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Medieval Occupations


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This list came from some things my dad had compiled before he died. I am unsure where he got all his information. I was going through it and compiling it to use for some real life P’n’P game, and decided to put up.


Occupation/Description (Also note that a lot of the occupations were subsumed in other jobs.) These were used at various times, and some are actually Latin or French, but instances of their use in English were found. And yes, other languages like Scottish might also be included.


Look for Vaginarius, Tosher, Streaker, or Whipperin for fun…(especially the first one…sounds a bit…naughty, don’t it? ;-) )


And I think it is quite telling to compare Headsman…and Headswoman.

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Abbot/Abbess Man in charge of monastery, woman in charge of a convent before 12th century


Acater Supplied food provisions, e.g. A ships chandler


Accomptant Accountant


Accoucheur Assisted women in childbirth (Male)


Accoucheus Assisted women in childbirth (Female)


Accoutre Supplier of military accessories


Accountant Bookkeeper


Accoutrement Maker Supplier of military accessories


Ackerman Ploughman An oxherder


Acreman Ploughmanan Another variation on oxherder


Actuary Kept public accounts of business; clerk/registrar


Administrator Directed the affairs of another


Advertisement Conveyancer Sandwich board man; or a person who provided public notice of deed transferal


Advocate Depute Law officer who could act a public prosecutor


Advowee Normally a nobleman, who had the right to present a clergyman to a benefice (a benefice was a church office that came with fixed assets to provide a living. It also is a landed estate granted in feudal tenure)


Aeronaut Balloonist or a trapeze artist in the circus or music halls; this term would later be borrowed for when air balloons came into use


Affeeror Official in the manorial courts who assessed the monetary penalty and also collected taxes and dues and were also called Assessor


Agister Official of the Royal Forests or in the New Forest; one in charge of the ponies


Alabasterer Worked with alabaster


Alblastere Crossbow man


Alchemist Medieval chemist who claimed to be able to turn base metals into gold


Alderman Senior councillor one position down from Mayor in the local council before


Ale Draper Seller of ale (a draper is one who deals in cloth), possibly the precursor to a general store manager


Ale-Conner One who tested quality and measure of ale served in public houses; established quality of ale (they took their alcohol serious even then)


Ale Taster Tested ale and beer for quality. Appointed by the Manor and forerunner of the Inspector for Weights & Measures


Ale Tunner Employed by the brewery to fill ale casks (tuns} with ale


Alewife, Alewyfe Woman who keeps an alehouse or tavern


All Spice Name for a grocer


Almanac Man An appointed official who warned the inhabitants of the of higher than normal tides (almanac)


Almoner Gave out alms or charity to the poor on behalf of the parish


Almsman Received alms


Alnager, Aulnager Official who examined the quality of woolen goods and stamped them with the town seal of approval


Amanuensis Secretary


Amber & Jet Cutter Cut and polished amber for jewelry


Amber Cutter Cut ambergris


Ambler Officer who broke in horses


Amen Man Parish clerk


Anchor Smith Made anchors


Anchoress Female hermit or religious recluse


Anchorite Male hermit or religious recluse


Angle Iron Smith Made angle iron ie. Flat iron bars bent at right angles lengthways


Anile man Smallholder (tenant of the manor)


Ankle Beater Young person who helped to drive the cattle to market


Annatto Maker Worked in the manufacture of reddish yellow dyes for paint or printing


Antigropelos Maker Made waterproof leggings


Anvil Smith Made anvils and hammers for blacksmiths


Apiarian (Apiarist) Beekeeper (honey at one time was considered a precious commodity)


Apothecary Prepared and sold medicines or drugs; pharmacist


Apparitor Official who summoned witnesses in the ecclesiastical courts; official formerly sent to carry out the orders of a magistrate, judge, or court


Apprentice Was bound to a skilled worker for a specified time to learn a trade


Aproneer Term used in London for a shopkeeper


Apron man Mechanic


Aquarius Waterman; water carrier (yes, the same name as the Zodiac sign)


Aquavita Seller that of alcohol (Medieval Latin aqua vitae)


Archer a person who uses a bow and arrow 14th century


Archiator Physician


Archil Maker Made a violet dye from lichens, used in the textile industry


Architect A person who designs buildings and advises in their construction; Master builder


Arkwright Skilled craftsman who produced arks (wooden chests or coffers)


Armourer Made suits of armour or plates of armour for buildings or ships etc


Artificer Highly respected skilled or artistic worker or craftsman or one that makes or contrives


Assay Master, Assayer Determined the amount of gold or silver to go in coins, determined the proportions of metal ore


Astrologer Fortuneteller, prognosticator of one’s fates, frequently reads the stars, but not always necessary


Attendent One who attends another to perform a service 15th century


Auger Maker Made any of various tools or devices having a helical shaft or member that are used for boring holes (as in wood, earth, or ice) or moving loose material.


Aurifaber Goldsmith


Avenator Hay and forage merchant


Avowry Term for the lord of the manor


Axel Tree Turner Made axels for coaches and wagons




Back Washer Employed to clean the wool in the worsted manufacturing industry


Backmaker Made backs, vats, tubs, a cooper


Backmann, Backster, Beck, Becker Baker


Back'us Boy Kitchen servant (from back of the house)


Badgy Fiddler Boy trumpeter in the military


Bagman Travelling salesman


Bagniokeeper In charge of a bath house or brothel


Bailie Bailiff


Bailiff an official employed by a sheriff to serve writs and make arrests and executions


Bairman, Bareman Pauper or beggar


Baker One who bakes (obvious ;-) )


Bal Maiden Female mine worker who worked on the surface


Baler Bales hay and in the mills one who bailed wool or cotton goods


Balister Archer most commonly a crossbowman


Ballard Master, Ballast Heaver In charge of loading the ballast into the hold of empty ships


Baller (Up) Assisted the potter by measuring out the balls of clay


Bandster Bound the wheat sheaves after harvest


Bang Beggar Officer of the parish who controlled the length of stay of any stranger to the parish


Banker Dug trenches and ditches to allow drainage of the land, placing the surplus earth in banks around the edge (this predates the use of Banker for one who runs a bank, though both were in use)


Barber A barber also a surgeon (frequently both)


Bard Poet or minstral


Bargee, Bargeman Worked on or owned and operated a barge


Barilla Manufacturer Made barilla, a substance obtained from burning saltworts, the resulting mixture of sodium salts being used in the glass and ceramics industry


Barkeeper Besides one who ran a bar, it was another name for a tollkeeper


Barker A person who barked out advertisements


Bartoner, Barton In charge of a monastic farm


Basil Worker Worked with sheep and goat skins


Basketman Made baskets and furniture from wicker, and also employed to empty the basket of coal being offloaded from the colliers into the barges


Bast Dresser Employed in dressing fibre or matting


Batman Officer’s servant in the army


Battledore Maker Made the beaters used on clothes carpets etc to remove the dust


Bauer Farmer


Baxter Baker


Bayweaver One who wove bay (a fine woollen fabric also known as baize)


Bead Piercer Employed to drill the holes in beads


Beadle, Bedel, Bedell Officer of the parish whose principle duty was to keep order, also was the town crier


Beadman, Beadsman, Bedesman Employed to pray for his employer, inhabitant of an almshouse / poorhouse / hospital or tenant employed by the manor for a specific service (think rosary beads)


Beamer Winds the warp on the roller before putting it on the loom in the textile industry


Bearer Worked undergrpound carrying the coal to the bottom of the pit shaft and placed it in the containers for uplifting to the surface


Beater, Fuller Cleansed and thickened the cloth by treading it underwater with fullers earth


Beaver A person who made felt used in hat making


Bedman Sexton, Bellringer


Bedwevere Made the webbing for bed frames and also a one who wove quilts


Beeskepmaker Made beehives


Belhoste Tavern keeper


Bell Hanger Installed bells in churches


Bellfounder, Belleyetere, Belter, Billiter Made bells


Bellman Employed as a watchman or town crier or who worked for the post office and collected letters for the mail coach by walking the streets and ringing a bell


