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The master huntsman, or the veneurheld a central position in greater noble households. The chaplainsconfessors and almoners could serve in administrative capacities as well as the religious ones.
Noble court The households of medieval kings were in many ways simply aristocratic households on a larger scale: One major difference was the way in which royal household officials were largely responsible for the governance of the realm, as well as the administration of the household. One example of this is the Carolingians of France, who rose from the position of royal stewards — the Mayors of the Palace — to become kings in their own right.
In Flandersby the thirteenth century, the offices of constable, butler, steward and chamberlain had become the hereditary right of certain high noble families, and held no political significance.
Medieval household - Wikipedia
If a king was able to muster a substantial force of household knights, this would reduce his dependence on the military service of his subjects. This was the case with Richard II of Englandwhose one-sided dependence on his household knights — mostly recruited from the county of Cheshire — made him unpopular with his nobility and eventually contributed to his downfall. Greater nobles would have estates scattered over large geographical areas, and to maintain proper control of all their possessions it was important to physically inspect the localities on a regular basis.
As the master of the horses, travel was the responsibility of the marshal. Everything in the noble household was designed for travel, so that the lord could enjoy the same luxury wherever he went. This could be a costly affair for the localities visited; there was not only the large royal household to cater for, but also the entire royal administration. The aristocratic society centered on the castle originated, as much of medieval culture in general, in Carolingian Franceand from there spread over most of Western Europe.
On the northern and western fringes of the continent, society was kin-based rather than feudaland households were organised correspondingly. From historical and architectural evidence it is known that, even though castles were rare, the wealthy lived in palaces of varying magnitude, with chapels and gardens, and rich decorations of mosaics and frescoes.
The most commonly traded items were salt, iron, and textiles. There were also rarer items, such as silk and spices, that came from the trade with China and the Middle East. As trade grew, a new class of highly skilled crafts- people developed. These artisans produced cloth, shoes, beer, glass and other goods that required more expertise than was available on many manor farms.
Other artisans cut and shaped the stones. Women plied several of these crafts, and in some, like weaving and brewing, they played the leading role.Part 2 -The 7 Spirits of God & The 7 Handmaidens of Wisdom- The Power Connection
Traveling merchants brought much-desired items to small towns and villages far from the major trade routes. Peddler Travelling merchants who sold their goods from town to town. Castle Workers Court officials Court officials or office-bearers one type of courtier derived their positions and retained their titles from their original duties within the courtly household.
With time such duties often became archaic, but titles survived involving the ghosts of arcane duties, generally dating back to the days when a noble household had practical and mundane concerns as well as high politics and culture.
Such court appointments each have their own histories. Chamberlain An officer of the royal household responsible for the Chamber, meaning that he controlled access to the person of the king. He was also responsible for administration of the household and the private estates of the king. The Chamberlain was one of the four main officers of the court, the others being the Chancellor, the Justiciar, and the Treasurer. Chancellor The officer of the royal household who served as the monarch's secretary or notary.
The Chancellor was responsible for the Chancery, the arm of the royal government dealing with domestic and foreign affairs. Usually the person filling this office was a Bishop chosen for his knowledge of the law. Justiciar The head of the royal judicial system and the king's viceroy, when the actual viceroy was absent from the country. Treasurer The chief financial officer of the realm and senior officer of the Exchequer.
Constable An officer of high rank in medieval monarchies, usually the commander of all armed forces, especially in the absence of the ruler. An officer of a hundred in medieval England, originally responsible for raising the military levy but later assigned other administrative duties Master of the Horse The third official of the royal household. The master of the horse is the third dignitary of the court, and was always a member of the ministry before the office was of cabinet ranka peer and a privy councilor.
All matters connected with the horses and formerly also the hounds of the sovereign, as well as the stables and coach houses, the stud, mews and previously the kennels, are within his jurisdiction. The practical management of the Royal Stables and stud devolves on the chief or Crown Equerry, formerly called the Gentleman of the Horse, whose appointment was always permanent.
Almoner A person whose function or duty is the distribution of alms on behalf of an institution, a royal personage, a monastery, etc. Butler The chief male servant of a household, usually in charge of serving food, the care of silverware, etc.
Cofferer One who keeps treasures in a coffer. Cup-Bearer A servant who fills and serves wine cups, as in a royal palace or at an elaborate banquet. Dapifer One who brings meat to the table; hence, in some countries, the official title of the grand master or steward of the king's or a nobleman's household. Doorward Was an office in medieval Scotland whose holders, eventually hereditary, had the theoretical responsibility of being warden of the king's door, i.
