Manor House Jessica Rawlinson
"People in my position didn't have much status.
I'm not used to that, and I'm a bit gobby!"
Jess, second housemaid
Jessica Rawlinson
Jessica Rawlinson

Watch the video diaries

The Second Housemaid: Daily Duties

Jess: On Entering the House

Jess and Rob the second footman meet on the servants staircase
Jess and Rob the second footman meet on the servants staircase

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

The People: Jessica Rawlinson

Edwardian Role: Second Housemaid
Age: 22
Home: Kent
Occupation: Accounts Assistant

Life before Manor House
Jess trained as a dancer but had to stop because of injury. She's still known as 'the Dancing Queen' and loves clubbing and the freedom she enjoys driving around in her cherry-red Peugeot 206. She now works in the accounts department of a firm producing prosthetics.

Before entering the house, Jessica said:

"I think I know quite a lot about the period. I've seen films and television series, but you never see what really goes on, how hard they had to work, how unremitting it was. If I'm honest, I'm wondering if I've got the stamina to do it."

"I think living in this house is going to be difficult. I mean, people in my position didn't have much status. I'm not used to that, and I can be a bit gobby."

Life in Manor House
Jess's main job every day is to get the fires going all round the house before the family awakes. A skilled housemaid would be able to clear, reset and light the grate in complete silence.

The female servants have to learn to cope with their corsets. These are not only complicated to put on, but also restrict breathing and movement - but difficult if you are doing hard physical work all day.

As the rules state, "As Second Housemaid, you are subordinate to the Becky the first housemaid who will act as your immediate supervisor. The housekeeper remains the highest ranking female Servant and will also be responsible for giving you your orders. Your direct counterpart among the male Servants is the second footman. You should look to both the housekeeper and first housemaid to learn the skills of your trade. You work in close conjunction with the first housemaid and should expect her to delegate tasks to you. Although most of your duties fall directly into The housekeeper's department, you can also expect to take orders from the chef de cuisine, and the most senior ranking member of staff, the butler."


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