesser Guilds

At one point, in Florence, Italy, there were 7 to 12 greater guilds and 14 lesser guilds. The most important of the former were the Judges and Notaries, who handled the legal business of all other guilds and often served as dispute arbitrators. Other greater guilds included Woolmen, Silkmercers, Moneychangers, Doctors, Druggists, and Furriers. Among the lesser guilds, were those for Bakers, Saddlemakers, Ironworkers and other artisans. The latter did have sizable membership, but lacked the political and social clout necessary to influence city affairs.

Game Note: In a campaign, just before the PC's enter a new town, the GM might roll at random against VI. Big List of Medieval Clichés to determine the rank and composition of its greater and lesser guilds. A little discussion with your players on how those guilds may have risen to the top could lead to some inspirational roleplay.

Women in Guilds

For the most part, medieval guilds limited women’s participation, and usually only the Widows and Daughters of known Masters were allowed to join. Records show women as members of the Glassblower, Mailmaker, Silkmaker, and sometimes Surgeons’ guilds, though nearly all Healer Guilds forbade women (medicine being thought a male-only practice). Entertainment Guilds did have a significant number of women members, e.g. Musicians. Most businesswomen, however, were independent traders of low status and poor pay—a tax return from 1381 shows a large number engaged as Hucksters, Spinsters, Shepsters and Laundresses.

Adventurer

II

The Guildsman's Journey

Hired as an Apprentice

A guild’s Founder was usually a Free and Independent Master Craftsman who hired Apprentices. Apprentices were typically not taught more than the most basic techniques until they could be trusted by their peers to keep the guild’s secrets, and were usually unpaid. In fact, families of would-be Apprentices were known to pay Masters to take them on. Nonetheless, this began a lifetime progression of Apprentice to Journeyman, and eventually to the widely recognized status of Master and Grandmaster.

Journeymen Years

Unlike Apprentices, Journeymen could work for other Masters and were generally paid by the day. After being employed for several years, and producing a qualifying piece of work, the Apprentice was granted the rank of Journeyman and given letters which certified him as such. This entitled him to travel to other towns and countries to learn the art from other Masters, a three-year voyage called journeyman years. These journeys could span large parts of Europe and were an unofficial way of communicating new methods and techniques, though by no means did all Journeymen travel this way.

Received as a Master

After this journey, plus several years of experience, a Journeyman could be received as a Master Craftsman. This required the approval of all Guild Masters, a donation of money and other goods (oft omitted for sons of existing members), and the production of a Masterpiece. This masterwork was to evidence the full abilities of the aspiring master, and was retained by the guild.
Peddler

III

Creating a Medieval Character

Choose a Profession

Want to try rolling an occupation for your character?

  1. Roll 1d21 and find that category number in VI. Big List of Medieval Clichés.
  2. Roll 1dx where x is equal to the number of professions in that category.
  3. Find your profession and incorporate it into a suitable cliché.

Compose a Fictional Name

One method for creating a made-up name is to take your real name and

  1. change every consonant to the next consonant in the alphabet, and
  2. do the same for every vowel, with u or y circling back to a.

For example, rolling 1d21 I get a 12, which corresponds to Craftsmen (Mining & Stonecraft). This category has 19 professions, so I roll 1d19, getting a 6. Checking the list, it turns out that my character is engaged as a Diamantaire, a highly skilled craftsmen capable of turning rough diamonds into finished gemstones. That's pretty cool. Economically, the PC should be sound as diamonds were treasured as gemstones since they were used as religious icons in ancient India. They're also in demand as engraving tools for as long as anyone can remember.

For the second step, I decide to use my own name. Colin MacIntyre becomes Dumop Nedopvasi. Sounds like it's of some obscure Indian origin, perfect for my ideas for the character. But first, what about going the other direction, alphabetically? Hm, Bikem Lybemsupa. Shades of Africa perhaps? But, alliteration wins out and my first cliché is clear (excuse the pun):  Dumop Nedopvasi the Sharp-eyed Diamantaire (4).



