Elizabethan Occupations, Jobs and
An Acrobat was a popular Elizabethan entertainer
An Apothecy dispensed remedies made from herbs, plants and roots.
Elizabethan physicians were expensive and a priest often held this
occupation, often the only recourse for sick, poor people
Artists were employed in the later Elizabethan era by kings and nobles.
At first an artist painted heraldic designs on early furniture and then
it became fashionable for portraits to be painted
An astrologer studied the stars and planets but regarded as a mystical
Bread was a daily staple of Elizabethan life, and good bakers were
employed by Nobles in their castles.
A Barber had many occupations in relation to personal care. Barbers
would cut hair but would also serve as dentists, surgeons and
The Blacksmith was one of the most important, albeit lowly, occupations
of the Elizabethan era. Blacksmiths forged weapons, sharpened weapons,
A Bottler had a responsible occupation and was in charge of the Bottlery
which was intended for storing and dispensing wines and other expensive
The Butler was responsible for the castle cellar and was in charge of
large butts of beer. The room in the castle called the Buttery was
intended for storing and dispensing beverages, especially ale.
BOWER OR BOWYER
The Bowyer manufactured bows, arrows and crossbows
The Candlemaker made candles to light a castle or palace. Candles were
supplemented by lighting from torches, lanterns and rush dips.
The occupation of the Carpenter was diverse. Carpenters built furniture,
roofing, and wood panelling. Carpenter: a skilled craftsman who shaped
or made things of wood. Carpenters were highly skilled and considered to
be elite tradesmen
Chamberlain - The title originated with an officer of a royal household
who was responsible for the Chamber, which included the administration
of the Queen's household's budget. This occupation was later extended to
collecting revenues and paying expenses
A chancellor was a secretary to a Noble or Royal person
The Chaplain was responsible for the religious activities of a castle
servants and Men at arms. The duties might also include that of a clerk
and keeping accounts. A Priest would usually looked after the spiritual
needs and confessions of the Nobles and their families
A Clerk was employed to keep accounts
Clothiers made clothes for the nobles and required having a knowledge of
various fine and expensive materials
Constable was the occupation of the person who had been appointed as
Custodian, or in charge of, the castle
Cook was employed in the castle kitchens roasting, broiling, and baking
food in the fireplaces and ovens.
A Cordwainer was a Shoemaker or Cobbler, a craftsman who made shoes
A Cottar was one of the lowest peasant occupations, undertaken by the
old or infirm, who had a series of low duties including swine-herd,,
prison guard and menial tasks
A Ewerer brought and heated water for nobles
The Fletcher crafted and manufactured bows and the flights of arrows
The Elizabethan Gardener needed a knowledge of herbs and plants.
Gong was another name for dung.
HERALD OR HARKER
A Herald was a knights assistant and an expert advisor on heraldry. The
Herald (or Harker) would declare announcements on behalf of the Queen or
Noble to the public. Normally this was done on a given day when the
public would assemble at the base of a castle tower or in the town
square and the Herald would shout out the news
A Herbalist was usually a member of a religious order such as a monk or
friar who would plant and maintain medicinal plants, roots and herbs.
The Janitor, or Porter, was responsible for a main Castle entrance and
for the guardrooms. The Janitor also insured that no one entered or left
the castle without permission
The Jester also referred to as the Fool entertained the Queen and the
KEEPER OF THE WARDROBE
The room in the castle called the wardrobe was intended as a dressing
room and storage room for clothes and used by the Queen and Upper
Classes. The Keeper of the Wardrobe was in charge of the tailors and
It was the duty of a Knight to learn how to fight and so serve their
Queen according to the Code of Chivalry. Weapon practise included
enhancing skills in the sword, battle axe, dagger and lance.
Marshal was the officer in charge of a household's horses, carts,
wagons, containers and the transporting of goods.
Messengers were lesser diplomats of the lord who carried receipts,
letters, and commodities.
Minstrels provided Castle entertainment in the form of singing and
playing musical instruments. Minstrels often would record the deeds of
heroic knights in songs giving the knight great publicity and
establishing respect and additional status
Moneylenders were the Elizabethan bankers.
The life of a castle Page would start at a very young age - seven years
old. A Page was junior to a Squire. It was the duty of a Page to wait at
table, care for the Lord's clothes and assist them in dressing. The Page
was provided with a uniform of the colours and livery of the Lord.
Elizabethan castles ere highly colorful and the services of painters
were often required
The Janitor, or Porter, was responsible for a Castle entrance and for
the guardrooms. The Porter also insured that no one entered or left the
castle without permission
Physicians were a very highly regarded and respected occupation.
Bleeding, lancing and surgical procedures were practised.
Potters were craftsmen of in clay, porcelain and early forms of
ceramics. Basically they produced pots for cooking and storage and
occasionally worked as sculptors. Potters were members of Elizabethan
The Reeve supervised all work on a lord's property. The Reeve ensured
that everyone began and stopped work on time
Most Scribes came from religious establishments where reading, writing
and comprehension skills were learned.
Scullions were the lowest of kitchen workers whose duties included
washing and cleaning the kitchen
The sheriff was an important official of county who was responsible for
executing judicial duties
A Shoemaker or Cobbler or Cordwainer was a craftsman who made shoes
Spinster was the name of the occupation given to a woman who earned her
living spinning yarn. The Spinning Wheel was invented during the
Elizabethan era. Later the term Spinster was used to describe any
The Steward took care of castle estates and household administration
including the events in the Great Hall.
A Squire was junior to a Knight. It was the duty of a Squire to learn
about the Code of Chivalry, the rules of Heraldry, horsemanship and
practise the use of weapons. It was also their duty to enter into court
life and learn courtly etiquette, music and dancing.
Watchmen was an official at the castle responsible for security. Also