Writing a Medieval Short Story



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Writing a Medieval Short Story

Medieval Europe was a difficult time to live through. To show your understanding of the time period, you will create a short story that demonstrates what you have learned.

Your story does not have a set length limit, but should include the following literary elements:


  • A conflict (something that drives the story)

  • A resolution

  • Description (of characters, setting, time period, etc.)

  • A protagonist character (a central character)

How do I show learning?

Consider the following historical content to show me what you know. These things should be woven into the story.



Medieval Surnames

Medieval surnames had a far more important meaning attached to them in Medieval England than perhaps they do now when we effectively inherit our surname. Medieval names usually meant something and below are some of the more common surnames found in Medieval England and their meaning.



Ashdown

Dweller on ash-tree hill

Baker

Maker of bread

Bennett

blessed

Bigge

Big and Strong

Brickenden

Maker of bricks

Brooker

Dweller by the brook

Browne

Brown haired or dark skinned

Carpenter

Maker of wooden objects

Cheeseman

Maker of cheese

Clarke

Scholar, cleric or secretary

Cooper

Wooden bucket maker

Fletcher

Maker of arrows

Foreman

Looks after pigs

Godfrey

God-peace

Gregory

Watchful

Hughes

Son of Hugh

Mannering

Manly

Nash

Dweller by the ash tree

Payne

Pagan

Rolfe

Peasant

Taylor

Maker of clothes

Walter

Dweller by water

Ward

Guardian or watchman

Webb

Weaver

Paternal names

A large number of people were known by the name of their father, such as John son of Richard. Over the years this was to adapt to Johnson.

Place names

Some people adopted the name of a place where they originally came from, such as John of Lewes.

Topographical names

This was a name that referred to a geographical feature where you lived, such as John atte Ford which over the years would have evolved into Attford.

Occupation names

Some people became known by their occupations such as Gilbert the Baker.

Office names

Some people got names from an official duty they carried out in a village, such as Richard the Reeve

Nicknames

These were usually a name that referred to a person’s appearance or character such as Henry the Bold

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