Appendix

1

Ranks 'n' Titles

(from greatest to least)

Peer Nobility

  • Emperor/Empress
  • King/Queen
  • Archduke/Archduchess
  • Prince/Princess
  • Marquis/Marquess
  • Count/Countess
  • Viscount/Viscountess
  • Baron/Baroness

Landed Gentry

  • Baronet/Baronetess
  • Knight/Dame
  • Esquire
  • Gentleman

Commoners

  • Yeoman/Franklin
  • Free tenant/Husbandman
  • Serf/Villein/Bordar/Cottar
  • Domestic servant
  • Vagabond
  • Slave
Shoemakers

2

Craftsmen (by Frequency)

The following is derived from a 1292 Paris tax list found in the book Life in a Medieval City. It's a glimpse into another world, at the craft occupations common to the period:

366— Shoemaker (1)
214— Furrier (1)
197— Tailor (1)
131— Jeweler (1)
106— Pastrycook (1)
104— Mason (1)
 95 — Carpenter (2)
 86 — Weaver (2)
 71 — Chandler (2)
 70 — Cooper (2)
 62 — Baker (2)
 58 — Scabbardmaker (2)
 54 — Hatmaker (2)
 51 — Saddler (2)
 51 — Chicken butcher (2)
 45 — Pursemaker (3)
 42 — Meat butcher (3)
 36 — Bucklemaker (3)
 34 — Blacksmith (3)
 28 — Roofer (3)
 27 — Locksmith (4)
 26 — Ropemaker (4)
 24 — Tanner (4)
 24 — Rugmaker (4)
 24 — Harnessmaker (4)
 23 — Bleacher (4)
 22 — Cutler (4)
 21 — Glover (4)

The number to the left indicates the reported number engaged in each craft, while on the right I’ve appended a rough cliché rating. This could be used against characters contesting a search for a needed service (if you count Paris as typical of a medieval town). Unlisted crafts might be given an even higher rating.

Alchemists

3

Big List of Medieval Clichés

Tax Collector

1. Officials

  1. Ale-conner ensures the goodness and wholesomeness of bread, ale and beer
  2. Bailiff, Reeve, Shire-reeve, Sheriff an officer responsible for carrying out the decisions of a court, serving summonses and orders, and executing warrants
  3. Captain of the Guard
  4. Castellan a manager of a castle’s operation and defence on behalf of an absentee owner
  5. Catchpole in exchange for a lump sum, a man authorized to collect taxes from a given area
  6. Chamberlain
  7. Chancellor
  8. Chancery Clerk
  9. Cofferer
  10. Coin-stamper
  11. Constable
  12. Diplomat
  13. Exchequer the man responsible for the king's revenue
  14. Hayward, Hedgewarden a protector of livestock and crops from livestock; a cross between a herdsman, inspector, groundskeeper and lookout
  15. Herald
  16. Jailer
  17. Judge
  18. Keeper of the Privy Seal
  19. Keeper of the Rolls
  20. Keeper of the Wardrobe
  21. Landed Gentry
  22. Landlord
  23. Liner an officer in charge of tracing property boundaries in the city
  24. Lord High Steward
  25. Master of the Revels
  26. Notary
  27. Pinder a rounder up of stray animals, including cattle, horses, goats, chickens, etc. into the pinfold
  28. Pursuivant an officer of arms
  29. Steward, Seneschal an officer having full charge of domestic arrangements and the administration of servants in a royal household
  30. Summoner officer of the court who serves subpoenas
  31. Tax Collector
  32. Toll Keeper
  33. Town Crier
  34. Treasurer
  35. Watchman
  36. Woodward

2. Clergy

  1. Abbot, Abbess the head of a monastery and convent, respectively
  2. Almoner a chaplain or church officer in charge of distributing money to the deserving poor
  3. Anchorite, Anchoress one who withdraws from secular society to lead an intensely prayer-oriented, ascetic, or Eucharist-focused life
  4. Archbishop, Metropolitan
  5. Beadle an official of a church or synagogue who may usher, keep order, make reports, and assist in religious functions
  6. Beguine, Beghard Christian lay religious orders active in Northern Europe
  7. Bishop, Primate
  8. Canon
  9. Cantor
  10. Cardinal
  11. Cathar perfect
  12. Chantry priest
  13. Chaplain
  14. Clerk, Clark a church secretary
  15. Colporteur a distributor of religious tracts and books esp. during the religious controversies of the Reformation
  16. Curate assistant to a parish priest
  17. Friar
  18. Hermit
  19. Monk
  20. Nun
  21. Ostiary, Porter a church's doorkeeper
  22. Pardoner
  23. Parish Priest
  24. Priest
  25. Prior the deputy of the abbot or the superior of a monastery that did not have the status of an abbey
  26. Sacristan prepares all the objects and religious clothing required by the priest for mass
  27. Sexton, Verger charged with the maintenance of church buildings and/or the surrounding graveyard
  28. Summoner to episcopal courts

