Medieval Occupations - Fortune-Teller, Furrier, Gardener
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Fortune-tellers were often looked upon with disapproval from the ruling classes but their services were highly in demand. The Medieval Ages were full of superstition and very real belief in supernatural forces and powers. Most things that could not be explained by science or technology was thought to be the direct influences of these powers at work.
The common people were normally quite stressed economically and therefore they viewed the Fortune-teller as a potential advantage to overcoming future difficulties. If their future could be revealed they believed they could take steps to improve upon it.
Most Fortune-tellers were common rogues and tricksters who used a variety of simple illusions to create dramatic effects. Though they possessed no real skill at all for devining the future, they would be careful to use basic events and information to project a scenario that was generic enough to fit into anyone's situation. Once embellished with mild promises of prosperity it seemed a true magical experience had taken place. Often though the Fortune-teller's success was based on how much the person getting the reading wanted to believe.
Some Fortune-tellers did use lunar and celestial patterns to predict probable and basic outcomes in terms of weather. These natural signs could foretell famine or draught or even bad storms. If a Fortune-teller had success in predicting these events, his or her credibility was greatly enhanced.
A few kings and monarchs did enlist the services of seers and Fortune-tellers to predict the future of their kingdoms and even the outcome of battles. Though there was a given ratio of success and failure based on mathematical probability, the fortune-tellers with luck and agility managed to earn positions of respect and wealth in some courts.
However, most were treated as witches or dark practitioners. And in some cases when their foretold events did not ring true, they were hunted down and killed.

The Furrier worked with the pelts and hides from animals. not only did he use the fur to make clothing but also rugs, blankets and even inner linings for armor.
If a Furrier operated with wisdom he could become wuite profitable in his trade. Different regions produced different animals and with careful and legal trapping he could import and export furs to different regions that were considered exotic and hard to get.
Hides and pelts were treated in a variety of ways, usually by coating the underside with an oil-based substance to protect it from deterioration. Then it was usually hung in the sunlight or a dry area so the liquid could dry and act as a sealant. The fur was treated with different powders and a liquid containing lye. This preserved the fur for wuite a long time.
Though some furriers achieved great wealth the common occupation paid very modestly.

The Medieval Gardener was considered a specialist at his trade. He was mainly responsible for the upkeep and cosmetic appearance of castles and estates but he was also called upon to build defensive ditches and barriers during times of war.
Throughout Europe there are many forms of ivy that grow wild. These plants tend to grow upward along stonefaces and as such, castles were prime for this problem. Enemies could use the sturdy ivy to climb and grapple the walls to gain access. Therefore it was important to have a Gardener who could cut down, trim and destroy these potentially dangerous plants.
A knowledge of herbs, plants and flowers was essential. Most Gardeners served some form of nobility or local lord but even though a portion of their work was critical to the safety and protection of a castle or estate, they were paid meagerly.

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