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Dictionary of Ancient Occupations and Trades,
Ranks, Offices, and Titles

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new = Recent changes
as of 2014-10-10
abbot (femaleabbess)
one who presides over a religious community at an abbey (femaleconvent). cf. prior
abram
a medieval beggar who pretended to be insane
acater, acatour
obs a purchaser of provisions, a purveyor; a provider or purveyor of cates (=delicacies); a cater or caterer. (=Achatour came to be restricted to the official title of the officer of the Royal Household.) [OED]
acolyte
eccl. an inferior church officer who attended the priest or deacon and performed subordinate duties, such as lighting and bearing candles, crosses, etc.
more broadly, any novice or attendant in any ceremony, secular as well as ecclesiastical.
adherent
a supporter of a party, person, etc.
a devotee of an activity
adjutant
Mil an officer who assists superior officers by communicating orders, conducting correspondence, etc.
an assistant
Adjutant General 
a high-ranking Army or National Guard administrative officer.
advocate
(~ of) a person who supports or speaks in favor.
a person who pleads for another.
a professional pleader in a court of justice.
advowson
Brit eccl one who possessed the right of recommending a member of the clergy for a vacant benefice, or of actually making such appointments. In mediæval times, the advowson was frequently given to a Monastery or a Nunnery, which then took the role of rector and was empowered to appoint a vicar to serve the parish.
alderman (female~woman)
a co-opted (appointed by invitation of extant members) municipal councilman, next in dignity after the mayor.
almoner
a giver of charity to the needy
hist an official distributer of alms
amah
Ind. a nurse, or wet nurse;
a caretaker of children
ambassador
one sent by or to a sovereign or public body as an envoy;
a commissioner, or representative. See table at diplomat
anchorite
a person who has retired into seclusion for religious reasons. (=from the Greek: to retire or withdraw)
cf hermit
apostate
one who leaves religious orders after making solemn profession. It is considered a serious crime in the eyes of the church, being not only a breach of faith with God but also with the founders and benefactors of their religious house. [BL]
apostle chg
one of the twelve chief disciples of Jesus Christ.
any important early Christian teacher, esp St. Paul.
the first successful Christian missionary in a country or to a people. (e.g. Kiril and Metodije, the Apostles of the Slavs)
apprentice
a person who is learning a trade by being employed in it for an agreed period, usu. at low wages.
a beginner, a novice. cf: tyro.
arbiter
one chosen or appointed to judge or decide a disputed issue; an arbitrator.
one with the power to judge or ordain at will; e.g. an (e.g. arbiter) of fashion.
arbitrator (=arbiter)
arborist
a specialist in the care of woody plants, esp. trees.
arch-
chief; highest; most important; e.g. (e.g. archenemy), (e.g. archbishop).
extreme or most characteristic of its kind; e.g. (e.g. archconservative)
archdeacon
eccl a church official, as in the Anglican Church, who is in charge of temporal and other affairs in a diocese, with powers delegated from the bishop.
cf deacon
archer
one that shoots with a bow and arrow.
ard-righ
IR High King
aristocrat
a member of the nobility or aristocracy (=a member of a class holding hereditary titles)
the gentry, aristocracy (=the most powerful members of a society)
armiger abbr: arg., ar.
a bearer of armor for a knight; a squire.
a person entitled to heraldic arms.
armorer sp: Brit: armourer
a manufacturer of weapons, esp. firearms
a maker or repairer of arms or armor.
an official in charge of a ship's or a regiment's arms.
arriviste /áreeveest/
an ambitious or ruthlessly self-seeking person
a person newly arrived in social status, wealth, etc. cf: parvenu, nouveau riche.
arsonist
one who commits the crime of arson (=the crime of maliciously, voluntarily and willfully setting fire to another's property, or to one's own property for improper purpose, as to collect insurance)
artificer
an inventor
a craftsman, esp. a skilled or artistic worker
ashery worker
a worker at a place where potash or pearlash is made, viz at an ash pit. These places often also made lye from the potash.
assewer chg
cf sewer
assistant
civ a member of the Upper House of the General Court (Legislature).
cf senator
atheling Also: etheling, ćtheling
Obs. exc. Hist. A member of a noble family, a prince, lord baron; in O.E. poetry, often used in plural for 'men'; in later writers, often restricted as a historical term to a prince of the royal blood, or even the heir apparent to the throne. [OED]
attendant
one who attends or waits on another.
avener
an officer in charge of obtaining provender for horses

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