Category Archives: servant life

Life Below Stairs: English Servants Emigrating to Australia, Part I

In the mid to late 1840s, many girls in service decided to make the arduous journey from England to Australian ports. One must remember that the journey took three to four months to complete, depending upon the weather and the … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Non-Existent Legal Redress

Was there legal redress for the servants of Victorian households? ¬†Although there was genuine concern for the conditions in which many of the servants operated, most claimed it was impossible to make laws to protect domestic servants. Those that were … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Life as a Maid-of-all Work in Victorian England

Maids-of-all-Work were the “general,” rather than the exception in Victorian England. Women employed in these positions were expected to be a combination of housemaid, nurse, parlourmaid, and even cook if something happened to incapacitate the cook. They were expected to … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Rising with the Sun in Victorian England, Part II

Recently, we had a look at breakfast chores for servants in a Victorian household. See it HERE. Today, we carry on with other duties.¬† About a half hour after the household staff consumed their meager meal, the family was summoned … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Rising with the Sun in Victorian England ~ Part I

Servants needed to be up and about their business long before the Master and the Mistress. For example, lower servants were up at 5 A.M. and at work minutes later. Most did not waste time in their rooms for they … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Benevolent Groups Come to the Aid of Domestic Servants

There were groups operating in London and throughout England to aid domestic servants. The most important of those were… Established in May 1846, The General Domestic Servants’ Benevolent Institution was located at 32 Sackville Street, Piccadilly. It was under the … Continue reading

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Life Below Stairs: Increase in the White-Slave Traffic

Back in March, I spoke of the Fallen Female Servant, those young (often innocent) girls who were seduced or conquered by their masters. Today, I wish to speak of what the future held if the mistress of the house drove … Continue reading

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