Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Gatherings

While in ancient times halloween was dedicated to the start of a new year, the harvest, and protection against evil spirits, it became much more about community and social gatherings come the 19th century. Parties for both children and adults were planned and executed in macabre and frightening or grotesque ways, the more so the better.

Games were often played at these parties which by todays standards were either to dangerous or to tame for adults. Some examples of the tamer ones included Pin the tail on the Donkey, Blind Man's Bluff, Bobbing for apples, and Fox and Geese. Scavanger hunts were also popular pasttimes at these events as it allowed the younger people to split into groups and meet in the woods without the peering eyes of chaperones.

Of the more dangerous the most memorable would have to be Crossroad Apples. The set up was simple take a cross of wood and tie apples on the four corners then hang the setup from the ceiling or a tree. On top of the beams of wood were lit candles, the idea was to get the apple off without getting hit in the face with hot wax.

Now these were not the only entertainments of a proper halloween affair either. One could expect a good deal of feasting on festive and seasonal harvest foods. Such as pumpkin pie , a personal favorite, roasted corn, roast pig or pheasant, etc.

After dinner had concluded it would be time to wind down before bed with some quieter activities. These might include a show done by the participants themselves, or ghost stories around the fire.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Deathly Superstitions

Especially early on in the Victorian period  stretching back even as far as the Regency period and lasting well into late Edwardian period the macabre was a point of fascination with the general public. It was a point of mystery as little was known about death yet, it  was terrifying but whom doesn't like a safe scare now and again?

The 19th century was just full of terrifying, twisted tales, events, games, it filled the parlors of every household at least once a year. From these death enraptured minds came the superstitions. Throughout history superstitions followed every part of life but in the 19th century death became the key theme of numerous amounts of superstitious tales.

Here for your view pleasures are but a few: 

- If the deceased has lived a good life, flowers would bloom on his grave; but if he has been evil, only weeds would grow.

- If several deaths occur in the same family, tie a black ribbon to everything left alive that enters the house, even dogs & chickens. This will protect them against deaths spreading further.

- Never wear anything new to a funeral, especially shoes.

- You should always cover your mouth while yawning so your spirit doesn’t leave you and the devil never enters your body.

- It is bad luck to meet a funeral procession head on. If you see one approaching, turn around. If this is unavoidable, hold on to a button until the funeral cortege passes.

- Large drops of rain warn that there has been a death.

- Stop the clock in a death room or you will have bad luck.

- To lock the door of your home after a funeral procession has left the house is bad luck.

- If you hear a clap of thunder following a burial it indicates that the soul of the departed has reached heaven.

- If you hear 3 knocks and no one is there, it usually means someone close to you has died. (The superstitious call this the 3 knocks of death.)

- If you leave something that belongs to you to the deceased, that means the person will come back to get you.

- If a firefly/lightening bug gets into your house someone will die soon.

- If you smell roses when none are around someone is going to die.

- If you don’t hold your breath while going by a graveyard you will not be buried.

- If you see yourself in a dream, your death will follow.

- If you see an owl in the daytime, there will be death.

- If you dream about a birth, someone you know will die.

- If it rains in an open grave then someone in the family will die within the year.

- If a bird pecks on your window or crashes into one, there has been a death.

- If a sparrow lands on a piano, someone in the home will die.

- If a picture falls off a wall, there will be a death of someone you know.

- Never speak ill of the dead because they will come back to haunt you or you will suffer misfortune.

- Two deaths in the family mean that a third is to follow.

- The cry of a curlew or the hoot of an owl foretells death.

- A single snowdrop growing in the garden foretells a death.

- Having only red & white flowers together in a vase (especially in a hospital) means a death will soon follow.

- Dropping an umbrella on the floor or opening one in the house means that there will be a murder in the house.

- A diamond-shaped fold in clean linen portends death.

