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

A butler should be availabe to attend to his master at all times
A butler should be availabe to attend to his master at all times

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

The People: Hugh Edgar

The Butler: Daily Duties

Morning Duties

  • You must rise at seven o'clock, when the First Footman wakes you with a cup of tea and hot water with which to wash.

  • You must wash and dress in your tails and black tie.

  • At half-past seven your first duty is to iron your Master's newspaper and prepare his clothes for the day. You must also prepare the plate silver for the First Footman to collect from you for laying the Breakfast table in the Dining Room for the Family.

  • At eight o'clock, having run his bath, you will wake the Master of the house by bringing up his Early Morning Tea tray, newspaper, and any correspondence.

  • Breakfast is served in the Servants' Hall at a quarter-past eight (See below for seating positions).

  • After Servants Breakfast you will return to your Master to shave him and help him dress.

  • Before Morning Prayers you should inspect the Dining Room and the other Reception rooms.

  • Attendance of Morning prayers in the Main Hall of the Family Rooms at a quarter-past nine is compulsory for all Servants. It is your and the Housekeeper's responsibility to see that they adhere to this. The Master may invite you to lead the ceremony.

  • After Prayers you will ring the gong to announce that Breakfast is served. You shall wait on the Family at Breakfast, with the First Footman to assist you.

  • After Breakfast you shall supervise the clearing of the Dining Room table and cleaning of the glass and plate, making sure all items are checked back undamaged.

  • At ten o'clock the Mistress of the House and Miss Anson will meet with the Housekeeper and Chef to discuss menus for the day. You may also like to attend.

  • At half-past ten you shall take your orders directly from the Master of the house in the Business room, thus allowing you to then relay orders and arrangements of the day to the relevant members of Staff.

  • At eleven o'clock all Staff take morning tea served at your preference either in the Housekeeper's Room (Pug's Parlour) with the Upper Servants or with all staff in the Servant's Hall. This could be the ideal opportunity to relay any wishes your Master has.

  • At half-past eleven you shall oversee and inspect the laying of the table for the Family's Luncheon.

  • The Servants' Dinner is served at Midday. All the Servants take the meat course in the Servants' Hall. It is your responsibility to carve the joint.

  • At half-past twelve you shall retire to Housekeepers Room (Pug's Parlour) with the Upper Servants for pudding, tea and coffee.

Afternoon Duties

  • At a quarter-to one you must inspect the Family's Luncheon table with the First Footman so that he has time to make any alterations you feel may be required.

  • At one o'clock sharp you must ring the gong to announce Luncheon is served. You wait on table with the First and possibly the Second Footmen depending on numbers. At both Luncheon and Dinner you are permitted to leave the Dining Room at the Dessert course, giving you the opportunity to have some small refreshment yourself before you resume your other duties.

  • After Luncheon, you must supervise the Footmen clearing the table and cleaning the glass and plate, making sure that all items are checked back undamaged.

  • You should organise the duty for answering the door in the afternoon on a rotation basis between yourself, the First and the Second Footman. This will allow each of you a certain amount of leisure time between half-past two and four o'clock several times a week.

  • Tea is to be taken in the Servants' Hall at four o'clock.

  • At five o'clock you should resume your duties, by helping to serve Afternoon Tea to the Family in the Tea Room or Drawing room - as they require.

  • At around six o'clock you should change into your evening attire.

  • Once dressed you should give out the plate and glass for the Family's Dinner to the Footmen, and then set about organising the wine cellar accounts (see below) and selecting suitable wines. The Master of the house may wish to be consulted on this matter. You must then assist the First Footman in folding the Dinner napkins.

  • At seven o'clock you will ring the gong to signal to the Family and their Guests that it is time to dress for dinner. You should make yourself available to help the Master of the house to dress.

  • You should inspect the Dinner table at a quarter to eight. At eight o'clock precisely you should inform the Mistress of the house that Dinner is served.

  • You shall wait at table along with the Footmen during Dinner and wait on the Gentlemen in the Billiard Room after Dinner.

  • You should make sure that the plate and glass is cleaned correctly and all items are checked back undamaged.

  • You should go through your inventories everyday after Dinner.

  • Supper is served in the Servants' Hall at half-past nine. During this time and throughout the evening you must ensure that a Footman attends the Family and their Guests at all times. However, the remaining part of the evening is to be spent at your leisure.

  • At the end of the evening you will lay out the Master's night attire and take the Grog Tray to the Family and their Guests. You will not retire until invited to do so by the Master or the Family and their Guests have all gone to bed. Before retiring, check that all fire and lights in the house are safely damped out and the house is secure.

  • You will have sole responsibility for the keys to the house. At the end of each day it will be your duty to go round the house and lock up.

  • Last thing at night you should place your boots outside your Bedroom Door for the Second Footman to collect and clean and return to you first thing in the morning.


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