Falconer A person who hunts with falcons or follows the sport of hawking. Gentleman of the Bedchamber A Gentleman of the Bedchamber was the holder of an important office in the royal household of the Kingdom of England from the 11th century, later used also in the Kingdom of Great Britain. The duties of the office involved waiting on the king when he ate in private, helping him to dress, guarding the bedchamber and closet, and providing companionship.
Gentleman Usher The Gentlemen Ushers occupied a level intermediate between the steward, the usual head, and the ordinary servants; they were responsible for overseeing the work of the servants "above stairs", particularly those who cooked and waited upon the nobleman at meals, and saw to it the great chamber was kept clean by the lesser servants.
He was also responsible for overseeing other miscellaneous service, such as the care of the nobleman's chapel and bed-chambers. It was traditionally the gentleman usher who swore in new members of the nobleman's service.
Grandmaster The head of a military order of knighthood. A person at the highest level of ability or achievement in any field. Grand Master of the Hunt Responsible for organizing hunts and guarding royal forests against poachers. Groom of the Stool The Groom of the Stool formally styled: This secret information he was privy to, whilst it would never have been revealed, to the discredit of his honor, in turn led to him becoming feared and respected and therefore powerful within the royal court in his own right Herald A royal or official messenger.
In the Middle Ages, it was a herald who arranged tournaments and other functions, announced challenges, marshaled combatants, etc. Pursuivant A heraldic officer of the lowest class, ranking below a herald. An official attendant on heralds.
The Intendant of the Civil List also advises the King in the field of energy, sciences and culture and administers the King's hunting rights. Jester A professional fool or clown at medieval court. Keeper of the Seal The title Keeper of the Seals or equivalent is used in several contexts, denoting the person entitled to keep and authorize use of the Great Seal of a given country. King of Arms A title of certain of the principal heralds of England and certain other kingdoms empowered by their sovereigns to grant armorial bearings.
Lady-in-Waiting A lady who is in attendance upon a queen or princess. Maid of Honor An unmarried lady attending a queen or princess. Majordomo A man in charge of a great household, as that of a sovereign; a chief steward. Page A boy servant or attendant as young as age 7 given to a knight to be trained for knighthood. Generally the son of nobility. Pantler The servant or officer, in a great family, who has charge of the bread and the pantry. Seneschal An officer having full charge of domestic arrangements, ceremonies, the administration of justice, etc.
Squire At 13 or 14 pages became squires and began to practice fighting on horseback. Standard Bearer An officer or soldier of an army or military unit who bears a standard.
A standard-bearer is a person soldier or civilian who bears an emblem called an ensign or standard, i. Steward The man responsible for running the day-to-day affairs of the castle when the lord was absent. Stewards were well-paid, powerful figures in the district. Entertainers Entertainers Minstrels were entertainers who traveled from town to town, often in groups.
Most minstrels were singers or musicians, but some had other skills as well. They juggled, did acrobatics, or danced. Minstrels were known by different names in different parts of Europe. In Germany minstrels were called minnesingers, in France jongleurs, in Ireland bards. The most famous minstrels were those of southern France. They were called troubadours, from the Latin word that means "to compose. The troubadours were so famous that we know of them by name. Minstrel A medieval poet and musician who sang or recited while accompanying himself on a stringed instrument, either as a member of a noble household or as an itinerant troubadour.
He lived and traveled off the largess of the aristocracy. Troubadour Composers of epic poems, such as the Chansons de Geste, and love songs, often sung by wandering minstrels. One of a class of medieval lyric poets who flourished principally in southern France from the 11th to 13th centuries, and wrote songs and poems of a complex metrical form in langue d'oc, chiefly on themes of courtly love.
Jongleur French wandering minstrels which included musicians, acrobats, jugglers, and clownsusually from the lower class, who entertained with tales of epic battles and heroes. Bard A minstrel or poet who glorified the virtues of the people and his chieftains.
Gleeman Saxon composer of songs Mummers Actors who re-enacted religious plays. In the past, only men could become actors in some societies. In the ancient Greece and Rome and the medieval world, it was considered disgraceful for a woman to go on the stage, and this belief continued right up until the 17th century, when in Venice it was broken.
In the time of William Shakespeare, women's roles were generally played by men or boys. Military Landsknect A member of the infantry. Most often German, mercenary pike-men and supporting foot soldiers from the late 15th to the late 16th century, and achieved the reputation for being the universal mercenary of Early modern Europe. Landsknechts were trained in the use of the famous long pikes and used the pike square formations developed by the Swiss.