- A dog howling at night when someone in the house is sick is a bad omen. It can be reversed by reaching under the bed & turning over a shoe.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Dating vs Courting

As I sit here typing away by oil lamp light, I ponder over the changes that have become the normality of these modern times. Some are good, others not so much, at least in my humble opinion. For example while I feel that women having a voice is an improvement, considering I am a strong willed, opinionated female, I feel that it is a great disadvantage that we now instead of courting have dating...

I have nothing against anyone that prefers dating persay but let us look at the reality of what that actually is. Dating is the hanging out of two people in an intimate manner without commitment or expectations of the future. Whereas courting was what came after getting to know someone as a close friend, deciding to take that next step and committing to that person. Then begining to get to know them better without the intimacy before marriage but rather with the expectation of a possible marriage proposal in the future.

Nowadays people do not take thier time, life has become rushed, everything is about instant gratification with little to no effort. In the dating world people are not looking for marriage, or to really know the person they are with, they are looking for the fastest easiest way to get physical pleasure out of someone before moving on to the next pasture for more milk.

Women are raised to think its the norm to just give it up with no expectation of being treated properly, let alone marriage first. They do not look at actual prospects since they are told the only thing that matters is how good a guy is in bed. We have gone to a completely polar extreme in how we raise our girls, and it is ever more apparent when we look at any lil girl's clothing section in the average department store. Little girls of 8 and even younger are being sold belly shirts, miniskirts, daisy dukes, bikinis, and worse. They are little girls and the fashion industry is dressing them like prosititutes! What does this teach them? It teaches them that all that matters is sex and sex appeal. This in turn is all that dating is about also, sex and sex appeal, no commitments, no expectations, no thoughts on the future at all.. just instant gratification.

While for women dating has become about objectification and trying to become a tool for the sexual release of thier male peers. For men it is completely different, men are raised to simple expect sex. Everything around them has become hyper sexualized with a heavy focus on men receiving it whenever they want or ask. This has over time created a major increase in men that are crude, rude, expectant, and abusive. It really is no wonder that over the past decade alone the number of criminal sex offenders has increased tenfold.

Courting on the other hand is a good deal different, it focuses not on the instant personal gratification of ones physical needs but rather on the cultivation of a deep lasting relationship. Courting is about getting to know the person you are attracted to as a person not a tool to be used towards your own release.

In the days of courting, women took pride in raising thier young to have manners, grace, to emphasize thier skills at homemaking and artistic hobbies for the girls, and the ability to be a gentleman, a good provider and protector for the boys. Courting could take months, even a few years before an engagement was proposed or accepted. While engagement was usually on the short side, the time was taken to really know each other before taking the plunge. Relationships were longer lasting and stronger when this time was taken.

Bounderies and rules were in place to keep everyone proper and well mannered. A rather radical bit of rules that would be considered prudish nowadays, such as no holding hands before engagement, only side hugs no frontal, chaperones at all times, no kissing, and no being in a room alone together. I rather doubt most people in this modern age could handle it to be quite honest.

It is, in my personal view, a very sad day that this time, paitence, and manner of relationship is nearly gone now.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Do's and Don'ts of Victorian Letter Writing.

Before the modern age of emails, texting, faxes, and instant messaging we had the hand written letter. The Victorians wrote letters of apology, letters of congratulations, letters of introduction, just to mention a few.

The proper Victorian lady was obliged to convey news and information through an attractive letter. Her talent for letter-writing was not only a social obligation, but a skill that she was expected to cultivate, naturally or through practice. Her aptitude for letter-writing indicated her level of breeding. Both ladies and gentlemen were judged not only by the elegance and eloquence of words chosen, but by their penmanship.

