The Domestic Servants of Downton Abbey: Part 3-The Kitchen

Kitchen: At Downton Abbey, this is where the food is prepared and  a lot of the downstairs drama takes place, other than in the Servant's Hall, naturally

Kitchen: At Downton Abbey, this is where the food is prepared and a lot of the downstairs drama takes place, other than in the Servant’s Hall, naturally. Serves 8 hot meals a day, which seems a bit much even by Hobbit standards.

On a large British grand estate like Downton Abbey, the kitchen is probably one of the busier rooms since it’s where all the food is prepared before arriving to the dining room to serve. As we see on Downton Abbey, you can guess that the Crawleys entertain a lot, especially during special occasions like banquets, balls, parties, weddings, holidays, or when guests arrive. And when visitors and house guests arrive, you can expect Mrs. Patmore and her kitchen staff working into overdrive just to provide the most impressive and delicious meals consisting of at least a dinner with 3 courses or more. Nevertheless, since it was a room for food preparation, it was a servant domain located either in the basement or ground floor. And before the advent of the Servant Halls and Quarters, it was where they ate, socialized, spent their free time, or sometimes even slept. But while the kitchen staff at Downton have the luxuries of tiled floors, closed gas stoves, electricity, indoor plumbing, cupboards, and other industrial conveniences, this wouldn’t have been the case if Downton Abbey took place at a time before the Industrial Revolution. In Colonial America, kitchens were either built in the back of the house or as separate buildings due to the obvious fire hazards (at a time when kitchen fires were very common, by the way). And in Tudor times, let’s just say you’d want to stay the hell out of any of their estate kitchens since it was a dirty, hot, dangerous, and miserable place in which food took hours to cook over an open fire. It also wasn’t unusual for the kitchen staff at Henry VIII’s Hampton Court to cook in the nude on many occasions just to cool off, which probably isn’t something you’d see on The Tudors for obvious reasons. And it probably didn’t help that he had to have six lavish weddings either. Nevertheless, without further adieu, I bring you a list of servants you might’ve seen on a large grand estate like Downton Abbey.

1. Clerk of the Kitchen
Function: Responsible for supervising the kitchen, including the work of the female cook and her subordinates. Ordered table provisions, negotiated with the green grocer, baker, and butcher. Disbursed funds allocated by house steward for payment of provisions to tradesmen for their services. Guardian of the pantry. Ensured meals were served on time and properly prepared this type of food preparation. Sometimes the chef held this position.
Pay and Benefits: Well, higher than most of the kitchen staff but salary depended on size of the household. Yet, he did have his own quarters.
Status: Well, at least Senior Servants.
Hours: Works a daily schedule on the estate from at least dawn to dusk.
Typical Candidate: Must be male and have a certain amount of experience in management and the kitchen.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey yet, this is more of an 18th century job anyway. However, Mrs. Patmore does most of this positions duties herself though Mrs. Hughes has the key to the pantry.

2. Chef/Man-Cook

Chef/Man-Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is the job a lady's maid's nephew aspires to be even though he's just a second footman. Still, gets his chance to train at the Ritz Hotel through hard work and sheer luck in Season 4.

Chef/Man-Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is the job a lady’s maid’s nephew aspires to be even though he’s just a second footman. Still, gets his chance to train at the Ritz Hotel through hard work and sheer luck in Season 4.

Function: In charge of kitchen staff and responsible for preparing the family’s meals and the kitchen staff.
Pay and Benefits: Varies considerably depending on the household and the male cook’s prestige (a famous chef for the royal family could be paid as much as 300 pounds {$32,000}). Always paid more than female cooks though. Had his own room or cottage depending on marital status or level of expertise.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff though rank below Butler and Housekeeper if present. Ate in the kitchen.
Hours: From early morning until evening with free time in the afternoon save on special dinners.
Typical Candidate: Well, from the 19th century onwards, most male cooks had to be familiar with French cuisine. Yet, whenever the cook is male, French guys are usually preferred (at least in Great Britain).
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey (since male cooks weren’t employed on estates at the time unless they were chefs). However, Alfred Nugent does leave Downton to train as one in Season 4.

3. Cook

Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is the person responsible for cooking all the food and supervising the kitchen. This job goes to a cantankerous and no nonsense middle-aged woman who rules her kitchen with an iron rod and quick tongue. But she can make anyone with a strong anti-British culinary prejudice enjoy English food. Doesn't permit profanity unless she's doing the swearing. Also takes a lot of frustrations on her staff. Hey, what do you expect from someone who has to cook 8 hot meals a day?

Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is the person responsible for cooking all the food and supervising the kitchen. This job goes to a cantankerous and no nonsense middle-aged woman who rules her kitchen with an iron rod and quick tongue. But she can make anyone with a strong anti-British culinary prejudice enjoy English food. Yet, she’s utterly hopeless with the electric mixer. Doesn’t permit profanity unless she’s doing the swearing. Hates makeup. Also takes a lot of frustrations on her staff she treats as her own children. Hey, what do you expect from someone who has to cook 8 hot meals a day?

Function: Responsible for preparing meals and in charge of the kitchen staff. Charged with making a menu for lunch and dinner as well as orders tradespeople to serve the house while in town. Makes soup for the following day as well as that day’s pastry, jellies, creams, and entrees, all in the morning. Also has to lock doors and windows to the basement, let the kitchen fire burn low, to turn off the gas in the kitchen and hallways before going to bed. Other responsibilities depend on size of household staff.
Pay and Benefits: In a modest home, she could be paid as little as 30 pounds ($3,200) and at most more than the butler yet rank below him. Also has her own room or cottage on the estate depending on marital status.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff. Addressed as “Mrs.” regardless of marital status if female. Ranks at least below the Butler and Housekeeper and above everyone else. Is only answerable to the family. However, if female, isn’t as prestigious as a male cook though but in rank, she was second only to the housekeeper among the female staff. Ate in the kitchen.
Hours: From early morning to late at night after dinner. Always has breakfast first before proceeding to make it for everyone else. Usually free in the afternoon save for special occasions like a dinner party or guests.
Typical Candidate: If female, she’s usually a woman who’s risen through the ranks after starting as a kitchen maid. Sought after for her sophisticated and practical knowledge.
Characters who had this job: Mrs. Beryl Patmore has this job at Downton Abbey and does about everything described above. She’s well known for her craft as well as worked at Downton for over 20 years as of Season 4. Still, she’s also known for her temper, but this is typical for most cooks at the time.

4. Confectioner
Function: Responsible with preparing candies and other confections for the estate during large dinners. Also, helps preserve foodstuffs and other ingredients.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure anyone working in this position would’ve gotten a nice compensation as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff. Addressed by last name and reported to Cook. Dined with kitchen staff.
Hours: Worked from early in the morning to late at night.
Typical Candidate: Usually someone who’s been trained and possesses knowledge pertaining to making confections and food preservation.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist at Downton Abbey but probably does on grander estates.

5. Baker
Function: Responsible for preparing and making bread and other baked goods.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure anyone in this position would receive a nice compensation as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff, addressed by first name, and reported to Cook. Dined with kitchen staff.
Hours: Worked from early in the morning to late at night.
Typical Candidate: Usually someone who’s been trained in a bake shop for a certain number of years.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey but probably does on grander estates.

6. Pastry Cook
Function: Responsible for preparing the pastry dishes and baked goods for the family during a large banquet on special occasions.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure a person in this position received a great compensation with room and board.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff. Addressed by last name. Reported to Cook and dined with kitchen staff.
Hours: Worked from early in the morning to late at night.
Typical Candidate: Usually someone who’s been trained and possesses a wide range of knowledge regarding pastries and other baked delights. Could be either gender.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey but it probably does on grander estates.

7. Undercook or Assistant Cook

Undercook or Assistant Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is a job you give to a young woman who's complained about being a lowly scullery/kitchen maid for a good 8 years without being promoted. Also, had to go through a deathbed marriage with a dying soldier who once served as the second footman. Though she may someday get to run her father-in-law's farm.

Undercook or Assistant Cook: At Downton Abbey, this is a job you give to a young woman who’s complained about being a lowly scullery/kitchen maid for a good 8 years without being promoted. Also, had to go through a deathbed marriage with a dying soldier who once served as the second footman. Though she may someday get to run her father-in-law’s farm.

Function: Apprentice to the cook or chef. Prepares meals for the staff. In larger households, she was the head kitchen maid as well as was responsible for much of the plain cooking.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 15 pounds ($1,600) as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and addressed by first name. Reported directly to Cook and ate in the kitchen.
Hours: Usually early morning to late at night. Sort of the same as the cook.
Typical Candidate: Usually a young woman who’s had experience as a kitchen maid as well as quite skilled.
Characters who had this job: Daisy Mason is promoted to Assistant Cook after serving as a kitchen maid at Downton Abbey for 8 years in by Season 3 and she managed that mostly by complaining. Yet, she’s also known as a good cook though.

8.  Kitchen Maid

Kitchen Maid: At Downton Abbey, this is the job an aspiring Assistant Cook wants filled so badly unless it's by a girl who steals  the heart of the footman of her affections. Likes to attract guys but isn't interested in anything serious. Will take the first promotion opportunity she could get, even if it means leaving the country.

