Of Servants.

  • March 18, 2006 at 6:22 am #1899

    Below are the positions of servants to be found in a full functioning house. This isn't to say that houses didn't function with a bare minimum of staff, as they did. Sometimes a gentleman had only one man who performed the duties of many. The same could be said of a woman. Some households were small and could only afford to have a small staff. Also, a good many of the positions listed would go on as such: house maid, second house maid, third house maid, etc. One could have various maids, footmen, grooms, and the like about to help run a vast estate. A country estate could employ up to 200 servants, perhaps more depending on size. A city house would have comparatively less.

    The positions here are from an actual book called The Duties of Servants published in 1894 (with no author given in its reprinting) meant to be used by the lady of the house and contains everything from what wages should be paid, how much sugar and tea were allotted, whether beer money was acceptable, personality traits to look for, former employment, and of course what the actual duties happened to be.

    No one asked me to put this up, I merely did because it's a book I happen to own and so much of the time when we think of servants it's only butlers, maids, or cooks when really there are a good many more. I've left out explaining what the duties are mainly because it would take a lot of time to write them out, but if there's a question, I wouldn't mind at all answering.

    for the gents:

    house steward
    groom of the chamber
    underbutler or head footman
    under footman
    head-gamekeeper (country estate)
    under-gamekeeper (country estate)
    steward's room boy
    servant's room boy

    for the ladies:

    plain cook
    head kitchen maid
    kitchen maid
    scullery maid
    stillroom maid
    parlour maid
    upper-house maid
    house maid
    lady's maid
    nursery maid
    schoolroom maid
    laundry maid
    dairy maid (country estate)

    March 18, 2006 at 8:20 am #2481

    Good stuff to know! Thanks for sharing!

    March 18, 2006 at 3:04 pm #2482
    VEST Paradox

    Thank you once again!

    March 24, 2006 at 5:56 am #2483

    Here is a link to a website with brief descriptions of most (if not all) of the positions listed above. I think the text was taken from the book that the list is attributed to.


    March 24, 2006 at 8:39 am #2484

    Indeed it's there as a source. Fantastic that you found something already written as there's a good deal in the book and that site does it nicely, with other influences as well. Thanks so much!

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