The Medieval Scribe

scribe

Thomas the scribe is indeed fortunate to have gained some education while in a previous service with the Arundels of Sussex. His ability to read and write freely is not always the case with some other scribes who may only be able to copy the work of others while, perhaps, employed in a monastic workshop.

While the beautiful books and manuscripts may be mainly produced in the monasteries and colleges, Thomas is able to fulfill a more humble but necessary role as an itinerant scribe, reading and writing for those who visit his stall at fairs and markets. He is knowledgeable about the preparation of pens, inks and parchments.

When trade is slow or the coins in his purse are few, he has a more deadly skill for hire, as a soldier, a crossbowman. This combination of tradesman and soldier is not uncommon in these turbulent times when there is almost always a conflict of some kind taking place at home or on the continent.

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crossbow