Kitchen Maid: At Downton Abbey, this is the job an aspiring Assistant Cook wants filled so badly unless it’s by a girl who steals the heart of the footman of her affections. Likes to attract guys but isn’t interested in anything serious. Will take the first promotion opportunity she could get, even if it means leaving the country.

Function: Basically her job was to assist the cook in preparing the meals and overseeing everything in the kitchen such as cleanliness, efficiency, and food preparation. Also answered to dining table demands on a daily basis. In smaller households, they can prepare vegetables, game, and poultry, do dairy work, and bake bread. If there was no still room made, they also made cakes for lunch, tea, and dessert as well as rolls for breakfast.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 15 pounds a year as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and addressed by first name. Reported to Cook and ate in the kitchen.
Hours: Usually from early morning to late at night. Same as the cook.
Typical Candidate: Usually an unmarried young woman at least in her teens though often very skilled or having ambition to be so.
Characters who had this job: Daisy starts out with this job at Downton Abbey in Seasons 1-3. By Season 3, she’s worked as a kitchen maid for 8 years (yet, an estate like Downton would certainly have at least 2-3). Ivy Stuart has this in Seasons 3-4, but since she left to be Harold Levinson’s cook in Season 4, this position is vacant.

9. Dairy Maid
Function: Responsible for churning butter, milking cows, transporting milk, as well as preparing creams and cheeses.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 15 pounds a year ($1,600) as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and addressed by first name. Reported to Cook.
Hours: Usually from sunrise to late at night as far as I know.
Typical Candidate: Usually a young woman at least in her teens who had some general knowledge on dairy products (like someone who grew up on a dairy farm).
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey as far as I can tell. In fact, due to large scale dairy farming, this job might’ve become obsolete by the 20th century. Mrs. Patmore probably just got her dairy products from the open market. Still, they’re best known for inadvertently helping Edward Jenner develop the small pox vaccine (since the cowpox made them immune from the virus) but this was in the 18th century.

10. Scullery Maid

Scullery Maid: At Downton Abbey, this is a job you'd give to an impressionable teenage girl with a crush on the resident asshole who witnesses the boss's wife, daughter, and Head House Maid carry a dead Turk out of the daughter's bedroom in the middle of the night. Gives rise to the Kemal Pamuk scandal.

Scullery Maid: At Downton Abbey, this is a job you’d give to an impressionable teenage girl with a crush on the resident asshole who witnesses the boss’s wife, daughter, and Head House Maid carry a dead Turk out of the daughter’s bedroom in the middle of the night. Gives rise to the Kemal Pamuk scandal. Best girl to have dying soldier marry.

Function: Responsible for cleaning and scouring the pots and pans as well as cooking utensils and stoves. She also cleaned vegetables, scrubbed scales off fish, plucked poultry, provided hot water for the house, lit fires to heat water, and cleaned away garbage and debris off floor. Duties included cleaning the servants’ hall, scullery, larders, and kitchen hallways. Might’ve cleaned and emptied chamber pots as well as assisted in watching or cooking food. Other responsibilities may vary depending on size of staff and household.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 13 pounds ($1,300) as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff as well as often the lowest ranked female servant in the household. She wasn’t allowed to touch any luxuries like the china, silver, or glass. Reported to Cook and ate in the kitchen.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 5:00 am to 10:000pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a teenage girl between 10-16 years old and maybe even younger as well as from the lower classes.
Characters who had this job: This job does not really exist on Downton Abbey, yet Daisy and Ivy Stuart fulfill duties of both this and the Kitchen Maid (an estate like Downton would’ve employed at least 2-3 of them).

11. Provision Boy
Function: Assisted the kitchen in fetching supplies.
Pay and Benefits: Besides room and board, not much pay.
Status: Member of Lowest Staff and possibly among the lowest positions. Addressed by first name. Reported to Cook and dined in kitchen.
Hours: Worked from early in the morning to late at night.
Typical Candidate: Usually a boy who could be as young as 10, maybe even younger.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist at Downton Abbey.

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The Domestic Servants of Downton Abbey: Part 2-The Butler’s Pantry

Butler: At Downton Abbey, this is the guy who's in charge of the household staff as well as the post you assume on an estate after a failed showbiz career and a relationship in which your girlfriend dumped you for your Vaudeville partner. Though fatherly and stiff, can be quite amusing when trying to hopelessly interact with new technology like a phonograph or a telephone.

Butler: At Downton Abbey, this is the guy who’s in charge of the household staff as well as the post you assume on an estate after a failed showbiz career and a relationship in which your girlfriend dumped you for your Vaudeville partner. Though fatherly and stiff with a rigid code of conduct, can be quite amusing when trying to hopelessly interact with new technology like a phonograph or a telephone. Yet, suggest that a maid serve a duke in the dining room and he’ll think society collapse is inevitable.

