Medieval Occupations - Moneylender, Navigator, Painter
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Banking was still in its developmental stages during the Medieval Ages but there was always work to be found for a professional Moneylender. As kings needed to increase their private funds to hire armies and finance campaigns, they often sought the services of such an individual.
The Moneylender was able to set his own rules and since he was offering his personal finances, he was often exempt from taxes and levies. His money was often referred to as his "interest" being that it was the primary element of his business. When lending money he would make his profit by charging a percentage of the sum he was lending, to be paid back with the total owed. Therefore if he lent 100 gold pieces to someone, he could charge 25% on his "interest" and he would eventually receive 125 gold pieces back. His rates of "interest" could vary and if a debtor could not repay the loan, the Moneylender was entitled to seize land, livestock and holdings equal to what was owed.
The term "interest" still survives today and is commonplace with banks and financial institutions. The Moneylender often made a lavish living.

The Navigator usually worked closely with a Cartographer. His sole job was steering vessels on a safe and even path to new destinations. Mainly they kept their bearings and charted their courses by using reference points in the skies by means of planets or stars. As they held steady positions in relation to the earth, it was often easy for a trained Navigator to practice his trade.
Navigators also worked on the ground, guiding armies, troops, diplomats and messengers through various features of terrain. Their services were highly regarded and as a result they were well paid.

Though it is commonly believed that most Medieval towns and cities were quite drab, this is a misconception. Communities were often highly decorated with wreaths and color. The professional Painter was regarded as a tradesman who could bring new residents to a community and also keep morale high by providing an attractive place to live.
Festivals and tournaments saw great need for the Painter as his services were in demand to produce lively environments. Though some skill was required it was basically a trade that did not demand any formal training. Painters earned modest wages but when conscripted by the service of kings or nobles, could make a hefty profit.

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