Pay Rates for Royal Officials
Pay rates for the high offices of the realm and any special perquisites attached to said offices varied considerably. The kings would craft an arrangement to best suit the person (usually a noble) appointed to the post. For example, each Marshal of France received up to 265,000 ducats annually, plus 132 more ducats per man for the first month of any campaign, plus a percentage of any loot taken. Another interesting perk was that of the French Master of Arbalesters, who got all the cannon and church bells captured (once cannon become common.)
Now consider that during the 1370s the Chaucers (of Canterbury Tales fame), when in the kings service, seem to have averaged about 70 pounds (42,000 ducats) a year in annuities and wages (15% from John of Gaunt, the kings second son, the rest from the Crown), plus a rent-free house, in his capacity as keeper of one of the gates of London. There were also various miscellaneous gifts, such as a new suit twice a year and a gallon of good wine a day. During the 1390s he had a job as supervisor of some construction, which brought in about 22,000 ducats a year.
If we assume that the Chaucers' are typical of lower level retainers, and that the Marshals of France --and the Admiral-- are typical of the highest level retainer (after all, the only people who outrank them are the King, the Connetable, and probably the Chancellier), we should be able to do some sort of mathematical division of the goodies.
The King of England's obligations in this regard appear to have been about 42,000,000 ducats per thousand officers, which was more than his personal income. However, the monies for a lot of the offices would be paid by the local folks (sheriffs, justiciars, lords lieutenant). The concept of "mandates" (passing a law requiring some locality to pay for the "mandated" service) is not unique to the late 20th century American Congress. Medieval kings and parliaments were well aware of this practice and used it often.
Based on the foregoing, we can attempt to estimate annual pay for Fourteenth Century big shots. Figures are assumed to include perqs (i.e., the annual new suit, wine rations, and free houses, etc.) Out of the indicated sums, of course, these guys would have to pay their retainers, so the King is getting more than one employee when he plops his money down.
England: Pay Rates for Officials.
France: Pay Rates for Officials
Pay for the Troops
Ships and Naval Warfare