The role of the butler is one of the more recognizable jobs in a Great House or a large estate and Downton Abbey is no exception. On Downton Abbey (and in most media in general), he’s seen as head of the household staff and sometimes attends to his every master’s need (though this is more of valet’s job description, which I’ll get to later). On one end, he can be well dressed, unfailingly polite, devoted to his employer despite being more level headed and smarter than his boss. On the other end, he could be a manipulative schemer who could kill his boss during a dinner party. However, while we usually see the Butler as the most senior employee nowadays, this wasn’t always the case in history and could sometimes depend on the household. In fact, the butler’s original purpose was to look after the wine in the cellar and was of middle rank yet later this included cheese, bread, and other basic provisions sometimes known as the butler’s pantry. Yet, from the 17th to 19th centuries, his stature slowly rose even though sometimes, he wasn’t always the servant in charge and could be outranked whether it be by the valet or Groom of the Chambers. But nevertheless, the liveried butler is still the most familiar intermediary between the upstairs world and the downstairs staff. So without further adieu, here are the jobs relating to the Butler and his retinue from the Butler’s Pantry.

1. Groom of the Chambers
Function: Responsible for announcing company, answering bells, making sure the principal seeing rooms are in proper order as well as supplied with pens, ink, candles, and paper. Also assist in decorating such as flower displays, making sure card tables have cards, and sees that rooms are in proper order. Keeps a book of invitations given to his employers to remind of their engagements as well as arranges invitations for special events. Sees that guests are properly attended. Supervised servants and specialized in furniture maintenance.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure he receives a generous sum of money as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff, addressed by last name, and reported to the master or House Steward. May even outrank the butler.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 5:00am-10:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a man who spent considerable time as a footman, butler, or other member of the male staff with leadership skills.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist at Downton Abbey but it’s likely that the estate might’ve had one. Then again, Carson performs a lot of this job’s duties anyway and might’ve went obsolete in the late 19th century.

2. Butler
Function: Highest official servant and responsible for running the house and from the 19th century onward assumed the House Manager’s responsibilities. Charged with supervising the footmen, the plate chest (making sure it’s properly cleaned before use), and affairs relating to any alcohol purchased and consumed by the household (such as keeping accounts, decanting it for lunch and dinner, and putting it away after every meal). Can even bottle wine and brew beer. Takes over valet’s duty when there’s not one in the household. Announces visitors during afternoon hours, readies rooms for use every day, as well as tidies them. Also, polishes the silver and keeps it in pristine condition. Responsibilities depend on the size of the establishment.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 40-60 pounds ($4,300-$6,400). Also receives gratuity money from vendors selling goods to maintain the house. Has his own room on the estate or a cottage if married.
Status: Highest ranking of an official servant and is only answerable to the family.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 5am-10pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a seasoned male veteran of the domestic service establishment who’s risen through the ranks over his career. Most butlers usually served many other positions while in the same house.
Characters who had this job: Mr. Charles Carson is Downton Abbey’s resident butler and does possibly everything described above except make alcohol and take over the valet’s duties (which Thomas does). Not surprisingly, he’s been working at Downton longer than any of the other staff or at least as early as the 1890s before the Crawley girls were born (then again, he may have been a servant before his career in Vaudeville).

3. Under Butler

Under Butler: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to the estate's resident scheming asshole after he's caught sexually assaulting a footman in his bedroom. Sure he's worked as a footman for over 10 years, served as NCO in the war, and has experience as a valet. But, really, that incident could've landed him jail, let alone get him fired.

Under Butler: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to the estate’s resident scheming asshole after he’s caught sexually assaulting a footman in his bedroom. Sure he’s worked as a footman for over 10 years, served as NCO in the war, and has experience as a valet. But, really, that incident could’ve landed him jail, let alone get him fired. Talk about giving a promotion to someone who doesn’t deserve it.

Function: Shares many of the butler’s duties but is only second to him among the male staff as well as takes control of staff when butler’s away. Also, takes over as a footman during special occasions. Responsibilities may vary according to household. Though not all estates have this position.
Pay and Benefits: Well, less than the butler as well as housekeeper and his own room or cottage at the estate depending on his marital status.
Status: Member of the Upper Staff and only answerable to the Butler. Addressed by last name.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 5am-10pm.
Typical Candidate: Again, a male veteran of the domestic service who’s worked for the household for quite some time to rise through the ranks.
Characters who had this job: Thomas Barrow has had this job at Downton Abbey since Season 3 (after an incident that would’ve gotten him jailed, let alone fired in real life. Then again, his homosexuality has been an open secret at Downton anyway. However, since he’s the resident baddie {especially after O’Brien left}, his position at Downton is relatively secure unless Rob James-Collier wants off the show). Nevertheless, Thomas has been working at Downton for over a decade.