3. Artists & Scholars

  1. Alchemist
  2. Amanuensis
  3. Artist
  4. Astrologer
  5. Calligrapher
  6. Cartographer
  7. Composer
  8. Dean
  9. Fresco painter
  10. Glasspainter
  11. Herbalist
  12. Illuminator a decorator of manuscripts and books
  13. Librarian
  14. Mathematician
  15. Miniaturist a painter of miniatures, i.e. small paintings decorating icons or books
  16. Limner a painter of portraits and miniatures
  17. Painter
  18. Philosopher
  19. Poet
  20. Sculptor
  21. Scribe, Scrivener
  22. Tutor
  23. Writer

4. Soldiery

  1. Arbalestier wields a larger crossbow variation, introduced in the 12ᵗʰ century
  2. Archer, Bowman
  3. Argolet, Argoletier a light mounted soldier; a mounted bowman
  4. Bodyguard
  5. Captain
  6. Crossbowman
  7. Drummer
  8. Guardsman
  9. Halberdier
  10. Knifeman
  11. Knight, Chevalier
  12. Knight Errant wandering in search of chivalrous adventures
  13. Knight Hospitaller
  14. Knight of St. Lazarus
  15. Knight Templar
  16. Mercenary
  17. Militia
  18. Page a boy in training for knighthood, ranking next below a squire in the personal service of a knight
  19. Pikeman
  20. Scout
  21. Sergeant
  22. Sergeant-at-arms
  23. Spearman
  24. Spy
  25. Squire a young nobleman in training for knighthood, acting as a knight’s attendant
  26. Teutonic Knight
  27. Watchman

5. Medicine

  1. Alchemist
  2. Apothecary, Druggist
  3. Barber-chirurgeon a performer of minor surgical procedures, e.g. bloodletting, cupping therapy or pulling teeth, as well as the work of a barber, e.g. bathing, cutting hair, shaving or trimming facial hair, and giving enemas
  4. Chirurgeon, Surgeon
  5. Cunning man, Folk healer, Wise woman practitioners of folk medicine, folk magic, and divination starting from the 15ᵗʰ century
  6. Doctor, Physician
  7. Leech, Bloodman, Bloodletter
  8. Horseleech a veterinarian
  9. Midwife, Accoucheur (m.), Accoucheus (f.)
  10. Nurse
  11. Pissprophet a doctor who diagnosed disease from a patient's urine, specifically the sight, smell, and taste
  12. Toad doctor practitioners of medicinal folk magic, operating in western England, known to heal "the King's Evil" (a skin disease), though also other ailments including those resulting from witchcraft
Spice Merchant

6. Merchants

  1. Acater a food provisioner
  2. Alewife
  3. Banker
  4. Beer seller
  5. Boothman one who mans a booth, such as at a fair or Thing
  6. Cloth merchant a distributor of cloth, incl. overseas trade
  7. Costermonger a seller of goods, especially fruit and vegetables, from a handcart in the street
  8. Drover one who drives cattle or sheep
  9. Eggler a dealer in eggs
  10. Fishmonger
  11. Fueller a supplier of fuel to feed fires
  12. Glass seller
  13. Greengrocer, Fruiterer a dealer in fruits and vegetables
  14. Grocer, Purveyor a wholesaler of spices, peppers and sugar
  15. Guild Master
  16. Haberdasher a dealer in sewn and fine fabrics, e.g. silk
  17. Hay merchant
  18. Hetheleder a provider of heather for fuel
  19. Huckster
  20. Innkeeper
  21. Ironmonger, Feroner a dealer in metal hardware, such as pokers, fire-shovels, tongs, jacks, spits, locks and hinges
  22. Linener, Linen-draper
  23. Mercer a dealer in fine cloth not produced locally
  24. Milkmaid
  25. Moneychanger
  26. Oil merchant, Oynter
  27. Old-clothes dealer
  28. Peddler, Chapman a dealer of goods; usually itinerant
  29. Pie seller
  30. Plumer a dealer in feathers
  31. Poulter
  32. Ragpicker, Chiffonnier, Rag-and-bone man, Bag board, Totter a collector of unwanted household items for sale to merchants
  33. Salter a dealer in salt
  34. Silkmercer a dealer in silk
  35. Spice merchant, Spicer
  36. Stationer
  37. Taverner
  38. Thresher
  39. Unguentary
  40. Waterseller
  41. Wine seller
  42. Woolman, Wool stapler a dealer in wool, who sorts it according to the staple or fiber
  43. Woodmonger
Tailor

