Medieval People: M

Man-at-Arms
A soldier who had the arms and equipment of a knight, but not the status

Marshal
A marshal organised the lodgings for the castle household. He was also in charge of the horses, carts and waggons and the transportation of goods

Mason
A mason supervised workmen during the building/repair of a castle. To become a mason a boy worked as an apprentice for seven years, then became a journeyman. A journeyman was paid by the day rather than piece work and had to produce a special piece of work which was submitted to the masons’ guild. If considered good enough he became a full member of the guild. Qualified masons were in demand for building churches and cathedrals as well as castles and travelled throughout Europe, away from home for months at a time

Mat Weaver
A mat weaver made mats for the castle floors. Usually they were woven from rushes

Mayor
The leader of a town, making local laws, imposing tolls and ensuring the town’s walls were kept in good order

Merchant
A merchant travelled from town to town to fairs where he would set up his tent to trade with local shopkeepers. Some merchants sold direct to the lord and his family – fine woollen cloth from Flanders, soft gloves and slippers made by leatherworkers in Spain, decorated swords and daggers from Germany and silks and brocades from Italy

Miller
A miller ground the flour at the lord’s wind- or water-mill. Different grades were produced from fine for the lord’s white bread to coarse for the servants’ brown bread

Minstrel
A minstrel travelled between different castles, entertaining people with songs, stories and the latest news. Favourite instruments included lutes and bagpipes

Monk
A man who dedicated his life to God, living with other monks in a monastery. He would be an educated man, frequently the younger son of a noble who had nothing to inherit

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