4. First Footman

First Footman: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to the handsome footman who's kind of a prick not above hazing his competition. Though this job may not get him laid by the kitchen maid who has a crush on him, it may make him prone to some awkward moments of unwanted sexual  attention.

First Footman: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to the handsome footman who’s kind of a prick not above hazing his competition. Though this job may not get him laid by the kitchen maid who has a crush on him, it may make him prone to some awkward moments of unwanted sexual attention. Also has a former boss who won’t leave him alone.

Function: Next in line to replace butler (unless there’s an under butler in the household staff), with his main job to be tall, handsome, and to represent the estate’s grandeur. Aside from regular footman duties, he accompanied the lady of the house on shopping trips, served the family meals, and assisted the butler.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 30 pounds a year ($3,200) as well as room and board (though he typically had to share one). However, like most footmen, the taller and handsomer he was (or the more similar he resembled the second footman), the more he got paid. Could be supplemented by 5-15 pounds annually ($500-$1,500) in tips and other gifts from the lady of the house.
Status: Highest ranking member of the Lower Staff. Addressed by first name and reported to Butler.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually the footman who’s spent either the longest time at the estate. If not, then hotness and height.
Characters who had this job: Thomas Barrow starts out as the first footman in Seasons 1 and 3 until his promotion to under butler. Onwards, it’s been Jimmy Kent as of Season 4.

5. Second Footman

Second Footman: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to a military age guy who's not the resident asshole or romantically pursuing the boss's daughter. Mainly exists as a nice guy to get killed off in WWI during Season 2. Because we all know that someone at Downton had to get it.

Second Footman: At Downton Abbey this is the job you give to a military age guy who’s not the resident asshole or romantically pursuing the boss’s daughter. Mainly exists as a nice guy to get killed off in WWI during Season 2, dying peacefully after his rushed death bed wedding with the kitchen maid. Because we all know that someone at Downton had to get it.

Function: Similar to the first footman but in an apprenticeship capacity.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 25 pounds ($2,700) but can depend on hotness, height, and resemblance to the first footman, as well as having to share a room.
Status: Member of Lower Staff. Addressed by first name and reported to Butler.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually the footman who’s spent a long time on at the estate. Yet, if he bore a resemblance to the first footman or was reasonably hot or tall, it was even better.
Characters who had this job: William Mason was Downton Abbey’s second footman until he joined the army in Season 2 (yet was killed in WWI so didn’t return to his post. However, since he, Thomas, and Branson were the only servants of military age on the estate, his death was no surprise.) And from Season 3 to the time he left for culinary school in London, Alfred Nugent served this post (of course, he was hired as a footman only because he was O’Brien’s nephew but he probably would’ve just gotten to work as one at Downton due to being 6’4” alone). Since then, it’s been Joseph Molesley (who probably got in since he was Matthew’s valet and aching for a job) as of Season 4.

6. Footman

Footman: At Downton Abbey, this is the job you give to men that are: complete assholes, kind-hearted cannon fodder, culinary aspiring nephews of lady's maids, guys fleeing the unwanted attentions of a female boss, and ex-valets desperate for employment after their boss suddenly died in a car accident on the way home from the hospital.

Footman: At Downton Abbey, this is the job you give to men that are: complete assholes, kind-hearted cannon fodder, culinary aspiring nephews of lady’s maids, guys fleeing the unwanted attentions of a female boss, and ex-valets desperate for employment after their boss suddenly died in a car accident on the way home from the hospital.

Function: Male staff part of the butler’s pantry department. Usual duties include laying the table, answering the door, waiting at the table, receiving and carrying packages and mail, and accompanying the family while traveling on foot, carriage, or car. Also looked after male guests who came without a valet. May even carry heavy items and move furniture for the house maids. Their roles were similar to waiters, bodyguards, busboys, and escorts.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of at least 20 pounds ($2,100) as well as room and board. Pay also depended on the footman’s looks such as height and hotness since they were meant to be seen by family and guests. A footman over 5’10” could earn as much as 40 pounds a year (which may be over $3,500), (Alfred could’ve earned this much money).
Status: Member of the Lower Staff. However, since they were hired to be seen, the notion of a handsome footman was the 19th century equivalent of the hot pool boy. And yes, affairs between footmen and their mistresses did occur. Addressed by first name and reported to Butler. Have expensive livery uniforms, refined mannerisms, and general appearance. Still, an estate like Downton Abbey usually had 4 of them.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Well, must be an unmarried young man of great height and reasonably hot. Most were in their late teens and 20s (Moseley would’ve not been hired as a footman in real life since he’s balding and may be over 30. Yet, was made one nevertheless to keep him on the show. Yet, despite Alfred’s not being a servant before, he certainly would since he’s 6’4” tall {even if he wasn’t O’Brien’s nephew}.) Butlers usually had this position before rising to their current position.
Characters who had this job: Let’s see for there’s quite a list of footmen at Downton Abbey. Well, Season 1 has Thomas Barrow (until Season 3) and William Mason while Season 3 has Alfred Nugent and Jimmy Kent. However, since Thomas’ promotion and Alfred’s departure, it’s been Jimmy Kent and Joseph Moseley as of Season 4. Also, Carson was most likely a footman while the Crawley girls were young.