Bellowfarmer Responsible for the care and maintenance of the church organ


Bellows Maker Made bellows used for organs or blacksmiths fires


Belly Builder Built and fitted the interiors of pianos


Bender Cut leather


Besom Maker Made brooms (besom:broom esp made of twigs)


Besswarden Appointed by the parish to look after its animals


Bever Beverage maker


Bill Poster Put up notices, signs and advertisements


Binder Bound items, e.g., books, hats etc


Bird Boy Employed to scare away birds from crops


Bird Catcher Caught birds for selling


Birds Nest Seller Sold bird nests collected from the wild complete with eggs which were then hatched by domestic birds and sold as pets


Birlyman A church official who kept people from carousing (birl is Scottish for carouse, I believe) In Scotland a ground officer or parish arbiter


Blacking Maker Made polish for shoes


Blacksmith I hope this one is obvious…


Bladesmith Swordmaker or knife maker


Blaxter, Bleacher Bleached cloth or paper pulp


Blemmere Plumber


Blentonist Water diviner


Block Maker Engraved the blocks used in the printing


Block Printer Printer who used wooden blocks for printing


Block Cutter, Blocker Made wooden blocks used in the hat trade or laid down the blocks on which a ships keel was laid; a blockcutter was also a person who made and cut the patterns into wooden blocks for textile printing


Bloodletter, Bloodman Used leeches for letting blood, this was thought to be a cure for many ailments


Bloomer Produced iron from ore, a bloom smithy


Blower Glass blower, one who operated a blowing machine used to clean and separate fibres in the textile trade, one who operated the bellows at a blacksmiths


Blowfeeder Fed the fibres into a blowing machine


Boarding Officer Inspected ships before entering port


Boardman Truant officer who checked school attendance. A tenant of manorial land who paid rent by maintaining the manor's table


Boardwright Made tables and chairs, another name for a carpenter


Boatman Worked on a boat, predominately on rivers and canals also the name given to a boat repairer


Boatswain a petty officer on a merchant ship having charge of hull maintenance and related work.


Bobber One who polished metals (bob: a small polishing wheel of solid felt or leather with rounded edges)


Bodeys, Body maker Made bodices for womens garments


Bodger Craftsman who made wooden chair legs and the spars and usually worked in the actual woodland that they cut the timber in


Bolter Sifted meal (like cornmeal)


Bondager Female worker on a farm who was bonded


Bondman Bonded to a master for the purpose of learning a skill or trade


Bone Button Turner Made buttons using a lathe


Bone Lace Maker Made pillow lace


Bone Mould Turner Made the moulds for button manufacturers


Bone Picker, Rag and Bone Man Collected rags and bones


Bonesetter Set broken bones


Book Gilder Decorated books with gold leaf


BookKeeper Looked after the accounts for businesses


Book holder Prompter in the theater


Bookman Student


Boonmaster Surveyor of roads with the responsibilities of maintaining and repairing the road


Boot Catcher Servant at inn who pulled off traveler's boots


Boot Closer Worked in the shoe trade stitching together all the parts of a shoe


Boothman Corn merchant (could be expanded for other merchants)


Borler One who made cheap coarse clothing


Botcher Tailor or cobbler


Bottiler / Bottler Made leather containers for holding liquids eg wine flasks or water bottles


Bottle Boy Pharmacists assistant


Bottom Knocker, Bottom maker Sagger makers assistant in the pottery industry. A sagger is also the protective casing of fire clay in which delicate ceramic articles are fired.



Bottomer Worked down the pits moving the ore etc to the bottom of the shaft for removal


Bowdler Worked with iron ore


Bower, Bowyer Made bows used in archery


Bowker Bleached yarn.


Bowler Made bowls and dishes and also a term used for those who made the rounded part of spoons before casting


Bowlminder In charge of the vats used for washing raw wool before processing


Bozzler Parish constable


Brabener Weaver


Braider Made cord by twisting threads or strips of leather


Brailler[u/] Made girdles


Brakeman, Brakesman Operated the winch at the pit head


Brasiler Dyer


Brazier Worker of brass


Brewster Another name for brewer


Bricklayer One who lays bricks


Brightsmith Metal worker


Broderer, Broiderer, Brotherer, Browderer Embroiderer


Broom Squire Broom maker


Broom-Dasher Dealer in brooms


Brow Girl Female employed at the pit head (mine)


Brownsmith Works with copper or brass


Buck Washer Laundress


Buckle Tongue Maker Made the metal points that go in the holes of a belt


Bucklesmith Made buckles


Buckram Maker Worked with buckram (used in stiffening materials - millinary, books)


Buddleboy, Buddler Employed to use and maintain the vats used in the lead and tin mines for washing the ore circa


Bullocky Attended to the daily needs of cattle and may also have lent a hand with general farm duties, especially during busy periods


Bullwhacker Oxen driver


Bumboat Man Met ships at anchor with goods for passengers and crew to purchase


Bummaree Middle man between the wholesaler and the retailer at the fish markets


Bunter Female rag & bone collector


Bureler Made borel, a woolen cloth with a coarse feel


Burgess Represented a borough at official levels


Burgomaster Mayor


Burler Quality inspector for clothing


Burmaiden Chambermaid or lady-in-waiting


Burneman Carrier of barm (The yeasty foam that rises to the surface of fermenting malt liquors) or water for brewers


Burye Man Grave digger


Bushel Maker Cooper


Busheler Tailor's helper


Busker Hair dresser and also a street entertainer


Butcher Dealer in meat


Butler Cared for the cellar and was in charge of large butts and little butts (bottles) of wine and beer. Under him a staff of people might consist of brewers, tapsters, cellarers, dispensers, cupbearers and dapifer.


Butner Button maker


Button Burnisher Button polisher


Butty Negotiated mining contracts and supplied the labor

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Caddie Messenger or errand boy


Caddy Butcher Butcher that dealt in horse meat


Cafender Carpenter


Caffler Rag and bone collector


Cainer Made walking sticks


Caird Another term for a tinker


Calciner Burnt bones to make powdered lime


Calender Listed documents


Calico Printer Dyed and colored calico


Cambist Banker


Cambric Maker Made a fine linen or cotton fabric called cambric


Camerist Lady's maid


Camister Minister of the cloth


Camlet Merchant Seller of camlet, cloth used to make cloaks & petticoats


Campaner Bell maker


Cancellarius Chancellor


Candler One who made and sold candles


Candy Man Traveling candy salesman and also slang name for a bailiff


Caner Made the seats for chairs out of woven cane


Cannaller Canal boat worker


Canter Religious speaker who uses liturgical cant


Canting Caller Auctioneer


Canvaser Made canvas


Caper, Capper Cap maker


Capillaire Maker Made orange flavored syrup


Captain In charge of a ship or a group of soldiers and also term for an overseer


Card Nailer Maintained the teeth (nails) on the carding machine used for preparing wool and cotton for weaving


Carder Cards wool


Cardmaker Maker of cards or instruments for combing wool


Caretaker Takes care of another's property


Carner Granary keeper


Carnifex Butcher


Carpentarius Carriage maker


Carpenter One who works with wood.



