Medieval Occupations - Candlemaker, Carpenter, Cartographer
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


The Candlemaker was a specialist with many talents. Though making candles was (and still is) a relatively easy project, the craftsman also had to have a knowledge of the bees that provided him with the substance to complete his work.
Once the wax was made a wick constructed of cord or twine was soaked in an oil-based soltuion, inserted into the center of the wax mold and then the candle was either pressed or shaped by hand. Candles provided illumination and were also necessary for church ceremonies.
It's believed to have been in the 11th Century when a Candlemaker by the name of Graham Overhill invented a candle with twelve markings (lines) on it. When lit at the top of the hour, the candle would burn from line to line at the rate of one hour each. Thus Overhill's candle served as a clock as well.
Though specific skills were required, candlemaking was an easy craft and it was never known to provide more than a modest income.

Carpenters were highly skilled and considered to be elite tradesmen. To become a Carpenter it was usually necessary to join a guild as an apprentice and learn the craft.
Most items used during daily life in the Medieval Ages were produced and manufactured by carpenters. Homes, wagons, tables, furniture, tools and utensils were all the creations of these gifted workers.
Knowledge of math, woodworking and the use of tools was required. Though many of the implements used were basic in comparison to those employed today, it can be argued that some fine examples of work were produced during the Middle Ages.
Kings and nobles often sought out the finest carpenters and kept them retained on their staffs as specialists. Furnishing castles and estates was not only done for decorative purposes but also to demonstrate prestige and status to visitors. Thus a master carpenter was always in demand and could stand to earn high wages.

Cartographers (or map-makers) held a very important position in service to a king or noble. As information of terrain and the oceans became known and available, it was the job of the Cartographer to draw a detailed map of a given area. These maps had to be accurate for many reasons. For example if a king ordered his army to march into an enemy land he needed to know of land and topographical features such as mountains, forests and rivers. Not only did these places serve as barriers that were difficult for his troops to traverse, but they also provided his enemies with advantageous places to launch ambushes and attacks. As such, detailed maps were highly sought after. Also, it was important to note new lands dicovered on ocean voyages as it gave kings the opportunity to subjugate new areas.
Cartography was also important to distinguish boundries of neighboring kingdoms or fifedoms. Sometimes devious nobles had false maps drawn and they allowed them to 'slip' into the hands of their enemies.
The cartographer had to be an artist as well, versed in reading and writing and skilled with math and geography.


eXTReMe Tracker