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Wealth, and amount of servants (Gaslight era)


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#1 satakuua


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 10:08 AM

Hi all,

I was wondering about the number of help around the house certain levels* of wealth usually bring.

Pretty sure penniless, and poor have none, but what would one expect when dealing with people of average wealth, and up? Average usually employ housekeepers/maids, wealthy have valets/butlers with housekeepers supervising a maid or two, and groundskeepers? Rich have a full house, and for super rich there will be an army of servants (and sycophants)?

This article has nice numbers for salaries of servants to help with calculations, but I am more interested in what was commonplace rather than min-maxed -- unless that was how you did it, back then, to show off.

*Wealth levels from Cthulhu through the Ages

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#2 Roucheau


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 04:44 PM

Excellent link. Thanks!

#3 Gaffer


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Posted 29 December 2016 - 10:18 PM

Let's start with staff for a family with a house in town.

A middle class family would often have help that don't live in -- a cook/housekeeper, perhaps a maid, possibly a gardener. (see Meet Me in St. Louis)

Upper middle class would probably have a live-in housekeeper to direct several resident and nonresident servants, including a cook, a kitchen maid, a housemaid, a gardener, maybe a porter. There could also be a coachman, who would report directly to the head of household and likely would have a room over the garage.

Wealthy would have all of the above with a butler rather than a housekeeper, maybe multiple housemaids and footmen and gardeners, perhaps a groom or stable boy to help with the horses, a valet for the man of the house, a lady's maid for the lady of the house and one for any adolescent daughters, and a nursemaid or nanny for younger children. If the children are educated at home rather than at school (often boarding) a tutor might come daily or a governess might live in.

In a large country house there would be more gardeners, more footmen, more maids, more grooms. There might also be servants to tend to hounds and other livestock. (see Gosford Park)

Women usually travelled with their own lady's maid. Men often travelled with their valet.

Edited by Gaffer, 29 December 2016 - 10:32 PM.

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#4 satakuua


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Posted 30 December 2016 - 07:35 AM

Exactly what I was looking for.

Thank you, Gaffer!

Edited by satakuua, 30 December 2016 - 08:07 AM.

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