Medieval People: P

A young boy, usually a noble’s son, sent to another castle at the age of about 8. He would live with other boys, looked after by a schoolmaster learning social skills such as singing and dancing and more academic subjects such as reading, writing, French and Latin. He would be taught to ride and how to move when wearing heavy armour. He would also take part in wrestling to build up his strength. When he was about 14 he would be made a squire

He was responsible for the storage of food and drink

A man living in a cottage with a little land on a manor or estate. He was required to furnish the lord with produce from his land and work for the lord on certain days each week. He was not allowed to leave the lord’s estate. In return the lord had to protect him

A man or woman who travelled between villages and towns carrying items for sale on their backs

A foot soldier armed with a pike – a very long pole with a curved blade and sharp spike on the end

A pilgrim was a person who travelled to visit a shrine or special religious place. He was given a badge at every place of pilgrimage that he visited. It was considered essential that people of all classes should take part in pilgrimages

A craftsman who worked with lead, for example on lead roofs

A poacher was a specialised thief. All animals on a lord’s estate belonged to the lord. No-one else was allowed to catch wild animals at all, even if they were damaging their crops. A poacher would disregard this and catch what he could using ferrets and dogs. If caught, a poacher’s right hand could be cut off or he could be hanged

A porter was in charge of the doors and gates, particularly the main entrance. He ensured no-one entered or left the castle without permission

A religious man. Large castles often had their own priest and chapel who ministered to their spiritual needs. Others looked after churches in villages. A priest was usually well educated and frequently taught children how to read and write

Previous | Index | Next