Cart Wheeler Made cart wheels (non gymnastic kind)


Carter, Cartier Drove a vehicle used to transport goods


Cartwright Maker of carts & wagons


Carver To work as a sculptor or engraver


Cashmarie Sold fish usually at inland markets


Caster / Castora Made small bottles used for sprinkling salt, pepper, sugar etc


Catagman Cottager


Catchpole, Catchpolla Sheriff's assistance or bailiff


Catechista Teacher of religion


Cattle Jobber Buys and sells cattle


Caulker Filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seams to make them watertight


Ceapman Dealer or peddler of goods usually itinerant going from village to village


Ceiler Puts up the ceilings in buildings


Cellarman Looked after the beer, wines and spirits in public houses or the warehouse


Cemmer Hand Combed the yarn before weaving


Chaff Cutter Made chaff by cutting straw


Chafferer Dealer in chaff


Chair Bodger Chair repairman


Chair Bottomer Made the seats for chairs out of woven cane


Chaise Maker Made carts from wicker


Chamber Master Shoemaker that worked from home as an outworker or selling direct


Chamberlain Steward to either royalty or nobility, in charge of the household


Chambermaid Female servant attending to bedrooms in houses or inns


Chancellor The secretary of a nobleman, prince, or king 14th century


Chandler Candle seller, grocer, provisioner, usually associated with provisioning ships


Chapeler Made and sold hats


Chaplain A priest


Chapman Dealer or peddler of goods


Charcoal Burner Made charcoal usually in the woods where the trees were cut


Chartmaster Middleman that negotiated mining contracts and supplied the labor


Charwoman Cleaning woman; esp. in large buildings


Chaunter the chief singer in chapel for the singing of the masses (variation of Chanter maybe)


Chaunteuse female singer


Checkweighman Employed by a group of miners paid piecework (by the ton mined) to check coal weight recorded by the mine management


Cheese Factor, Cheese Monger, Cheeseman Dealer in cheeses


Chimney Sweep Chimney cleaner


Chinglor Shingler


Chirugion, Chirurgeon Surgeon


Chronologist Recorded official events of historical importance


Cissor Tailor (Most likely from scissor)


Claker Magician/astrologer


Clapman Town crier


Clark Clerk


Classman Unemployed laborer


Clay Carrier Assistant to the shot firer in the pits


Clayman, Cleyman Worked in the clay pits usually preparing the clay for making bricks and also one who coated the outside of buildings with clay to make them water proof


Clericus Clerk


Clerk Clergyman or cleric; a person who checked material costs, wages, and kept accounts.


Clipper Attached the coal carts to the wire or rope which was used to drag the carts to and from the coal face


Clogger Maker of wooden shoes


Cloth Lapper Took the cloth from the carding machine readied it for the next process


Cloth Linter, Cloth Picker Removed unwanted threads and lint from the finished material


Clothesman, Clothman Who made or sold clothes


Clothier Who made or sold clothes


Clouter, Clower Made nails; also another term for a shoemaker for clothier/clothesman


Coach Driver, Coachman Drove any coach


Coal Backer Carried the sacks of coal from the coal barge to the coal wagons


Coal Burner Made charcoal


Coal Drawer Worked in the mines pushing or dragging the coal carts to the bottom of the pit


Coal Heaver, Coalman, Coal Higgler unloaded coal, sold coal usually from a horse and cart, house to house


Coal Runner Attended the coal carts underground


Coal Whipper Unloaded coal from ships using baskets attached to a simple form of crane


Coalmeter Measured the coal


Coast Surveyor Customs officer who watched over the offloading off goods on the coast


Cobbler Shoemaker


Cobleman Used a flat bottomed boat for fishing


Cocus Cook


Cod Placer Put fire proof containers which held the pottery for firing into the kiln


Coiner Worked at the mint stamping out coins


Collar Maker Made horse collars and one who made shirt collars


Collier Coal miner, a coal merchant or one who worked on the coal barges


Colour Man Mixed the dyes in the textile trade and also assistant to a house painter


Colourator Worked with dyes


Comb Maker Made combs either for the textile industry for combing wool etc. Or the maker of hair combs


Compositor Set the type ready for printing


Conder Gave steering instructions to the steersman and also gave directions to inshore fisherman of fish movements on shoals (usually from the top of cliffs or rocks)


Coney Catcher Rabbit catcher (coney)


Confectioner Candy maker


Conner Gave steering instructions to the steersman and also gave directions to inshore fisherman of fish movements on shoals (usually from the top of cliffs or rocks)


Constable A person who took care (the governor or warden) of a castle in the absence of the owner. This was sometimes bestowed upon a great baron as an honor and some royal castles had hereditary constables.


Cook A person who prepares food for eating before


Cooper, Cuper Maker of barrels


Copeman Dealer or peddler of goods usually itinerant going from village to village


Copperbeater, Copperbeter Coppersmith


Coppersmith Worked with copper


Coracle Maker Made coracles, a small round boat used for fishing


Cordewanarius, Cordiner, Cordwainer Shoemaker, originally a worker in Cordovan leather


Costermonger A hawker of fruit or vegetables


Costerwife Female hawker of fruit or vegetables


Cotiler Cutler


Cotter Peasant or farm laborer who occupies a cottage and sometimes a small holding of land usually in return for services.


Couranteer Journalist


Cowherd Cow tender


Coxswain A sailor who has charge of a ship's boat and its crew and who usually steers.


Cratch Maker Made cratches (a crib or rack especially for fodder)


Crier An officer who proclaims the orders of a court


Crofter Tenant of a small piece of land


Cropper Tenant who is paid with a share of the crop; sharecropper


Crosier, Crozier Bearer of the pastoral staff of a bishop or the bearer of the cross before the archbishop in the church

Crowner Coroner


Cuhreur, Cunreur Currier (Cures or tans hides)


Cuillerer Spoon maker


Cupbearer Had the dubious privilege of tasting drinks for impurities


Curretter Broker


Cutler Knife seller or sharpener




Dairymaid/Dairyman Woman/man employed in a dairy


Damster Builder of dams


Danter Female overseer in the winding rooms of a silk mill


Dateler, Day Man, Daytaleman Casual worker, usually employed by the day (Temporary workers)


Daunsel Gentleman in waiting, groom or squire


Deathsman Executioner


Decimer Elected by the householders in a street to act as their representative at court.


Decoy man Employed to decoy the wild fowl, animals etc into a trap or within shooting range


Decretist Knowledgeable in decrees, decretals (a papal letter giving an authoritative decision on a point of canon law).


Deemer, Deemster, Dempster, Demster Judge, perhaps from deem (to come to think or judge).


Delver Dug ditches before 12th century


Depater Precious metal refiner


Deputy Safety officer for the pit crew in the mining industry as well as a law official under a sherrif


Dikeman Hedger or ditcher


Dipper Who worked in the pottery trade and was responsible for the glazing of items


Dish Thrower, Dish Turner, Disher Who made bowls and dishes


Distiller Maker of alcoholic beverages


Distributor Parish official attached to the workhouse / poorhouse who looked after the secular needs of the poor


Diviner Water finder; soothsayer (Soothsayer is literally Truth teller)


Dock Master In charge of a dockyard


Dock Walloper, Docker Dock worker, longshoreman


Dog Leech Veterinarian


Dog-Whipper Drove dogs away in a village


Domestic Household servant


Donkey Man Driver of a carriage for passengers


Door Keeper Guard, janitor, or porter


Dragman Fisher man who fished by dragging a net along the bottom of the water


Dragoon Member of a military unit formerly composed of heavily armed mounted troops.


Dragsman Driver of a small stage coach or carriage used for public transport or private hire


Drainer Made drains


Draper Dealer in fabrics and sewing needs


Drawboy Weaver’s assistant in the shawl making mills , they sat atop the looms and lifted the heavy warps


Drayman Cart driver; hauler by dray


Dredgerman One who in a boat to collect the bits and pieces that had fallen overboard from other vessels which then were sold


Drift Maker Made drift nets, used in the fishing industry


Dripping Man Dealer in dripping (the fat collected during the cooking of meats)


Driver One who drives; coachman


Drover Sheep or cattle driver


Drugger Pharmacist


Drummer One who plays a drum


Dry Stone Waller Built stone walls usually using the stones removed from the fields as building materials. The art was in not using any cement or mortar and generally not cutting the stone, but being able to see where various stones would fit together


Dubbere Cloth dubber, i.e., one who raises the nap of cloth


Dudder Maker of coarse cloaks


Dyer Employed in the textile mills to color fabric prior to weaving before


Dyker Stonemason


Dysshere Ditcher (one who dug ditches)





Earer Plowman


Earth Stopper One who plugs up animal holes


Ebonite Turner One who worked with ebonite or vulcanite, making combs or ornaments etc


Egg Factor Egg or poultry dealer


Eggler Egg or poultry dealer


Elephants Teeth Dealer One who dealt in ivory ornaments etc


Elymaker Oilmaker


Embosser One who raised the surface into bosses; especially ornamenting with raised work


Endholder Inn keeper


Ensign Lowest ranking commissioned officer


Equerry Officer of a prince or noble charged with the care of horses


Eremite Hermit, especially a religious recluse


Erite Heretic


Esquire A landed proprietor


Ewe Herd Shepherd


Ewer Waterman


Exchequer Office charged with the collection and management of the royal revenue and judicial determination of all revenue causes.