Regardless of its purpose, each letter was expected to conform to a very strict list of basic do's and don'ts:

1. Do not write an anonymous letter.
2. Do not conduct private correspondence on a postal card, as they are considered a "cheap" version of a letter.
3. Do not use lined paper for formal letters.
4. Do not write on a half-sheet of paper for the sake of economy.
5. Do not underline words. Let your choice of vocabulary and expressiveness of thought convey your depth of feeling.
6. Do not use abbreviated words, as it indicates the letter was written hastily.
7. Do not erase misspelled words in letters of importance; do recopy the entire letter.
8. Do not use a postscript except in very friendly letters.
9. Do not fill up margins with forgotten ideas and messages but instead add an extra sheet to the letter.
10. Do give every subject a separate paragraph.
11. Do write letters by hand; the typewriter was considered the most vulgar thing to use on a personal letter!
12. Do match the writing style to whom the letter was addressed to; for example, a letter to a business tradesman should be polite but distant in its tone.
13. Do not refold the letter; rather, do be sure to fold it correctly the first time.
14. Do read the letter over carefully before sending.

So true now in this modern age the letter is a dying art, that is no longer even taught in our schools. Within the Victorian Lifestyle Household, this art and its strict protocols of structure could very easily be adapted as both a necessity for its staff, and a punishment in some cases as well.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Look at Lolita

Salutations everyone, the past few weeks we have discussed and gone over some of the more historical points of victoriana, such as pornography, house structure, and servantry structures. Historical aspects are only one part of victorian culture for the modern age, there are many more aspects nowadays to explore and enjoy.

One of these offshoots is Lolita. A very dear friend and my chuckaboo (victorian slang for close friend) introduced me to this fashion culture, I will be interviewing her later on in this article.

Now for myself personally I tend to avoid anything asian related, simply for the fact that I have never found an interest in any of it, though I have many friends that are obsessed with the asian cultures. So I was rather skeptical at first about Lolita, as it was and is a Japanese street fashion trend. Then I began to really look deeper into the culture surrounding it and I must say I fell in love with it! The entire trend is about modesty, elegance, and class, they showcase these traits thru thier clothing which is styled very much after the victorian and edwardian styles of dress.
To begin this look into Lolita, I will share with you the different styles of lolita that I have been able to come across and the pictures that go along with them. I would like to state for the record here as I give these definitions that Cosplay/Maid is NOT part of the lolita fashion!

(note: all definitions are from wiki so if you have a better one please share! None of these pictures are mine, I found them on google Images... Please just write me if they belong to you and I will mark them appropriately or remove them if you wish thank you)

Sweet Lolita
Sweet Lolita basically lives up to its name. The style includes light, pastel colours such as baby pink, sky blue and cream. Accessories such as parasols, bows and frills are used to give a 'young sweet girl' image.


Classical Lolita
Classical Lolita is a more mature version of Sweet Lolita. It usually includes more toned-down textures and darker colours, like Royal Blue and Maroon. It is usually worn by older people who no longer find it appropriate to dress in styles like Gothic and Sweet.


Ero or Erotic Lolita
Erotic Lolita seems to reflect more on the Western gothic styles. These Lolitas are Gothic but tend to wear more revealing clothing like corsets, shorter skirts and straps rather than the traditional Victorian-style fashion. However, Lolita is still a fashion based upon elegance, cuteness, and modesty, and should never be worn in a "sexy" way.
(note: in my research I have found a good deal of dislike and negative connotation regarding this particular subset)

Hime Lolita
Hime Lolita is based more on Marie Antoinette fashion, Hime literally means 'Princess'. Followers of the fashion usually wear pastel colours, patterns reminiscent of the French Rococo fabrics, or Sweet Lolita dresses with a heavier Rococo influence. Their hair can be curled or cut into the Hime style hair cut; it can also be quite high and reminiscent of the Marie Antoinette coiffures and dressed with small tiaras o cute alice bows and pearls. Their make-up is done soft and beautifully, much like a real princess. This style of Lolita Fashion is the most feminine and frilly of them all.


Punk Lolita
Punk Lolita is very popular when seeing J-rock lives. Taken from some elements of British punk, Punk Lolita includes black, red and tartan in their attire, along with various accessories such as studs, chains, pins. This style also describes some of Nana Kitade's heavier outfits.


