Old Time Occupations

They did WHAT?



  • Accomptant - Accountant
  • Almoner - Giver of charity to the needy
  • Amanuensis - Secretary or stenographer
  • Artificer- A soldier mechanic who does repairs
  • Bailie - Bailiff
  • Baxter - Baker
  • Bluestocking - Female writer
  • Boniface - Keeper of an inn
  • Brazier - One who works with brass
  • Brewster - Beer manufacturer
  • Brightsmith - Metal Worker
  • Burgonmaster - Mayor
  • Caulker - One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seems to make them water tight by using tar or oaken-hemp fiber produced by taking old ropes apart
  • Chaisemaker - Carriage maker
  • Chandler - Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles; retailer of groceries
  • Chiffonnier - Wig maker
  • Clark - Clerk
  • Clerk - Clergyman, cleric
  • Clicker - The servant of a salesman who stood at the door to invite customers; one who received the matter in the galley from the compositor and arranged it in due form ready for printing; one who makes eyelet holes in Boots using a machine which clicked.
  • Cohen - Priest
  • Collier - Coal miner
  • Colporteur - Peddler of books
  • Cooper - One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves & hoops, such as casks, barrels, tubs, etc.
  • Cordwainer - Shoemaker, originally any leather worker using leather from
  • Cordova/Cordoba - in Spain
  • Costermonger - Peddler of fruits and vegetables
  • Crocker - Potter
  • Crowner - Coroner
  • Currier - One who dresses the coat of a horse with a curry comb; one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease
  • Docker - Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
  • Dowser - One who finds water using a rod or witching stick
  • Draper - A dealer in dry goods
  • Drayman - One who drives a long strong cart without fixed sides for carrying heavy loads
  • Dresser - A surgeon's assistant in a hospital
  • Drover - One who drives cattle, sheep, etc. to market; a dealer in cattle
  • Duffer - Peddler
  • Factor - Agent, commission merchant; one who acts or transacts business for another; Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
  • Farrier - A blacksmith, one who shoes horses
  • Faulkner - Falconer
  • Fell monger - One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for leather making
  • Fletcher - One who made bows and arrows
  • Fuller - One who fulls cloth;one who shrinks and thickens woolen cloth by moistening, heating, and pressing;one who cleans and finishes cloth
  • Gaoler - A keeper of the goal, a jailer
  • Glazier - Window glassman
  • Hacker - Maker of hoes
  • Hatcheler - One who combed out or carded flax
  • Haymonger - Dealer in hay
  • Hayward - Keeper of fences
  • Higgler - Itinerant peddler
  • Hillier - Roof tiler
  • Hind - A farm laborer
  • Holster - A groom who took care of horses, often at an inn
  • Hooker - Reaper
  • Hooper - One who made hoops for casks and barrels
  • Huckster - Sells small wares
  • Husbandman - A farmer who cultivated the land
  • Jagger - Fish peddler
  • Journeyman - One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered his craft, not bound to serve a master, but hired by the day
  • Joyner / Joiner - A skilled carpenter
  • Keeler - Bargeman
  • Kempster - Wool comber
  • Lardner - Keeper of the cupboard
  • Lavender - Washer woman
  • Lederer - Leather maker
  • Leech - Physician
  • Longshoreman - Stevedore
  • Lormer - Maker of horse gear
  • Malender - Farmer
  • Maltster - Brewer
  • Manciple - A steward
  • Mason - Bricklayer
  • Mintmaster - One who issued local currency
  • Monger - Seller of goods (ale, fish)
  • Muleskinner - Teamster
  • Neatherder - Herds cows
  • Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper with fixed prices
  • Pattern Maker - A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
  • Peregrinator - Itinerant wanderer
  • Peruker - A wig maker
  • Pettifogger - A shyster lawyer
  • Pigman - Crockery dealer
  • Plumber - One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead frames for plain or stained glass windows.
  • Porter - Door keeper
  • Puddler - Wrought iron worker
  • Quarrier - Quarry worker
  • Rigger - Hoist tackle worker
  • Ripper - Seller of fish
  • Roper - Maker of rope or nets
  • Saddler - One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other furnishings for horses
  • Sawbones - Physician
  • Sawyer - One who saws; carpenter
  • Schumacker - Shoemaker
  • Scribler - A minor or worthless author
  • Scrivener - Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
  • Scrutiner - Election judge
  • Shrieve - Sheriff
  • Slater - Roofer
  • Slopseller - Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
  • Snobscat/Snob - One who repaired shoes
  • Sorter - Tailor
  • Spinster - A woman who spins or an unmarried woman
  • Spurrer - Maker of spurs
  • Squire - Country gentleman; farm owner; justice of peace
  • Stuff gown - Junior barrister
  • Stuff gownsman - Junior barrister
  • Supercargo - Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the commercial concerns of the ship.
  • Tanner - One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather
  • Tapley - One who puts the tap in an ale cask
  • Tasker - Reaper
  • Teamster - One who drives a team for hauling
  • Thatcher - Roofer
  • Tide waiter - Customs inspector
  • Tinker - Am itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman
  • Tipstaff - Policeman
  • Travers - Toll bridge collection
  • Tucker - Cleaner of cloth goods
  • Turner - A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles
  • Victualer - A tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy, or ship with food
  • Vulcan - Blacksmith
  • Wagoner - Teamster not for hire
  • Wainwright - Wagon maker
  • Waiter - Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide to collect duty on goods brought in
  • Waterman - Boatman who plies for hire
  • Webster - Operator of looms
  • Wharfinger - Owner of a wharf
  • Wheel wright - One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.
  • Whitesmith - Tin smith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
  • Whitewing - Street sweeper
  • Whitster - Bleach of cloth
  • Wright - Workman, especially a construction worker
  • Yeoman - Farmer who owns his own land


This list was provided by: Dan Burrows /dburrows1@juno.com/


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