By: Aishwarya and Emily

Nobles

Noblewomen had special duties such as taking care of the castles affairs and even defending the castle when the lord was away. She would also see that the children were properly trained. A lady had many other jobs such as instructing the servants of the household and growing herbs and medicine to heal the sick. Noble women had far less freedom to marry. Sometimes their partners were chosen when they were children. A lady pledged loyalty and support to a lord. A lady’s most important function was to provide her lord with sons who could inherit his fiefs. Noble ladies learned to read and right but it was believed that too much knowledge for a noble lady was unhealthy. If her husband died, she would keep 1/3 to 1/2 of his property. Noblewomen had no more rights than poorer women but their Quality of life was better.

A noblewoman writing

Thanks to: Fordham for this picture.

Nuns 

Nuns were women that came from rich families. They were people that did not want to get married. Nuns had a simple life because they followed a routine. Nuns were allowed to choose their own head nun and people under the head nun. The nuns gave their life up to work for a church. The church thought it was bad for a nun to show their hair to everyone so they covered their hair with a cloth. Nuns were not allowed to wear tight fitting clothes either. Nuns lived in nunneries. Nuns had to live in nunneries for religious reasons. Nuns were well known for helping each other. That was what nuns did back in the Middle Ages.

A nun reading

Thanks to: Umilta for this picture.

Peasants and Townspeople 

          In the Middle Ages, women worked in almost as many kinds of jobs as men did. Women couldn’t be sailors, notaries, lawyers, or priests. Women in towns had jobs such as food sellers, wool weavers, nurses, hair dressers, bakers and household servants. Unfortunately, women earned less money than men, even for doing the same work. Women who didn’t work for pay still worked hard by raising children and keeping up their homes. In the Middle Ages, women were thought to be weak, unintelligent, and prone to sin and not to be trusted in power. Female peasants had a hard life too. They did jobs such as farming, working in towns, raising children, cooking, weaving and keeping up the house. A famous French female peasant in the Middle Ages was Joan of Arc. She heard voices telling her to protect France from the English invasion. She dressed in armor and led her troops to victory. She was different from other women during the Middle Ages.

 

A female serf with her son

Thanks to: Demoscope Weekly for this picture

Serfs

The life of a serf was challenging and stressful. Some female serf’s duties included: Cooking, weaving, gardening and preparing meals for their families. They got some help from their daughters everyday, but there was still plenty of work to be done everyday. Serfs were bound to the land, and spent most of their lives working for the lord and taking care of the farming land in the manor. The quality of life of a female serf was not good. Being a female serf was a hard job because they had a lot of responsibilities.

 

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