What would that look like if Marissa and I were living in a London townhouse together? (Never mind that we have families—we’ll pretend they are busy elsewhere for a week.) Going by the estimate above, two lovely ladies would need at least eight servants:
- I’d need a lady’s maid to help dress and undress, but I’d be willing to share her with Marissa. :-)
- We’d need a groom to tend our horses and escort us while riding. I’m tempted to include a coachman, but I don’t wish the neighbors to think us too high in the instep and I must admit to a fondness for handling the reins myself when we’re tooling about Hyde Park. Plus we can hire a carriage and driver when we need to go out to balls and such.
- We have a townhouse, so no need for a groundskeeper, but we better have a man-of-all-work to keep up the back garden and maintain the house.
- We’ll need a cook, of course,
- And probably a scullery maid to help her.
- We should probably have a footman to fetch and carry and look suitably impressive when we go out shopping,
- And a maid to help clean up behind us.
- Then of course we’d need a butler or housekeeper to keep things running smoothly.
I’m a bit amazed how easy it was to hit eight. And truthfully, one housemaid probably isn’t enough when you consider the dusting and cleaning that all had to be done by hand in homes where coal or wood was burned. And I haven’t added a laundress to clean our clothes or a personal secretary to help us with our writing (though in some cases the latter was considered an employee instead of a servant). And just think what would need to be added if we had a house in the country: definitely a coachman and gardeners, more grooms, more footmen, more maids (upstairs maids, downstairs maids, scullery maids), and a land steward, at a minimum!
And, my dears, Marissa and I will have need of all those servants, because next week, we’re hosting a house party, right here, to celebrate our blog birthday! So have your maids pack your things, hire a post-chaise if needed, and come join us. Your invitation is below. We hope to see you next Tuesday for a week of fun!