The Household

The Lord and his Famuli

The most important person in an Estate is of course the Lord, his Lady and his children. Everyone in the household is expected to obey him at all times.

  • The Lord does not run the day to day life on a manor, that is left to his wife. His main duty is to lead the troops and to make sure that the squires and footmen are well trained and doing their duty. Aside from this, he takes important political and strategical decisions for the family.
  • The Lady in a smaller estate have many duties fall upon her, and she is without doubt the most important part of the household. Her most important duty is to run the staff of the manor and make sure that all the servants and laborers are doing a good job. She also stewards the estate, and handles economics and makes certain that there is enough goods for the winter. The Lady oversees the cook and scullion, the dog boy, the grooms, the lackey, two of her own domestics, two cart teams and her own maid.
  • The boys in the family does not have many duties when they are small, but they quickly learn to take part in the active life of a manor. The eldest are trained as pages from seven years of age and sent of as squires at fourteen. The manor Lord’s Liege decides who the squires are sent to. The younger sons usually take a more active part in the manor life or the local church or grove.
  • The girls are care free from duties only at very young age, and they begin to train for their future even more quickly than boys. They take part in their mother’s duties from as early as six or seven and are strictly trained in all things concerning children and household. If possible, the eldest daughters are sent away as maid-in-waiting to important ladies at court. The girl’s father decides where to send the girls, but he usually talks with his Lieges wife.
  • The chaplain, or in some cases the priestess/priest, are an integral part of the Lord’s family. In case of British christianity and paganism they are often relatives or people that the Lord wish to keep well with. In case of Roman christianity, it’s usually a monk from a local important chapter. Either way, the chaplain takes care of many important duties: Advising his Lord, Receiving confession, Distributing alms, Handling the chamber and the wardrobe, Acting as a clerk and reads and writes the Lord letters. He is usually considered a part of the family and eats at the Lord’s table.

Household Staff

Around the Lord and his most important family are many servants and staff who takes care of the family and the household. These regularly travel with the Lord to feasts and events. Many of the most trusted positions in the Lord’s household is given to relatives and family. After all, no more loyal people can be found then ones on kin.

  • The dog boy although the name seems obvious he is not necessarily a young boy. The Dog Boys duty is to handle the Lord’s hounds and hawks and to prepare for hunting if the Lord wishes. He usually works with local hunters and woodsmen to make sure he knows the area well. If the Lord wishes a hunt at a sudden notice, he must know where the prey is.
  • The cook takes care of the day to day staff handlings the Lord’s food. In smaller households like these, he handles both the Bread, the Kitchen, the Meat, the Drink and the kitchen staff. In larger household these duties usually fall upon many different men.
  • The grooms in a smaller manorial household are usually family members, they take care of the lord’s horses and usually also tend to regular household duties such as caring for clothes and the Lords or ladies personal effects.
  • The lackey is a personal man-servant and is supervised by the lady of the manor. He tends to the lords or the ladies private matters and makes sure the family’s personal needs is taken care of. This position is almost always given to a trusted friend or family member.
  • The domestics are servants that take care of day to day household duties. They are usually the wives of other servants or household staff and they take care of laundry, clothes, clothing and caring for the children. They are supervised by the lady of the manor.

Army

Each Lord needs his staff, wife and household well protected. And his lord demands that he supplies at least two foot soldiers in wartime. This means that most lords simply keep two spearmean at their side. But some lords increase the army at their own expense. After all, keeping your family safe is important, and leaving the family with a weak garrison is usually dangerous.

  • The footmen are usually simple trained spearmen that care for the day to day protection of the lord and his lady. They are trained to act in war as well, but are usually not stationed with the Lord in battle but with the regular troops or as garrison at important castles.
  • The sergeants are well trained mounted men. They are expensive and are trained in basic tactics and leadership, some of them are lineage men. They are uncommon in smaller households.

The Household

Knights of the Realm DerkG DerkG