Category Archives: servant life

Life Below Stairs: English Servants Emigrating to Australia, the U. S., and Canada

Young girls who set out for Australia to earn a living as a domestic servant, opportunities to marry were not out of the question. In England, seduction ruled, but these young girls entered a different world, where they could consider … Continue reading

Posted in Act of Parliament, British history, Living in the UK, real life tales, servant life | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

“Old Lady Day” ~ No It is Not My Birthday!

Quarter Days are the four dates in each year that align with religious festivals. The days are roughly three months apart and are close to the two solstices and the two equinoxes. In British history, these days were the ones … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Chaucer, Christmas, Church of England, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Living in the UK, real life tales, research, servant life, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

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

Previously, we looked at how some servants chose to emigrate to Australia rather than to remain in England. You may find that discussion HERE:  Life Below Stairs: English Servants Emigrating to Australia, Part I  An article entitled “Mistress and Maid” … Continue reading

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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 – The Expense of Keeping Servants

The landed aristocrats were VERY slow to give up the expenses of an extensive household staff. We saw that “plot” being used in the final season of Downton Abbey. It is said that the sixth Duke of Portland employed some … Continue reading

Posted in British history, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Great Britain, Living in the Regency, Living in the UK, Napoleonic Wars, Regency era, servant life, Uncategorized, Victorian era | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Life Below Stairs – The Footman

There are tales of footmen who experienced criticism and mild taunts when they went about their master’s business. Even so, the footman became a sort of symbol of the division in society. Reports abound of street urchins throwing mud on … Continue reading

Posted in British history, estates, fashion, Georgian Era, Great Britain, history, Living in the Regency, Living in the UK, servant life, Victorian era | Tagged , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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

Posted in British history, Great Britain, servant life, Seven Years' War, Uncategorized, Victorian era | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

The Role of Servants in Jane Austen’s Novels, a Guest Post from Eliza Shearer

To complement my series on Life Below Stairs, I thought you might enjoy this piece from Eliza Shearer which first appeared on Austen Authors on 7 January 2020.  One of the things I love about Jane Austen is that nothing … Continue reading

Posted in Austen Authors, book excerpts, Emma, Georgian England, Georgian Era, Guest Post, Jane Austen, Living in the Regency, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, reading habits, Regency era, servant life, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in British history, history, Living in the UK, servant life, Victorian era | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment