Medieval Occupations - Politician, Potter, Rat Catcher
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Medieval Politicians served in many different capacities. Whereas a local lord ruled the lands of his fifedom, the local people were often allowed to elect their own sheriffs, mayors and delegates to handle matters on smaller levels. All matters of grave importance though were left to the decisions of arbitrators, barristers and of course the local lord himself.
A Sheriff was a minor political post that carried great weight and authority. Often answerable to the local lord his duties included the enforcement of law throughout the local communities.
The Mayor was the voice of the people. Any concerns of the commoners were put forth to the Major and either he could resolve the matters personally or seek the counsel of a barrister or his local lord.
Delegates operated between the Sheriff and Mayor and often were directly in contact with the people. When concerns or issues were raised the Delegates would call meetings between the Sheriff and Mayor and attempt to resolve the matters. The entire system was subject to the law of the local lord but many times these lesser legislative bodies were effective in their duties.
Wages varied but usually Politicans had above average livings.

Potters were crafters of earthenworks and dealt mainly in clay molds, porcelains and early forms of ceramics. Basically they produced pots for cooking and storage and at times sculpted icons and statues to order.
Potters were usually members of guilds and worked closely with molds, tools and heating kilns. Their craft was well respected and though their products were much in demand on a daily basis, their wages were usually average.

Though the very name of this position seems like a menial occupation, Rat Catchers were very highly regarded in Medieval society and in fact, their work was rather respected.
Rats, mice and vermin were often the cause of epidemics and disease. Therefore a crafty and skillful Rat Catcher could earn stunning wages in ridding a city or town of its pest problems. Often the work did take the professional Rat Catcher into undesirable places and he did risk his own health and safety by coming into contact with diseased and often rabid rodents.
However when he was successful at his trade he managed to gain local confidence and increase his personal revenue. The Black Plague which killed over one-third of Europe's population was mainly spread by the infected fleas that were carried by rodents. Rat Catchers employed cats and means of trapping to bring the problem under control and end one of the greatest and most damaging epidemics to ever spread across an entire continent.

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