7. Page or Tea Boy
Function: Apprentice footman responsible for attending a person of distinction as well as guests. May have even served other servants in the Servants’ Hall.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 8-16 pounds ($860-$1,700) depending on age, appearance, height, and abilities.
Status: Member of Lower Staff and addressed by first name.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a boy between 10-16 years old from the lower classes as well as shows higher ambition. A lot of footman started out this way.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist on Downton Abbey but I’m sure someone like Thomas Barrow and Carson worked as one for a time.

8. Hall Boy
Function: Assistant to the lowest footman who takes cards in the hall, polishes shoes and boots of visitors, and empties chamber pots.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 13 pounds ($1,300) as well as room and board.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and one of lowest male servant ranks. Addressed by first name.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a boy between 10-16 years old and from the lower classes. Many footmen, valets, and butlers started out this way.
Characters who had this job: Well, this job may or may not exist on Downton Abbey but it’s likely that men like Thomas Barrow and Carson might have worked as one.

9. Pantry Boy
Function: Responsible for maintaining the pantry as far as I know.
Pay and Benefits: Besides room and board, not much pay.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and one of the lowest ranked male servants. Reported to Butler.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 6:00am-11:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a young boy or a teenager at least 10, maybe even younger.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist at Downton Abbey. However, outside the show and in real life, this the job real life butler Eugene Allen started out with during his long career at the White House. So this job definitely existed somewhere.

10. Boot Boy
Function: Responsible for cleaning, polishing, and caring for the household members’ boots and shoes as well as other odd jobs.
Pay and Benefits: Besides room and board, not much pay.
Status: Member of the Lower Staff and lowest ranking male servant. Addressed by first name and reported to Butler.
Hours: Worked 7 days a week from 5:00am-10:00pm.
Typical Candidate: Usually a young boy or teenager. May be as young as 10 or even younger.
Characters who had this job: This job may or may not exist at Downton Abbey. Yet, these boys weren’t meant to be seen.

The Domestic Servants of Downton Abbey: Part 1-The Professionals

Estate Manager: On Downton, this is the job you give the Irish chauffeur after he's managed to procreate with the boss's daughter who's died in childbirth.

Estate Manager: At Downton Abbey, this is the job you give the Irish chauffeur after he’s managed to marry and procreate with the boss’s daughter who’s died in childbirth from eclampsia. Yet, despite not having a college education and being an Irish Nationalist and self-professed Anarcho-Socialist involved with terrorism, he’s perfect for the job because he’s grown up on a farm and is the father of the boss’s granddaughter by his dead daughter.  Oh, and I’m sure the boss will forgive him for leaving his pregnant wife in Ireland while on the lam, supporting the Russian Revolution, and blowing up a castle.

The British show Downton Abbey is a hit period drama (or soap opera) in both the UK and the US which tells the story of a great house during the early 20th century which kicks off when two of the male heirs of Downton and to the Earl of Grantham died aboard the R. M. S. Titanic and since the Earl only has daughters, the next in line is a lawyer in Manchester who the Granthams hadn’t met until the second episode. The show is now in its fifth season which airs on PBS during the months of January and February in the United States. Since my series on the real people from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire has met great success (I’m still getting hits on the posts since September) I figured I could do a similar series pertaining to Downton Abbey as well. However, I couldn’t do a series on the real people of Downton Abbey because there’s barely any, which would take a very small post (and most of these people appear in Season 4). Instead, I decided to do a series on an aspect the show revolves around: the servants.

