Medieval People

Medieval Society was structured by the feudal system, at the top of the feudal system were Kings, Queens, Pope **at the bottom were peasants such as serfs and freemen

Famous Medieval People

Discover Famous Medieval People like Geoffrey Chaucer, Johannes Gutenberg and Leonardo da Vinci Read more about the Famous Medieval People >>

Medieval Children

Children of royals and the nobility had comfortable lives and usually lived in opulent surroundings, whilst poor medieval children struggled Read more about the Medieval Children >>

Medieval Clergy

Medieval Clergy

The Pope was head of the Roman Catholic Church. The Pope was very powerful  in medieval times as most people were very religious and believed in God. Read more about the Medieval Clergy >>

Medieval Craftsmen

Medieval Blacksmith Medieval Craftsmen

Medieval Craftsmen such as Blacksmiths and Masons served long apprenticeships. Medieval Craftsmen were well trained and members of a suitable guild. Read more about the Medieval Craftsmen >>

Medieval Doctor

Medieval Doctors dissect a human body

Medieval Doctors mainly used guesswork for diagnosis and was often wrong in his diagnoses. Medieval doctors use of plants and herbs was popular Read more about the Medieval Doctor >>

Medieval Entertainers

Medieval Entertainers Jesters

Medieval entertainers like Jesters, Acrobats and Minstrels provided the entertainment for medieval people and also entertained Kings and Queens.   Read more about the Medieval Entertainers >>

Medieval Merchants

Medieval Merchant From Holland trading in Far East

Medieval merchants were either retailers of wholesalers of goods, some medieval merchants imported goods from overseas and were very wealthy Read more about the Medieval Merchants >>

Medieval Military

Medieval Military men like Soldiers, Knights & Longbow-men were disciplined, formidable fighting warriors who were usually under the control of Kings and wealthy Noblemen. Read more about the Medieval Military >>

Medieval Nobility

Medieval Nobility and Medieval Nobles

The elite families of medieval times were called the Nobility, there were many classes and titles within the nobility and there were clear distinctions between higher and lower ranking nobles within the nobility. Read more about the Medieval Nobility >>

Medieval Peasants

Peasants who lived in Medieval Times were usually very poor, that had basic living conditions and usually worked the fields and did other menial low level jobs.   Read more about the Medieval Peasants >>

Medieval Royalty

Medieval Royalty

Royalty such as the King and Queen had immense power during the medieval period, The King and Queen were at the head of a royal family Read more about the Medieval Royalty >>

Medieval Women

Medieval Women

Medieval women were mainly home-makers and helped their husbands with their businesses, medieval women who did not want to marry had options such as becoming Nuns Read more about the Medieval Women >>

Medieval Yeoman

Yeoman of Medieval Times

The yeoman was a large social class of such peasants who rose in social influence through the acquisition of large tracts of land Read more about the Medieval Yeoman >>


Royalty

The King was a very important person in Medieval Society and made most of the important decisions, the Queen was usually second in command and could even act as a Regent to the King if he was unable to rule because of illness or if he was fighting some battle in a foreign land.

The Prince and Princesses who could be next in line to the throne were well educated and taught all the skills needed to run a medieval castle and kingdom from an early age.

Early Medieval Kings ruled smaller kingdoms, whereas  the more sophisticated Kings of the later medieval periods dominated much larger areas including entire countries!

Clergy

Clergy were very influential in medieval times as medieval people thought them to be mediators between man and God.  Medieval Clergy were exempt from paying any taxes and were highly efficient at raising money from medieval people, they were also very wealthy which gave them lots of power, even political power over the rest of the medieval people in society.

In early medieval times, the Pope was all-powerful and medieval people looked towards the Pope for inspiration and redemption from their sins, during the medieval period the Catholic Church became one of the most powerful institutions in the world.

The medieval Pope was a legislator, he could make laws, rule over disputes and could even annul marriages, this gave him a lot of power over most medieval people.

Due to the great wealth that the catholic church generated in medieval times it became more and more powerful and just like medieval lords, members of the clergy especially people such as the Pope lived very lavish lifestyles, they wore expensive clothes and ate only the best foods.

A Medieval Pope


Entertainers

Royalty, Nobility and Medieval People loved to be entertained and there were many different forms of entertainment and a vast array of Medieval entertainers in medieval times.  People tend to think of Jesters when they think of Medieval Times Entertainment, but there were a vast range of other well trained entertainers in medieval times such as Musicians and Acrobats.

Medieval Court Jester Laughing

Court Jester in Medieval Jester Outfit laughing


Merchants and Tradesmen

Medieval merchants sold goods to people in the medieval towns and villages, many merchants were very wealthy, some traveled abroad and brought back goods from foreign lands, whereas others had shops within the towns and villages that sold essential and sometimes exotic goods.