7. Craftsmen (Clothing & Textiles)

  1. Bleacher a mill worker who whitened textiles or paper
  2. Canvasser a maker of canvas
  3. Carder disentangles, cleans and intermixes wool
  4. Clothier a producer of cloth (often wool)
  5. Corsetier
  6. Draper, Drapier retailer or wholesaler of cloth used mainly for clothing
  7. Dyer
  8. Embroiderer, Broderer a decorator of fabric with stitched designs
  9. Fabricshearer
  10. Feltmaker
  11. Fuller cleans and thickens cloth by beating it
  12. Furrier, Skinner a dealer in furs and hides
  13. Hatmaker, Hatter
  14. Lacemaker, Pointer
  15. Linenspinner, Tasseler
  16. Marleywoman a maker of marli, a type of gauze used for embroidery
  17. Milliner a maker of womens’ hats and clothing
  18. Napier a maker of table linen
  19. Pursemaker
  20. Quilter
  21. Rugmaker, Rugweaver
  22. Sailmaker
  23. Seamstress, Shepster
  24. Silkmaid
  25. Silk-dresser readies silk for market, i.e. smoothing, stiffening, and folding it
  26. Silkmaker
  27. Silk-dyer
  28. Silk-carder
  29. Spinner, Spinster
  30. Tailor
  31. Tapestrymaker, Tapicer
  32. Threadmaker
  33. Upholder an upholsterer who makes seats, with padding, springs, webbing, and fabric or leather covers
  34. Weaver, Webber
  35. Woolcomber
Brewer

8. Craftsmen (Food & Drink)

  1. Baker
  2. Brewer hangs a green branch over their door to signify the beer's ready
  3. Chicken butcher
  4. Cheesemaker
  5. Confectioner
  6. Cook, Trencherman
  7. Meat butcher
  8. Miller operates a mill, a machine used to grind grain to make flour
  9. Pastrycook, Pasteler
  10. Rectifier a distiller of alcohol
  11. Saucemaker
  12. Waferer a maker of wafers, a kind of cake
Beltmaker

9. Craftsmen (Leatherwork)

  1. Bottler, Bottelier a maker of leather bottles
  2. Beltmaker
  3. Bender a cutter of leather
  4. Braider a maker of cord by twisting together leather threads or strips
  5. Cobbler a repairer of shoes
  6. Cordwainer, Shoemaker a maker of new shoes
  7. Currier cures leather to improve it after tanning
  8. Fellmonger a remover of hair or wool from hides in leather making
  9. Girdler a maker of girdles and belts, chiefly for soldiery
  10. Glover
  11. Harness maker
  12. Malemaker a maker of leather trunks
  13. Parchmenter
  14. Saddler
  15. Scabbardmaker, Vaginarius
  16. Tanner a preparer of leather
  17. Tawer, Tawyer, Whittawer a preparer of white leather
  18. Thonger maker of leather straps or laces
Blacksmith