Wa Lolita
Wa Lolita is a mixture between Lolita and traditional Japanese clothing. Altered kimonos are often worn over petticoats and hair can be styles in a traditional bun, along with traditional make-up and sandals. The original look of Lolita is modified with the older styles.


Qi Lolita
Qi Lolita is a similar style to Wa, except instead of being mixed with traditional Japanese clothes, Chinese clothes are mixed in with the Lolita, such as a Qipao or Cheongsam dress over the top of the Lolita petticoat. Red is a colour that is popularly used in this style.


Kodona or Oji Lolita
Kodona or Oji Lolita is the male counterpart of Lolita, though girls are often seen wearing it as well. The outfit usually consists of a London-style tophat and ruffles. A waistcoat is usually added over the top of a white shirt along with black trousers with thick black platform shoes. If wearing shorts, tights or leggings are popular. Even accessories like walking sticks and canes are used. Sometimes pale, dark make-up is used to enhance the mysterious look.


Guro Lolita
Guro Lolita. This is also known as 'Grotesque' or 'Injured Lolita'. The look that is aimed for is that of a broken Victorian doll. Fake blood, eyepatches and bandages give them the injured appearance. Some wearers add an arm sling or fake bruises to enhance the look. Colours are usually kept pale and most commonly, white. The blood and other injuries are the main focus. Hair is often worn in any style from straight to backcombed bunches.

(note: again not the most popular of subsets amongst the lolita communities that I have yet seen in my research)


Sailor Lolita
Sailor Lolita adapts the look of both Sailor and Lolita. The most popular colours are white and blue and accessories usually include collars, ties, sailor hats and stripes. Blue skirts and white blouses are very common in this style. Hair is normally tied back or is accessorized with a ribbon.


Gothic Lolita
Gothic Lolita is by far the most popular style amongst Westerners. Whilst sticking to the darkness of Goth, heavy red lipstick and make-up are not used. Instead, natural looks are preferred. Neither are revealing corsets or skirts. The style reflects on a dark version of a Victorian child and may includes accessories with symbols like black cross necklaces, bats, and coffins, though the style aims more for elegance of the Gothic and Victorian eras rather than Western interpretation of Goth (Death, all black, vampires, Halloween, etc.)


Shiro Lolita
Shiro Lolita, or 'White Lolita' is a Lolita style consisting entirely of white and cream shades, giving them a pure, clean look. Whether they be Sweet, Gothic, or any other type of Lolita, if the outfit is entirely white, it is classed as Shiro.


Kuro Lolita
Kuro Lolita is the exact opposite of Shiro, the outfit consists of entirely black and Kuro Lolita wearers often pair themselves with Shiro wearers to make a bold contrast. Sometimes you can see Kuro and Shiro Lolitas paired up, with mirror image outfits in their respective colours


Country Lolita
Country Lolita, is a sub-style of Sweet Lolita. It consists of pale pinks and yellows, and patterns such as strawberries and ginghams, but remains with a picnic-style country look. Accessories include anything floral, straw-hats, and tote bags. They give off a summery vibe.

Now that we have had a look at some of the different styles and what they look like, I would like to introduce to you my very dearest Chuckaboo Harvest Hellion! She is the amazing woman that introduced me to the world of lolita and has helped me so much with my research on this modern trend. Im much better at the historical stuffs shhhh. I have asked her to answer a few questions here for all of us including myself! So here goes!


Me: How would you define Lolita?

HH: I define it as a way of life, a sweeter life. One that is more detailed and ornate. There are many types of Lolita, so it varies by each person. It's not a perverted thing. It's about wanting the finer things in life and enjoying the luxury. It can be hard work, too after all. Think of all that time spent putting on makeup and doing nails. Hee hee.


Me: How did you get interested in Lolita fashion?

