Medieval Occupations - Messenger, Miner, Minstrel
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Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


MESSENGER

Another popular phrase of today that stemmed from the Medieval Ages is "Don't kill the messenger". The occupation of a Messenger was often dangerous but had its merits.
Usually the Messenger was a lesser diplomat of sorts and spent his time in service to a king or local lord. When news or a response to an inquiry needed to be delivered to a rival ruling house it was the job of the Messenger to undertake the duty.
When the message delivered was less than favorable the Messenger was often the victim of the incurred wrath. Often times the Messenger would be inadvertently blamed and either imprisoned or killed. This led to lesgislation and laws being passed which eventually made the Messengers exempt from punishment due to the news they delivered.
Messengers had to be skilled in topographical knowledge, horsemanship and had to be articulate. They needed the skills of reading and writing and often received high wages for their dangerous services.
MINER

Miners also held very dangerous jobs and often worked in extremely precarious environments. The need to mine gold and silver was paramount as most kingdoms increased their financial reserves by depending on these resources. Miners were not overly skilled workers but it did require a bold resiliance to perform the duties.
Apart from the collapsing of mines, deadly gasses and cave-ins, the Miner had to endure several days at a time beneath ground. His wages were above the standard pay in exchange for his difficult services but often Miners led modest lives.
MINSTREL

Minstrels were musicians. Various instruments included the mandolin, fife, flute, dulcimer, drums, violin and harpsichord. A great deal of skill and training was required to become a professional musician and those lucky enough to have proficiency on an instrument often found themselves entertaining kings and nobles for high wages.
Minstrels often would record the deeds of heroic knights and go from tavern to tavern playing these odes of homage. Not only did it make for an interesting song, but it gave the knight publicity and established a degree of respect and staus for him. Throughout the Medieval Ages, Bards became the popular employees of any knight or common man who wanted their deeds enshrined in a public song. The deeds were embellished of course but it was a wonderful way to spread the fame of a knight from kingdom to kingdom. The talented Minstrels and Bards frequently charged high prices for these services.

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