Exciseman Excise tax collector


Executioner one who puts to death.

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Faber Artisan or workman


Fabricator Maker


Factor One who acts or transacts business for another


Fagetter Made up faggots into bundles, seller of firewood


Falconer Breeds, trains, or hunts with hawks 14th century


Fancy-Pearl Worker Worked in mother-of-pearl making buttons or fancy goods


Fanner Grain winnower from fan(to drive away the chaff of (grain) by means of a current of air) before


Fanwright Maker and repairer of fans or winnowing baskets


Farandman Traveling merchant


Farmer A person who cultivates land or crops or raises animals or fish.


Farrier Horse shoer


Fawkner Falconer


Fear-Nothing Maker Weaver of special kind of thick woolen cloth known as fear-nought, used for protective clothing and lining portholes, walls, and doors of powder magazines on board ships


Feather Beater, Feather Driver Cleanser of feathers


Feather-Dresser Who cleaned and prepared feathers for sale


Featherman Dealer in feathers and plumes


Feather Wife Woman who prepared feathers for use


Feeder Herdsman


Fell Monger Remover of hair or wool from hides in leather making


Feller Woodcutter; tanner (based on felling trees or fell as a skin or pelt)


Felter Worker in the hatting industry


Ferator Farrier or blacksmith


Feroner Ironmonger


Ferreter Dealer in or manufacturer of ferret (a ferret is also a narrow piece of tape used to bind or edge fabric.)


Ferrour, FerurHorse shoer or blacksmith


Fettler Cleaned the machinery in woollen mills, removing accumulated fibres, grease, etc., sharpened the fustian cutters knives or needlemaker who filed the needle to a point


Fever Blacksmith


Fewster Maker of saddletrees


Fewterer Keeper of hounds, for hunting or coursing


File Cutter A maker of files, involved the cutting of grooves on the file surface


Fireman Inspected for, and removed explosive gasses underground in mining.


Fiscere Fisherman


Fish Fag Female fish monger


Fishdryver Victualler


Fisher, Fisherman One who fishes


Fitter Coal broker


Flasher Specialist process worker in the glass industry


Flatman Navigated a flat, a broad flat-bottomed boat used for transport, especially in shallow waters


Flaxdresser Prepared flax prior to spinning


Flesher, Fleshewer Butcher


Fleshmonger Butcher


Fletcher Arrowmaker


Floater Vagrant or one who regulated the year-round workings of the watermeadows in winter by adjusting the hatches on the channels to flood or float the meadows with a shallow covering of water to protect them from frost and encourage the early growth of new grass mainly for early feed for sheep and other animals. The sheep were pastured on the new grass by day and driven up on to the downs to be folded by night to provide the manure needed for the coming season's grain crops


Floatman Navigated a flat, a broad flat-bottomed boat used for transport, especially in shallow waters


Flycoachman Driver of one-horse carriage hired by the day


Flying Stationer Street broadsheet seller


Fogger Peddler or low class lawyer


Fogler Keeper or catcher of bird


Foister, Foisterer Joiner


Footman Servant in livery formerly attending a rider or required to run in front of his master's carriage.


Footpad Robber


Foot Straightener One who assembled watch and clock dials in watchmaking


Foot-Post Letter carrier or messenger who travelled on foot


Forestarius Forester


Forester Game warden or forest ranger


Forgeman, Forger Blacksmith or assistant


Fossetmaker Who made faucets for ale-casks, etc


Fower Street cleaner, sweeper


Fowler Keeper or catcher of birds


Frame Spinner Worker on a loom


Framer One who frames houses


Freedman One released from slavery


Freemason Stonecutter


Freser Maker of frieze, a rough plaster


Friar a member of a mendicant order


Fripperer Buyer & seller of old clothes


Friseur Hair dresser


Frobisher, Furber Furbisher


Fugler Keeper or catcher of birds


Fulker Pawnbroker


Fuller Cloth trampler or cleaner


Furbisher, Furbour Remover of rust, a polisher of metal, eg. Armour; armor polisher century;


Furner Baker


Furrier Seller or maker of furs


Fustian Weaver Maker of corduroy (A durable cut-pile fabric, usually made of cotton, with vertical ribs).




Gabeler Tax collector


Gaffer One who smoothed, reheated the neck of and formed lip on a bottle


Gaffman A bailiff


Gager Tax collector of liquor taxes


Galvaniser Iron worker who handled process of coating metal with zinc, to inhibit formation of rust


Gamester Gambler or prostitute


Ganneker Tavern keeper


Gaoler Jailer


Garcifer, Garcio Groom, attendant


Garlekmonger, Garlicmonger Dealer in garlic


Garthman Owner or worker of a fish trap


Gater Watchman


Gatherer Glassworker who inserted the blow iron into the molten glass ready for the blower


Gatherer’s Boy Held a shovel to shield the gatherer's face from the heat


Gatward Goat keeper


Gauger Customs official who measured the capacity of imported barrels of liquor in order to calculate the customs duty


Gaunter Glover (same root as gauntlet)


Gaveller Usurer


Gelder Castrator of animals, especially horses


Geometer Skilled in geometry


Gilder Applies gold leaf


Ginour, Gynour Engineer (like a siege engineer)


Girdler Leather worker who made girdles and belts


Glassewryght, Glasswright Maker and mender of glassware


Glazier Glass cutter or window classman


Glover One that makes or sells gloves


Goat Carriage Man Driver of small passenger carriage


Goatherd One who tends goats


Goldsmith Maker of gold articles, banker


Goose Herd Tends geese


Gorzeman Seller of gorse or broom before


Grace Wife Midwife


Granger Farmer


Gravedigger Does this really need a description?


Graver Carver or sculptor, engraver of images or dockside worker who cleaned ship bottoms by burning and tarring


Grazier Pastures and raises cattle


Greave / Grieve Bailiff, foreman, sheriff


Green Grocer Fruit and vegetable seller


Greensmith Worker in copper or latten


Gummer One who improved old saws by deepening the cuts





Haberdasher a dealer in notions, and men’s wares


Hacker Maker of hoes


Hackler, Hackman, Hatchler, Heckler, Hempheckler One who separated the coarse part of flax or hemp with a hackle, an instrument with teeth in linen industry


Hairman, Hairweaver Weaver of cloth composed wholly or partly of horsehair


Hamberghmaker, Hamberow Horse collar maker


Hammerman Hammerer, a smith


Handle Sticker Put handles on cast ceramic cups, pitchers, etc


Handmaiden A personal maid or female servant


Handseller Street vendor


Hanger-On Hung corves (originally baskets) on rope at the pit-bottom; later used for man who pushed tubs of coal into the mine-shaft cage


Hansard Weapon maker or seller


Harlot Rogue; prostitute


Harper Performer on the harp


Hatter Maker of or dealer in hats


Hawker Falconer; Peddler


Haymonger Dealer in hay


Headsman Executioner


Headswoman Midwife


Hedge Looker Supervised good repair of fence and enclosures


Hedger Hedge trimmer


Heelmaker Made shoe heels


Henchman, Hensman A squire or page to a person of high rank


Henter Thief


Herald Knights assistant and an expert advisor on heraldry


Hetheleder Provider of heather for fuel


Hewer Tree cutter before


Higgler One who haggles or bargains or itinerant dealer


Highwayman Robber who preys on public roads


Hillard, Hiller, Hillier Covered houses with slate; tiler


Hind Farm laborer


Hodsman Mason's assistant


Hoggard Pig drover


Hooper Makes hoops for casks (not a cooper)


Horner Worker in horn making spoons, combs, or musical horns


Horse Courser Owner of race horses


Horse Knave Groom


Horse Leech Veterinarian, farrier


Horse Marine Man-handled barges on canals when horses could not be used


Hosier Retailer of stockings, socks, gloves, nightcaps


Hosteler Innkeeper; One that lodges guests or strangers


Hostler, Holster Cares for horses, stableman, groom


Hoyman One who carries goods and passengers by water (Hoy-heavy barge for bulky cargo )


