Glossary of medieval words found in The Woodville Connection & The Beaulieu Vanishing

15th century Arras tapestry of a boar and bear huntArras – a fine wool tapestry originating from the French town of the same name





A lord dining beneath a baldaquin

Baldaquin – a ceremonial canopy











Medieval braiesBraies - medieval breeches











Medieval carrack

Carrack – a large merchant ship







The cellarer was responsible for the monastyert's provisionsCellarer - the person in a monastery responsible for provisions











Cellarium at Fountains Abbey

Cellarium – the storehouse in a medieval monastery











An English cogCog – a single-masted, clinker-built vessel with steep sides and a flat bottom













Conversi - monastery lay-brothers, usually responsible for the agricultural and manual work









Crayer 1Crayer - a two or three-masted cargo vessel










hanseatic_leagueHanseatic League - a powerful economic alliance dominating medieval trade along the coast of Northern Europe







Hippocras – wine flavoured with sugar and spices














Hosteller – the person responsible for a monastery’s guesthouse








Hanseatic hulk Jesus of Lubeck


Hulk – a three-masted trading vessel favoured by the Hanseatic League









Infirmarian – the person in charge of a monastery’s infirmary











Keeper (of the castle) – the official responsible to the King for a castle’s governance











Kitchener – the person responsible for serving meals in a monastery









Lauds - monks praying


Lauds – a service of morning prayer traditionally said at daybreak







linsey woolsey


Linsey-woolsey – a coarse, woven fabric of linen and wool












Livery Badge – heraldic badges worn by servants and retainers to identify their allegiance






Anglo Saxon Feast


Metheglin – spiced mead












Nones – a monastic service held at 3pm










Palfrey – a saddle horse with a smooth gait










Prime – a monastic service held at 6am






Rhenish region


Rhenish – wine from the Rhine region










Rouncey a


Rouncey – a general purpose horse of no particular breeding, most likely to be ridden by those of low social standing











Sacristy – the room in a monastery where vestments, sacred vessels and important records are kept






Sallet helm


Sallet helm – a light war helmet with a back-flaring brim











Solar – a comfortably appointed private chamber in a castle or manor house










Still room


Still Room – found in well-to-do households, a room set aside for the distillation of medicines and the preparation of cosmetics







Sumptuary laws


Sumptuary laws – laws introduced to ensure people dressed according to their rank












Verjuice – an acidic green concoction widely used to flavour other foods










Recommended reads

If you have enjoyed reading The Woodville Connection and The Beaulieu Vanishing and would like to know a bit more about the period in which they are set, the following books are highly recommended.

Richard the Third by Paul Murray Kendall

The Reign of Edward IV by Eric N. Simons provides an entertaining overview of the period

For a more general look at life in medieval times, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer is as enjoyable as it is informative.

Beaulieu: King John’s Abbey by Dom Frederick Hockey gives a detailed history of Beaulieu Abbey from 1204 to 1538

We Speak No Treason by Rosemary Hawley Jarman

Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Sunne in Splendour by Sharon Kay Penman


Recommended Websites

The Richard III Society –

English Heritage –