Life below stairs – the duties of a Georgian housemaid | All Things Georgian

Originally posted on All Things Georgian.

Maid servant being scolded, courtesy of Lewis Walpole

Many of our posts take a look at the upper echelons of Georgian society, so this time we thought it might be interesting to look at what it would have been like to have worked ‘below stairs’ as a housemaid in a Georgian household: it’s not quite Downton Abbey though!

Although these duties weren’t written until towards the end of the Georgian era, the workload would more than likely have been the same for the previous hundred years or more. Having taken a look, our conclusion is that it’s certainly not a job for us, what do you think?

Qualifications

A housemaid should be active, clean, and neat in her person. Be an early riser, of a respectful and steady deportment, and possessed of a temper that will not be easily ruffled. She must be able to see without much appearance of discomposure her labours often increased by the carelessness and thoughtlessness of others.

Many a dirty foot will obtrude itself upon her clean floors; and the well-polished furniture will demand her strength and patience, when spotted or soiled by some reckless…

via Life below stairs – the duties of a Georgian housemaid | All Things Georgian.

One thought on “Life below stairs – the duties of a Georgian housemaid | All Things Georgian

  1. Looks like about an eighteen-hour day, with a lot to do before the household even had breakfast. Given the harsh life in the countryside, it might have been preferable (just) to have lived in a big house, and be well-fed at least. Even today, hotel chambermaids are expected to do sixteen rooms in an eight-hour shift, but they don’t have to empty ashes, or polish grates. Phew!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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