Huckster Peddler


Huissher Usher or door attendant


Huntsman A person who manages a hunt and looks after the hounds. 1567


Hurdleman, Hurdler Hedge-maker, of wattled framework fencing


Husbandman Tenant farmer




Infirmarian In charge of an infirmary


Intelligencer Spy


Intendant An administrative official (as a governor)


Ivory Workers Included makers of combs, boxes, billiard balls, buttons, and keys for pianofortes




Jack Young male assistant, sailor, or lumberjack


Jakes-Farmer One who emptied cesspools


Jerquer Custom house officer who searched ships


Jeweler One who makes or repairs jewelry


Joiner, Joyner Skilled carpenter


Journeyman One who served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft; properly, one who no longer is bound to serve for years but is hired day to day


Judge Public official authorized to decide questions brought before a court




Kedger Ferryman (kedge: to move (a ship) by means of a line attached to a kedge dropped at the distance and in the direction desired)


Keeler, Keelman Bargeman (from keel, a flat bottomed boat) 14th century


Kempster Wool comber


Kepegest Innkeeper


Keu Cook


Kiddier Skinner or dealer in young goats


Kilner In charge of a kiln


Kisser Made cuishes and high armor


Knacker Harness maker, buyer of old horses and dead animals


Knappers Dressed and shaped flints into required shape and size


Kneller Chimney sweep who solicited custom by knocking on doors


Knight A mounted man-at-arms serving a feudal superior; especially : a man ceremonially inducted into special military rank usually after completing service as page and squire.

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Laceman Dealer in lace, who collected it from the makers, usually only those who had bought his thread, and sold it in the lace markets


Lace-Master (-Mistress) Employed workers for the production of lace


Ladeler Ladle maker


Lagger Sailor


Lagraetman Local constable (Law-Rightman)


Landlord I think this one you would know :)


Landwaiter Customs officer whose duty was to wait or attend on landed goods


Lardner Keeper of the cupboard (the larder was where food was kept)


Laster Shoe maker


Latouner, Lattener Worker in latten, brass worker


Launderer (Laundress) Washer


Lavender Washer woman


Legerdemainist Magician; One skilled in slight of hand.


Legger Canal boatman


Lehrer Teacher


Leightonward Gardener (leighton, a garden)


Lighterman Worker on a flat-bottomed boat


Limner Illuminator of books, painter or drawer; draughtsman or artist


Linener Linen draper, shirtmaker


Linkerman, Linkman One who carried a link or torch to guide people through city streets at night for a small fee (Term later sometimes applied to general manservant )


Lister, Litster Dyer


Litterman Groom (of horses)


Loadsman Ship's pilot


Lock Keeper Overseer of canal locks


Lokeer Locksmith


Long Song Seller Street seller who sold popular songsheets printed on paper


Longshoreman Stevedore


Lorimer Maker of horse gear; bridlemaker


Lotseller Street seller


Lotter One who bought odd lots of wool and consolidated them for sale


Lum Swooper Chimney sweep


Lumper dock laborer who discharged cargo of timber employed by a master lumper (not the Dock Company) or fine-grain saltmaker, from practice of moulding salt into lumps


Lungs Alchemist's servant whose duty was to fan the fire


Luthier Maker and repairer of stringed musical instruments (think of Lutes)


Lyner Flax dresser




Macun Mason


Maderer Gathered and sold garlic


Maid Female domestic servant


Mail Guard Armed guard, frequently an ex-soldier, employed on the mail coach service


Maise Maker One who made measures for weighing herring catch


Malemaker Maker traveling bags (sometimes called ’Males’)


Malender Farmer


Malster Brewer, maker or seller of malts


Manciple Steward


Mantuamaker Dressmaker


Marbler One who stained paper or other material, veined in imitation of marble


Marescallus Marshall


Marshall High official in the household of a king, prince, or noble originally having charge of the cavalry but later usually in command of the military forces


Marshman Paid by various landowners to look after marshlands and tend the animals put to graze there for the season


Mashmaker Maker of the mash-vats or mashels used for mixing malt


Mason Skilled worker who builds by laying units of substantial material.


Master Worker or artisan qualified to teach apprentices


Master Mariner Ship's captain


Master Of Hounds The individual in charge of the dogs when going on a hunt


Matchet Forger Knifemaker


Mawer Mower


Mealman Dealer in meal or flour


Melder Corn miller


Mercator Merchant


Mercenary Soldier for hire


Mercer Cloth seller


Meterer Poet


Midwife Experience woman who assists in child birth 14th century


Miller Corn miller, cloth miller, saw miller


Milleress Miller's wife


Milliner A person who designs, makes, trims, or sells women's hats.


Millpeck Sharpener of mill stones


Millwright Designer & builder of mills or mill machinery


Miner One who digs for ore or metal


Mintmaker, Mintmaster Issuer of local currency


Mold Boy Closed and held mold for glassblower, also weighed the bottles


Molendinarius, Molitor, Muner Miller


Monger Seller or broker of something: fish monger


Monthly Nurse Someone who assisted women during the first month after giving birth


Moulder Maker Of molds or castings, brickmaker


Muffin Maker, Muffin Man Maker/seller who made muffins


Muggler Pigman


Mugseller Seller of cups, mugs


Muleteer, Multurer[/i] Mule driver


Musician a composer, conductor, or performer of music; especially as an instrumentalist.


Musicker Musician


Muslin Flowerer, Muslin Sewer Tambouring of muslin (Tambouring is to do embroidery on a frame consisting of two concentric hoops.)


Mustarder, Mustardman Made and dealt in mustard





Nagsman A person who schools horses, usually for his employer


Naperer, Napier Servant in charge of table linen (based on napery- household linen)


Narrow Weaver Weaver of ribbons, tapes, etc


Neatherd Cowherder


Necessary Woman Servant responsible for emptying and cleaning chamber pots


Necker Worker responsible for the feeding of cardboard into the machine the makes boxes


Nedder, Nedeller Needle-maker


Netmaker, Netter One who wove nets for fishing vessels


Night Soilman, Nightman One who emptied cesspits, ashpits and backyard toilets


Nightwalker Watchman or bellman


Nimgimmer Doctor


Nob Thatcher Wig maker


Noon Tender Guarded the goods on the quay while the officers were a lunch


Noterer Notary


Nun Woman belonging to a religious order; especially one under solemn vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience before 12th century


Nurse Woman who suckles an infant not her own (wet nurse); woman who takes care of a young child (dry nurse)




Occupier Tradesman


Oilman Sold the oil for lamps


Olitor Kitchen gardener (from Olitory-a kitchen garden)


Onsetter Hung corves (originally baskets) on rope at the pit-bottom; later used for man who pushed tubs of coal into the mine-shaft cage


Orderly Soldier who functioned as a servant for an officer


Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper


Orrery Maker Made a mechanical apparatus for showing the movements of the planets


Orrice Weaver Designer of lace patterns to be woven with silk thread and silk


Osier Peeler Removed bark from willow rods or osiers which were used in basket weaving, usually women and children (also known as withy peelers)


Ostiary Monastery door keeper


Ostler Hostler


Out Crier Auctioneer


Overlooker Superintendent or overseer, especially in the textile


Oyster Dredger Member of the crew on board an oyster fishing boat


Oyster Raker




Packer Packs goods such as pickles or herring


Packman Traveled around carrying goods for sale in a pack


Pad Maker Made small baskets used for measuring


Page Youth being trained for the medieval rank of knight and in the personal service of a knight or attendant upon someone of rank in the medieval period


Paintress Woman employed in the pottery industry to hand paint the finished articles


Paling Man Seller of eels


Palister One who ensured the parks were safe and well kept


Palmer One who had been, or pretended to have been, to the Holy Land


Paneler Saddler


Pannarius Clothier and Draper


Pannier Fish monger


Pannifex Somebody who worked in the cloth trade


Panter Keeper of the pantry


Pantler Butler


Paper-Stainer One who made wallpaper


Parcheminer Parchment maker


Pardoner One licensed to sell Papal Indulgences, usually a preacher.


