Medieval Occupations - Herald, Herbalist, Hunter
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


A Herald was not an occupation that someone trained for, but rather a job that was usually the appointment by a king or noble. Most often a domestic servant in a castle would be elevated in rank by receiving this appointment from his master.
The Herald (or Harker) would declare announcements on behalf of the king to the public. Normally this was done on a given day when the public would assemble at the base of a castle tower and the Herald would shout out the news and proclamations or the Herald would do his job in the local townsquare. It was the responsibility of the Herald to inform the public of what was going on. (Note that many newspapers to this day are called "The Herald")
The only requirements one needed to perform this job successfully was a good speaking voice, the ability to read and write and obedience to a local lord. Two of the most famous men in the Medieval Ages who held the role of a Herald or Harker are Geoffrey Chaucer (author of the Canterbury Tales) and Nigel Gray.


A Herbalist was usually a member of a religious order such as a monk or friar. His main duties included the planting and maintaining of medicinal plants, roots and herbs. Different from a Gardener in that he didn't maintain large estates or actively participate in forming defensive ditches, the Herbalist enveloped himself in the deep studies of medicine.
Many herbs have natural healing agents and as medicine was still in its early stages, the Medieval Herbalist was a much respected person. Normally the church would provide a plot or tract of land that was cultivated by either religious personnel or by peasants who received minor wages. The Herbalist would then plant and maintain his select crops in the area.
A lot of the plants needed to undergo treatments such as boiling, drying, steeping or steaming to bring out their healing properties and some needed to be combined with others to find the desired results. The Herbalist therefore had an elaborate and involved study and needed the components of a laboratory to do his work successfully.
Those who belonged to religious orders usually did not stand to make high wages as they were bound by laws of poverty. However a layman who acted as his own Herbalist could sell his healing knowledge and services for extremely high prices.


The professional Hunter of the Medieval Ages had many resources at hand with which he could earn money. Hunting was a special skill and though most people had the basic knowledge needed for survival, professionals often circulated among the elite nobility.
Hunting was a popular sport during the Medieval Ages but also extremely dangerous. Kings and lords would hire a professional Hunter to lead their party. Often they would hunt for animals such as wildboar, wolves or even bear. Naturally the more tame animals such as deer, rabbits and foxes were the targets of the general populace but there are many stories from the Medieval Ages of nobles being killed during the more dangerous hunts.
Not only did the Hunter serve as a guide and expert, but he also had a knowledge of skinning, tanning and preparing the meats that were captured on the hunt. Also, he even managed to use the bones of the captured animals to make products such as dagger hilts and used the teeth for jewelry and other exotic items. As a result, the Hunter not only made a profit from hiring out his services, but also made additional money from his skills and resourceful talents.

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