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Secret Canterbury Tales research by Jessica (but shh, dont tell anyone)

Occupations in The Canterbury Tales


A woodcut from William Caxton's second edition of the Canterbury Tales printed in 1483.

Franklin
A franklin was a medieval landowner, and this pilgrim's words when interrupting the Squire are often seen as displaying his social status of diminution

Canons Yeoman
A canon is a priest or minister who is a member of certain bodies of the Christian clergy subject to an ecclesiastical rule (canon); a canon was a cleric living with others in a clergyhouse or, later, in one of the houses within the precinct of or close to a cathedral and ordering his life according to the orders or rules of the church. Throughout the medieval period the term yeoman was used in royal and noble households to indicate a servant's rank, position or status; a rank or position in a noble household, with titles such as Yeoman of the Chamber, Yeoman of the Crown, Yeoman Usher, and King's Yeoman. So the Canons Yeoman was the Canons manservant.

Manciple
An officer or steward of a monastery, college, etc., authorised to purchase provisions.

Parson
A member of the clergy, especially a Protestant minister; pastor; rector, the holder or incumbent of a parochial benefice, especially an Anglican (like the Parsonage at Hunsford where Collins lives in P&P).

Miller
A miller usually refers to a person who operates a mill, a machine to grind a cereal crop to make flour. Milling is among the oldest of human occupations.

Reeve
Originally in Anglo-Saxon England the reeve was a senior official with local responsibilities under the Crown e.g. as the chief magistrate of a town or district. There is an exceptional literary portrait of a reeve in the second half of the 14th century. The Prologue paints a vivid picture of this man, who had originally been a carpenter but had served as reeve of a manor for many years. Chaucer describes a highly efficient servant, impossible for any man to deceive or outwit, never in debt and

Secret Canterbury Tales research by Jessica (but shh, dont tell anyone) knowing exactly how much the manor should produce. It is an early picture of a completely reliable accountant, rather a cold individual but indispensable.

Pardoner
The pardoner in the Canterbury Tales makes a living selling falsified indulgences, besides fake relics and other supposedly magical knick-knacks; a medieval cleric who would sell pardons (forgiveness for an offence, like paying to be forgiven, will buy you time out of Purgatory) and indulgences (to pay to be relieved of your sins)

Squire
The squire is the knights son; in the Middle Ages in general a squire was the shield bearer or armour bearer of a knight, and at times squires included a knight's errand runner or servant. Use of the term has evolved over time, but in the Middle Ages, squires were trainees to a knight.

Prioress
A prioress is the female head of a monastery of men or women.

ALSO- http://webpages.marshall.edu/~will2/chaucer.html ^ good website for Middle English pronunciation, with a Middle English extract with a phonetic pronunciation parallel to it.