Parfumier Manufacturer and purveyor of scents such as perfumes, colognes and even incense


Pargeter Applied ornamental plaster to buildings (parget-to coat with plaster)


Paritor Church officer who attended the magistrates and justices at court for the purpose of executing their orders


Parker Park caretaker


Parmentor A parchment maker, or tailor


Passage Keeper Kept passages and alleys clean


Pasteler Pastry chef


Pastor Shepherd (most likely the genesis of Pastor also being a priest, since the flock was their congregation)


Patten Maker Clog maker or the person who made wooden soles (pattens) to fit under normal shoes to protect from wet and muddy ground


Pattenmaker Maker of iron-rimmed pattens for footwear


Paver, Pavier, Paviour Laid paving stones


Pavyler Put up pavilions or tents etc


Pedascule Schoolmaster


Pelliparius Skinner


Peltarius, Pelterer One who worked with animal skins


Perambulator Surveyor


Perchemear One who made parchment


Peregrinator Itinerant wanderer


Perfumer Manufacturer and purveyor of scents such as perfumes, colognes and even incense


Perukemaker, Peruker Wigmaker


Pessoner Fish monger


Peterman Fisherman


Pettifogger A lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable


Petty Chapman Dealer or peddler of goods usually itinerant going from village to village


Pewterer Made pewter utensils (using any of various alloys having tin as chief component especially a dull alloy with lead)


Physician A person skilled in the art of healing


Picker One who cast the shuttle on a loom


Pickpocket Thief specializing in removing items from "clients'" clothing


Pictor Painter


Pigman One who sold crockery or bred or looked after pigs on the farm


Pikelet Maker Baker who specialised in making pikelets (a small pancake or crumpet)


Pikeman Miller's assistant, or a soldier who wielded a pike


Piker Tramp or vagrant


Piller Robber


Pilot Ship steersman


Pinder Keeper of the Pound or Pinfold dog catcher


Piner Laborer


Pinner Pin maker, dressmakers assistant


Pinsetter One who manually set up bowling pins (for those nobles who do bowl)


Pioneer Military engineer


Piper Innkeeper, Flautist


Piscarius Fishmonger


Piscator Fisherman


Pistor Miller or baker


Pitman Coal miner


Plaicher Hedge layer


Plain Worker Performed plain sewing or needlework as opposed to an embroiderer


Plaiter Maker of straw plaits used in making hats etc (plait-to briad)


Planker One who planks or kneads the body of the hat during felting


Plantifene Hay and Forage Merchant


Plasher, Platcher Hedge layer


Playderer One who made plaid


Player Actor


Pleacher Hedge layer


Plomer Plumber


Plowman Farmer a farm laborer


Plowwright Maker or repairer of plows


Plumassier Made or sold plumes, ornamental feathers


Plumbum Worker Plumber


Plumer Made or sold plumes, ornamental feathers


Poacher One who illegally hunted lands belonging to others; one that trespasses or steals.


Pointer Sharpened needles or pins or lace maker


Pointmaker, Pointman Made the tips of laces


Poldave Worker Made poldave, a coarse fabric


Poleman Surveyor's assistant or one who poled barges across rivers


Polentier Poulterer (one who sells poultry)


Ponderator Inspector of weights and measures


Porter Took care of the doors (janitor), particularly the main entrance. Responsible for the guardrooms. The person also insured that no one entered or left the castle without permission. Also known as the door-ward


Post Boy Carried mail from town to town, guard who traveled on the mail coach or outrider who traveled with the stagecoach as a postillion


Poster One who worked in the quarries breaking rocks


Postillion One who rides as a guide on the near horse of one of the pairs attached to a coach or post chaise especially without a coachman


Pot Man One who worked in public houses washing and removing dirty pots also did other menial tasks


Potato Badger Seller of potatoes


Potter Maker or seller of pottery


Potter Carrier Chemist or pharmacist


Potter Thrower Potter who used a wheel and therefore had to throw the clay


Poulter, Poulterer Seller of poultry


Powler Barber


Preceptor/Preceptress the headmaster/headmistress or principal of a school


Prediger Preacher


Prentis Apprentice


Pricker A horseman 14th century


Prig Napper Horse thief


Proctor One appointed to supervise students


Prothonotary Chief clerk of any of various courts of law


Publican A tax collector; the licensee of a public house


Puddler Worked clay into puddle, worked with puddle to make things water tight eg canal walls or worked in puddling iron


Purser An official on a ship responsible for papers and accounts and on a passenger ship also for the comfort and welfare of passengers


Pursuivant An officer of arms ranking below a herald but having similar duties


Pynner Pin-maker

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Quarrel Picker Glazier


Quarrier, Quarryman Quarry worker 14th century


Quartermaster Petty officer who attends to a ship's helm, binnacle, and signals


Quilter (Quiltress) One who quilted material


Quister One who bleached things


Qwylwryghte Wheelwright




Raffman One who dealt in raff (saleable rubbish)


Rag And Bone Man One who went from street to street with a cart and collected any old rubbish, usually in exchange for a small item, e.g. A block of soapstone


Rag Cutter One who cut up rags into small pieces to be used for making paper etc


Rag Man One who went from street to street collecting and selling old clothes and rags


Rag Picker Sorted through the left over rags to find re usable ones


Raker Street sanitation worker


Ratoner Rat catcher


Rattlewatch Town watchman


Rectifier One who distilled alcoholic spirits


Redar Interpreter of dreams


Reddsman, Redesman, Redsman Was employed in maintaining mine haulage ways


Reeder Worked with reeds for hedging or thatching


Reedmaker Made the pipe for a musical instrument or made a weavers implement (a reed) or reed cloth or the comb used in tapestry


Reeler Operated the machine that wound the yarn onto the bobbin


Reaver Robber


Reeve A medieval English manor officer responsible chiefly for overseeing the discharge of feudal obligations


Registrar Official who registers events such as land purchases or births


Renovator One who repaired clothing


Rickmaster Captain of Horse


Riddler Wool stapler


Riftere Reaper


Rigger Hoist tackle worker; works on a ship's rigging


Ripper, Rippier One who sold fresh water fish at the markets or maker and seller of baskets


Riverman Worker on a river boat


Rockgetter Rocksalt miner


Rockman Worked in a quarry usually placing the charges on the rockface


Rodman Surveyor's assistant


Roll Turner Carder of wool, cotton etc into rolls prior to spinning


Roller Coverer One who covered the rollers for the spinning process


Rolleyway Man Maintained the underground road in the mines


Roman Cementer, Roman Plasterer One who worked with roman cement used in stuccoing


Roper Maker of rope or nets


Rotaries Wheelwright


Rubbisher, Rubbler Sorted the small stones in the quarries


Rugman Dealer in rugs


Runner Smuggler, messenger and ironically one who worked for the magistrate best remembered as Bow Street Runners


Rustler Cattle thief





Saddle Tree Maker One who made the frames for saddles that the saddler used


Saddler One who made saddles, harnesses, horse collars, bridles


Safernman Grower of Saffron


Sailmaker A tailor who made sailcloth for ships


Saloonist Saloon keeper


Saltboiler One who obtained salt by boiling water


Salter, Sauntere One who made or dealt in salt before


Samite, Samitere Maker of a kind of heavy silk


Sand Hog Those who dug tunnels under a the river


Sandesman Ambassador or messenger


Sandwichman Wears a sandwich billboard for advertising


Sapper A military specialist in field fortification work


Sarcinet Weaver Silk weaver


Saucer, Sausere One who made or dealt in salt


Sawyer Saws timber to boards


Scaleraker Employed by a parish to clean the streets


Scappler One who roughly shaped the stone prior to being finished by the stonemason


Scavelman Employed to keep the waterways and ditches clear


Scavenger Ultimate recycler


Scholar Pupil


Schrimpschonger Artisan who carves in bone, ivory, or wood


Schumacker Shoemaker


Scribe Clerk


Scriber Employed at the docks to mark the cotton bales with the approximate weight ready for selling by the brokers