Medieval Tradesmen and Merchants

Merchants would tend to be wealthier in large towns and villages simply because there were more Medieval people to buy their products.

medieval-merchant pharmacy shop

medieval merchant pharmacy shop

Medieval people who made products such as Carpenters and other Craftsmen were usually members of a Guild, they would sell the products that they had made themselves, but as time progressed and medieval society became more advanced there became a distinct difference between tradesmen who made products and merchants who sold them.

Medieval Guild Sign

Merchants also became involved in improving the infrastructure of medieval towns and villages, they realized that a better infrastructure brought more people to visit and live in the villages and towns, more people meant they could sell more of their goods!
Medieval merchants became very important people to the economy of towns and villages in these medieval times.


Medieval People -Military

The knight was probably one of the most recognized warriors in medieval times. Knights were  usually connected to medieval nobility and royalty although it was also possible especially in parts of northern Europe for Knights to come from lower classes of medieval people.

Medieval knights tended to be very wealthy as the costs involved of being a Knight was out of reach for most medieval people. The main barrier to someone becoming a Knight in medieval times was the cost of the armour.

Knights needed lots of weapons and horses, as well they had the up-keep and logistics involved in being an active Knight who fought in battles – this is why most Knights came from wealthy families or had connections with nobility.

Medieval Nobility Medieval Baron Coat-of Arms Middleton Baron Coat of Arms

Medieval Nobility Medieval Baron Coat-of Arms Middleton Baron Coat of Arms

Light cavalry were also important to the military in medieval times, these were low level medieval people that carried Javelins and missile weapons such as crossbows. Many medieval countries throughout Europe had different types of light Cavalry and developed their own fighting techniques, often light cavalry were sent out to scout out specific areas and to report back to their superiors in a castle. 

Knights and Foot soldiers Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt was won by English Longbowmen

Many countries developed there own types of light cavalry such as the mounted cross bowmen from places such as Germany and from Italy and the Spanish introduced their own cavalry called the  Jinetes.


Castle Staff

It required a large number of medieval people to run a medieval castle and keep it running efficiently. The number of Medieval people required to run a castle was dependent on the size of Castle and the medieval period.

For example peasants worked the fields to provide food for the castle, Jesters and Troubadours provided entertainment. Craftsmen such as carpenters made the furniture such as the tables and chairs for the grand hall.

Medieval Peasants Castle Life

Medieval life of Peasants working the Fields growing food for Medieval Castle

Foot soldiers and knights protected a castle from attack such as a siege.

A Medieval Castle Being Defended Under Siege


Peasants

Most of the population in medieval times was classed as the peasantry, and the most common peasant was the Serf who toiled in the fields of the Lord’s manor estate often from dawn to dusk. Most of the population lived and worked in the countryside in villages.

Medieval Peasants & Medieval Reeve

Medieval Serf under the watch of a Reeve

The work of the medieval Serf was mainly in the fields producing food and looking after the farm animals.  Medieval peasants would often plough the fields in autumn time and sow the fields in the following spring to produce the food for harvesting later in the year usually around the month of August or September.

Peasants Homes

Peasants tended to live in very basic accommodation such as huts made of mud using the wattle and daub building technique, there was also usually a roof of some type such as a thatched roof, and conditions inside the serfs were usually dark, damp, and fairly unpleasant.

The Insides of the homes of medieval peasants were usually very basic and there was usually a fire hearth in the middle of the room which made the air Smokey and could irritate the eyes of the peasants and make them cough and splutter.  There was usually a couple of chairs and a few cooking pots for making meals and a simple spinning loom for weaving cloth in a medieval peasants’ home.

Medieval Serfdom - Bedroom and living area of a medieval serf

Living and sleeping area of a medieval serf

Peasants Diet

A peasants diet was similar to a caveman’s diet, they would eat berries, nuts and nettles as well as a good quantity of vegetables that they had gathered from the surrounding areas.  They could also eat black rye bread that could be washed down with some home-brewed beer if they had the knowledge to make these items.

Peasants Clothing

Male peasants wore tunics that had a hood, they also wore gloves, and on their feet, they would wear leather shoes which usually had wooden soles.  Medieval women would usually wear a course gown over a sleeveless slip.

Peasants Costume Labelled

image of peasants’ costumes labelled


Life in a medieval village

Life in the Medieval Village was hard work and you needed to be a tough character to survive, there was a lot of rough-and-tumble and and competing amongst males in the towns and villages and even ball games were rough affairs that usually turned into fights/battles with the next village.

Fuedalism in Medieval Life in a Village

Medieval Life was controlled by the Feudal system that was introduced into England after the Norman Conquests

However it was not all bad and in some ways it’s was a rewarding life as there was was a lot free time for medieval people who worked the land in the winter month’s. There was also a lot of family entertainment, in fact lots of traveling comedians, musicians and other entertainers such as bear-baiter’s would travel from town to town entertaining the medieval people in their towns and villages.

Two Medieval Muscians Entertain

 

Learn more about Medieval People at Wikipedia