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Manor House Miss Morrison
"When I go to the cinema to see the period films, I'm not looking at the stars, I'm looking at the dresses." Miss Morrison, lady's maid
Miss Morrison
THE PROJECT|THE HOUSE|THE PEOPLE|EDWARDIAN LIFE|YOU IN 1905|TREATS|SNOB QUIZ
Miss Morrison

Watch the video diaries

Eva: On Entering the House

The Lady's Maid: Daily Duties

Miss Morrison must be available to attend her mistress constantly
Miss Morrison must be available to attend her mistress constantly

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

Upstairs
Downstairs
The People: Eva Morrison

Edwardian Role: Lady's Maid
Age: 44
Home: West Lothian
Occupation: Haberdashery Shop Owner

Life before Manor House
Eva lives with her mother and her eighteen year old daughter. She was a hairdresser for 15 years but now runs a haberdashery shop using her sewing skills to make wedding dresses and christening robes, plus the odd horse blanket. She says, "When I go to the cinema to see the period films, I'm not looking at the stars, I'm looking at the dresses."

She applied for Manor House because she wanted to pay homage to her hard-working grandmother, who had been in service as a kitchen maid with the Earl and Countess of Antrim, leaving her East Lothian home to voyage to Ireland as a young girl just before the First World War. She had stayed at Castle Antrim for three years until she had to return to Scotland to nurse her sick mother. "My mission is to relive my grandmother's life."

Life in Manor House
A lady's maid enjoys a high status in the hierarchy of Edwardian servants. She is one of the 'upper ten' and would enjoy their privileges; for example she takes dessert with the butler and the housekeeper in 'pug's parlour', and has morning tea brought to her by the first housemaid, while the second housemaid follows behind to make up the fire in her room.

Miss Morrison is also free to take a bath as often as she wishes in the female upper servants' bathroom - a luxury denied to the lower female ervants.

Her responsibilities are to her mistress: she can be called from doing her mistress's laundry at any moment of the day to help Lady Olliff-Cooper with her hair or her dress. And as an Edwardian Lady could expect to change her dress six times a day - that's a lot of work...

In terms of the hierarchy, the rules state "As lady's maid, you are a member of the Upper Servants. In the female Servants' hierarchy you are second only to the housekeeper. You are in a unique position in that you will spend more time with the Family than any of the other Servants. You will be a companion to the Mistress and responsible for looking after her clothes, dressing her hair and packing all her personal effects for travel."

One thing that Miss Morrison should look out for: the lady's maid was often ostracized by other servants as a result of her closeness to her mistress.

 


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