Scrimer Fencing master


Scrivener Professional or public copyist or writer


Scrutineer Election judge (Among free towns, and such, elections were actually commonplace)


Scullery Maid Female servant who performed all the menial tasks


Scullion A kitchen helper 15th century


Scutcher One who beats the flax to soften the straw in the bundles


Seal Presser Employed in the glass industry to seal the bath against air intake which could spoil the finished surface


Seamster, Sempstor Tailor


Searcher Customs man


Sedgeman Skilled workman who applied sedge (type of grass) which was used as an early roofing material


Seedsman Sower of seeds


Seinter Girdlemaker


Semi Lorer Maker of leather thongs


Seneschal A senior steward of a manor


Serviens Sergeant


Servus Servant


Sewer Hunter Scavenger who concentrated on the sewers trying to find valuable objects


Sewer Rat Bricklayer who specialised in making and repairing sewers and tunnels


Sexton Employee or officer of a church who cared and upkept church property and sometimes rang bells and dug graves


Shearer, Sheepshhearer Removed the fleece from sheep


Sheargrinder Sharpened shears, scissors


Shearman, Sherman One who raised the surface of woolen cloth and then sheared it to a smooth surface


Sheath Maker, Sheather One who made scabbards for swords (Vaginarius is more fun)


Sheepman Shepherd


Shepster Dressmaker


Sheriff An important official of a shire or county charged primarily with judicial duties before


Shingler A roof tiler who used wooden tiles (shingles)


Shipwright Constructor or repairer or ships


Shoesmith Cobbler, one who shoed horses


Shop Joyner, Shopjoiner Housewright


Shrager One who trimmed and pruned trees


Shrieve Confessional priest


Shuffler Yardman on the farms


Shuster Shoe maker


Shuttle Maker Made the shuttles for the weaving mills


Sickleman Reaper


Sidesman One who assisted the churchwarden


Sifker Sievemaker


Silk Dresser Prepared the silk for weaving


Silk Mercer Sold silk cloth and items made from silk


Silk Twister Silk spinner


Silker Sewed the ends of the fabric to prevent the layers from separating


Silversmith Worked with silver


Simpler Agriculturist that we would call herbalist today


Skinker Tapster in an ale house


Skinner Dealer in hides, mule driver


Skipper Master of a ship


Slaper, Slapper One who worked in a pottery preparing the clay for the potter


Slater Roofer


Slaymaker, Sleymaker Apparently an Old English name meaning maker of slay's--wooden pegs used in weaving


Slopseller Seller of readymade clothes in a slop shop


Smackman Worked on a sailing ship (as a sloop or cutter) used chiefly in coasting and fishing


Smelter Worker in a metal smelter, smelt fisherman


Smiddy Smith


Smith Metal worker


Smugsmith Smuggler


Snapper Worker in glass factory who placed molded bottle (by neck) into furnace hole


Snobscat One who repair shoes


Snuffer Maker Made the candle snuffer


Soap Boiler Soap maker


Sojourner Clothier Traveling clothes salesman


Solicitor Lawyer


Soper Soap maker


Sortor Tailor


Souter Shoe maker


Spallier Tin worker who performs chiefly menial tasks


Sperviter Keeper of sparrows


Spicer Grocer or dealer in spices


Spinner, Spinster Spins yarn, usually female


Sponman Maker of shingles or spoons


Spooner Made spoons


Spurrer, Spurrier Maker of spurs


Squire (Esquire)


Stabler Ostler/Hostler (they took care of horses at an inn)


Stallman Keeper of a market stall


Stapler One who sorted the wool into different grades


Stasyon, Stationer, Stawson Bookseller, seller of paper & writing implements


Stay Maker Corset maker


Steeple Jacker Painted flag poles etc


Steersman Ship’s helmsman


Stevedore Loaded and unloaded a ship’s stores


Steward One employed in a large household or estate to manage domestic concerns


Sticher One who does decorative stitching


Stillroom Maid A maid employed in a large household to take care of the stillroom. (that is, the room for distilling and storage of liquors, medicines and herbs) possibly from Middle English stillen (to drip)


Stockinger Knitter, weaver, or dealer in stockings


Stoker Tends the fire in a smithy


Stone Picker Employed to remove the stones from the farmers fields before planting


Stone Workers Worked with stone eg masons, quarriers etc


Stoneman, Stonewarden A surveyor of highways


Storeman One responsible for stored goods


Stover Senior member of a partnership of miners, and in charge at the surface


Stowyer One who stowed the nets away on fishing boats


Stravaiger Vagrant


Straw Joiner One who thatched roofs


Straw Plaiter One who made straw braids for the hat industry


Streaker One who prepared the body for burial


Striker Blacksmith’s helper or one who harpoons the whale


Stringer Made the strings for bows


Stripper Employed in the woollen trade to remove the rubbish from the carding


Stuff Gowsman Junior barrister


Stuff Weaver Wove stuff (the coarse part of flax)


Sucksmith One who made ploughshares


Sugarer Dealer in sugar.


Sumner, Summoner See Apparitor above


Sumter Porter


Surgeon a medical specialist who practices surgery.


Sutler Civilian provisioner to an army post often with a shop on the post


Sutor Shoemaker or cobbler


Swailer Miller or dealer in grain


Swain Herdsman


Sweep Chimneysweep


Swell Maker One who made shallow baskets


Swineherd, Swineherder, Swineyard Pig herder


Swingler One who beats flax to remove woody parts (from swing)

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Tabernarius Taverner, innkeeper


Tabler Boarding house operator


Tacksman Middleman who leased a large piece of land from the owner and sublet it in small lots


Tailor One who made or repaired clothes 14th century



Tally Clerk Kept count of goods arriving or departing from warehouses, docks etc


Tallyfellow, Tallyman One who sold goods that were paid for in installments


Tan Bark Stripper Collected the bark that was used in the tanning process


Tannator Tanner


Tanner Leather maker


Taper Weaver One who made the wicks for candles


Tapiter / Tapicer One who wove worsted (Firm-textured, compactly twisted woolen yarn made from long-staple fibers. ) cloth


Tapley One who puts the tap in an ale cask


Tapster Bartender or barmaid


Tar Boy Applied tar (as antiseptic) to sheep when they were nicked by shearers


Tasker Reaper


Tasseler One who made tassels used in furnishings or nobleman


Taverner Innkeeper


Tawer, Tawyer White leather maker


Teaser One who opens up matted wool for carding


Teemer Person who emptied grain from the cart or who poured the molten steel into the moulds


Tenterer One who stretched the cloth on a machine while it was drying


Textor Weaver


Thacker Thatcher (Not Margaret, but one who covered roofs with straw or reeds.


Thatcher One who covered roofs with straw or reeds


Third borough An underconstable


Thresher One who separated the grain from the husks and straw


Throwster One in the textile trade who twisted the strands of fibre together into yarn


Ticket Writer Person (usually female) who hand wrote or painted the price tickets on goods displayed for sale and painted the signs that go up to make a window display


Tickney (Wo)Man Sold earthenware from town to town


Tide Gauger, Tide Surveyor Monitored the state of the tide


Tide Waiter, Tidesman Customs official


Tiler One who put tiles in place either on the roof or floor


Tillerman, Tillman Plowman


Tinctor Dyer


Tinker a usually itinerant mender of household utensils


Tinman A tinsmith or tinker


Tinner Tin miner, tinsmith


Tipper One who put the metal tips on arrows etc


Tippler Kept an ale house


Tipstaff Policeman


Tirewoman Female dresser, especially in the theater (tire being short for attire)


Tixtor Weaver


Todhunter Employed by the parish to hunt foxes


Toe Rag Who worked at the docks as a corn porter


Toilinet Manufacturer Made toilinet (a kind of quilting)


Toller, Tollgate Keeper, Tollie, Tolman Worked at the toll gate to collect fees for use of the road


Tonsur Barber possibly from tonsura


Tool Helver Made tool handles


Top Sawyer Upper man in a saw pit


Topman Sailor who works in the ship's rigging


Topsman Head cattle drover


Tosher Sewer hunters were called by the name of toshers, the articles which they pick up in the course of their wanderings along the shore being known among themselves by the general term tosh


Town Chaberlain One who looked after the towns affairs


Town Crier One who made public announcements in the streets


Town Husband Employed by the parish to collect the money from the fathers of illegitimate children for their upkeep


Townswaiter Customs man


Tozer Worked in the wool mills employed to tose or tease the cloth


Trammer Young person who worked in the mines


Trampler Lawyer


Tranqueter Person who made hoops


Translator As well as someone fluent in multiple languages, it is a low level shoemaker; the shoemaker whose only job was to resole shoes back to working order.


