Manor House Mrs Davies
"To run this house, you need discipline. The young people are finding that very hard but I make sure they're kept busy! Mrs Davies, housekeeper
Mrs Davies
Mrs Davies

Watch the video diaries

Jean: On Entering the House

The Housekeeper: Daily Duties

Mrs Davies preparing fresh juice for the family's luncheon
Mrs Davies preparing fresh juice for the family's luncheon

Edwardian Life

A Typical Day in the House

How to Address the Family

The People: Jean Davies

Edwardian Role: Housekeeper
Home: Cheshire
Age: 60
Occupation: Grandmother

Life before Manor House
Jean, married with four grown up children, once ran a restaurant with her husband Peter. They now specialise in doing history demonstrations in primary schools. Jean is an enthusiastic gardener, a fantastic cook, and keeps chickens, goats and a donkey. She learned her housekeeping skills as a child in the Second World War.

Of her role in the house, she says: "To run a Manor House, you need discipline. Discipline is very important. The young people are going to find that very hard but I'll make sure they're kept busy!"

Life in Manor House
Working with Mr Edgar the butler, Mrs Davies is in charge of the servants. She's also the person they come to if they're feeling unwell. A housekeeper would be expected to know rudimentary first aid and distil simple remedies, as well as know how to bake some comforting cakes for tea! Other tasks which fall to the housekeeper are the organisation and distribution of all the household linen and china.

In the hierarchy, the Rule Book states:
"The Housekeeper is the highest-ranking female Servant and answers directly to the Mistress of the house. The butler answers directly to the Master. Together you must present a united force of authority to the Lower Servants, and be a team upon whom your Masters can depend. You will oversee the duties of all female Servants outside the Kitchen."

"As Housekeeper you must be accountant, diplomat and task master all rolled into one."


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