May 16th, 2008

Hamelin in the 13th century; blindness and disability

I'm writing a story based on the Pied Piper of Hamelin legend, and I have two questions:

1) Does anyone have any idea what kind of town Hamelin was in the 13th century? Small village? Large town? Trading center? Agricultural? I've tried googling all sorts of combinations of things and perusing wikipedia, but it seems if you put "hamelin" into a google search, all you get is things relating to the Pied Piper legend, er.

2) What could two 15 year old boys, one blind and the other with a ruined leg, do so far as work in a medieval setting goes? Would they be assumed to be incapable of doing anything and thus have to rely on family support or beg for sustenance, or would there be some place for them in a medieval society? The boys are ordinary commoners, and I have not decided for certain whether they are low or middle class.