Country
  • Vagabonds/beggars -- To beg one must be granted a begging license, otherwise they could be subject to whipping; multiple offences could lead to hanging

  • Peasantry
    • Cottars
      • Did not own anything themselves but followed the harvest or, if lucky, relied on a craft
    • Tenant farmer or “husbandman”
      • Worked land rented from a yeoman or gentry, sometimes held a lease that guaranteed a place on the land, not well off but reasonably secure
    • Yeoman
      • Though not in possession of the land himself, a step up from tenant farmer as often times a yeoman held leases on the land and had his own tenants
      • Could potentially eventually move up to the gentry
         
  • Gentry
    • Owned the land on which the peasantry worked and collected income through rents as opposed to manual labor
    • Filled offices of law  and government in the community, which conferred on them further power
    • Knights and esquires were included in the gentry
      • Esquires allowed to bear heraldic arms
         
  • Nobility
    • Highest degree of gentry
      • Nobility either born into or conferred as a sign of favor by the crown
    • Granted special permissions and pardons not available to lower members of society
    • Ranks in ascending order:
      • Baron/Baroness
      • Viscount/Viscountess
      • Earl/Countess
      • Marquis/Marchioness
      • Duke/Duchess
         
  • Others in the country
    • Soldiers, priests, servants, tradesmen (though not Guild members, who would live in a town)

Town and City

  • Lowest class
    • Scavengers
      • Collected garbage and/or bodies
    • Criminals
      • Upright Man
        • Akin to a mob boss
      • Those they employed
  • Guilds
    • Organized by trade
    • Played an important role in city government
    • Levels of skill:
      • Apprentices
        • Young boys living with masters to learn the trade
      • Journeymen
        • Skilled laborers who could one day become masters
        • Unskilled laborers who worked for a daily wage
      • Masters
        • Except for royal exemption or within a field that could stand the competition, only masters in a Guild were permitted to set up shop
           
  • Professionals
    • Doctors, lawyers, higher church officials
       
  • Court
    • Queen ruled all

For more information: http://walternelson.com/dr/node/246