For a long time in Great Britain, domestic service was a big industry, especially in the 19th century where servants were employed by almost every family that could afford one. In the 1850s it’s said that 1 in 3 women between the ages of 15-25 were servants while the other 1 in 3 were prostitutes. By 1900, British domestic servants amounted to 1.5 million of the country’s population of 36 million. Of course, unlike what you’d see from Downton Abbey and in other media portrayals, the relationship between master and servant wasn’t always of mutual respect between social boundaries. And it would be more fair to say they were treated more like appliances than people. Not only that, but servants’ lives could actually be quite miserable, degrading, exhausting, and thankless work. Some people could be forced to surrender their identities for a matching hair style and a generic name. Not to mention, servants could often be targets of abuse and could be fired for getting married, pregnant, or other reasons. Many of them worked 17 hour days for a pittance wage but the competition was fierce since servants had a roof over their heads and regular meals. Not to mention, there were worse situations to be in at the time such as in a factory or on the streets. Still, when it came to employment options a servant would rather work in a great house like Downton than a small one (which would’ve had a staff much bigger than on the show). At least working at a grand house would mean not doing as many chores and meeting people. And as far as loyalty goes, it wasn’t unusual for a employers to hire 32 maids in 34 years. However, despite the romanticized picture Downton Abbey gives, there was much more separation between the lives upstairs and downstairs and a lot of times the people downstairs didn’t have it so great (and at times their lives could totally suck since their employers couldn’t be held accountable if their bosses did anything horrible to them). Yet, what the show does get right is that servants did have their own hierarchies and were a great part to the grand house economy on the estate. Of course, I should remind you that not all the servant jobs I feature in my post pertains to the time of Downton Abbey or even the 19th century in that matter either.

In this first post, I’ll cover a group of those who worked on the estate or the Great House but weren’t actually designated “servants” since they didn’t reside in the house or at times didn’t work directly under the master and his family. Rather many of them have the designation as, “professional” employee since many of them had some degree of education and skill, yet may or may not work when called upon. Some of them may have their own house on the estate while others may just be looking for a place to apply their skills or live elsewhere. Yet, compared to most of the servants you’d see, they’re usually treated better, have much more independence or power, work shorter hours, and are more likely to be better paid. Not to mention, they don’t really belong in the other categories you’ll see later. So for your pleasure, here’s a list of jobs you’d see from an English estate under the designation of, “professional.”

1. Chamberlain
Function: Charged with the management of the living quarters of a sovereign or member of the nobility. May be in charge of receiving and distributing funds.
Pay and Benefits: Well, this is a job that allows for generous compensation as well as a private house on the estate. May have servants of his own.
Status: Highest steward of the servant hierarchy and regarded as a professional employee. Is answerable only to the master.
Hours: Depends on their duties during a specific era. Medieval chamberlains had the longest hours and most duties compared to their later successors.
Typical Candidate: Usually a member of the nobility or the royal court, particularly lower than the person they’re serving.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t really exist on Downton Abbey, except maybe in the King’s household with Lord Chamberlain.

2. Land Steward or Estate Manager
Function: Responsible for managing the farms, collecting rents, and undertaking all those activities associated with making the estate profitable. Other duties include leasing farms, surveying the property, settling disputes over land and farming, and detailing records of such affairs. When master isn’t present, usually supervised cultivation of land, lending his ear to tenant farmers and the sophistication of agricultural practices. Communicated with lawyers, family members, architects, suppliers, and tenants as well as saw to processing every aspect for the family and its affairs.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 100-300 pounds ($11,000-$33,000) and a private house on the estate.
Status: Regarded as a professional employee with a status higher than the family lawyer. Is answerable only to the master.
Hours: Usually a regular work day with a flexible schedule or as needed.
Typical Candidate: Usually a highly educated gentleman. Lawyers preferred, especially those who have a financial and managerial background.
Characters who had this job: The Earl of Grantham and his family had Jarvis who served the estate from 1880 to 1920 until Downton Abbey was struck with financial disaster in Season 3. Since then, it’s been shared by Matthew Crawley and Tom Branson (since he grew up on a farm). Yet, after Matthew’s sudden death during the Christmas Special, it’s just been Branson.

3. House Steward or House Manager
Function: Responsible for all purchasing, hiring, firing, and paying the servant staff. Engages with the male and female servants except the family, lady’s maid, nurses, and valet. Orders goods, pays bills, and keeps books. May also act as the Land Steward as well. Usually submits books to the master for review on a monthly basis. Basically the chief servant and the estate’s accountant.
Pay and Benefits: Annual salary of 50-100 pounds ($5,500-$11,000). May have his own private house on the estate with its own sitting room.
Status: Regarded as a professional employee but he’d be the chief male domestic servant in a household. Reports to the master and does not wear a livery.
Hours: Works on a daily schedule on the estate.
Typical Candidate: Must be male as well as a certain amount of education in finance and management. Usually lower born than the Land Manager.
Characters who had this job: Downton Abbey doesn’t really have this job since the House Manager is usually employed in larger households where the accounts are too extensive for the Housekeeper to manage. However, in the show, the House Manager’s duties are usually split between Carson and Mrs. Hughes.