HH: I got interested in Lolita at a young age. I was interested in this comic by Ai Yazawa called "Paradise Kiss." There was this girl named Miwako and she was a lolita. I kind of started researching from there. It was fun, and it's stayed that way. The style changes ever-so-slightly every year. I learned about Mana from Malice Mizer in that time I was in high school as well. Mana was so beautiful and I wanted to be beautiful as well.


Me: What is your favorite subgenre/style of Lolita?

HH: That's a difficult decision. I'm somewhere between Sweet and Gothic lolita. I like classic, too. But sweet is where my heart really stays most of the time. I just love the different styles and the lace. It makes me wish I knew how to make my own lace. Hee hee hee.


Me: Is Lolita something that you would want to wear on a daily basis?

HH: Oh yes. I would love to wear it every day. I have seen some who have wore it every day. I want to be like that. Confident in my outfits and my body that I could dress that way and look good in it. I'm sure it wouldn't be too hard. I'm just a little heavier so I have issues finding stuff that fits that is proper.


Me: Would you like to make Lolita a lifestyle for yourself someday?
HH: Yes, I think it would be nice. I've already got plans for my future home. I want the library to be a gothic lolita kind of style. Wherever you can add a little lolita is nice.


Me: Do you feel that Lolita is a good way to showcase a more modest, elegant, classy lifestyle as a whole?

HH: I do. I think it's a more elegant way of life. There are manners and the like expected of you. A sort of intelligence that you pick up as you go along, etiquette-wise.


Me: In my research I have seen that wigs, circle lense contacts, and false eyelashes are highly popular for use with coordinates (outfits) to bring the look together. Given that the options were available to you financially would you use any or all of these items in your own Lolita looks?

HH: Oh, of course. There are many places that make those options relatively viable. They can add up, but if you know what you're doing you can get a good deal. Just have to be careful with the circle lenses, since they go in your eyes. Wigs allow for different hairstyles. I've worn a couple before. They're not so bad. False eyelashes are tricky, I have the worst time with them! Hee hee hee! It's a skill I'm still working on.


Me: Brand seems to be rather a hot topic amongst Lolitas, would you prefer to buy all Brand gear, sew the majority yourself, or somewhere in between the two?

HH: If I could buy it all brand name I would, but i know that's not possible. I do like to sew, so that's always a good option for me as well. I love a good challenge. And the Gothic Lolita Bibles come with, or used to come with, patterns for you to try out. Just have to adjust them to your size. I've done it before. It's not so difficult if you know what you are doing. I would give my right eye for some Metamophose Temps De Fille stuff though.


Me: And Lastly, thank you again for doing this interview, Do you have any words of wisdom for someone just starting out?

HH: Take your time. Always. Don't get too hasty in your endeavors. And always go for quality over quantity. You want to make sure what you're wearing doesn't fall apart or look costumey.

I would like to again thank Harvest Hellion for her fantastic interview and all the great information/tips she offered to those of us just learning about this amazing trend. If you have any questions for either of us please do not hesitate to write me at or head on over to check out Harvest's blog at any of her amazing places!

  • Monday, September 8, 2014

    Have a Question or Topic Request?

    Now I am not one to normally do this but as I am having ever so much fun with my research and writing, I thought I would present an opportunity to my viewing public. At this time topics abound, I have a rather large list of items in fact that I am working upon one by one each week. So I am sure at some point what any single person would care to read about shall be found on the blog, but I would like to give this shout out to you all as well.

    If you have a topic you would like to read about most, or have a question that is burning in your mind, please do not hesitate to write me! I love questions and am happy to take requests, from you my readers! If you do have them please write me at I look forward to hearing from you.

    Sunday, September 7, 2014

    Servant Time table and Duties

    Welcome once more to an installment of my victorian sensabilities blog. Today I thought I would discuss a general overview of the serventry duties and daily time table found in an upper class home, since we went over the house's physical makeup last week. As such I would like to start with a quote:

    Servents, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh,

    with fear and trembling in singleness of your heart as unto your god.