10. Craftsmen (Metalwork)

  1. Bellfounder a caster of large civic or religious bells
  2. Bellmaker maker of little bells that go on sleighs and clothing
  3. Blacksmith
  4. Brightsmith works with white or bright metals, e.g. tin.
  5. Brazier worker of brass
  6. Bronzefounder casts objects from bronze
  7. Bucklemaker
  8. Chainmaker, Chain-forger
  9. Coiner, Minter, Mintmaster, Moneyer a minter of coins
  10. Compass-smith
  11. Coppersmith, Brownsmith
  12. Cutler a maker or seller of cutlery
  13. Foundryman a caster of metal
  14. Gilder one who overlays with gold
  15. Goldbeater a pounder of gold into thin leaves for use in gilding
  16. Goldsmith
  17. Grinder a sharpener of knives
  18. Knife-maker
  19. Latoner a worker in brass and latten (a brass-like alloy)
  20. Leadworker, Plumber a worker in lead
  21. Locksmith
  22. Metalsmith
  23. Nail-maker
  24. Pewterer a maker of utensils in pewter, an alloy of tin and, usually, lead
  25. Plattner beats out sheets of metal
  26. Potmender
  27. Scythesmith a maker of hand tools for mowing grass or reaping crops
  28. Silversmith
  29. Smelter
  30. Tinker itinerant tinsmith who mends household utensils
  31. Tinsmith
  32. Typefounder designs and produces metal printing type for hand composition
  33. Wiredrawer maker of gold and silver wire
Stonemason

11. Craftsmen (Mining & Stonecraft)

  1. Alabasterer a worker of alabaster, a typically white, fine-grained, translucent form of gypsum often carved into ornaments
  2. Bricker a maker or baker of bricks
  3. Bricklayer
  4. Ceiler an installer of ceilings
  5. Delver, Ditcher a ditch digger, or worker in a stone quarry
  6. Diamantaire a highly skilled craftsmen responsible for cutting, polishing and transforming a rough diamond into a finished gemstone
  7. Gemcutter
  8. Knapper one who mines flint in order to make arrowheads
  9. Lapidary works with precious stones, usually other than diamonds
  10. Limeburner one who burns limestone in order to obtain lime
  11. Lorimer a maker of bits, spurs, and metal mountings for bridles and saddles
  12. Mason
  13. Miner
  14. Quarryman
  15. Roofer
  16. Shingler
  17. Stonecarver, Stonecutter workers of stone, everything from etching tombstones to carving tools and statues
  18. Stonemason
  19. Tilemaker, Tile-burner forms clay into tiles and bricks
  20. Tile-theeker a roofer of tile
Armourer

12. Craftsmen (Weapons & Armour)

  1. Armoursmith
  2. Arrowsmith
  3. Bladesmith, Weaponsmith
  4. Bowyer
  5. Escutcheon-maker a maker of shields
  6. Fletcher
  7. Harness-maker
  8. Harness-polisher
  9. Helmet-maker
  10. Lancier
  11. Linen-armourer
  12. Mailmaker
  13. Poleturner a maker of polearms, e.g. spears, pikes, halberds
  14. Stringer a maker of bowstrings
  15. Swordsmith
Carpenter

13. Craftsmen (Woodwork)

  1. Arkwright a maker of chests, boxes, and coffers
  2. Barker strips tanbark from trees to supply bark mills
  3. Blockcutter hand-carves wooden blocks for printing fabrics or hat-making
  4. Bodger a maker of chairs in the forest from felled trees
  5. Cabinetmaker
  6. Carpenter
  7. Cartwright
  8. Cooper, Drycooper (dry goods), Wetcooper (liquids) a maker or repairer of casks and barrels
  9. Furniture maker
  10. Joiner constructs joined frames and panels in room and furniture-making
  11. Papermaker
  12. Pattenmaker a maker of wooden-soled overshoes for use in muddy streets
  13. Plasterer
  14. Sawyer a cutter of timber, e.g. in shipbuilding; few had all ten digits
  15. Shipwright
  16. Treenmaker a maker of various small wood items
  17. Turner a lathe worker who makes turned wooden objects, like chair legs
  18. Wheeler a maker of spinning wheels
  19. Wheelwright
  20. Woodcarver
  21. Woodcutter
  22. Woodturner
Bagger