4. Bailiff
Function: Either a free agent or employed under the Estate Manager. Manages the farm on his master’s country estate, buys cattle and horses for the plow, and is responsible for husbandry, the breeding and raising of livestock of the estate. May assist the Estate Manager in tenant and leased land issues as well as other administrative duties. Occasionally may assist in the dining room.
Pay and Benefits: Well, may have his own house as well as a generous annual salary.
Status: Well, as far as the grounds goes, he may be either professional or servant. If servant may be Upper Staff but not share in the privileges.
Hours: Typical working hours, save maybe special occasions.
Typical Candidate: Usually a reasonably educated man, preferably someone who’s grown up on a farm.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t really exist on Downton Abbey though Tom Branson usually fulfills many of the duties (he grew up on a farm).

5. Family Lawyer

Family Lawyer: At Downton, this job doesn't just pertain to legal consultation or representing the family on legal matters. Not only is he the go to guy when someone needs to get out of a jam but he also exists to explain the complicated legislation driving some of the plots.

Family Lawyer: At Downton, this job doesn’t just pertain to legal consultation or representing the family on legal matters. Not only is he the go to guy when someone needs to get out of a jam but he also exists to explain the complicated legislation driving some of the plots.

Function: Assists the family with legal matters and represents them in a court of law as well as in legal transactions. Serves executor of the will and is the first one called if a family member is facing legal trouble.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure lawyers in those days didn’t come cheap, especially those who served wealthy families.
Status: Regarded as a professional and didn’t live with the family unless he was related to them.
Hours: Came to the family as often as needed but tend to have a regular work schedule.
Typical Candidate: Usually a highly educated man from the upper or middle classes. May be part of a firm or the family even.
Characters who had this job: George Murray, QC has this job at Downton Abbey and he usually exists to explain the complicated legislation that drives the show’s plot. Tends to give sound financial advice, even if Lord Robert ignores it.

6. Librarian
Function: Basically responsible for things most librarians are such as managing the books in the estate library as well as family records and archives. Keeps a catalog of books, manuscripts, documents, and other pieces of information.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure the librarian got a fair compensation as well as their own private house on the estate.
Status: Considered a professional and not a servant. Addressed by last name.
Hours: Regular working hours.
Typical Candidate: Usually someone from the educated middle classes with at least a college education. Could be male or female but if the latter, she was usually single.
Characters who had this job: An off-screen character named Mr. Parkison has this job on Downton Abbey as of Season 4.

7.  Secretary
Function: Personal assistant providing a variety a clerical functions such as dictation, correspondence, typing out documents, organizing, and maintaining files. May also handle bookkeeping operations, greet visitors, and make travel arrangements.
Pay and Benefits: I’m sure they received a generous compensation.
Status: Considered a professional, addressed by last name, and reported to the master.
Hours: Regular working hours or as needed.
Typical Candidate: Usually a young unmarried woman or man with some experience in clerical skills.
Characters who had this job: This job may or may not exist on Downton Abbey. However in Season 1, Gwen Dawson trains to be and becomes one for a telephone company.

8. Journeyman
Function: A craftsman who’s completed his apprenticeship but isn’t yet a master. Responsibilities may include repair of furnishings or specialist cleaning.
Pay and Benefits: Depending on the journeyman’s fee or trade.
Status: Considered Casual Staff since they don’t live on the estate.
Hours: Called on as often as needed or if they’re passing through.
Typical Candidate: Usually a man who’s completed his apprenticeship but isn’t a master.
Characters who had this job: This job doesn’t exist at Downton Abbey for many of the skilled trade jobs fell by the wayside during the Industrial Revolution.

9. Tenant Farmer

Tenant Farmer: At Downton this is a job you give to guy who's family has lived on your estate since the Napoleonic Wars, is suited for agriculture and animal husbandry, and needs to repay the boss a debt inherited from his dead father. Basically a guy who agrees to farm your land to spare you from labor and that he owes money to you. Also, willing to tend to pigs and secretly take care of any illegitimate aristocratic children.

Tenant Farmer: At Downton this is a job you give to guy who’s family has lived on your estate since the Napoleonic Wars, is suited for agriculture and animal husbandry, and needs to repay the boss a debt inherited from his dead father. Basically a guy who agrees to farm your land to spare you from labor and that he owes money to you. Also, willing to tend to pigs and secretly raise any illegitimate aristocratic children.

Function: Tending to the livestock and crops on the estate’s lands as well as paying rent in exchange for a home and compensation.
Pay and Benefits: Well, they rented land they had a private house on as well as some compensation for what they provide to the estate.
Status: Well, they were renters and partly beneficiaries so they weren’t considered servants in the usual sense. Reported to the master or estate manager.
Hours: Worked from sunrise to sundown, especially during the spring through autumn.
Typical Candidate: Usually men from tenant families who’ve resided on the estate for generations.
Characters who had this job: Downton Abbey has a lot of tenant farmers on the estate, but only a man named Timothy Drewe is named from Season 4. His family has been tenants at Downton since the reign of King George III. Has a wife and 3 sons and is in charge of the pig sty.