    The Victorian and Edwardian country house was a place of both extreme luxery and abject drudgery which in turn mirrored the structure of a society that was more biased over status of ones family and personage than any other time in history. This began in the victorian period becoming quite a bit more visible within the Edwardian period as it created a quite sizable chasm between classes. Within the household this chasm became rather important as it led to the strict social heirarchy of the servents that ran the house.

    A typical day for the "downstairs" or servants within a household began at 4am as before any breakfast was made, many duties had to be seen to and carried out. The "upstairs" or owners of the household expected to awake to a clean functioning home upon waking later in the morning.

    Lie-ins or sleeping late was a luxery bestowed only on the highest status and was the preserve of those born to the easy life, on the contrast the servents of the household had to be up well before dawn .

    A typical time table of the day would appear as such for the servents.

    Daily Work

    Family Master, mistress, and one child

    4 a.m. Rise, light kitchen fire, fill kettles, clean boots, sweep hall and steps. Sweep, and light dining-room fire, call family, and take hot water. Lay table, and prepare breakfast.

    8 a.m. Have kitchen breakfast while family breakfast. Clear kitchen breakfast; tidy kitchen. Attend to bedrooms. Empty chamber pots.

    9 a.m. Help clear dining-room. Wash breakfast things.

    9.20 a.m. Help make beds; receive daily orders. Dust bedrooms.

    10.15 a.m. Do special work for the day. Help in the kitchen, etc.

    12.30 a.m. Lay cloth for luncheon.

    1 p.m. Dining-room luncheon and kitchen dinner.

    1.45 p.m. Remove and wash lunch things. Tidy kitchen. Make up fire.

    2.30 p.m. Change dress. Put large clean apron over afternoon black dress and muslin apron, and do some light work, such as cleaning silver, sewing, ironing. Be ready to answer front door.

    4 p.m. Prepare drawing-room and kitchen teas.

    4.30 p.m. Carry in drawing-room tea.

    5.15 p.m. Remove and wash tea. things.

    6 p.m. Arrange bedrooms for the night. Help prepare dinner.

    7 p.m. Lay table.

    7.30 or 8 p.m. Serve dinner and wait at table {the amount possible depends on the skill of the mistress in organising and arranging this meal).

    8.30 or 9 p.m. Clear, and wash up dinner things. Tidy kitchen. Have supper.

    9.45 p.m. Take hot water to bedrooms and go to bed.

    The mistress should see that the general reading, or going on some errand during the day, servant has an hour off for writing letters, the afternoon or early evening each day.

    Special Weekly Work
    Monday Morning Wash kitchen cloths, dusters, and any small articles done at home.

    Tuesday Morning Clean large bedroom.

    Wednesday Morning Clean two small bedrooms.

    Thursday Morning Clean dining-room, bathroom, and lavatory.

    Friday Morning Clean staircase, hall, and sweep drawing-room.

    Friday Afternoon Clean kitchen brasses, etc.

    Saturday Morning Clean kitchen range thoroughly, and do extra work in larder, etc..

    Dress. Print dresses, with neat white aprons and caps, should be worn for mornings, and large coarse aprons should be used when stoves have to be cleaned or scullery work done. A black dress, pretty muslin apron and cap, should be worn in the afternoon.


    Status was just as important as amongst the servants as it was between the Master/Mistriss of the house and thier servants. This lead to a very strict pecking order known as the "Upper Ten" Which included the butler, housekeeper, cook, valet, and lady's maid. Whom were in charge of the "Lower Five" or lesser servants.


    Uniform: Tailcoat, shirt with white wing collar, black bowtie

    Other than in the odd very wealthy, household where an all powerful stweard was employed, the butler was the head of the servants and was responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of things below stairs. Reporting to the Master or Mistriss of the house, he goverend over the other servants with an iron fist, looked after the downstairs accounts and managed relations between the Upstairs and downstairs.


