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Fancy a Medieval Occupation?

A damsel in distress, an emperor, fairy watchers... hardly! Read on for these run-of-the-mill jobs, that you or I might have had, at least when we're talking about the Middle Ages!

Photo by ibkc

Literally, a ‘chicken catcher’… in reality, not exactly. A catchpole was one who tracked down and brought in debtors.

Photo by zeitfenster

An officer who was in charge of of fences and hedges.

Photo by lola_juanlu

A person that made proclamations and official announcements. They were also experts in the field of heraldry (armorial insignias such as coats of arms).

Photo by adamb26

Master of the Revels
The official responsible for organizing court and theater entertainment for the royals. Later, they were also put in charge of stage censorship.

Photo by libellule

A Woodward was a keeper of… no, not the truth, as the famous journalist of the same name was… but of an entire forest!

Photo by wil6ka

Generally, someone who was skilled in using a knife. More specifically, a Knifeman was a soldier trained to disembowel… horses! Neigh!

Photo by bear1973

Not a candy snatcher, but a bonnet snatcher! While, today, bonnets are usually associated with what babies and Scottish soldiers wear, they originally referred to fine headcoverings, usually made of silk.

Photo by vicuna

An Illuminatior of books or, more colloquially, an illustrator or painter of manuscripts. The paintings were usually very ornate and contained gold.

Photo by photohuggers

A ‘traveling tutor’ or, perhaps, governess. The name does indeed derive from the word bear as it’s figurative meaning is ‘boor’ or an ill-mannered or uncouth person (the students)!

Photo by grazie

Almost self explanatory, a Hatter, as was the ‘Mad Hatter’, was someone who made and repaired hats. In case you didn’t know the history behind the phrase “Mad as a hatter”, there’s a tragic, real-life, story behind it. In England, during the 18th and 19th centuries, mercury was used in the production of felt, for hats. People who worked in these hat factories were exposed over long periods to mercury, and some developed mercury poisoning and, subsequently, dementia.

The article was inspired by a kottke article. Information for this article was taken from the detailed list on

written by soundfoodaround

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