18th and 19th Century: Cheating Valets and Tricks of the Trade

Originally posted on 18th and 19th Century.

One writer in the early 1830s believed that the moral character of household servants had declined. He claimed that despite there being an unspoken rule that servants could supplement their incomes indirectly from their employers, household domestics took advantage of the situation. One way was by using various tricks to regularly gouging their employers.

One nineteenth century nobleman decried that “there is not such an animal in nature as an honest servant.” Among the servants who reportedly cheated and took tremendous advantage of their employers were valets. One person explained why: “The whimsicalities and extravagances of many masters in high life, together with the total absences of thoughtfulness in some young men of fortune, [throws] wide a door…for the exercise of the tricks and impositions of this species of servant.”

Valets, similar to a household steward, used a variety of tricks to enhance their income. One trick was to complain…

via 18th and 19th Century: Cheating Valets and Tricks of the Trade.

2 thoughts on “18th and 19th Century: Cheating Valets and Tricks of the Trade

  1. I suppose you cannot blame them for taking advantage. Most of their rich masters only became wealthy by taking advantage of the lower classes in the first place. Perhaps if they had shown more concern for the working conditions, and paid a fair wage, it might not have been such a widespread practice.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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