In the monastic period pharmacy was to a great extent under the control of the religious orders, particularly the Benedictines, who, from coming into contact with the Arabian physicians, devoted themselves to pharmacy, pharmacology and therapeutics; but, as monks were forbidden to shed blood, surgery fell largely into the hands of barbers, so that the class of barber-surgeons came into existence, and the sign of their skill in blood-letting still appears in provincial districts in England in the form of the barber's pole, representing the application of bandages.
Other persons attached to a temple were priests, augurs, sacrificers, barbers, officials in charge of the curtains, masons, &c. (NSI.
They have blacksmiths, coppersmiths and goldsmiths among them, besides carpenters, barbers and other artisans.
In later documents mention is made of eighteen gilds of work-people, whose names are nowhere given, but they probably included workers in wood, workers in metal, workers in stone, weavers, leather-workers, potters, ivory-workers, dyers, fisher-folk, butchers, hunters, cooks, barbers, flowersellers, sailors, basket-makers and painters.
Their descendants, the Atherstones, Bowkers, Barbers, Woods, Whites, Turveys, and a number of other well-known frontier families, are to-day the backbone of the eastern district of the Cape, and furnish the largest portion of the progressive element in that province.