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SERVANTS.

DOMESTIC STAFF THROUGH THE YEARS.

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EMPLOYING SERVANTS.

 

Prior to the Great War, there was nothing unusual about employing servants and even some families of quite modest means would have a house maid or two, or a cook. At the time of the 1841 census, in Turvey Village  there were 17 households where at least one servant was employed, this out of a total population of less than 1000.  These were the residents of the large houses, the Curate, the Surgeon, four tradespeople and eight farmers.

 

Most domestic staff would not be in life-long employment, for instance, at Turvey House there appear to be only two instances where the same name appears in two successive census returns. One of these was their Butler John Richards who appears in 1881 & 1891 and Ann Izzard a housemaid who was there in 1901 & 1911. For some reason I would have imagined loyal staff who had served the family for many years,  clearly not, another romantic notion bites the dust !  

There were some notable exceptions to this. Charles Higgins of Turvey Abbey employed Thomas Benbow as Gamekeeper for 37 years.

 

The number of staff required by a family would vary over time depending on circumstances. The size of the family would change over the years as they are born, leave home die etc. A smaller family clearly needing fewer staff.  At different times different owners would have different ideas of how to run a household.  Also as the census is only every ten years, a servant could serve the family for 19 1/2 years and still only appear in one census !

It is important to remember that the census will only record the staff who actually live in the house with the family, it does not record any who may have lived in the village but worked at the house, such day workers are virtually impossible to pin down. Whilst there are quite a number of people living in the village whose occupations, such as housekeeper, gardener, cleaner and suchlike suggest that they are working in service, there is no indication as to where they worked.

Thanks to The Turvey Website at www.turveybeds.com for some of the information included n this page.

HOUSEHOLD STAFF  at TURVEY HOUSE

Here are listed the resident domestic staff at Turvey House as detailed on the census returns from 1851-1911.  For some reason I am unable to find the 1841 census return, I have searched through every page of the Census for Turvey and whilst the Abbey and the other larger houses are all listed, Turvey House seems not to be.  If and when I eventually manage to run it to earth, I will add it in. In the next few months the 1921 census should be made publicly available as the required 100 years has finally elapsed.  This should make for very interesting reading, as the first Census after the Great War of 1914-1918. This was a time of great change both for society in general and the world in which it exists. The returns of 1911 and 1921 should make an interesting comparison.

HOUSEHOLD STAFF  at TURVEY HOUSE

As well as for Turvey House itself, for the years when the Family were not resident, the staff are detailed for where they were living at the time.  As the Census returns are just a snapshot of a single day, they do not help determine how long the family were resident at any one place.

I have no information as to why there appear to be considerable periods when Turvey House is let and they are living at one of their other houses.  There are lots of possible reasons why they may have chosen to do this.

  • They may have simply preferred it. Not everyone is going to want to live in a vast, probably not very warm house.
     

  • There may have been financial problems. Turvey House is a large house needing a very substantial compliment of household staff. At times when children have grown up and left home, great savings could be made by living in a smaller house with fewer staff. The big house could then be let so generating income.
     

  • They may have simply preferred to downsize, rather than just two or three of them rattling around in a huge country mansion.  Turvey Cottage and the Chantry House are both owned by the family, are on the Turvey House Estate and despite their names, are still very large houses by our standards.  They have not exactly been re-posessed and forced to move into a bed-sit !!
     

  • The big house may have been in a poor state of repair and no longer very comfortable, or may have been undergoing renovation / re-modelling requiring them to be living elsewhere. This may explain one spell of their living elsewhere, but can hardly be stretched to cover possibly as much as  30 years !

Click on any image to expand.

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1851

See Census.

With the family at Tunbridge Wells.

Mary Eliza Lay...21...Governess...Born...Hackney

Sarah Nates........24..Servant........Born...Leicestershire

Helen Bull..........16.. Servant........Born...Turvey

Mary Monkton...28.. Servant.......Born....Sussex

Sarah Haines......22..Servant........Born...Bedford

Left at Turvey House.

John Bamford...51.. Coachman... .Born...Wooton

Cath Bamford...50.. Cook..............Born....Turvey

Sarah Wall........25..Servant...........Born.....Gloucester

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1871

With the family at Turvey Cottage..

Fred Wheelet.....26...Servant.......Born...Wiltshire

Mary Capen.......32...Servant........Born...London

Eliza Sinfield......16.. Servant........Born...Turvey

Mary Kentisber...28.. Servant.......Born...Turvey

See Census.

House 1871.jpg

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1891

See Census.

House 1891.jpg

With the family at Turvey House.

John Richards......52..Butler..................Born...Cornwall

Joseph Beron........19..Footman.............Born...Derby

Joseph Chambers..25..Footman............Born...Turvey

Thomas Clarke......28.. Servant.............Born...Turvey

Susannah Frost.....30.. Cook..................Born...Turvey

Maude Jones.........30..Laundry Maid...Born...Turvey

Annie Smith..........25..House Maid.......Born...London

Fanny Easton........23..House Maid.......Born...Northamps

Clara Fletcher........21..House maid........Born...Bucks

Clara Chamberlain.19.House Maid.....,...Born..Northamps

Sophia Williams.....18.Kitchen maid.......Born...Staffs

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1911

See Census.