Tranter Peddler


Trapper Someone who lays traps for furs, as well as one employed in the mines to open and shut the doors for the miners


Travers Toll bridge collection


Treen Maker Made domestic articles from wood


Treenail Maker One who made the long wooden pins used in shipbuilding


Trenchermaker Made wooden boards or platters for serving food from or cutting and slicing food on


Trencherman Cook


Trepanger One who used a circular saw to cut timber


Trimmer Trims a ship by re-arranging its cargo


Troacher Peddler


Troner Weighing official at the markets


Trotman, Trott, Trotter Messenger


Troubadour Bard


Trouchman Interpreter


Trover Smuggler


Truchman Interpreter


Trugger One who made long shallow baskets


Tubber One who made tubs and barrels ie a cooper


Tubman English barrister


Tucker Cleaner of cloth goods


Tucker In A maid who attended the bedroom and tucked in the bedclothes


Turner Gymnast


Turnkey Prison warder or jail keeper


Turnpike Keeper Worked at the toll gate to collect fees for use of the road


Turnspit One who operated the spit handle


Tutor Private teacher for older children


Tweenie Maid, Tweeny Maid A woman who worked between the stairs she assisted the cooks and the housemaids


Twister, Twisterer One who operated the machine used for twisting yarns and threads together





Ulnager One appointed to examine the quality of woolen goods to be sold


Underviewer Junior official in charge of mine in Viewer's absence


Upholder Upholsterer and also a seller of secondhand goods


Upright Worker Chimney sweep


Usurer One that lends money




Vageler Keeper or catcher of birds


Vaginarius Scabbard maker


Valet Male servant that attended a nobleman or gentleman


Valuator One who valued objects


Vassal Servant of the lowest order


Vatman One who put the paper pulp into the moulds in paper-making industry or worked with vats e.g. In beer and wine making


Venator, Venur Huntsman


Verderer Official in charge of a forest


Verger One who worked with the priest in the running the church


Verrier Glazier


Vestmentmaker One who made the gowns worn by priests


Victualer Seller of food/drink


Viewer One who worked at the mines in a managerial capacity


Villein One who paid dues to the lord of the manor in return for use of the land


Vineroon, Vintager Grape farmer, wine maker


Vinter, Vintner Wine merchant


Virginal Player Player of a musical instrument similar to a harpsichord


Vogelaar, Vogeler, Vogler, Voweler Keeper or catcher of birds


Vulcan Blacksmith




Wabster Weaver


Wagoner Wagon or cart driver


Wailer One employed in the mines to remove the impurities from the coal


Wainwright Builder or repairer of wagons


Wait Night watchman


Waiter Customs officer who watched over the of loading off goods on the coast, as well as one who takes orders and delivers food.


Wakeman Night watchman


Walker Cloth trampler or cleaner


Walking-Stick Filer One who made walking sticks


Waller One who built walls either brick or dry stone, also a person who worked making coarse salt


Wantcatcher, Wanter Mole catcher


Warder In charge of prisoners


Warehouseman In charge of or employee in a warehouse


Warper Set the warp thread on the looms or employed to move boats by hauling on the warps (the ropes attached to the boats)


Warrener In charge of a portion of land used for breeding rabbits and other small game


Washman Tin coater


Watchman Town official who guarded the streets at night


Water Bailiff Official in charge of the fishing rights on a stretch of water


Water Carrier, Water Leader, Water Leder, Water Loder Carted and sold fresh water


Water Gilder Trapped water fowl


Waterman Worked with or on boats usually on rivers


Waterseller Brought water to the castle or manor to sell


Wattle Hurdle Maker Made a type of fence from wattle to keep the sheep in


Waulkmiller Cloth worker


Way Man Surveyor of roads


Way-Maker Employed to make roads


Weatherspy Astrologer


Weaver One who made baskets etc


Webber, Webster Weaver (originally a female weaver)


Weigher Worked on the docks to weigh the cargo as it was unloaded


Weirkeeper One who keeps fish traps


Well Sinker Dug wells


Well Wright Made the winding equipment used to raise the bucket in the well


Wellmaster One in charge of the local well with the responsibility of ensuring clean water for the village


Wet Glover Made leather gloves


Wet Nurse Woman employed to suckle the child of another (common practice with the rich); A woman usually needed to be pregnant to start producing milk but the supply of milk from a woman is demand driven - the woman would continue to supply milk as long as it was needed.


Wetter Dampened paper during the printing process or in the glass industry who detached the glass by wetting


Whacker Horse or oxen team driver


Wharfinger Owner of a wharf


Wheeler Wheel maker, attended to the spinning wheel in the textile industry and one who led the pit ponies that pulled the tubs underground in the mines


Wheelwright Maker or repairer of wagon wheels


Wheeryman In charge of a wheery (a small light rowing boat)


Whipcord Maker, Whipmaker Made whips


Whipperin Managed the hounds in a hunt


White Limer Plastered walls using lime and water plaster


White Smith Tin smith


Whitear Hide cleaner


Whitener, Whitester, Whitster One who bleached cloth


Whitewing Streetsweeper


Whittawer One who made saddles and harness


Willow Plaiter One who made baskets etc


Windster Silk winder


Wood Cutter Wood chopper


Wood Reeve, Woodranger, Woodward In charge of the forest or woods


Woodbreaker One who made wooden water casks


Wool Driver One who brought the wool to market


Wool Factor Wool merchant’s agent


Wool Man, Wool Sorter One who sorted the wool into different grades


Wool Winder One who made up balls of wool for selling


Woolen Billy Piecer Worked in the woolen mills to piece together the broken yarns


Woolsted Man A seller of woolen cloth (from worsted man)


Wright Maker or repairer of wagon wheels, a general builder or repairer


Wyrth Laborer




Xylographer One who used and made wooden blocks used in printing illustrations




Yatman Gate keeper


Yearman One contracted to work for a year


Yeoman Farmer who owns his own land; Freehold farmer




Zitherist Player of a simple, flat many-stringed instrument

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I spent twenty years doing 17th-century re-enactment and about 95% of these are familiar to me. What did your dad do, to compile so long a list?


I'd add a rider to the term 'bodger' - these were usually men who for one reason or another had not completed an apprenticeship or had not progressed beyond journeyman, so they could not join a guild and call themselves by the name of their trade. It did not mean that they were bad at their work - I suspect the present corruption came from the fact that bodgers were jacks-of-all-woodtrades and as usual, a minority got the majority a bad name.



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I spent twenty years doing 17th-century re-enactment and about 95% of these are familiar to me. What did your dad do, to compile so long a list?


During what spare time he had in college, he was heavily into the SCA (like I used to be), but other obligations took him out of it. He really was quite enamored of history before the 1700's. The main reason for the list he got though was for his role-playing games he used to run...he was one of these that did always like to add such stuff for color.

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He really was quite enamored of history before the 1700's.

I have to admit I lose interest in the detail after 1660 (the Restoration of the Monarchy); I have shelves full of books dealing with the personalities and the social and political aspects of the English Civil War. I even took it as an Open University subject back in the 1980s.... unfortunately, leaving Britain for Ireland killed all of that. It's amazing how much a 30-mile stretch of water can cramp your style when two ferry companies have a stranglehold on it.



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Guest DalreïDal

Just spotted a word in French up there - Accoucheus - in French it would be spelled "Accoucheuse" (feminine of "Accoucheur", right?). I don't know if it's either a typo or the correct way to write it in English, but I just thought I'd point it out to you in case it's supposed to take a "e".

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