Servants in Victorian England

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Servants in Victorian England Servants were imperative to the functioning of middle and upper class homes in Victorian England. Without the veritable army of servants for the upper and upper-middle classes, women would not be able to live the leisured lives they had grown accustomed, and would certainly not have the time to flaunt their status with neighbor-calling and the numerous balls and social activities. Even most lower-middle and middle-middle classes employed at least one servant, as assistance was almost a necessity in maintaining the home (Roberts 205). For the most part, these servants had an appreciation for their work, with the opportunity to live in an upper class home and have job security, as the alternative was industrial work with unexplained lay-offs and less than desirable, and often unsanitary, living conditions (Margetson 155). The highest classes of families would employ this “army” of servants, each servant having a specific duty, and providing them all with matching uniforms. For the less wealthy families, a “maid of all works” was common, where the maid would assist with cleaning, cooking, and raising the children (Roberts 205). In families where many servants were employed, a sort of ranking system occurred, between all of the servants, and even within particular positions. Head butlers, or stewards, were considered higher in ranking than the rest of the servants. The head butler would have managerial responsibilities over the other servants of the home. In the middle, there were valet's, which were the personal assistants to the gentleman, who would clean his clothes, assist him in dressing and in shaving. The lady's maid had similar duties for the woman of the home, mostly assisting in dress... ... middle of paper ... ...g to read the quotes of people telling their experiences of living as a servant versus the people living as a master. Also, here is a link to a picture of the Servant's Hall of a judge's home in Victorian England, to give an idea of the living conditions of servants. Works Cited Kelley, Grace. “Nineteenth-Century Medicine in the Literal Sense”. 1999. . Margetson, Stella. Victorian High Society. New York: Holmes and Meier Publishers, INC, 1980. Roberts, Adam C. Victorian Culture and Society. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003. “Servants' Hall.” The Judges Lodging Museum. . “The Victorians: The London Townhouse - The Servants.” Romance Ever After. 2001. .
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