Page 1 of 1

what were mail makers called?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:00 pm
by Colin Middleton
Last weekend, I met a family with the surname Haberjon (not sure on the spelling). They had been told that this was a term for people who made mail and asked my opinion. I pointed out the phonetic similarity with the High Medieval term for a mail shirt, but couldn't confirm more than that.

Can anyone offer any insight into what the Medieval term for a mail-worker might be?

Colin

Re: what were mail makers called?

Posted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:12 pm
by bart
I read somewhere that they were called maille smiths...but might be wrong.

Re: what were mail makers called?

Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:31 pm
by Brother Ranulf
I have just been trawling through manuscripts for 12th century occupation terms and at that time it was haberger/hauberger and various variants. The earliest mention is some time before 1174. Clearly this comes from hauberk, but it means a maker of any mail armour; by the late 12th century the coif and mittens were generally integral with the hauberk, so only the leg armour (either strapped behind each leg or complete like sleeves) was separate.

The same term turns up in a document of 1419, so it had a long shelf life.

Re: what were mail makers called?

Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:45 pm
by Colin Middleton
Thanks for that Brother Ranulf. I'm not surprised at the longevity of the term though. A shoemaker was a cordwainer, long after they stopped using cordovan to make shoes.

Colin