by Colin MacIntyre

I. The Thing About Guilds
II. The Guildsman's Journey
III. Creating a Medieval Character
IV: Ranks 'n' Titles
V: Counting Craftsmen
VI: Big List of Medieval Clichés

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

Adventuring in the medieval era 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 existed in the Middle Ages, each populated with 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.

A medieval market.


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 Risus 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 had 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.


The Guildsman's Journey

Hiring Apprentices. 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. They were also 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 stations 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.


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).


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


Counting Craftsmen

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. 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). Mix and match as desired. Unlisted crafts might be given an even higher rating.

Craftsmen (by frequency)

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)


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 3. 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. Mercenary
  13. Militia
  14. Page a boy in training for knighthood, ranking next below a squire in the personal service of a knight.
  15. Pikeman
  16. Scout
  17. Sergeant
  18. Sergeant-at-arms
  19. Spearman
  20. Spy
  21. Squire a young nobleman in training for knighthood, acting as a knight’s attendant
  22. 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
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
8. Craftsmen (Food & Drink)
  1. Baker
  2. Brewer hangs a green branch over their door to signify the beer's ready
  3. Butcher
  4. Chicken butcher
  5. Cheesemaker
  6. Confectioner
  7. Cook, Trencherman
  8. Meat butcher
  9. Miller operates a mill, a machine used to grind grain to make flour
  10. Pastrycook, Pasteler
  11. Rectifier a distiller of alcohol
  12. Saucemaker
  13. Waferer a maker of wafers, a kind of cake
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
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. Scythesmith a maker of hand tools for mowing grass or reaping crops
  27. Silversmith
  28. Smelter
  29. Tinker itinerant tinsmith who mends household utensils
  30. Tinsmith
  31. Typefounder designs and produces metal printing type for hand composition
  32. Wiredrawer maker of gold and silver wire
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. Mason
  12. Miner
  13. Quarryman
  14. Roofer
  15. Shingler
  16. Stonecarver, Stonecutter workers of stone, everything from etching tombstones to carving tools and statues
  17. Stonemason
  18. Tilemaker, Tile-burner forms clay into tiles and bricks
  19. Tile-theeker a roofer of tile
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
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. Treenmaker a maker of various small wood items
  16. Turner a lathe worker who makes turned wooden objects, like chair legs
  17. Wheeler a maker of spinning wheels
  18. Wheelwright
  19. Woodcarver
  20. Woodcutter
  21. Woodturner
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. Lorimer a maker of bits, spurs, and metal mountings for bridles and saddles
  33. Luthier builds and repairs stringed instruments with a neck and a sound box
  34. Mapmaker
  35. Marler a digger of marl, a type of soil used as fertilizer
  36. Mirrorer
  37. Nedeller a maker of needles
  38. Netmaker
  39. Oilmaker
  40. Perfumer
  41. Pinmaker
  42. Potmender
  43. Potter
  44. Printer
  45. Reedmaker
  46. Ropemaker, Roper
  47. Saltboiler
  48. Shipwright
  49. Siever
  50. Tenter an unskilled workman's assistant
  51. Thacker, Thatcher covers roofs with thatch
15. Agriculturalists
  1. Beekeeper
  2. Cowherd
  3. Dairymaid
  4. Dungcarter
  5. Farmer
  6. Goatherd
  7. Horse trainer
  8. Peasant
  9. Plowman
  10. Reaper
  11. Serf
  12. Sheepshearer
  13. Shepherd
  14. Swineherd
  15. Thresher
  16. Tillerman
  17. Vintner a maker of wine
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. Treadmill worker
  66. Userer
  67. Wagoner
  68. Waller
  69. Water carrier
  70. Wattler, Hurdlemaker a maker of wattle fences for sheep
  71. Weeper
  72. Wetnurse
  73. Whipping Boy a boy educated alongside a prince who received corporal punishment for the prince's transgressions in his presence

19. Entertainers

  1. Acrobat, Tumbler
  2. Bard
  3. Bearleader, Bear-ward herds, trains or cares for bears
  4. Dancer
  5. Fiddler
  6. Fortune Teller
  7. Fool, Clown, Jester a joker or trickster hired to entertain a court
  8. Harper
  9. Juggler
  10. Legerdemainist
  11. Lutenist
  12. Meistersinger a member of a German guild for lyric poetry, composition, and unaccompanied art song
  13. Minnesänger a German singer of Minnesang, or love songs, esp. courtly love
  14. Minstrel, (itinerant) Jongleur an entertainer
  15. Mummer an actor in a pantomime, performing through gesture and face
  16. Musician
  17. Nakerer a player of the naker, a small kettle drum
  18. Piper
  19. Player, Actor
  20. Playwright
  21. Singer
  22. Skáld a poet who composed at the courts of Scandinavian rulers
  23. Storyteller
  24. 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