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New Netherland, New York Genealogy
Obsolete Occupations of the Netherlands© Cor Snabel
Beguine (begijn)Beguines were devoted virgins or widows, who were situated, by their special religious way of life, between civilians and nuns. They obeyed two rules: obedience and chastity. This movement started in the 12th century and originated from Brabant. The beguines settled in small houses around a church or near a convent and often a wall surrounded it, so it became a secluded community.
Although these women had possessions, they often owned the house they lived in, they lived according to the vow of poverty; they had sober furniture, allowed themselves no luxury and owned dog nor chicken. By this outlook on life and in later years by the fact that they stayed Catholic, they separated themselves from the rest of the world; they expressed that by their cloths too, a black wimple and a white apron. They volunteered for the tasks within the church, like cleaning and polishing. These religious women had to support themselves by knitting and washing.
Contact with the outside world was limited to the absolute minimum. If a craftsman like a carpenter or silversmith had to work within the walls of the beguine court, there were strict regulations how to approach this man: only some coffee or tea, a sandwich for lunch, but no talking. They were also not allowed to receive presents and only at Sint Nicolaas, on 5 December, they could exchange small gifts. Until late in the 19th century these beguines lived their religious lives within their secluded communities.
>Choose from the following ancient occupations
Seat Caretaker |
Ship Shanghai |
Baker | Beachcomber | Beguine | Candlemaker | Dumpman | Executioner | Fanmaker | Fireman | Gravedigger | Innkeeper | Laundrywoman | Nightwatch | Peddlar | Porter | Seat Caretaker | Ship Shanghai | Soapmaker | Streetpaver | Tolltaker | Pharmacist
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