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Need Help with Trades, Vocations & Occupations

Discussion in 'Research' started by Ekorus, Jul 29, 2016.

  1. Ekorus

    Ekorus Dreamer

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    Greetings!

    I need help with coming up with a list of Trades, Vocations & Occupations that were present in medieval times. Below is what I've been able to find so far. If you know of any others or find one that shouldn't be there, please let me know. Thank you in advance!

    TRADES, VOCATIONS & OCCUPATIONS

    Acrobat
    Alchemist
    Apothecarist
    Architect
    Astrologer
    Armorer
    Artist
    Baker
    Barrister
    Bookbinder
    Bowyer
    Basket Weaver
    Blacksmith
    Brewer
    Brick Layer
    Butcher
    Calligrapher
    Candlemaker
    Carpenter
    Cartograhper
    Charcoal Burner
    Clerk
    Clothier
    Cook
    Coppersmith
    Cooper
    Diplomat
    Dyer
    Engineer
    Engraver
    Falconer
    Farmer
    Fisherman
    Fishmonger
    Forester
    Fortune Teller
    Fruitier
    Fuller
    Furrier
    Glassblower
    Goldsmith
    Grocer
    Gardener
    Grain Merchant
    Grave Digger
    Haberdasher
    Herald
    Herbalist
    Hunter
    Innkeeper
    Interpreter
    Jester
    Jeweler
    Lacemaker
    Leatherworker
    Locksmith
    Mason
    Mercenary
    Mercer
    Miller
    Minstrel
    Messenger
    Miner
    Moneylender
    Navigator
    Needleworker
    Painter
    Pardoner
    Peddler
    Priest
    Physician
    Playwright
    Politician
    Potter
    Rat Catcher
    Sailor
    Scribe
    Servant
    Shipwright
    Shoemaker
    Silversmith
    Soldier
    Solicitor
    Soapmaker
    Stonecarver
    Storyteller
    Spy
    Tanner
    Town Crier
    Vintner
    Washer Woman
    Waterman
    Weaver
    Wet Nurse
    Wheelwright
    Woodcarver
    Woodworker
     
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  2. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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    monk
    nun
    fletcher
    prostitute
    ropemaker
    banker (if late medieval)
    Gong farmer
    Cheesemaker
    barber
    bailiff
    atilliator (crossbow maker)
    bottler
    chamberlain
    chaplain


    Might be some more you haven't included yet on here Medieval Jobs
     
  3. Ban

    Ban Sir Laserface Article Team

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  4. Charles Parkes

    Charles Parkes Dreamer

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    Ice merchant... someone has to keep the wine cool!
    Horse-breeder
    Thief
    Doctor (manic laugh)
    Courier
    Wattler - better than being a dauber
    Inquisitor
    Whaler
    Privateer... pretty Elizabethan
    Lady (a full time job given the scale of the households)
    Mourner... amateurs need not apply
    Viking.

    That was fun. Sorry about that last one.
     
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  5. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I was surprised to see bathhouse keeper nowhere on any of the lists. Nor joiners either (joiners made cabinets, chests -- they joined wood rather than nailed it).

    The medieval cities site does better than the medieval jobs site. The very notion of "job" is rather post-medieval. The title of this thread hits closer to the mark. With all, the rural occupations are a bit overlooked. Woodcutter. Shepherd. Coulton's A Medieval Village is a good resource for the country side of things.

    A final comment, though I may be straying a bit. It is also modern to classify people in terms of their job. Instead, they classified themselves in terms of their estate, their place in the social order. So, for example, a peasant and a serf might both farm, but the relevant term was not farmer, but peasant or serf. Any number of secretaries and minor officials at a court might perform a variety of functions, but their relevant designation was cleric (clerk). It's not really a huge deal for fiction writing, but it might give you an angle for a spin or a difference in tone somewhere.
     
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  6. I don't see midwife anywhere.
     
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  7. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    Midwifing was done, but was it really a trade or vocation? I honestly don't know. I have a suspicion it may have been an activity, but not really identified as a trade until the formalization of medical practice in the 16th-17th century. Picking nits, I know, but now I'm curious.
     
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  8. It kinda was blended with other things, if my memory serves me right. A "wise woman" of the village who had herbal knowledge and such would serve as a midwife. It is an important role people played, though.

    I think. I'm not an expert.
     
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  9. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    That's my recollection. But I'm not comfortable being too certain because I know there are entire books written on medieval women in medicine and on the history of midwifery, so I'm sure there's a more definitive answer out there.

    But it takes me back to my previous point. We moderns love hierarchies and boxes. We expect clear definition. The Middle Ages (indeed, most pre-modern societies) were gloriously messy and unconcerned with our preoccupations. Also, any time we talk medieval, we have to keep in mind we are talking multiple cultures across a thousand year span. "Call the midwife" might--almost certainly did--have different connotations in 7th century Gaul than in 15th century Hungary. Many writers are content to let late medieval England stand for "the Middle Ages" and that's fine. Even there, the notion that midwife was a trade needs both definition and substantiation.

    It's much easier to identify trades that were incorporated into guilds.
     
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  10. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

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    Okay, my specialty: Tailors, seamstresses (who made your undergarments, not your outer clothes), hatters, fan-makers, etc.. Atailor would specialize in a kind of garment, for example, dressmakers, coat-makers, etc. and in a household, women of the upper class often had their ladies in waiting sew garments for the household staff. As garments got more complex toward the 16th century, tailors were more specialized. If you were poor, you took whatever was given to you and patched it yourself.

    Also, sanitation. Night soil collectors rolled teams of oxen and wagons through the street, collecting chamberpot contents, which were then carted out to the fields.

    Lamplighters (if you have oil lamps), and oil deliveries to big houses.
     
  11. Charles Parkes

    Charles Parkes Dreamer

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    Liked fan makers

    What about make-up manufacturers? "What, you're the one who keeps us supplied with arsenic? Keep up the good work."
     
  12. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    I didn't see teachers, university professors or tutors there, all important.

    As an aside Washer Woman was often a polite way of saying "prostitute" in that period.
     
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  13. K.S. Crooks

    K.S. Crooks Inkling

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    This site donjon; RPG Tools has a generator for demographics, which includes vocations. There is also generators for worlds, inns, dungeons, random adventures and other things a writer can use for ideas.
     
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  14. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    So what did women who actually washed clothes call themselves?
     
  15. Russ

    Russ Istar

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    Escorts? :)
     
  16. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    Shiny and Clean!
     
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  17. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    I believe in smaller communities and poor areas, the older "experienced" women(20+ with 3 or more kids) went to help the younger inexperienced women(13+ with none or 1 other child) give birth. They did the work as a midwife, but didn't expect payment or payment was a product or service the family could do for them.

    I do believe the larger cities had people that probably made a living in this occupation.
     
  18. SeverinR

    SeverinR Vala

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    43 - laundress - also known as lavender
     
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  19. skip.knox

    skip.knox toujours gai, archie Moderator

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    I wonder how old "laundress" is as a term. Lavender is French, which made me wonder about German. I have an 1888 edition of Adler, which gives Wascherinn but which also has Wascher, so we have both genders represented there.

    Every trade has its own interesting history (said the guy who wrote his dissertation on guilds, so "interesting" may have a different resonance for me here!)
     
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  20. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    How rude!
     
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