14. Craftsmen (Other)

  1. Architect, Master Builder
  2. Bagger
  3. Balancemaker
  4. Basketmaker
  5. Besom-maker a maker of brooms
  6. Bonecarver
  7. Bookbinder
  8. Bookprinter
  9. Broom-dasher a seller of brooms
  10. Brushbinder
  11. Builder
  12. Buttonmaker
  13. Cardmaker
  14. Cartographer
  15. Chandler, Waxchandler a maker and seller of candles, soaps, oils and paints
  16. Charcoalburner
  17. Clockmaker
  18. Combmaker
  19. Disher a potter who makes dishes
  20. Enameller, Mailer
  21. Engraver for printing, not to decorate items
  22. Farrier a trimmer and shoer of horse hooves
  23. Glassblower
  24. Glazier maker of windows, bottles, goblets, alembic, etc.; among the richest craftsmen
  25. Gravedigger
  26. Hacker a maker of hoes
  27. Horner works with horn to craft spoons, combs, musical instruments, etc.
  28. Ivorist a carver of ivory
  29. Jeweler
  30. Knacker removes animal carcasses from farms or highways; makes by-products such as fats, tallow, glue, bone meal, bone char, sal ammoniac, soap, bleach and animal feed
  31. Lampwright, Lanternmaker
  32. Luthier builds and repairs stringed instruments with a neck and a sound box
  33. Mapmaker
  34. Marler a digger of marl, a type of soil used as fertilizer
  35. Mirrorer
  36. Nedeller a maker of needles
  37. Netmaker
  38. Oilmaker
  39. Perfumer
  40. Pinmaker
  41. Potter
  42. Printer
  43. Reedmaker
  44. Ropemaker, Roper
  45. Saltboiler
  46. Siever
  47. Thacker, Thatcher covers roofs with thatch
Winemaker

15. Agriculturalists

  1. Beekeeper
  2. Cowherd
  3. Dairymaid
  4. Dungcarter
  5. Farmer
  6. Goatherd
  7. Horse trainer
  8. Peasant
  9. Plowman, Ackerman
  10. Reaper
  11. Serf
  12. Sheepshearer
  13. Shepherd
  14. Swineherd
  15. Thresher
  16. Tillerman
  17. Vintner a maker of wine
Weirkeeper

16. Hunters, Gatherers, Fishermen

  1. Bog Iron Hunter finds and extracts iron ore deposits in bogs
  2. Climmer an egg hunter
  3. Falconer, Hawker, Sperviter, Austringer
  4. Fewterer a keeper of greyhounds
  5. Fisherman
  6. Forester a keeper and planter of trees
  7. Fowler a hunter of wildfowl
  8. Hunter
  9. Huntsman a master of hounds and hunting guide
  10. Leech-collector
  11. Molecatcher
  12. Oysterer
  13. Purefinder old women and young girls who gathered dog droppings off the streets for use in tanning leather
  14. Seaweed harvester
  15. Shrimper a catcher of shrimp
  16. Trapper 
  17. Weirkeeper a keeper of fish traps

17. Labourers (at Sea)

  1. Bargeman
  2. Boatman
  3. Boatwright
  4. Canaller
  5. Ferryman
  6. Hobbler
  7. Lighterman a worker who operates a lighter, a type of flat-bottomed barge
  8. Mariner
  9. Navigator
  10. Riverboat pilot
  11. Sailor
  12. Ship’s captain
  13. Shipchandler
  14. Ship provisioner
  15. Waterman

