Mutsmag (mutsmag) wrote in little_details,

Hierarchy of servants in a wealthy household

Setting: United States, late 1800s/early 1900s (any time after the Civil War and before World War One, really.)

In a wealthy household, who would the servants be? (Assume the highest level of wealth and thus the biggest staff, since I want to get a full picture.) Who outranks whom? What are their duties? Who's in uniform?

So far, it's looking like the highest-ranking person would be the house steward (and maybe a land steward?), followed by the valet and the butler, then beneath them the liveried servants like footmen and grooms, and then the female servants (starting with the housekeeper and lady's maid.)

Does that sound right? Does length of service in the household affect rank? Do all the male servants outrank all the female servants? Are there special considerations for the given setting? (For example, I read that by the Victorian era, the butler was often the highest-ranking servant.) I'm not sure the information I'm finding is applicable to turn-of-the-century United States households.

Previous search terms: hierarchy of servants, household servants, servants duties, servants united states. Have been reading sites like this and this.

So there's plenty of information out there, but I'm not sure of it's accuracy, it tends to refer to a different setting, and I'm hoping maybe there's a really well-informed reader of this community ...
Tags: 1800s (no decades given), usa: history (misc), ~servants/slaves

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