Turvey House 1911.jpg

With the family at The Chantry House.

Ann Izzard............21..House Maid.......Born...Banbury  Ann Ann Sargent..........18..Servant.............Born...Madras India

Ada Stonton..........22..Servant............Born...Northampton

Eva Feltham..........24..Servant............Born...Hampshire

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1861

See Census.

House 1861.jpg

With Charlotte Higgins & Children at Clarendon Square,Leamington. Thomas Charles Higgins staying with brother William at Picts Hill House Turvey.

Jane Earle.........26..Lady's Maid....Born..Northamptonshire

Sarah Knight.....26..House Maid....Born..Northamptonshire

Maria Dormer...19..Parlour Maid...Born..Warwickshire

Sarah Bateman..18..House Maid....Born..Windsor

Anna Barlow......19..Kitchen Maid..Born.. Warwickshire

Turvey House....Empty.

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1881

See Census.

House 1881.jpg

With the family at Turvey House.

John Richards.....42..Butler..............Born...Cornwall

James Clare..........21..Footman...........Born...Turvey

Alfred Griffiths.....18.. Servant...........Born...Woburn

Ellen Bailey...........24.. Nurse.............Born...Turvey

Emma Bailey.........16..Under Nurse...Born...Turvey

Josephine Luhn....42..Governess.......Born...Germany

Mary Large............28..Servant...........Born...Turvey

Susannah Barnes...16.. Servant..........Born...Bucks

Mary Lantsbery.....24.. Servant..........Born....Turvey

Sarah Drury...........21..Kitchen Maid..Born...Turvey

Ada Rayner...........16.. Laundry Maid Born....Turvey

Agnes Surtees.......16...House Maid.....Born...Turvey

Emily.Jeffries.......18.. Servant.............Born...Ascot

Mary Smith...........21..Scullery Maid...Born...Bedford

Will Robinson.......28..Groom..............Born....Turvey

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1901

See Census.

House 1901.jpg

With the family at Turvey Cottage.

Ellen Roberts........16..House Maid.......Born...Towcester

Charlotte Leader...34..Parlour Maid.....Born...Norfolk

Julianna How........26..Cook..................Born...Essex

Bertha Wallis.........23..Ladies Maid......Born...Hampshire

Ann Izzard.............21..House Maid.......Born...Banbury

Lily Rodd................20..Kitchen Maid....Born...Windsor

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HOUSEHOLD STAFF  at TURVEY ABBEY

Whilst Turvey Abbey is nowhere near the size of Turvey House, it is still a substantial house and will have needed a considerable staff to run it.  Unlike Turvey House, the Abbey is in the middle of the village and is not down half a mile of ornamental driveway, presumably if you lived in the village walking to work at the Abbey is not going to be a problem.  I mention this as at no time do there appear to be more than four live-in staff.  The rest presumably were day staff. Unfortunately as said previously, there is no way of counting the day staff as for the census we are all counted at home not at our place of work.

STAFF OF NOTE

Catherine Reid worked at the Abbey from 1796 until she retired due to poor health in 1807

Thomas Benbow Gamekeeper for 37 years 1791-1828

William Stock, killed by lightning in 1801

Uriah King worked from 1835 until his death in 1865

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1841

See Census.

Turvey Abbey 1841.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

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Tom Roberson.........49..Servant.............Born..Turvey

Ann Seymour...........20..housemaid........Born..Turvey..

Elizabeth Spencer....40..housemaid........Born..Turvey

Sarah Spencer..........20..Servant..............Born Turvey

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1861

See Census.

Abbey 1861.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

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Susan Blunt..............30..cook..................Born..Northamptonshire

Elizabeth Yallop.......25..Housemaid........Born..Suffolk

Emma Cliffords........20..Parlourmaid......Born..Cant Read It

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1871

See Census.

Abbey 1871.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

.

Emily Britain...........26..Servant..............Born..Northamptonshire

Mary Swannell.........29..Servant..............Born..Turvey

Lidia Jackson...........23..Servant..............Born..Bedfordshire

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1881

See Census.

Abbey 1881.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

.

Elizabeth Smith.......23..Servant..............Born..Northamptonshire

Sarah Butler.............32..Servant..............Born..Knotting. Beds

Fanny Langley.........28..Servant..............Born..Northamptonshire

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1891

See Census.

Abbey 1891.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

.

Eliza Thorpe............53..Servant..............Born..Northamptonshire

Fanny Foddy............38..Servant..............Born..Knotting. Beds

Fanny Langley.........38..Servant..............Born..Northamptonshire

Lizzie Mott...............25..Ladies Maid.......Born..Cant readit

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1901

See Census.

Abbey 1901.jpg

With the family at Turvey Abbey

.

Eliza Thorpe............63..Housekeeper.....Born..Horton Conquest

Sarah Andrews........27..Parlourmnaid....Born..Bucks

Emily Gardner.........24..Housemaid........Born..Turvey

HOUSEHOLD STAFF. 1911

See Census.

Turvey Abbey 1911.png

Turvey Abbey was let at this time, tenants brought their own staff with them.

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