Medieval Occupations - Sailor, Scribe, Servant
Medieval Occupations
(Jobs in the Medieval Age)


Sailors often led lonely and hard lives and it was a most difficult occupation during the Medieval Ages. It required a firm will and dedication as vessels would often set sail for months or even a year at a time.
During voyages Sailors each had specific duties equal to the level of their station. Overseeing the operation of a vessel at sea was difficult enough but Sailors were constantly at work from sunrise to sunset. This served to keep the Sailor busy and keep him from growing bored and discontented by the long hours at sea.
Before the official formations of Navies, Sailors mainly sailed on ships owned by kings, nobles and monarchs. Their pay was based on their rank. A common Sailor earned very little while a First Mate or Boatswain earned much more substantial wages.
Sailors needed training in the handling of the vessel, their duties at sea and even ocean combat. The Sailor did not come into his full respect until the advent of the Crusades when he became an important and key figure. Sailors ferried troops, supplies, horses and foodstores from secured ports, through hostile waters and resupplied the armies. Sailors were often a unique breed and their main goal was to eventually reach Officer and receive command of their own vessel.

To become a Scribe required skills in reading, writing and comprehension. Scribes not only wrote volumes of works on the Medieval Ages but were also often asked to research laws and other matters for kings and nobles.
The Scribe was often a historian, poet and philosopher. His acquired knowledge was advantageous at the workings of social interaction and his skills provided a written overview of the time period.
Scribes usually were of nobility in that the education needed to attain the post was not affordable or available to peasant and common classes. Most Scribes came from religious abbeys where the skills were learned within the vast libraries of the church.
Their wages were usually standard and average, however the Scribe was entitled to all the benefits and luxuries of castle life.

There were advantages and disadvantages of being a domestic Servant. Though the work was often tedious, menial and hard it was worthwhile if you were in service to a kind lord or master. However, the difficult work when coupled with a rude or abusive employer often led to harship throughout a Servant's life.
Usually Servants were conscripted if they possessed talents and abilities that were useful inside a castle. Such things as cooking, baking, sewing, dying, weaving or performing music could attract the attentions of a local lord. If these conditions were met and the service was satisfactory, the Servant enjoyed the mild benefit and protection of working within a castle.
Sometimes victorious knights would take their prisoners back to their homelands and endenture them as Servants. This could be most embarrassing if the capture person was an enemy knight. But while waiting to be ransomed or in order to work off his debt, the enemy knight had no other choice but to lower himself to the dutiful position of a Servant.

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