The majority of Landsknechts would use pikes, but others, meant to provide tactical assistance to the pike-men, accordingly used different weapons.
Musketeers A member of the infantry. Muskets were invented in China and were used as part of the military as early as They then made their way into Turkey and ArabiaIndiaand Spain Crossbow-men A member of the infantry. The crossbow was a powerful bow whose quarrels could often penetrate shields and armor, making crossbowmen a formidable part of any army.
Longbow-men A member of the infantry. Longbows could shoot for great distances. Longbow-men would often use their longbows to shoot flaming arrows into the enemy camp greatly increasing the destructive force of the approaching army.
Falconets A member of the Artillery.
The falconet or falcon was a light cannon developed in the late 15th century. During Middle Ages guns were decorated with engravings of reptiles, birds or beasts depending on their size: The falconet fired small yet lethal shot of similar weight and size to a bird of prey, and so was decorated with a falcon.
Bombarde A bombarde is a large-caliber, muzzle-loading medieval cannon or mortar, used chiefly in sieges for throwing heavy stone balls. The name bombarde was first noted and sketched in a French historical text around The modern term bombardment derives from this.
Bombards were usually used during sieges to hurl various forms of missile into enemy fortifications. Projectiles such as stone or metal balls, burning materials and weighted cloth soaked in quicklime or Greek fire are documented. Trebuchet A siege engine that was employed in the Middle Ages.
It could fling projectiles of up to three hundred and fifty pounds at high speeds into enemy fortifications.
Occasionally, disease-infected corpses were flung into cities in an attempt to infect and terrorize the people under siege, a medieval form of biological warfare. The trebuchet did not become obsolete until the 13th century, well after the introduction of gunpowder.
Trebuchets were far more accurate than other medieval catapults. Catapult A catapult is a device used to throw or hurl a projectile a great distance without the aid of explosive devices—particularly various types of ancient and medieval siege engines.
Although the catapult has been used since ancient times, it has proven to be one of the most effective mechanisms during warfare. Battering Ram A battering ram is a siege engine originating in ancient times and designed to break open the masonry walls of fortifications or splinter their wooden gates.
Lancers A member of the Calvary. A lancer was a type of cavalryman who fought with a lance. Dragoons A member of the Calvary. The word dragoon originally meant mounted infantry, who were trained in horse riding as well as infantry fighting skills. Calvary Archers A member of the Calvary. A horse archer, horsed archer, or mounted archer is a cavalryman armed with a bow, able to shoot while riding from horseback. Constable An officer who commanded an army or an important garrison, or the officer who commanded in the king's absence.
Vintenar Man in charge of twenty soldiers. Man-at-Arms also Yeoman A soldier holding his land, generally 60 to acres, in exchange for military service. In English history, a class intermediate between the gentry and the laborers; a yeoman was usually a landholder but could also be a retainer, guard, attendant, or subordinate official.
Most yeomen of the later Middle Ages were probably occupied in cultivating the land; Raphael Holinshed, in his Chroniclesdescribed them as having free land worth 6 originally 40 shillings annually and as not being entitled to bear arms. Foot Soldier A member of the Calvary. A person who serves in an army; a person engaged in military service.
A person of military skill or experience who serves and fights for pay. A person who contends or serves in any cause: Sergeant A servant who accompanied his lord to battle, a horseman of lower status used as light cavalry, or a type of tenure in service of a non-knightly character who might have carried the lord's banner, served in the wine cellar, or made bows and arrows. Sergeants paid the feudal dues of wardship, marriage, and relief, but were exempt from scutage.
Peasantry Villein The wealthiest class of peasant, they usually cultivated acres of land, often in isolated strips. In medieval Europe a peasant personally bound to his lord, to whom he paid dues and services, sometimes commuted to rents, in return for his land.
A member of a class of partially free persons under the feudal system, who were serfs with respect to their lord but had the rights and privileges of freemen with respect to others. Small Holder A middle class peasant, farming more land than a cottager but less than a villein.
A typical small holder would have farmed 10 to 20 acres. Cottager A peasant of lower class who owned a cottage, but owned little or no land. Commoner Lowest class of people.
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A person who does not belong to the nobility. A person who has a right in or over common land jointly with another or others. Peasant Farm laborers of low social rank; coarse, unsophisticated, boorish, uneducated person of little financial means. Serf Serfs lived in small communities called manors that were ruled by a local lord or vassal. Most peasants were serfs.
They were bound to the manor and could not leave it or marry without the manor lord's permission. Serfs did all the work on the manor farm: Men, women, and children worked side by side.