18. Labourers (Other)

  1. Accountant, Accomptant
  2. Actuary a financial bookkeeper, a clerk
  3. Attendent
  4. Barrister
  5. Bath attendant
  6. Bather owner of a bath
  7. Bodyguard
  8. Bodyservant a valet or personal maid
  9. Butler the chief manservant of a house
  10. Carter, Cartier, Carman, Drayman a driver of carts
  11. Carver
  12. Cellarer a supervisor of the wine cellar
  13. Chamberlain
  14. Chimney sweep
  15. Clouter fixes things
  16. Coistsell a groom in charge of the care of a knight's horses
  17. Collier a miner of coal
  18. Copyist
  19. Courtier
  20. Dairymaid
  21. Dapifer the servant who brings the meat to the table at a meal
  22. Dog trainer
  23. Dresser
  24. Dung carter
  25. Executioner
  26. Famulus an assistant or servant, esp. one working for a magician or scholar.
  27. Gamekeeper appointed by royalty to protect deer and wild boar on their lands
  28. Gardener a specialist responsible for the upkeep and beauty of castles and estates, but also to build ditches and barriers in wartime
  29. Gongfarmer cleans outhouses
  30. Groom
  31. Groom of the Stool male servant assisting the king in his toileting needs
  32. Guide
  33. Innkeeper
  34. Laundress
  35. Lawyer
  36. Linkboy, Linkman a torchbearer who guides people at night
  37. Maid, Maidservant
  38. Marshal a horse tender
  39. Messenger
  40. Ostler, Hostler, Stabler a carer of horses at an inn
  41. Panter a keeper of the pantry
  42. Paperer (needlemaking)
  43. Parker a keeper of parks
  44. Pavior lays pavement
  45. Pavyler puts up pavilions and tents
  46. Porter carrier of goods (low status), or a door or gatekeeper (higher)
  47. Potboy
  48. Privycleaner
  49. Procurator
  50. Quartermaster
  51. Raker a street sanitation worker
  52. Ratcatcher
  53. Restaurateur
  54. Riveter
  55. Royal food taster
  56. Scullion, Scullery maid a servant assigned the most menial kitchen tasks
  57. Serf
  58. Servant
  59. Sin-eater
  60. Stablehand
  61. Stainer one who stains wood
  62. Stillroom maid
  63. Tapster, Bartender, Barmaid one who draws ale, etc. at an inn
  64. Teamster
  65. Tenter an unskilled workman's assistant
  66. Treadmill worker
  67. Usurer
  68. Wagoner
  69. Waller
  70. Water carrier
  71. Wattler, Hurdlemaker a maker of wattle fences for sheep
  72. Weeper
  73. Wetnurse
  74. Whipping Boy a boy educated alongside a prince who received corporal punishment for the prince's transgressions in his presence

Skald
19. Entertainers

  1. Acrobat, Tumbler
  2. Bard pro storyteller, verse-maker, music composer, oral historian and genealogist employed by a patron to commemorate their feats or ancestors. Originally a lower class poet in contrast to the august fili.
  3. Bearleader, Bear-ward herds, trains or cares for bears
  4. Dancer
  5. Fiddler
  6. Fili a high-ranking poet employed by a monarch or noble
  7. Fortune Teller
  8. Fool, Clown, Jester a joker or trickster hired to entertain a court
  9. Harper
  10. Juggler
  11. Legerdemainist
  12. Lutenist
  13. Meistersinger a member of a German guild for lyric poetry, composition, and unaccompanied art song
  14. Minnesänger a German singer of Minnesang, or love songs, esp. courtly love
  15. Minstrel, (itinerant) Jongleur an entertainer
  16. Mummer an actor in a pantomime, performing through gesture and face
  17. Musician
  18. Nakerer a player of the naker, a small kettle drum
  19. Piper
  20. Player, Actor
  21. Playwright
  22. Singer
  23. Skáld a poet who composed at the courts of Scandinavian rulers
  24. Storyteller
  25. Troubadour (m.), Trobairitz (f.) a composer and performer of Old Occitan lyric poetry during the High Middle Ages (~1170-1260)

20. Criminals

  1. Bandit
  2. Bawd (f.), Stewsman (m.) a pimp or brothel keeper
  3. Boothaler, Robber, Freebooter
  4. Burglar
  5. Conman, Swindler
  6. Courtesan a prostitute, esp. one with wealthy or upper-class clients
  7. Fence
  8. Footpad a highwayman, but on foot
  9. Gambler
  10. Highwayman typically mounted, holds up travelers to rob them
  11. Pickpocket, Cutpurse, Diver, Thief
  12. Poacher
  13. Prostitute
  14. Quack, Charlatan, Mountebank dishonest claimer of special knowledge and skill in some field, typically medicine
  15. Shill (anach.) an accomplice of a hawker, gambler, or swindler who acts as an enthusiastic customer to entice others
  16. Silk-snatcher a stealer of bonnets
  17. Thimblerigger a sharper who runs a thimblerig (a game in which a pea is supposedly hidden under a thimble and players guess in which it is)

21. Unemployed, Enslaved or Hated

  1. Beggar
  2. Buffoon a publicly amusing person
  3. Busker sings or plays music in public for money
  4. Camp follower
  5. Dwarf, Midget
  6. Gypsy
  7. Hermit
  8. Jew
  9. Pilgrim, Palmer
  10. Transient
  11. Squatter
  12. Urchin, Vagabond
  13. Slave
Pilgrims


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