October 7th, 2005

happyraver

Relatives of Noblemen

Going with the convention of continental titles of nobility, what title (if any) and authority would the third son of a count have?

I'm under the impression that he'd simply be addressed as "Lord ____," and have no inherent title of his own, other than mere noble claim, but I've always been fuzzy on this point...

A job title for a medieval ranch hand

I'm writing a story that takes place in a generic northern-European-type country in what would be equivalent to, say, the 1300s. There is a household and estate involved and the family that live there are fairly well-off farmers. They have a few servants for the house and they have men and boys who help work their land. It's that latter bunch that I need help with.

What might those workers be called? All that comes to mind is "serfs" but I didn't want them to be the wretched poor things usually thought of as serfs. They are from neighboring families (who, granted, are not as well-off as the house and land holders, but who aren't starving, either) whose 2nd, 3rd, or later sons need work, so they come to this family and help them run the estate.

Are there any other terms (doesn't matter which country they come from, really, as this is a fantasy story) that would fit the work that these men and boys are doing?

EDIT: thanks for the help everyone!