Medieval Guilds & Jobs

By: Queenie Hawkins

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Being apart of a guild was basically the key to a higher social status. There were two main types of guilds; merchant guilds and craft guilds. Merchant guilds had their own charters and could not violate them. Merchants who did were considered dishonest and would have to pay a fine. Merchants could also trade their charters with other merchants. Trading with non-merchants was illegal. Merchants also served as protectors for each other because it traveling was dangerous in these times. Merchant guilds earned very high positions in societies. Craft Guilds were made to protect the traders and the craftsmen from the influence of merchant guilds while also protecting serfs and craftsmen from excessive taxation and extortion.

Medieval Jobs

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There were many basic and many odd jobs in medieval times, such as:

BOTTLER - Bottlers had a responsible occupation and was in charge of the Bottlery which was intended for storing and dispensing wines and other expensive provisions.

BUTLER - Butler were responsible for the castle cellar and was in charge of large butts of beer. The room in the castle called the Buttery was intended for storing and dispensing beverages, especially ale.

BOWER OR BOWYER - Bowyers manufactured bows, arrows and crossbows

CHANCELLOR - A chancellor was a secretary to a Noble or Royal person

CHAPLAIN - Chaplains are responsible for the religious activities of a castle servants and Men at arms. The duties might also include that of a clerk and keeping accounts. A Priest would usually looked after the spiritual needs and confessions of the Nobles and their families

CLERK - A Clerk was employed to keep accounts

CLOTHIER - Clothiers made clothes for the nobles and required having a knowledge of various fine and expensive materials

CONSTABLE - Constables were the people who had been appointed as Custodian, or in charge of, the castle

COOK - Cooks were employed in the castle kitchens roasting, broiling, and baking food in the fireplaces and ovens.

CORDWAINER - Cordwainers were Shoemakers or Cobblers, craftsmen who made shoes

COTTAR - Cottars were one of the lowest peasant occupations, undertaken by the old or infirm, who had a series of low duties including swine-herd,, prison guard and menial tasks

DITCHER - Ditcher are labourers who dug castle moats and foundations

EWERER - An Ewerer brought and heated water for the nobles