Take a step back in time with me and experience the world of living in an English manor house. It was a comfortable existence - if you were upstairs. Downstairs was a different issue.
Your stately home might look like this...
These houses had their heyday during the Victorian era, but still existed in ever-decreasing numbers until World War II.
And then there were the servants. The numbers varied depending on the family's circumstances, but large households were not uncommon. Downstairs staff would include:
- Butler - responsible for running the house
- Housekeeper - responsible for the female staff and maintaining the house's furnishings
- Cook or Chef - in charge of the kitchen staff and prepares the family's meals
- Lady's Maid - responsible for care of the lady's clothes, sometimes secretary
- Valet - responsible for the gentleman's clothes, sometimes secretary
- First Footman - next in line to replace the butler. Served the family meals. Accompanied the lady of the house on shopping expeditions. Should be tall and handsome.
- Second Footman - similar duties to first footman - but in an apprentice role. It was a social coup to find a first and second footman who looked similar - like bookends.
- Footman - additional staff for opening doors, waiting on table, etc.
- Chamber Maid - responsible for cleaning bedrooms
- Parlour Maid - responsible for cleaning the main reception rooms
- Housemaid - general purpose worker
- Between Maid - worked in either the house or the kitchen as required
- Under-Cook - apprentice to the cook. Responsible for the staff's meals
- Kitchen Maid - kitchen work
- Scullery Maid - dish washer
- Laundry Maid - responsible for the household laundry and ironing
World War II effectively ended this lifestyle, although some great houses and their attendant staffs do still exist.
This is the world of my WiP.