Medieval Occupations - Clothier, Cook, Diplomat
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Clothing was not an available commodity to the lower classes and peasantry until the 12th Century. In contrast, as the elite and members of the nobility could afford the lavish prices of clothing, those who made garments (called Clothiers) were sought after for their skills.
Being a Clothier meant having a knowledge of various materials and how to assemble them into fine pieces of wear. The clothing of the time had to be durable, fashionable and decorative as even during the Medieval Ages, clothing was more of a status symbol.
The Clothier had to be experienced with mathematics, design and skill for assembly. If serving the nobility a handsome profit could be made. But when fabrics became available to all classes, the Clothier earned a modest living.

It seems that during any time period the position of a Cook was usually thankless and difficult. The Medieval Ages were no exception. As methods for preserving food were not invented to any degree of effectiveness, Cooks often used salt to preserve meats and fish. The winter weather provided snow and ice to act as refrigeration but often preparing a meal was no easy task.
Spices and extracts that we take for granted today were highly expensive during the Medieval Ages. Trade routes were still being discovered and items such as saffrin, ginger and cinnamon came from the Far East. Thus, a delicious meal was usually enjoyed by only those who could afford the components to make one.
Feasts were held to commemorate holidays and important political events. These meals were served to hundreds of guests and sometimes thousands. It was necessary for the Cook to impress the friends of his lord or master. There are many instances on record, such as the event in the year 1302 when Sir Henry Campbell, master of Lamberth Castle, had his Cook imprisoned for serving a meal that was considered poor.
Though a wide variety of foods were available in the Medieval Ages, a good Cook only earned an average living with fair wages.

Those fortunate enough to possess the skills to become political Diplomats were often on the road to nobility and positions of title. The Medieval Diplomat served as a royal messenger and ambassador to the king, queen or noble he served. Diplomats would often be sent on missions to speak on behalf of the monarchy to rival kings or ruling houses. The Diplomat would negotiate political deals such as peace treaties, hostage or prisoner releases and matters of trade, commerce and economics.
The Diplomat needed to be firm, loyal and dedicated to the master he served and it was also required that he have excellent speaking skills, the knowledge of reading and writing and a shrewd manner.
If a Diplomat successfully delegated a trade or commerce pact he was often entitled to a percentage of the revenue this new deal generated. Therefore Diplomats were often wealthy people. However the astute Diplomat knew how to negotiate deals that not only favored both rival parties but also was to his own benefit. The Diplomat could reap financial reward from both factions if he curtailed the deals to fit his own interests.
Often Diplomats were the educated members of the Upper Class and elite societies. They often held titles such as Count, Duke or Baron and normally retired with great wealth and prestige.

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