Occupations in the Elizabethan Era





Occupations in The 16th Century
In the Elizabethan Era, occupations were as varied as a bowl of Jelly Belly Jelly Beans. There was some much to do as the times were changing rapidly. Professions in this time and age ranged from rabbit catching to working with royalty. Making weapons, clothes, working in the house, working in the castle, selling goods in the marketplace, and healing others were just some of the more common trades of the time.
Break out the weapons! Two mortal enemies, sworn to cut each other\'s throats, are at it again on the old battlefield. One side of the field is pouring with men in rusty brown uniforms, while the other side sports pale blue tunics. There is no end in sight, each side is fighting at their best. Then from the brown side the warriors step back and a valiant knight riding a horse steps into the clearing. Without a word, an equally terrifying champion on a horse steps out of the opposing crowd to face the combatant. Both armies step back and watch the scene in amazement. The champion in blue swiftly whips out his bow and arrows and aims it at his opponent. His adversary gives him a dry look and whips out his own weapon. He says deftly, "It\'s made in Paris with about #25 draw weight. Made out of the choicest materials by the local fletcher and bowyer."
"Really?" the other sneered, "I got mine from the best blacksmith in London! It\'s made out of the toughest wood and a four-sided spike on the arrow head developed to penetrate plate armor."
The fighter in blue gasped and his face grew red. He threw his arrows on the ground and reached
for his sword. Just before he could put in a harsh word, his adversary cut in, "Let me guess... that\'s a steel pommel and guard with a leather wrapped hilt. The blade is 30" long, am I right?"
The steely faced warrior had regained his composure and slowly nodded. The other grinned and said, "Here I have in my had the famed Sword of Vaelen, a wonderful tempered blade...made, of course, by the finest blacksmith in Spain!"
The fight was on - the champion in blue had his weapons made by various specialists, like the armorer, a farrier, a saddler, and cutler. The fight even went as far as to see who had the better horseshoes on their horses. The knight defending the brown side had all of his weapons specially custom-made by a blacksmith. As the fight went on, the brown side started cheering louder and louder, for it was clear that the knight was winning. Finally the last blow struck. "Ha! You paid five times as much as I did for my armor! From the looks of both, my weapons are far sturdier than any of yours!" shouted the knight, as the champion stared daggers at this daring warrior. The champion called out to his men and led them away from the battlefield, waving his sword and muttering something about ‘...waiting until they got caught off guard next time.\'
Working with iron proved to be a very useful and resourceful trade during this time period. To come into battle with high quality equipment would lengthen one\'s warrantee in the game of life. For a one stop shopping place to buy a variety of weapons, the blacksmith was always at hand to take orders for the customer.
Another line of work was found in the clothing department. Fashion depended on whatever the queen felt like wearing and shops had to be prepared for anything new that came out. If the style changed, the first to start copying the design was the seamstress, who made smocks and shirts. The clothing was then sent to the draper for the public to buy. To get a custom -made suit designed to one\'s particular taste, a tailor was usually called in. The tailor would first
go to the mercer to buy wool, silk, and linen to fashion whatever was needed, and from there he
would draw out the suit.
Work could also be found in and around the home. Well-off members of the gentry almost always had a large estate to maintain, and thus they would