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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
THE PROJECT|THE HOUSE|THE PEOPLE|EDWARDIAN LIFE|YOU IN 1905|TREATS|SNOB QUIZ
Jessica Rawlinson

Watch the video diaries

Jess: On Entering the House

Edwardian maids were expected to pay for their uniforms out of their own salary
Edwardian maids were expected to pay for their uniforms out of their own salary

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

Upstairs
Downstairs
The People: Jessica Rawlinson

Second and Third Housemaids: Daily Duties

Morning Duties

  • You must rise at six o'clock and wash and dress, with your hair tied neatly back under your cap.

  • You must make your bed and be downstairs ready to work within half an hour of waking.

  • Your first task of the day is to clean out, lay and light the fires in all the Reception Rooms and the Bedrooms of the Family and their Guests. Take note that the Family will rise at eight o'clock, so fires need to be burning as early as possible before this to ensure that their rooms are properly warmed. Absolute silence must be maintained while preparing the fires in occupied bedrooms so as not to wake those in question. Please note that when the weather is not cold enough for fires you should assist the First Housemaid in her cleaning duties.

  • While lighting fires in the Family's Bedrooms, you should empty and clean their chamber pots with a vinegar soaked rag kept for this purpose.

  • At seven o'clock you should take the Ladies Maid tea, a Breakfast Tray, and hot water with which to wash, as she will be busy attending to the Lady of the house when Breakfast is served in the Servants' Hall.

  • Breakfast is served in the Servants' Hall at a quarter-past eight after which you must resume your duties.

  • Attendance of Family prayers in the Main Hall at a quarter-past nine is compulsory for all Servants.

  • While the Family is at Breakfast you must finish cleaning, laying and lighting any further fires that are needed in the Reception rooms, and then begin work in the service quarters. The Housekeeper will designate which of these rooms she wishes to be cleaned. Beds need to be made and rooms cleaned and aired.

  • After the Family has finished Breakfast, you and the First Housemaid must clean the china that the Footmen will have cleared from the table. If you have not finished cleaning the service quarters you must stop and resume it after the Housekeeper has checked the china back into her cupboard, undamaged.

  • Tea is served in the Servants' Hall at eleven o'clock.

  • After Tea you must resume your cleaning duties in the service quarters. If you have time you should assist the First Housemaid with the cleaning of the Family's Rooms. Should you be required to assist the First Housemaid in cleaning the Family Reception Rooms, you should take instruction from her as to which curtains and shutters are to be touched by Servants.

  • Servants' Dinner is served at Midday in the Servants' Hall.

Afternoon Duties

  • By one o'clock you will be expected to have finished cleaning the service quarters. You should be present while the Housekeeper makes her rounds of all the rooms you have cleaned so that anything she finds fault with can be quickly rectified.

  • After the Family's Luncheon, you must assist the First Housemaid in the cleaning of the china. Again, the Housekeeper will want to check each item back into her cupboard undamaged.

  • Providing your duties are completed, you may spend between half-past two and four o'clock at your leisure. However, you might on occasion be obliged to do some ironing or light needlework during these hours.

  • Tea is served in the Servants' Hall at four o'clock, which you should attend dressed in your afternoon uniform.

  • After Tea and until six o'clock you should assist the First Housemaid with whatever she deems necessary.

  • By six o'clock you should ensure that there is hot water in the Bedrooms of the Butler and Footmen so that they can quickly wash before changing for their evening duties.

  • You should then assist the First Housemaid with cleaning the china after the Family's Afternoon Tea. The Housekeeper will again want to check each item back into her cupboard.

  • At eight o'clock while the Family are at Dinner, you and the First Housemaid must prepare the Family's Bedrooms for the evening, making sure bedcovers are turned down, fires are made up and the rooms are clean and tidy. The Housekeeper will be making rounds to check your work.

  • Both you and the First Housemaid should lay out the Family's Early Morning Tea trays for the morning.

  • Both you and the First Housemaid must clean the china used at the Family's Dinner, which the Footmen will have cleared from the table. As before the Housekeeper will check back each item.

  • Servants' Supper is served in the Servants' Hall at half-past nine.

  • After Supper you and the First Housemaid should finish cleaning the china, and in the cold weather make up hot water bottles to be placed in the Family and Upper Servants' beds to warm them. When these tasks are finished, unless the Family has any further requirements, the remaining part of the evening can be spent at your leisure.

     


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