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Transcript of Medieval Chandler
By Isabella Sharp
Tallow Candles - 1348-1350
The Importance of Chandlers
Candles serve as a vital necessity in the Medieval Ages (5th Century A.D – 15th Century A.D). Along with torches, oil lamps and hearths, candles are one of the only sources of illumination; providing lighting for homes, businesses, transport, public places and industry. Without them, life, work and travel would cease each day at sunset.
Two common methods of manufacturing tallow candles
1st method: Traveling to people’s homes & using leftover kitchen fats
2nd method: supplies brought to craft candles
Sold at small shops or markets, as pictured in source 3.
Tallow Candles - 1348-1350
Tallow retains pungent odor
Drives demand for wax candlesor. Due to the rancid environment, tallow chandleries, chandlers and their homes are avoided by most, however as the products are a necessity, a chandler’s wares are always in high demand, irrespective of their stench.
Tallow candles are the common candles
Beeswax is harder to source - supply and demand rendered them very expensive
Only used for special ceremonies such as weddings or funerals.
Candles are a status symbol - high wealth individuals and businesses use beeswax candles as the main source of lighting
Wax Candles - 1371
Beeswax candles burn with very little smoke or odor
Preferred source of lighting for the wealthy citizens who could afford them
Beeswax candles are becoming a growing industry
Church insisting on the use of wax over tallow candles, & the introduction of scents
Most of London’s wax chandlers died in the Black Death
High risk occupation, because of their involvement in embalming and funerals.
30,000 Londoners died of the plague
Want for candles increased
Money was spent on tapers and other candles
A huge increase in demand for wax chandlery occurred which did not abate for nearly two hundred years.
Basic Facts and Benefits of Being a Chandler
Chandlers are lower class young – through to middle aged – males
Chandlers are successful businessmen, and have also sold byproducts of candle production
Leads to extra wealth positioning into the middle
class & having the freedom to move to the country,
educate their children,
bargain with Nobles and
Lords for land, hire apprentices
to manage shops and extend
The eldest son would take over the family chandlery when the business owner passed away or retired
In this primary source, the two beeswax candles that are featured are the first beeswax candles created. These candles date back from between the 6th - 7th century AD and were found north of the Alps from the Alemannic graveyard of Oberflacht, Germany. This is a primary source as it has been dated back to the Medieval Ages.
Source 1 Evaluation
Source 2 Evaluation
This is a primary source found in Book of Hours, Use of Sarum. It is a first person illustration of a funeral service, a common ceremonial use for candles in the Medieval Ages. This source is corroborated by source five which derive from the same book. It has been proved to be a primary source as the book it is from dates back to the Medieval Ages
Source 3 Evaluation
This is a primary source found in the Tacuinum Sanitatis series, a book written specifically based around the lives of medieval townspeople. The source pictures a Medieval Chandler shop. In this image candles can be seen hanging upside down in the traditional candle making way
Source 4 Evaluation
This source is corroborated with source 3, which originate from the same book, featuring an image from the Tacuinum Sanitatis. This Medieval handbook based on the maintenance of health. The Tacuinum Sanitatis claims to contain the six necessities to achieve the preservation of health. It was first thought to be published in the 15th century.
Source 5 Evaluation
Found in the “Book of Hours, Use of Sarum” this photo illustrates the importance of candles in the Medieval Ages especially through ceremonies and sacred rituals. Nuns and Priests can also be seen in the photo praying. This shows the link between the Church and the use of candles. The authenticity of this source is corroborated by source 2, originating from the “Book of Hours, Use of Sarum”
Responsibilities of a Chandler
1500s, Freeman of the Tallow Chandlers responsible for the trade of domestic products
Tallow candles were required for the compulsory street lighting for London.
They were also required to supply the City Watch with 60 men
Responsible for lighting the Royal Household
Spiel - How to make candle
This source is corroborated with source 3, which originate from the same book, featuring an image from the Tacuinum Sanitatis. This Medieval handbook based on the maintenance of health. The Tacuinum Sanitatis claims to contain the six necessities to achieve the preservation of health. It was first thought to be published in the 15th century. The image pictures a Chandler functioning their stall.