Manor House Mr Edgar
"It is unpleasant to be a disciplinarian, but I have to be to ensure the codes of etiquette are observed."
Mr Edgar, butler
Mr Edgar
Mr Edgar

Watch the video diaries

Hugh: On Entering the House

The Butler: Daily Duties

There is a special relationship between a butler and his master
There is a special relationship between a butler and his master

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

The People: Hugh Edgar

Edwardian Role: Butler
Age: 64
Home: Surrey
Occupation: Architect

Life before Manor House
Hugh has worked all over the World as a Consultant Architect. The Hashemite Royal Family employed him for many years, building Royal residences and a mausoleum mosque for the wife of King Hussein of Jordan. He is currently working on archival buildings in the UK.

Hugh hopes his rich life experience will allow him to succeed in the demanding role of the butler. He strives to maintain moral and discipline downstairs whilst simultaneously being able to act tactfully and diplomatically upstairs. He always wants to run a tight ship in the household.

"It is unpleasant to be a disciplinarian, but I would if 1910 codes etiquette were not observed."

Life in Manor House
Among the servants, the butler's job is without doubt the one with the most responsibility. Not only does Mr Edgar have to command the servants, but he has more contact with the Family than any of the others.

Butlers are expected to be bachelors without the distractions and temptations of a family of their own, and Mr Edgar (or Edgar as he was called by the family) might even be addressed as 'Olliff-Cooper' below stairs should he accompany the family on a visit to another great house, so completely was his identity sunk into theirs.

The butler's suite of rooms is positioned as near as possible for access to the principal rooms, particularly the dining room, so that when about his regular duties, or when summoned by bells, he can bound up the stairs to appear in minutes.

The butler acts as valet to the master of the house in an establishment the size of Manderston, laying out Sir John's clothes for the day, brushing and sponging them when necessary, polishing his shoes and shaving his master with an open cut-throat razor which he would s trop on a leather strap.

In terms, of the house hierarchy, [From the Rule Book] "As the Butler you are the highest-ranking Servant and answer directly to the Master of the House, Sir John Olliff-Cooper (Baronet). The housekeeper answers to his wife, Lady Olliff-Cooper. Your roles do not overlap, they complement, and as such you present a united force of authority to the Lower Servants, and a team to be depended upon by your Masters.


© 2003 Channel4. All rights reserved. | PBS Privacy Policy