    Uniform: Black dress, white cap

    Often an old and trusted retainer, the housekeeper had a position of great responsibility, being in charge of all female staff, of ordering supplies and of helping her Mistress make decisions about the running of the household. She oversaw the work and wellbeing of the junior servants and kept the keys to the storerooms and pantries on a "chatelaine" (decorative hook on her belt)


    Uniform: Whites

    While some country houses relied on the simple fare of a faithful cook (usually female) for thier catering, the incessant rounds of high-class entertaining, and parties, meant that an increasing number of households began employing experienced male chefs. In the best houses, these chefs were expected to produce elaborate meals at least three times a day, including dinners of up to twelve courses.


    Uniform: White shirt, black tailcoat and trousers

    Known as the "gentleman's gentleman", the valet was the Master's personal servant and would attend to all the master's needs including Dressing, running his bath, shaving him, as well as any matters of personal buisness. Traditionally the valet would have helped his master with travel arrangements, bills, and correspondence. Valets often served as thier master's batmen (soldiers' servants) during wartime.

    Lady's Maid

    Uniform: Her mistress' hand-me-downs, no apron

    A skilled hairdresser, beautician, and seamstress with a keen eye for fashion, the lady's maid was constantly at the beck and call of her mistress for outfit changes as well as clothing alterations, laundry, and other personal tasks. She would accompany her mistress on any long visits to other houses, trips abroad and to seasonal excursions.


    Uniform: smart livery; hair powdered for special occasions

    A largely ceremonial role, footmen were the "peacocks of the staff, hired to impress. Waiting tables, answering the door or simply standing to attention, there smart livery uniforms marked them out as status symbols. They also did some heavt work, literally lightening the maids' lad by moving ice and coal, carrying heavy trays and polishing silver plate. To save their employers having to remember thier real names they were more often simply known as Charles or James.


    Uniformwhite blouse and long skirt

    The nanny was a poisition of great power within "her" nurseries. She was often in sole charge of the children of the house, who saw thier parents little. She rarely left the nurseries, eating her meals upstairs instead of in the servants halld. Many were retained in a family for years, even staying on to care for the next generation of little ones.


    Uniform: : working dress, cap and apron in morning, black dress, aproon and white cap in the afternoon

    When it came to cleaning, the housemaids did it all except the kitchen: sweetping, dusting, rug-beating, fire-laying, bed-making, bathroom-cleaning, and room-room tidying. After cleaning the downstairs areas and bedrooms in the morning, they spent the rest of the day following thier employers and guests from room to room, tidying and picking up after them, before preparing thier bedrooms for sleep.


    Uniform: cotton dress, cap and apron

    These girls were under the direct command of the cook and spent thier days chopping vegetables and making sauces. In houses where the cook was kept busy making the food for upstairs , the head kitchen maid would have been responsible for catering fot the servants too. In some houses, in addition to normal kitchen maids there were still-room maids, whom spent thier days in the still room (a small distillery) making drinks and conserves.

    Laundry Maid

    Uniform: dress, apron and cap

    With her whole job dedicated to washing the clothes and linends of the household, the laundry maid's life was one of repititious drudgery. All items had to be washed, and all whites bleached, before being mangled, starched, ironed, sorted, labelled, folded, and put away.

    Hall Boy

    Uniform: dark trousers, rough shirt, braces and boots

    Bearing the brunt of the dirty work in the house was the hall boy, who cleaned and polished the household boots, sharpened knives and lugged coal and wood around for the fires. Everyone except the scullery maid was his better, and any of them could give him odd jobs. He often slept in the hall, as a security measure, hence his title.

    Scullery Maids

    Uniform: Largely confined to the small room off the kitchen known as the scullery, the scullery maid's lot was not a happy one. Her chief duries were menial kitchen tasks, and she would have spent up to eighteen hours a day washing pots, peeling vegetables and scrubbing the kitchen and larder floors. She was the first up in the morning and had to ensure the the kitchen range was clean and alwas kept alight by feeding more coal or wood into it constantly.