Only 1 in 28 People Can Identify these Medieval Jobs from an Image. Can You?

By: Khadija Leon
Image: Shutterstock/Schorle via Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Long before we had Uber drivers, FBI agents and clinical psychologists, there were many different kinds of jobs which helped build our society to get to where it is today. From the lowly kitchen scullion and the always dirty chimney sweep to knights who protected the monarchs and courtesans who kept the rich and powerful "company," there was a job and place for everyone in medieval society. 

The Middle Ages or Medieval Period started from the 5th century up until the 15th, and while everyone believed that it was a simple time, the truth is, the working world was much more difficult than the one we know today. There was rarely any opportunity to climb up the figurative 'ladder' and there were even fewer options for those who wanted to switch careers. Many people either followed in the footsteps of their families while others did what they were naturally good at. 

If you were given images of people performing their duties during that time period, would you be able to guess what the name of their occupations was? Well, this quiz was designed to test just that. Take it to see how much you know about medieval people and their jobs. 


A miller was responsible for operating and maintaining mills, often times producing grain by grinding wheat in some type of machine, (a mill) in order to sell to the public and bakers.

A cobbler was one of the lower status occupations who were responsible for repairing worn or damaged shoes and boots. They also worked with other materials such as rope, wood and cloth, as they were also used to make footwear.

Playwrights, poets and dramatists are all different types of artists known for writing poems and plays, which were often performed at different theaters or public gatherings.

A stone mason is a type of craftsman whose job included drawing, designing, engineering and building houses and buildings specifically out of rocks and stones.

Porters worked in different castles and monasteries at the main entrance to ensure that no one entered or left the compound without permission. They were also responsible for the main guardroom.

A blacksmith is a type of craftsman who traditionally worked with iron or steel. They were tasked with forging weapons from metals in fire as well as sharpening and repairing them.

A courtesan, sometimes called a mistress or high-class prostitute, was a person who provided companionship and sexual favors to royals and powerful people who were already married.

A minstrel is a person who provided entertainment in castles, often in the form of playing a musical instrument or singing. They were known for their storytelling abilities.

A chandler, sometimes called a candle maker, was a person who was responsible for creating candles (and in some cases soap), as well as being responsible for the room that they were kept in.

An armorer is a craftsman who had the task of making or repairing personal armor. The phrase can also refer to someone who maintains an armory of ammunition and explosives.

A falconer is a person who trains and raises birds of prey, one of which is the falcon. These birds were usually owned by royals and the falconers were tasked with tending to their needs.

A physician, or doctor, is a medical professional who performed non-surgical duties, often diagnosing and treating with medication and lifestyle changes. There were also plague doctors who were known for wearing beaked face masks.

Tailors, just like those today, were responsible for designing and constructing clothing for a small portion of the population. They were known for creating everything from underwear to ball gowns.

A sculptor is a type of artist who specialized in sculpting. Their molding materials included everything from stone, metal, clay and wood and even glass and other ceramics.

Plowmen had some of the dirtiest jobs in medieval times. They were responsible for loading carts of cow manure to be sent to the field in order to plant crops. Some of them also plowed the fields into rows for the crops.

A scullion is a type of servant who was assigned to do the most menial kitchen work, in other words, they were the lowest of the kitchen workers and had to clean and wash dishes.

A chaplain is a type of cleric (religious leader) which represented the church at hospitals, prisons, schools and various other places. Some of them also had duties similar to that of a clerk.

A butcher is a person who slaughters and/ or sells meat. They are known for preparing them for retail, often at produce markets and different shops. Some were also tasked with domesticating livestock.

A scribe is someone who was responsible for writing different books, letters and manuscripts and in some instances, reading them, usually at religious establishments and royal castles.

A bailiff is a type of legal officer who was responsible for keeping the peace in a courtroom, as well as enforcing the rules and providing protection for the acting judge.

A groom, sometimes called a stable boy, is a person who was responsible for the management of horses and in some cases the stables as well. It could also refer to someone who was employed by a stable owner.

A bandit is a person who mainly commits the acting of stealing goods or money. In medieval times, they usually did it groups called gangs but were also known for acting alone.

A Chamberlain was a type of senior royal officer who was in charge of managing the royal household and their budget. They were also required to collect the revenue and pay the expenses of the house.

Reeves were senior officials who were responsible for supervising work being done at a royal or high-ranking official’s property. They were responsible for ensuring that work began and ended on time.

Squires were junior knights known for running the errands and learning about the etiquette and traditions of the court. They were required to serve for seven years before becoming knights.

A page or page boy, is a young male attendant who plays the role of a servant and messenger to a nobleman. These boys may or may not have come from noble houses and upon reaching the age of seven, leave home to serve.

A milkmaid is a girl or woman who milks cows, which is to be used to prepare dairy product including but not limited to cream, butter, cheese and yogurt.

Medieval gardeners were tasked with managing the ivy on castle walls as well as any other plant which could have been used to climb. They also had to have a sound knowledge of different herbs.

A jester, sometimes called a fool, is a type of entertainer who performed at the households and palaces of monarchs and noblemen. They also performed at fairs and in market places.

A chimney sweep is a worker who is responsible for clearing the ash and soot that accumulates in chimneys. There were two types: the master sweep who was responsible for sweeping the chimneys and the apprentice who usually carried the materials.

An alchemist is a person who studies a form of chemistry, specifically different methods of transmuting different metals into gold. They were also known for trying to find cures for different diseases.

Drapers were a type of trader who specialized in importing and selling different types of fabrics and materials. They operated out of a shop but would often make house calls to the royal and noble families.

A knight is a type of soldier and fighter who served and protected his sovereign monarch. It was considered an honor to be a knight and they were often portrayed wearing some type of armor.

A furrier is a person who buys, sells and sometimes creates fur garments. They are also known for repairing and cleaning fur or garments with fur and products with animal hair.

A fishmonger is a person who sells different types of raw seafood; in those days, it was in stalls in different markets. Today, the fish can be boned, filleted and gutted, if requested by the buyer.

A baker is someone who bakes and often sells bread and pastries at a bakery. They use a form of concentrated heat source to make the goods and in those days, it was an open hearth or some type of fireplace.

A weaver is a person who produces textiles by using either yarn or thread on a spindle-type apparatus. Other methods of creating textiles include knitting, braiding, and crocheting the material.

A herald was a type of officer who was charged with carrying messages to and from different places. Some of them were also tasked with making public announcements on behalf of kings and nobles.

Watchmen, sometimes called night-watchmen, were groups of men who helped decrease criminal activity by walking around to monitor different places. They were also tasked with recovering stolen goods and being on fire watch.

A farmer is a person who owns or manages one or more of the many different types of farms that exist. They typically participate in growing crops and raising livestock for consumption.

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